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THE SITUATION ROOM
West Virginia Governor Orders Mines Shut Down for Safety Check; President Bush Goes on the Road
Aired February 1, 2006 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: To our viewers, you're in THE SITUATION ROOM, where new pictures and information are arriving all the time. Standing by, CNN reporters across the United States and around the world to bring you the day's top stories.
Happening now at 7:00 p.m. in West Virginia, after one of the worst U.S. mining disasters in years, two more miners die in accidents. And coal companies are now shutting down their mines for a safety check. The governor of West Virginia has just ordered that.
And it's 6:00 p.m. in Nashville, in the home of country music. Can a down home style president help himself save his Iraq policies before the American public? I'll speak with someone who's not buying those policies at all in any style, Democratic Congressman John Murtha.
And it's 7:00 p.m. in Washington, where we're following new developments in the CIA leak investigation. Were crucial e-mails from the president and the vice president's offices destroyed?
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
First tonight, President Bush in full battle armor less than 24 hours after his State of the Union address. He's also trying to give Americans something they didn't get from him last night, a stronger dose of warmth and empathy.
BLITZER (voice-over): On a national stage where country music greats perform, President Bush turned up the twang, giving a much folksier version of his prime-time speech to the nation.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm just getting wound up here.
BLITZER: The language was plain, and so was his intent, to address Americans' anxiety about him and his leadership.
BUSH: People are uncertain in spite of our strong union, because of war. And I understand that.
BLITZER: Still, the president didn't budge an inch on Iraq or anything else.
BUSH: Whether you agree or not agree with the decision, this country has one option, and that's victory in Iraq.
BLITZER: And Mr. Bush stood firm in his defense of his secret spying program, just as he did the night before.
BUSH: Let me put it to you in Texan. If al Qaeda is calling into the United States, we want to know.
BLITZER: While the White House has been trying to play up the so-called kitchen table issues the president addressed last night, national security and Iraq continue to be his main talking points and fighting points. Congressional Democrats fanned out today to give a collective thumbs down to the president's speech, including his stay- the-course strategy in Iraq. The congressman leading the push for a quick troop removal from Iraq is once again leading the criticism of Mr. Bush.
I spoke earlier with Representative John Murtha of Pennsylvania.
BLITZER: Congressman Murtha, welcome back to THE SITUATION ROOM. Always good to have you on the program.
REP. JOHN MURTHA (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Let's talk about what the president said last night, sort of reiterated it earlier today. Here's an excerpt of what the president said he seemed -- he seemed to have you and other critics in mind when he said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: A sudden withdrawal of our forces from Iraq would abandon our Iraqi allies to death and prison. Would put men like bin Laden and Zarqawi in charge of a strategic country. And show that a pledge from America means little.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: What do you say? That criticism is pretty strong.
MURTHA: Well, Wolf, let me tell you something. There's only 750 to 1,000 al Qaeda in Iraq. Now, for him to mischaracterize what's going on in Iraq, and he continues to do this, the fight in Iraq is a civil war. The terrorism is in Afghanistan. It's a worldwide fight.
What my argument is, we have to redivert our funds. We've been spending $234 billion in Iraq during this civil war where our troops are the targets. They've diverted their attention away from terrorism to Iraq, the war in Iraq, which is a civil war.
The Iraqis themselves will get rid of the al Qaeda once we get out. Eighty percent of the people want us out of there; 47 percent now in a new poll says that it's justified to kill Americans. That's Iraqis. Iraqis are the ones attacking us. So I don't know how he can say the brutal enemy, because they are Iraqis and they're the ones we're supposed to be helping.
BLITZER: Well, what about these Iraqi insurgents, the Saddam loyalists, the Fedayeen, as they're called -- forget about the foreign fighters who come in, the al Qaeda operatives associated with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. If the U.S. were to withdraw, wouldn't those Saddam loyalists retake control of that country?
MURTHA: I can't predict who would take control, but they've got to settle this themselves. There's no way the United States can settle this. The longer we're there, the more we become the enemies. The more our troops are the targets.
Every time I go to the hospitals, every time I see the wounded, I realize the targets that our troops are. There's no question in my mind, Iraqis have to take care of this themselves. They have to have an incentive. The incentive is an exit strategy.
His policy is an open-ended strategy with no exit strategy. If we start to withdraw, if we tell the Iraqis, look, you folks take care of this yourself, whoever wins we'll have to live with it. Just like we have to live with the other election.
This is an election. They elected their government. Now they've got to fight for their own democracy.
BLITZER: The president says these decisions about troop deployments, exit strategies, important decisions, but he doesn't say he or other politicians in Washington should be making these decisions. The commanders should be making these decisions. Listen to this excerpt from last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: As we make progress on the ground and Iraqi forces increasingly take the lead, we should be able to further decrease our troop levels. But those decisions will be made by our military commanders, not by politicians in Washington, D.C.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Does he have a fair point there?
MURTHA: Well, let me tell you something, Wolf. Is he a politician?
MURTHA: He's a politician. He made the decision to go to war. He's got to make the decision to redeploy. And my argument is, it's not a fight against terrorism. He's mischaracterizing what's going on in Iraq. What's going on in Iraq is a civil war between two factions inside the country. And we're going to be diverted. In the meantime, Iran's making decisions, North Korea -- China wants us in there, al Qaeda wants us in there, Iran wants us in there. The longer we stay there, the more we deplete our resources and more we hurt the future of the military.
BLITZER: Just summarize briefly, if you don't mind, Congressman Murtha, your exit strategy. What specifically you're proposing? Because there's been a lot of distortion out there.
MURTHA: I appreciate that, Wolf. I would redeploy to the periphery of Iraq as quickly as possible. I'd get our troops into Kuwait, I'd move them to Okinawa, and I would be prepared to go back in in case there's a terrorist threat to the United States or to our allies. I wouldn't go back to interfere in a civil war. And that way, we take our troops from being the target.
Our troops have become the target in a civil war, and they're bearing a heavy brunt. A very small proportion of Americans are bearing this brunt in this war in Iraq.
BLITZER: We haven't spoken in a while. There were some controversial remarks that you made about your not willing -- you wouldn't be willing to join the U.S. military now because of the war in Iraq. You served in the military for many, many years. Clarify what exactly you said.
MURTHA: Yeah, what I said when they talked about policy, they said would you -- I joined twice. I joined during the middle of the Korean War, then I went back in in Vietnam. I volunteered both times.
Now, I disagree with the policy. So it doesn't make sense and I'd be hypocritical if I said I'd join now. I disagree with their policy. That's what I'm saying.
You know, I admire the people who are serving. They are doing a tremendous service for this great country. But I personally would not enlist now.
BLITZER: Here's what General Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs said after you made that comment. He said: "Murtha's comment is damaging to recruiting. It is damaging to morale of the troops who are deployed, and is damaging to the morale of the families who believe in what they're doing to serve this country." That's the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, himself a Marine as well.
MURTHA: Wolf, what is damaging to the morale of the troops, what's damaging to recruiting is when they've been deployed four times. When they go into battle without the battle armor. When they don't have the uparmored humvees that they have. When they're misled and they don't have a clear mission. That's what -- and they don't have an exit strategy.
That's what's demoralizing. As a matter of fact, it's interesting, the paper at home asked the Marine recruiters, they said to them, is this statement by one of your own Marines, Jack Murtha, made any difference? They said nobody's even brought it up. They had a recruitment problem long before I said this.
BLITZER: Congressman Murtha, always good to have you in THE SITUATION ROOM. Thanks very much for joining us. MURTHA: Thanks, Wolf. Nice talking to you.
BLITZER: Another important topic on the president's agenda, the future of Iran. He spoke about it last night, speaking directly to the Iranian people, encouraging them, if you will, to get rid of their regime.
As the world community scrambles to try to stop Iran's nuclear program, U.S. officials say troubling new information suggests that program is geared up to develop a nuclear weapon.
From Iran today, defiance. Let's go live to London. Our chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, is standing by. What did we hear in response, Christiane, from the Iranian president today?
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, continued defiance, as you said, Wolf. This president has made it clear that he is not going to back down, despite the threat of isolation against Iran. And today, he again said that he would not back down.
PRES. MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, IRAN (through translator): Nuclear energy is the right of our nation, the right of our Iranian people. Our nation can't give in to the coercion of some bully countries who imagine that they are the whole world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: President Ahmadinejad, the fundamentalist Islamic president who was elected last summer has used this tone and this word bullies many, many times and he seems to be trying to get a lot attention by using the word bullies and by appealing to what many Iranians feel is their right, at least, to a peaceful nuclear program.
But it is causing Iran to be isolated, potentially, inching towards referral to the security council. And of course, this administration, the Bush administration, trying much harder to seek a diplomatic solution to this crisis. And the question is, where is it actually going to end? Wolf.
BLITZER: Christiane, you were just there in Iran. Did you get a sense they were really scared of a U.S. military option, if you will, to try to destroy their respective nuclear facilities around the country, or do they see that more as a hollow threat?
AMANPOUR: Well, I don't think they see it as a hollow threat. I think they do see it as a possibility, and they say that they've taken precautions against it. They've said publicly before they built a lot of their facilities underground. Because no country wants to have a military strike against it. But what I did get a sense of is that the officials do believe that the U.S. and the rest of the world is intent on regime change. And the nuclear file is one way of getting and seeking regime change. They do believe that there's not much point in them backing down or in entering into, you know, sort of intensified diplomacy because they believe that it's all about regime change.
BLITZER: Christiane Amanpour in London for us, thanks very much.
This important note to viewers, Christiane's going to be back with a special report, the two faces of Iran. That airs tonight on "ANDERSON COOPER 360" at 10:00 p.m. eastern.
Let's check in with Jack Cafferty. He is in New York right now with "The Cafferty File."
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you, Wolf. Cindy Sheehan blew it big-time. If there was one person the president probably didn't want to see at the State of the Union address last night, it was the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq who has come to symbolize opposition to the war.
Yet, there she was, an invited guest of a Democratic representative. She couldn't wait. She managed to get herself arrested and kicked out before the speech even started. She was wearing a T-shirt protesting the war and she went the only one.
She wasn't the only one wearing a T-shirt. The wife of an 18- term Republican Congressman also got tossed out. Her T-shirt or sweatshirt said "Support the Troops." Note to these two women. It's the State of the Union address, not some sit-in on the Washington Mall. Either dress appropriately or stay home.
Here's the question -- was too big a deal made about a couple of T-shirts at last night's State of the Union address? You can e-mail your thoughts to caffertyfile@CNN.com or go to CNN.com/cafferty file. Late today, the Capitol police said they made a mistake and apologized to both women. Wolf.
BLITZER: Jack, you're going to get a ton of e-mails. Get ready on this one. Jack Cafferty with "The Cafferty File." Coming up, there are new developments, potentially significant, potentially very significant, in the CIA leak case. It centers on missing White House e-mail. Our justice correspondent, Kelli Arena, has the latest. Also, the Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, singled out in a new report on Hurricane Katrina response. We'll show you what it says.
Plus, he survived the war in Iraq only to be shot by police right here at home. It's a very, very controversial incident. All captured on videotape. We're going to show it to you. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: Welcome back. A newly discovered letter from the prosecutor in the CIA leak probe says the White House may have destroyed some e-mail. Our justice correspondent, Kelli Arena, is joining us. She has got details. Kelli.
KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: The letter was written last month by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald to Lewis Libby's lawyer. It was recently made public as part of a court filing. In the letter, Fitzgerald admits that some of the e-mails from the president's and vice president's offices were destroyed.
Fitzgerald's letter says that the e-mails were sent during certain time periods in 2003 and they were not, quote, "Preserved through the normal archiving process on the White House computer system."
That happened to be the year that the U.S. invaded Iraq, but the letter doesn't offer any clues as to what those e-mails were about or how many of them are missing.
Fitzgerald does say in his letter that he's not aware of any evidence having to do with the charges against Libby being destroyed. Now, this letter was written in response to Libby's lawyers who were asking the government to hand over evidence that could help their defense. Libby, as you know, was charged with perjury and obstruction of justice in the CIA leak investigation. He has pled not guilty.
So far, spokesmen for both Fitzgerald and the vice president's office refuse to comment.
BLITZER: All right, Kelli. Thanks very much. Let's get some legal analysis now on this new development. Joining us on the phone is our senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. Potentially, how significant or insignificant is this development?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I think you have to say it raises questions. Why were these documents destroyed outside the normal course? Who knew about it? Who ordered it? What kind of documents were there? All these questions may have entirely innocent answers, but we don't know what any of the answers are at this point.
BLITZER: Because when I hear a story like this, it hearkens back, I remember, of course, some of those missing tapes during Watergate and the Nixon White House that evidence may have been destroyed. This may be totally, totally overreaching. There may be a simple explanation, but the fact that the prosecutor writes this letter saying what happened to this -- to these e-mails, that raises certain questions.
TOOBIN: And certainly the Iran-Contra affair was based almost entirely on electronic messages, so-called prof notes sent between Oliver North and colleagues. They have been crucial evidence in all White House investigations. What happened to them? A lot of things get destroyed in the normal course of business. Why were the normal procedures not followed? As you point out, could be completely innocent. But we just don't know.
BLITZER: How normal is it for e-mail to be destroyed in the normal course of business over at the White House? A question I don't have the answer to, but presumably the special prosecutor is going to be looking into that question right now.
Jeff Toobin, thanks very much.
The Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is being singled out for criticism in a new report on the response to Hurricane Katrina. CNN's Tom Foreman is joining us now with details of what this criticism is all about. Tom?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Wolf, the thing is from the beginning here, there's been a strange thing going on with Katrina. The head of FEMA, which is under Homeland Security, was forced out of his job, that's Michael Brown, we all remember him.
The president essentially apologized for the federal response to Katrina, saying it could have been much better but the man just beneath him has been skating along, all along, with limited criticism.
Today that seemed to come to quite an end.
FOREMAN (voice-over): A new report on the response to Katrina from the government accountability office is taking dead aim at Michael Chertoff, the head of the Department of Homeland Security, saying he failed to provide critical decisive leadership.
"Neither the DHS secretary, nor any of his designees, filled this leadership role," the report says. And Democrats have pounced.
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: So here we are, after the worst natural disaster in modern times, after having demoralized, defunded, FEMA created this behemoth of the Department of Homeland Security, and no one was in charge.
FOREMAN: Chertoff's office is firing back, calling the GAO report "Premature, unprofessional, and full of errors." But over in Congress, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was piling on.
MAYOR RAY NAGIN (D), NEW ORLEANS: There was an incredible dance going on between the federal government and the state government on who had final authority. And it was impeding, in my humble opinion, the recovery efforts and it was very frustrating.
FOREMAN: Of course, Mayor Nagin, got his own share of criticism, still is. There seems to be enough blame still to go around to everybody, but it will be very interesting to see now how much this focuses on Secretary Chertoff, who as I said from the beginning, has been able to come through this relatively unscathed so far. Certainly his office is taking these accusations seriously and they're denouncing them very forcefully. I'll have more on this tonight on "ANDERSON COOPER 360." Wolf?
BLITZER: All right, good work, Tom, thank you very much -- Tom Foreman reporting for us.
Still to come here in THE SITUATION ROOM, a major development happening right now in West Virginia, following the deaths of two more people in mining accidents. Now the governor of West Virginia is taking sweeping action.
Plus, two women, two shirts, but only one was arrested at the State of the Union speech, the anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan. We're asking Capitol Police why. Stay with us.
BLITZER: January was a month of unimaginable tragedy for coal miners and their families in West Virginia. Now February is starting off with news of yet more grief. Let's go straight to CNN's Fredricka Whitfield at the CNN Center for details. Fred?
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again, Wolf. Well two more miners are dead after separate accidents in the mines in West Virginia. Officials say in one accident, a man driving a bulldozer hit a gas line causing it to burst into flames. In the other accident, officials say a miner died at an underground mine when a wall support came loose. In light of today's mine deaths, West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin is taking action to assure his state's mines are safe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. JOE MANCHIN (D), WEST VIRGINIA: But I can confirm that we have had accidents at three separate coal mines, two underground mines and one surface mine, that have resulted in two deaths today. As a result of these three incidents, all of which occurred within just the last few hours, I'm calling on the industry to cease production activities immediately and go into a mine safety standdown.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WHITFIELD: Including today's deaths, 16 miners have died in West Virginia mining accidents in about a month, Wolf.
BLITZER: Fred, thank you very much, Fredricka Whitfield with the latest on that. We'll continue to watch this story.
Just ahead, the hunt for Osama bin Laden. More than four years into it, where does the United States military stand right now? I'll ask the commanding general in charge of combined forces in Afghanistan.
Plus, anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan arrested at the State of the Union speech. Why Capitol Police now say that was a mistake.
BLITZER: Turning now to a highly unusual protest from the top military brass. All six members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff sent a letter to "The Washington Post" taking strong exception to an editorial cartoon showing a badly wounded soldier. Let's go live to our senior Pentagon correspondent, Jamie McIntyre -- Jamie.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: An unusually sharp rebuke, Wolf, from, as you said, all of the Joint Chiefs for a cartoon that they found offensive, drawn by Tom Tolls.
Let's look at the cartoon. The point of the cartoon is that several reports have come out suggesting that the U.S. military, the Army is stretched too thin, and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld essentially has dismissed that criticism.
In the cartoon, the Army is portrayed as a service member in a hospital bed, and Rumsfeld is the doctor. And he's saying, "things aren't so bad." He says, "I'm listing your condition as battle- hardened." Again, the point is Rumsfeld's dismissal of the criticism that the Army is stretched too thin.
But here's the reaction from the letter signed by all the Joint Chiefs. They said: "Using the likeness of a service member who has lost his arms and legs in war as a central theme of a cartoon is beyond tasteless." They called it, quote, "a callous depiction of those who volunteered to defend this nation, and as a result, have suffered traumatic and life-altering wounds."
The letter concludes, "As the Joint Chiefs, it is rare that we all put our hand to one letter, but we cannot let this reprehensible cartoon go unanswered." Very strong language. Signed by every single member of the Joint Chiefs. All six of them signed this letter.
We're told the letter will run in "The Washington Post" tomorrow. That's where they saw the cartoon. We've not been able yet to have a chance to talk to Tom Tolls, the cartoonist, and get his reaction. But again, very strong reaction to this cartoon, which ostensibly is about supporting the Army, and some of the critics who say the Army should get more support from the Pentagon.
BLITZER: Jamie McIntyre, thanks very much for that. Jamie McIntyre reporting.
Political cartoons published in Scandinavian newspapers are causing riots across the Muslim world. One character portrayed the Prophet Mohammed as a terrorist. The images are quickly spreading around the globe via the Internet. Let's go to our Internet reporter, Abbi Tatton -- Abbi.
ABBI TATTON, CNN INTERNET REPORTER: Wolf, those 12 cartoons first appeared in this Danish publication in September of last year. Last month, they were reproduced and discussed in Norwegian publications, including this Web site here.
Now, the images, which CNN has blurred here because they might be offensive to some viewers, quickly drew protests and also the boycott of some Danish products around the world.
Now, the online Web site of the original Danish newspaper, they've been trying to respond to this with a letter of apology, explaining the situation, in Danish, English and in Arabic. But it seems like it may not be working. That Web site attacked by hackers earlier this week -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Abbi Tatton reporting for us. Thank you.
It's been more than four years since U.S. troops helped topple the Taliban, but President Bush says the United States is still on the offensive in Afghanistan and still on the offensive against terrorism. A little while ago, I spoke with Lieutenant General Karl Eikenberry, head of the combined forces command in Afghanistan. I asked him what priority he puts on hunting down Osama bin Laden and his deputies.
LT. GEN. KARL EIKENBERRY, U.S. ARMY: You know, Wolf, I was in the Pentagon when 9/11 occurred. And, so, I have a personal connection, as does our entire nation, in the commitment in this war on terror.
If I could say, with regard to the terrorist network that we're up against, it is not about, Wolf, one man. This is an international global network, with social connections, with financial connections, and it has command-and-control connections throughout the entire globe.
BLITZER: Is it a priority for you? Do you wake up every morning and tell your staff, tell your commanding officers, what's the latest, what's going on, is he in Afghanistan, is he in Pakistan, is he along the border, is he in someplace else? Is this -- is this a major part of the mission?
EIKENBERRY: The destruction of the network is our primary mission, Wolf. And, again, it's important to look at this as not about a man; it's about an entire network.
If I could, just very briefly, when you talk about a network, think about an electrical power grid system that is out there. If you cut one line momentarily, the lights might drop and the power surges another direction. You take a transformer out, the system might start to dip, but it comes back on.
We're attacking a global network, and we are making huge progress right now in talking out leadership nodes and continuing on the attack.
Now, with regard to bin Laden, is bin Laden important? Yes, bin Laden is important, because we will not rest and we will not stop until we either bring bin Laden to justice, or we find and kill and capture bin Laden, because bin Laden must be brought to justice for closure of the American people and for the international community.
BLITZER: The U.S. has, what, close to 20,000 troops in Afghanistan right now?
EIKENBERRY: We do, yes.
BLITZER: And you're commanding them. But, in the next -- next several months, NATO is going to take over responsibility for this key strategic location.
BLITZER: A British general will -- will be the overall commander of this operation.
EIKENBERRY: Lieutenant General David Richards, yes.
BLITZER: Yes. And some -- some critics are wondering, if this is so important, Afghanistan, the war on terrorism, finding these al Qaeda operatives, why are we, the United States, handing over this mission to the NATO allies?
EIKENBERRY: This is a transition that is going on right now, Wolf.
It's not -- it's not about a lessening in commitment of the United States. Several points about NATO -- first of all, NATO consists of 26 great nations, of which the United States is one. This NATO mission, as it evolves, the United States will remain the largest contributing nation to the NATO mission in Afghanistan.
BLITZER: But we won't be in charge. This -- this will be a consensus. NATO operates -- as you know, all the members of NATO have to agree on something before they do it.
EIKENBERRY: We're very confident of NATO's capabilities.
Wolf, they have been in Afghanistan for two-and-a-half years. This is just an enlargement of their mission. Again, we will be the biggest contributor. But with regard to the counterterrorist mission, the United States will maintain in Afghanistan the same capabilities for us to act wherever needed, in any way, in order to strike the al Qaeda network.
EIKENBERRY: We will maintain that unilateral capability.
BLITZER: So, in addition to the NATO operation, there will be a separate U.S. operation, if necessary, to go ahead and fight and -- and find and kill these terrorists?
EIKENBERRY: That's correct. We're keeping that -- that counterterrorist capability, which we have, which is a very robust capability. And that remains in place.
BLITZER: So, the criticism that the U.S. is outsourcing the war on terrorism, to NATO, to the European allies, if you will, is an unfair criticism?
EIKENBERRY: Absolutely unfair.
The war on terror must be an international effort. It is an international effort. NATO is present in Afghanistan. And it's a strong coalition with NATO moving forward that is going to be very important in our success in Afghanistan.
BLITZER: Here are some statistics. We don't have a lot of time left.
In 2005, 1,500 Afghans were killed in insurgent attacks and suicide bombings. More than 80 American troops were killed, the bloodiest year for U.S. forces since the invasion, back right after 9/11.
Are things getting better, militarily, on the ground, or are they getting worse?
EIKENBERRY: Things are getting better in Afghanistan in -- in every dimension.
If you look at it from the al Qaeda or the Taliban perspective, four-and-a-half years ago, you ruled in Afghanistan. Now you have been pushed out of Afghanistan. What does Afghanistan have? It has got a constitution, a democratically elected president, a democratically elected parliament. It has 30,000 of its own army. It's got a police that is moving forward.
If you're the enemy looking in, then you're going to be forced to go to more desperate tactics. And that's what exactly we're seeing. The enemy is resulting, increasingly, to atrocities.
The Afghan people are confident of their future. They have decided to move forward with this democratic progress, turning out in great numbers for a presidential election, for a parliamentary election. And we're very confident that things are going in the right direction.
BLITZER: General, thanks very much. Be careful over there. All your troops, thanks very much for the work you do, thanks very much for joining us.
EIKENBERRY: Wolf, thank you.
BLITZER: And up next, he survived the war in Iraq only to be shot by police right here in the United States. A very, very controversial incident, all captured on tape. We'll tell you what's going on. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: This is a shocking story. The FBI is now joining the investigation into the shooting of a United States Air Force security officer on leave from Iraq by a Southern California sheriff's deputy. The controversial incident was all captured on videotape.
Let's go out to CNN's Chris Lawrence. He's in Los Angeles. He has the details -- Chris.
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, this Air Force veteran was supposed to report back to duty today. Instead, he's recovering from three gunshot wounds, and federal agents are investigating whether the deputy violated his civil rights.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm here to tell you ...
LAWRENCE (voice-over): It's now up to the FBI to clear up the confusion in this dark and grainy home video.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to get up.
LAWRENCE: Airman Elio Carrion survived six months of duty in Iraq and then got shot by a sheriff's deputy near his hometown. Agents are analyzing the tape to find out why.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shut the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) up. Shut the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) up. You don't (EXPLETIVE DELETED) get up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You told him to get up.
LAWRENCE: Investigators are trying to find out if there was a third person talking, adding to the confusion.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You told him to get up.
LAWRENCE: Carrion is a security officer in the Air Force. A husband, home visiting family in California. Sunday night he was a passenger in this car, which police say was speeding. The deputy had to chase it for a few minutes before it crashed. The driver was arrested, then released a couple days later. Seconds before the shooting, Carrion tries to tell the deputy I'm on your side.
ELIO CARRION: I mean you no harm. I served more time than you in the police. In the military, OK?
LAWRENCE: The deputy tells carrion to get up. But is that what he really meant?
DR. BRUCE BERG, POLICE TRAINING EXPERT: When we played it again, it sounded like he could have said don't get up.
LAWRENCE: Dr. Bruce Berg is a police training expert. He says the adrenaline's pumping after the chase. There's two suspects and all kinds of background noise, and the deputy may have mangled the instruction to get down and shut up.
BERG: One could interpret that if you've just told someone stay down, stay down, shut up, stay down, and they move to get up while you're watching the other suspect, you see out of the side of your eye someone getting up, you're going to turn and reflectively you're going to fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get up.
CARRION: I'm going to get up.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey.
LAWRENCE: Yes, you hear the shots clearly, but authorities say it would be unfair to make any judgment now before all the facts come in. However, they have placed that deputy on leave until the federal agents finish their investigation -- Wolf.
BLITZER: What a sad story all around. Thanks very much, Chris Lawrence. Chris Lawrence, in L.A.
It costs some people their homes, their jobs, even their relationships. But there could soon be a simple treatment for chronic gambling.
CNN's Mary Snow is joining us now live from New York with word of a promising new drug. Mary, what's going on?
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, this drug is designed to curb the cravings and also block the impulses that can force people to gamble or encourage them to gamble. The drug was developed overseas but doctors here in the U.S. have studied it, and so far they say they are encouraged by what they've seen.
SNOW (voice-over): For some, gambling is just a game. For an estimated six to nine million Americans, it's become a problem. Gambling is a rush. The thrill gives them a high. For others, it can ruin their lives. Some doctors say the condition is often misunderstood as a result of behavior and not biology.
DR. JON GRANT, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA: One of the perceptions is that this is a character flaw, or a moral failing, that people should be able to control themselves, that because it involves the behavior, it's not really a mental illness or a medical problem.
SNOW: Dr. Jon Grant believes compulsive gambling is a medical problem. He led a study published in the "American Journal of Psychiatry" on the drug nalmafene. It blocks receptors in the brain so people won't experience the rush from gambling. The drug is made by a company in Finland that funded the research of 207 people undergoing treatment for compulsive gambling.
GRANT: What we found is that people who were taking the medication got significantly better throughout the study in terms of reduction of their urges, their thoughts, and their actual gambling behavior. SNOW: The National Council on Problem Gamblers is encouraged by the promise of a pill to curb compulsive gamblers. It is also worried it will provide false hope.
KEITH WHYTE, NATL. COUNCIL ON PROBLEM GAMBLING: Problem gamblers, in particular, are often seeking quick fixes or easy solutions to what they see as overwhelming, even unsolvable, problems. But, you know, the pill can help break that cycle of addiction, but it is not in and of itself a cure for the addiction.
SNOW: And the pill has not yet been approved for use in Finland -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Mary, thank you very much. Mary Snow reporting.
Up next, tossed over her T-shirt. Cindy Sheehan is invited to the State of the Union, then forcefully uninvited. What are police saying about that tonight? Stay with us.
BLITZER: "We made a mistake" -- that's what the U.S. Capitol Police chief is saying tonight about the ejection of two women from President Bush's State of the Union Address last night. Those ejections have had the Capitol buzzing all day.
Gary Nurenberg is joining us now live with the latest. What is the latest, Gary?
GARY NURENBERG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, Capitol police chief Terrance Gainer tells CNN the ejections of those women never should have happened.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The road of victory is the road that will take our troops home.
NURENBERG (voice-over): The president was speaking when Beverly Young was told to follow a man with a suit and an earpiece out of the gallery.
BEVERLY YOUNG, EJECTED FROM SPEECH: My initial instinct was something happened to my kids, and I was just scared. I mean, I was shaking when I got out there.
NURENBERG: The Congressman's wife was ordered out because she was wearing this sweatshirt saying "Support Our Troops."
REP. BILL YOUNG, (R) FLORIDA: She was kicked out of this gallery while the president was speaking and encouraging Americans to support our troops. Shame, shame.
NURENBERG: Before the address began, anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son in Iraq, was ordered out of the chamber for wearing an anti-war t-shirt.
CINDY SHEEHAN, ANTIWAR ACTIVIST: The officer saw me and yelled protester. He said you have to leave. He grabbed me and they put my arms behind me and rushed my out, handcuffed me.
NURENBERG: Cindy was arrested and charged with unlawful conduct, Young was not, though she admits peppering police with profanity.
YOUNG: I was angry. Yes. I didn't mean to, it just popped out. I was so appalled that they did that. I was appalled. I could not believe it. So I told them to arrest me. Yes, take me, whatever. You're not going to tell me I can't do this. You're not going to tell me that I cannot support those kids that are right as we were speaking being shot and blown up.
There's -- nobody's going to do that to me. You know, they want to arrest me arrest me. I'll go back in again. I'll go right now again.
NURENBERG: The police chief has recommended that the charges against Sheehan be dropped, has apologized to all concerned and says his officers will now receive better training.
BLITZER: Thanks for clarifying all of that. Gary Nurenberg reporting. Let's go up to New York. Jack Cafferty standing by with "The Cafferty File." Jack?
CAFFERTY: The question, Wolf, has to do with Gary's story. Was too big a deal made about a couple of t-shirts at last night's State of the Union address. I don't know if too big a deal was made about it, but it generated some terrific e-mail.
Amy in Burlington, Kansas writes, "We all have to show a little class. I know Cafferty is dying to wear his 'Somewhere in Texas a village has lost it's idiot' shirt on the air, but it wouldn't be appropriate now would it? Priceless? Yes. Would lock me in as a viewer for life, definitely. Appropriate? Probably not."
Linda in Newport News, Virginia. "Heck no. Arrest them all. This is America, you can't just go around expressing your views. We're at war. Also, while you're at it, tear up that old piece of paper, that, what do you call it, The Constitution. It is so 200 years age.
Mamie in Reno, Nevada. "I think it was wrong to wear T-shirts to the State of Union, especially with protest messages. Mrs. Sheehan had it made by getting an invitation to attend. All she had to do was sit there and the camera would have made her a thorn in the president's side. He knew she was there. That's all the statement she needed to make."
Beverly in Tom Bean, Texas writes, "No. It was not too much ado about a couple of T-shirts. Those two dingbats need to learn some manners. T-shirts are casual attire for a T-shirt occasion. Shame, shame on them."
Richard in Panama City Beach, Florida. "The T-shirt deal was silly; I'm just glad they were wearing something."
And Skip in Evanston, Illinois. "When all is said and done, nothing that Cindy Sheehan had on could have been as bad as that thing on Bill Schneider's head yesterday."
BLITZER: There it is. That was the hat. Jack, thank you very much. See you tomorrow.
Let's find out what's coming up at the top of the hour on "PAULA ZAHN NOW." I loved working with you last night.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: It was fun. I kind of feel lost back in my own studio. Miss all those screens you have in New York. Or Washington that would be. I am back in New York tonight.
Good evening, everybody. Just about seven minutes from now, I will be talking live with Cindy Sheehan. You have just heard some of the latest developments in that story. It will be interesting to see what she says about the training of the Capitol police.
We're also looking at some troubling series of confrontations in which police say they had no choice except shooting to kill. Is deadly force a last resort or the first?
Also, are your kids doing something like this for fun? Think backyard wrestling is harmless? Don't be fooled. It can leave them paralyzed for life. A report all parents need to see and something a lot of people are very concerned about.
BLITZER: We'll be watching. Thank you very much, Paula Zahn now coming up in a few minutes.
Still ahead. Do new treatments and techniques promise breast cancer patients a brighter future? The answer is yes. We have the story. That's coming up.
BLITZER: And now a look into the future. CNN's Miles O'Brien with a look ahead into treating breast cancer.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It seems like a lifetime ago, but before I was diagnosed, I was in my big modeling career, and you really feel invincible. I had a mastectomy. I had 28 lymph nodes removed. I was in my 30s. No family history it would be so great if it could be something they could tell if you're susceptible to cancer if it's DNA testing. Come in with a saliva swab or maybe just do a blood test. If they could just identify it, deal with it and not take away your quality of life.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Mary's message is supported by this sobering fact. Every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. But there's some encouraging news from medical research. Better ways to predict it, detect it, and treat it. In the fight against breast cancer, the future is now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's never been better to have breast cancer than now.
O'BRIEN: That startling statement is also backed by fact. The survival rates for breast cancer have never been higher and new therapies to fight the disease are unfolding every year. Dr. Clifford highs is chief of the breast cancer medicine center at Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
He says we should think of breast cancer not as one, but a collection of diseases, each with different causes, requiring different types of treatment.
The most exciting breakthrough? A drug caused herceptin. It targets a particularly aggressive form of cancer that infects one in five breast cancer patients. When added to chemotherapy in the early stages of the disease, it cuts the chance of a relapse by half.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the question for us all is, how many other targets are there like that. How many other drugs could we develop like that? How many sub-types of breast cancer will there be?
O'BRIEN: Add to that better understanding of the effect of diet and exercise, advanced imaging techniques that can discover small cancerous sooner, less invasive procedures to treat them and, in the next ten years...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really think by 2016 we'll be able to say to patients, this is the kind of breast cancer you have and this is the most effective therapy for it. I'm confident that the outcomes we offer patients in 2016 will be even better than they are today.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm still here. So my work isn't done. Got a way to go, but we're getting there. Just keep turning on the light.
BLITZER: That's it for me. Let's head over to Paula Zahn in New York -- Paula.
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