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THE SITUATION ROOM
Bush Tries To Not Get Caught Between India And Pakistan; Bush Travels To Pakistan; Officials In Baghdad Impose Daytime Curfew; Final Search For Bodies Of Those Killed In Hurricane Katrina; Michael Brown Interview; Mark Foley And James Glassman Interview; BlackBerrys Apparently Going To Be Allowed To Operate; Teacher On Leave After Controversial Remarks About President Bush; Future Of Border Security
Aired March 3, 2006 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And it's 5:00 p.m. here in Washington. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM, where news and information from around the world arrive at one place at the same time.
Happening now, meeting friends under tight, extraordinarily tight security. The president in Pakistan right now to thank that key ally in the war on terror. The president also making fresh statements about outsourcing U.S. jobs to India.
It's 4:00 p.m. in New Orleans, where crews are digging through debris looking for bodies. It's grim but necessary work to find remains six months after Hurricane Katrina.
And it's 3:00 p.m. in Colorado, where there's a battle over freedom of speech as a teacher compares President Bush to Adolf Hitler.
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
It's the diplomatic equivalent of trying to please two friends who themselves are neighbors but have little love for each one. On one side India, on the other Pakistan. Right now, President Bush is trying to not get caught in the middle, saying America's relationship with each benefits both. The president is now in Pakistan.
More now from our CNN White House Correspondent Suzanne Malveaux.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: U.S. officials say this trip does come with some risks, but they are confident that enough security is in place to protect the president.
Mr. Bush wrapped up his visit here in India with a trip to an agriculture school and a meeting with Indian business leaders in a high-tech hub in southern India. He continued to be dogged by protests by Muslim and communist groups, who see him as a warmonger. Some clashed with riot police.
The centerpiece of this historic trip, however, was a speech in New Delhi, where he highlighted a new strategic partnership that the U.S. is forging with India on issues of defense, energy and trade. GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Outsourcing -- it's true that some Americans have lost jobs when their companies moved operations overseas. Some people believe the answer to this problem is to wall off our economy from the world through protectionist policies. I strongly disagree.
MALVEAUX: Now, looking ahead, President Bush has a very brief, but packed schedule with President Pervez Musharraf -- Mr. Bush saying that he will emphasize to Musharraf the need to crack down on militant groups in his own country. Prevent terrorist organizations, and people from crossing the border into Afghanistan, as well as India.
At the same time, President Bush will also highlight the massive U.S. relief effort in response to Pakistan's devastating earthquake -- this in an effort to build on the goodwill between these two countries in a place where the United States and this president are very unpopular.
Suzanne Malveaux, CNN, New Delhi, India.
BLITZER: And Suzanne is going to be joining us live 7:00 p.m. Eastern from Islamabad in Pakistan. That's where she is right now covering the president.
He arrived in Pakistan under cover of darkness on Air Force One with its lights turned on and window shades drawn. Just small parts of a massive security effort to protect the president of the United States.
CNN Senior Asia Correspondent Mike Chinoy has more from Islamabad.
MIKE CHINOY, CNN SR. ASIA CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The last time an American president visited Pakistan, he arrived not in Air Force One, but in this small unmarked jet. Bill Clinton's official plane just a decoy, so great was the concern about his security.
And that was before September 11. Now, with Pakistan a key ally and, as Thursday's bombing outside the U.S. consulate in Karachi underscored, a battleground in the war against terror, security concerns surrounding George Bush's visit are even greater.
AFTAB KHAN SHERPAO, PAKISTAN INTERIOR MINISTER: Naturally, his security is paramount in that sense. And naturally, for that, we have taken a number of steps and-- and worked along with the -- his security people. They have been here and we've been working with them. And I think whatever was possible and is possible is being done.
CHINOY: In Islamabad, police and soldiers have been deployed to seal off parts of the capital: movement in and out of key areas strictly controlled, the president's movements a closely guarded secret.
RICHARD FALKENRATH, CNN SECURITY CONSULTANT: Decoy cars, decoy planes, decoy helicopters. They can change the time of his movements. They can change the location of his movements and the meetings, and that I'm sure will be part of the plan.
CHINOY: Despite the efforts of President Pervez Musharraf, al Qaeda, the Taliban and their allies continue to operate in Pakistan, especially in the rugged region bordering Afghanistan.
Mr. Bush is expected to urge Musharraf to do more to curb the jihadis, with whom there's still some residual sympathy among elements in Pakistan's armed forces, especially in military intelligence, which has had a long relationship with the Taliban.
That's added to American concerns about the president's own safety. In response, the Pakistanis note that President Musharraf, too, has also been the target of terrorists.
SHERPAO: The president of Pakistan is also on the hit list.
CHINOY (on camera): And that's precisely the point. Musharraf has indeed survived a number of assassination attempts, several originating from within the ranks of the army he heads. Not exactly reassuring for those in charge of keeping President Bush safe.
Mike Chinoy, CNN, Islamabad.
BLITZER: It's the Islamic holy day, and officials in Baghdad imposed a daytime curfew in an effort to try to control violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. In an unusual move, a high-level U.S. commander briefed reporters on the situation just earlier today.
Our Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, was among those briefed. She's joining us live -- Barbara.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, there was hope, optimism and worry from the top U.S. commander in Iraq.
STARR (voice over): With a daytime curfew in place, Baghdad streets were quiet and the top U.S. commander held a rare press conference to make his case that for now things are better.
GEN. GEORGE CASEY, U.S. ARMY: Has there been violence and terrorism here in Iraq in the wake of the Samarra bombings? Clearly. Is that violence out of control? Clearly not.
STARR: Casey did not minimize the risk to Iraq's stability. Hundreds of Iraqis have been killed. He called that unacceptable.
Unmanned aerial vehicles are being used to survey areas of high tension so commanders will know quickly if trouble breaks out. U.S. forces may be the safety net keeping Iraq from civil war.
CASEY: I think as long as there's -- the coalition forces are here on the ground, working with the Iraqi security forces, and the Iraqi -- the vast majority of the Iraqi people remain committed to forming a government of national unity...
STARR: Iraqi security forces generally performed well in trying to stop the violence, Casey said. But there were problems in eastern Baghdad.
CASEY: They were allowing the Mehdi militia to pass through their checkpoints. Obviously, this is not something that we are going to condone, or will the Iraqi security force leadership condone.
STARR: Wolf, General Casey went on to say that the sectarian violence will be a factor in any recommendation he makes about future U.S. troops withdrawals from Iraq. But he's not ready to make that recommendation yet. He is expected in Washington next week to discuss the situation -- Wolf.
BLITZER: How unusual are these satellite hookups between a commanding general in Iraq and you reporters over at the Pentagon?
STARR: Well, you know, we typically have them about once a week. But let's be candid. They're usually with the official spokesman. That's General Rick Lynch, or a lower level commander.
General Casey and General Abizaid do not often appear in front of the Pentagon press corps or have wide-open press conferences. They simply don't do that.
The press corps had been pressing for many days to have one of them speak to us about the situation in Iraq, and General Casey took that on board. It was pretty unusual. It hasn't happened in a long time -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Barbara, thank you very much.
Barbara's at the Pentagon.
Let's go back to New York and Jack with "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Wolf.
Well, here's a surprise. Congress had a real chance to do something about the stranglehold lobbyists have on our government but they decided to pass.
Remember how when the Abramoff scandal exploded in January and members of both parties were beating their chests, talking about tough reforms? Well, yesterday, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs overwhelmingly rejected a proposal that would have created an independent office to investigate ethics abuses in Congress.
Both Democrats and Republicans voted this thing down by a margin of 11-5. Here are the senators who voted against the Office of Public Integrity.: Senator Daniel Akaka, Democrat from Hawaii; Senator Robert Bennett, Republican from Utah; Senator Lincoln Chafee, Republican of Rhode Island; Senator Tom Coburn, Republican of Oklahoma; Senator Norm Coleman, Republican of Minnesota; Senator Mark Dayton, Democrat of Minnesota; Senator Pete Domenici, Republican of New Mexico; Senator Mark Pryor, Democrat of Arkansas; Senator Ted Stevens, Republican from Alaska, where they're going to build the bridge to nowhere; Senator George Voinovich, Republican from Ohio; and Senator John Warner, Republican from Virginia.
You folks out to be proud of yourselves. Backers of the independent ethics investigators say they'll try to bring it to the full Senate maybe as early as next week, but don't hold your breath.
One of the reasons our government is as screwed up as it is, is because the members of Congress currently police themselves, and it's highly unlikely they're going to give that right up voluntarily.
Here's the question: Why do you think a Senate committee rejected an independent ethics office?
E-mail us at CaffertyFile@CNN.com or go to CNN.com/CaffertyFile.
Just remarkable, Wolf.
BLITZER: I don't think you're going to be getting Christmas cards from those senators, Jack.
CAFFERTY: They ought to be ashamed of themselves. You know? They just should be ashamed of themselves.
This government is for sale to the lobbyists, to the influence- peddlers. And somebody says, you know, if we had some outside supervision and jurisdiction over the way you folks conduct yourselves, maybe we wouldn't have people like Cunningham headed off to prison for taking $2.5 million in bribes.
But any time somebody makes a real effort -- and I think this was cosponsored by Lieberman and the Republican senator from Maine, and I can't remember her name -- they all say, well, we don't want to make that strong a move toward reform. Let's just put some phony, watered- down piece of junk through and tell the voters we're doing our job.
BLITZER: I think it was Susan Collins who's the chair.
CAFFERTY: Yes, exactly.
CAFFERTY: Susan Collins, the chairwoman of the committee. And she voted in favor of the thing, as did, of course, Senator Lieberman. But, you know, they're not buying it.
And it's bipartisan. It's not just one party or the other saying, no, we don't want reforms. It's all of them saying, oh, no, we've got too good a deal here. We don't want anybody looking over our shoulder. How are we going to play golf in Scotland if we do that?
BLITZER: Jack, thanks very much.
BLITZER: We're going to speak to you shortly.
Up ahead, a final search for victims six months after Hurricane Katrina. Why now and why has it taken so long? We're going to take you live to New Orleans.
Also, a high school science teacher at odds with his bosses over comments he made in class. Details of what he said and why it's causing so much controversy.
Plus, we'll get a sneak peek at the perk of celebrity, the luxury goody bags that will be handed out at the Academy Awards this weekend.
Stay with us.
BLITZER: And we're just getting this news in from New York. Research in Motion, RIM, the makers of BlackBerry, they are now saying that they have reached a settlement with patent -- over a patent dispute with NTP, Inc. RIM is the manufacturer of these BlackBerrys. There's been a huge, huge battle going back several years.
It's gone to court right now. But we are now being told, CNN has confirmed, that Research in Motion, Inc. has reached a settlement that will allow it to go forward and continue to operate with this NTP, Inc. The patent dispute apparently -- apparently resolved.
We're going to get some more information, get the specific details of what this settlement entails. But it looks like all you BlackBerry users are going to be continue to be able to type with your thumbs, at least for now.
Other news we're following, specifically trained drugs -- dogs, that is, and their handlers are combing their way through the wreckage of New Orleans' devastated Ninth Ward right now. They're conducting a final search for bodies six months after Hurricane Katrina.
CNN's Sean Callebs is there. He's joining us live.
Sean, what's going on?
SEAN CALLEBS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, of course, Wolf, there are still close to 2,000 people officially listed as missing in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The state medical examiner and many others are convinced that scores of bodies remain hidden in the debris in the devastated Ninth Ward and a couple of other areas in the city as well.
Well, we can tell you that today, for the first time, cadaver dogs from the state of Maine, Georgia and Missouri began combing through those areas, looking for any possible remains. Now, the dogs actually searched three different areas. One, a school where massive amounts of debris is scheduled to be removed. The other two were structures in the right of way, basically blocking a street.
The chocolate lab that you're looking at, he's named Raider. He's 10 years old. And the German Shepherd is six. He's named Buddy. The third place they visited, the trainers thought the dogs may have found a victim.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WADE CARTER, DISTRICT WARDEN, STATE OF MAINE: We took two dogs in and we had some interest. It wasn't really an indication but it was some interest.
Once the fumes get out of there, we're going to go back in there with the dogs and we're going to -- going to do a thorough job and make sure that we can say for sure that there's nothing in there before they come and remove the home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CALLEBS: And it turned out to be a false alarm. The trainers believe that the dogs were triggered by perhaps a rotting dead animal underneath that house in the middle of the street.
The question, it is now six months since the Hurricane Katrina hit. Why are they still looking for victims at this point, scores of potential victims?
Well, 16 members of the fire department's special ops unit, as well as cadaver dog teams, went through the area from October through December. They had 58 positive hits, meaning areas where they believe probably human remains lie. But they were forced to stop the work back then because they ran out of money.
FEMA only recently authorized the payment of $400,000 to continue this work. So it is now beginning.
Now, on Monday, Wolf, the Army Corps of Engineers is going to bring heavy machinery in there as well. They will begin physically removing that debris. And at that time they fully expect to begin finding remains -- Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Sean. Thanks very much.
Sean's on the scene for us in New Orleans.
Meanwhile, the man who figured so prominently in what many say was a bundled Hurricane Katrina disaster response is continuing to give his side of the story. Yesterday, here in THE SITUATION ROOM, I spoke with former FEMA director Michael Brown.
BLITZER: The former FEMA director, Michael Brown, is here in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Thanks, Mr. Brown, for joining us.
Jeanne Meserve, our homeland security correspondent, is joining us in the questioning.
The president of the United States, in that briefing that was conducted on August 28, the day before the hurricane hit Louisiana, listen to this. Listen to what the president said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to assure the folks at the state level that we are fully prepared to not only help you during the storm, but we will move in whatever resources and assets we have at our disposal after the storm.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: He was wrong when he said that the federal government was fully prepared.
MICHAEL BROWN, FMR. FEMA DIRECTOR: Well, yes, Wolf, but I think we need to look more beyond just that clip. We weren't prepared because FEMA had been marginalized over the previous two or three years.
I had been screaming internally that the budget cuts, the personnel cuts, what they were doing within Homeland Security, was, in effect, marginalizing FEMA. And I predicted that at some point -- in a very specific memo to both Tom Ridge and to Chertoff -- that at some point FEMA would fail. I just doesn't expect to be in the middle of that failure.
BLITZER: So who deserves the blame for that failure?
BROWN: Well, I think it really belongs with the Department of Homeland Security. I really think that Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, because they had ample opportunity. If you go back and you read the 2003 letter to Ridge from me, and you read the 2004 and 2005 memos about our budget, in every single one of those I keep repeating, FEMA is going to fail because of these actions.
BLITZER: So you raised the alarm bells.
Jeanne, I want you to pick it up.
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you have paid the ultimate price. You paid with your job. Should Michael Chertoff do the same? BROWN: Well, it appears to me that, you know, when Michael -- when Chertoff does things like tells me that I've got to go to Baton Rouge and plop my butt down on a seat in Baton Rouge and run a disaster from there, I think that shows naivete about how disasters are run. And so you've either have to get with it, or move on.
MESERVE: Should he lose his job?
BROWN: Well, I think so.
BLITZER: We have an excerpt of what he told me on "LATE EDITION," complaining about what you were doing on day two, day three, of this hurricane. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL CHERTOFF, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: I do want to respond to Mr. Brown's statement that was wrong in making him go back to Baton Rouge. On Tuesday, he was flying around with politicians. He was doing interview shows. And the basic planning, which was getting buses to come into the Superdome and pick people up, had not been done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: He's basically suggesting that you were showboating, if you will, for your own public relations purposes.
BROWN: I have no public relations purpose, and I never did at that time. The purpose -- what he doesn't tell the American public is that that was a trip specifically to Mississippi to meet with Governor Barbour and his team to find out what they needed, how could I help them.
And I think the other thing that he really misleads the American public about is that I should have been back there planning about the buses. That's the role of state and local governments. They should have been doing that.
MESERVE: In the transcripts of the 29th briefing, you talk about conversations you've had that morning with the president. This is the day of landfall. And you say you talked to him about a number of things. He's asked questions breaches of the levees.
How did the president know to ask about breaches of the levees? Did he have reports in hand at that time already that that had happened in New Orleans?
BROWN: There's no question in my mind he probably had those reports, because we were feeding in to the Homeland Security Operations Center, into the White House sit room, all of the information that we were getting. So he had to have had that information. Plus, I think the president knew from our earlier conversations that that was one of my concerns, that the -- that the levees could actually breach. MESERVE: So are you saying when you said recently that it was baloney that the White House didn't know about the breaches on Monday night, are you saying that the president knew about the breaches on Monday morning?
BROWN: He knew that was a potential, because my testimony has been...
MESERVE: And he knew there were reports of them?
BROWN: Well, yes. He knew about the reports of potential breaches. Now, I think we're drawing a fine line here, because even I have testified that I didn't know whether we had a breach of the levees or the levees had been topped. But some time in the 11:00 to 1:00 timeframe, that became clear because we had sent someone out to actually look at them and see.
BLITZER: Michael Brown in THE SITUATION ROOM last night. He's going to be back tonight in THE SITUATION ROOM to talk more about his role in the Katrina response, the role of his superiors as well.
Jeanne Meserve and I will be interviewing him. Part two of our interview, that comes up live tonight in our 7:00 p.m. Eastern hour.
Meanwhile, the White House deputy press secretary, Trent Duffy, said he could not discuss Bush's private conversations and would not confirm anything either way about whether Brown had discussed the levee breaches with the president. But he said the government had helicopters in the air quickly to help rescue people trapped in the flooded city.
Coming up here in THE SITUATION ROOM, chaos at a sacred Christian site. A bizarre incident draws police who fire tear gas. We're going to show you what happened.
BLITZER: A source tells CNN Dubai Ports World is expected to formally file its application for a 45-day investigation over the U.S. port deal today sometime. That would place the review in the Treasury Department's hands. The Treasury Department could then take up to 30 days in its review before, before the 45-day clock would even start.
The deal involves Dubai Ports World taking over management of six major ports in the United States. Among the items the review would focus on is whether or not the deal poses a threat to U.S. national security.
There are many complex issues involved in the Dubai ports deal. Here to discuss some of them are James Glassman of the American Enterprise Institute and Congressman Mark Foley, Republican of Florida.
Congressman, why are you so adamantly opposed to this deal which the president of the United States, himself a Republican the leader of your party, is so adamantly in favor of?
REP. MARK FOLEY (R), FLORIDA: Well, it's not that I'm adamantly opposed. What I'm looking for is some information.
What I've asked for since I first inquired of Secretary Snow, who's chairman of the Committee for Foreign Investment, give me details of what this transactions involves. What are the security protocols? What are the extensions of term? What are the operating documents? Will be giving any special visa waivers to people operating the ports?
I understand, and I visited Miami. I've never tried to suggest they're taking over security or that this is a huge potential threat to American sovereignty or our security.
But what frightens me about the transactions is no one seems to know who's involved in this transaction, how it was formulated. And the big distinction I try to make is we're talking about the acquisition of a company by a country.
A government operates and acts differently than a company. So all we want to do is get some transparency here and then determine if the deal should go forward.
BLITZER: Jim Glassman, the American public is very much opposed to this deal. Our newest CNN-"USA-Today"-Gallup poll says only 17 percent of those responded favor it, 66 percent oppose, 17 percent unsure.
You think this is an important, good deal. Why?
JAMES GLASSMAN, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: I really do. And by the way, the reason that many Americans are opposed to this deal is because they have been misled about the nature of the deal.
Right from the start, I mean, you had members of Congress talking about how this country was -- Dubai was going to buy America's ports and so forth. And that's not true.
I'm in favor of it because a group of 12 top leaders in America's government from the Defense Department, the CIA, the State Department, and on and on looked at this deal not for 30 days, but actually for 90 days and came up with a decision that it was not a threat to America's security.
And I think on the face of it, it is not a threat. Congressman Foley...
BLITZER: But let me interrupt, Jim, for a second...
BLITZER: ... because the argument is, they really didn't do a very thorough job. Peter King, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told our Ed Henry this week that they really didn't even investigate terror links between the United Arab Emirates and al Qaeda.
GLASSMAN: Well, you know, John Negroponte thinks he did a good job, the head of -- the director of National Intelligence.
I testified in Congress on Wednesday. I sat through four and a half hours of hearings. Top people from Treasury, State, Defense and Homeland Security talked about how this was done. And they said they did a -- certainly from what you heard from them, they did a very good job. Now...
BLITZER: Let me ask Congressman Foley.
GLASSMAN: they're about to do it again.
BLITZER: Did they do a good job in that initial review, Congressman Foley?
FOLEY: I don't know who did the review. I asked principal players who are known to be part of this transaction, none of which could answer authoritatively what they knew about the deal.
Secretary Rumsfeld himself said the other day, well, from what I've heard -- well, you know, I don't need third, fourth-hand information. What Congress is asking for is specific details of who vetted this transaction.
No one to this point -- now maybe Jim Glassman has more information than I do. And I'm thankful for somebody having some clarity on it. But up until now, we've been left out of the loop. We haven't been informed. The White House told me today that they wished they had given more details earlier on.
Now, this may have been vetted. This may have been fully analyzed. This may have been diagnosed. But everyone that I saw come to the microphone, including the president himself saying Thursday that he just learned about the deal through the media, troubled me in the substance...
BLITZER: Well, all right. Hold...
FOLEY: ... of the deal.
BLITZER: Hold on.
Jim Glassman, you have said, and you have written that the opposition, the outcry was, the result of what you called rank racist nonsense, and it was foolish, and embarrassing.
GLASSMAN: I think...
BLITZER: What -- what are you talking about there?
GLASSMAN: I think that is part of the reason for the opposition. You know, Congressman Foley was asking, we don't know who's doing this deal. The company that is doing this deal is called Dubai Ports World. It manages a port called Jebel Ali, which is where the United States Navy sends more of its ships and more of its sailor than any other port outside the United States.
So, these folks know something about security. And what I said in talking about racism -- and I would say politics is also entering into this -- is that, when you look at the facts, which is that here's a company that is taking over terminal operations.
They're not buying any port -- when you look at the record of this company, which just was awarded the number-one container- operator-in-the-world award by its peers, there really is very little reason, and no reason I can see, to reject what is a fairly simple deal.
And, again, it was vetted by 12 departments of the United States government.
BLITZER: But, just to button that up, Jim, they were not the Cabinet secretaries.
GLASSMAN: That's right.
BLITZER: These were much lower-level officials -- they were, in most respects, bureaucrats -- who went through it and did this review.
GLASSMAN: That's right, Wolf. And I think that's a good thing.
That's why this was set up. It was -- the CFIUS process was set up to be outside of politics. You got diligent bureaucrats, who really know -- you know, they -- you may not like them for a lot of other reasons. But this is one thing they do a very good job of. They sit down.
GLASSMAN: They study these things. And it was a consensus. If there was one of them who objected, it was not going to go through.
BLITZER: I will give you the last word.
FOLEY: And we are about to go through the whole thing again.
BLITZER: We only have a few seconds, Congressman Foley. Go ahead.
FOLEY: Well, I was just going to say, the General Accounting Office has a little different spin on it.
They are not sure that they are vetting the national security implications on the deals that are done by this committee. They have, themselves, raised some concerns -- not objections, some concerns -- the way this process works. So, Mr. Glassman may be entirely correct. I do take exception to the racism charge. I would have the same concerns if it was France or Germany of Ireland or anyone else. I would want to know the full details. I am troubled by the fact that, just last week, the United Arab Emirates were saying to Iran, let's do more robust trade together...
BLITZER: All right.
FOLEY: ... at the very time our president is asking them to slow down, so we can disarm their nuclear capabilities. It was a mixed signal that troubled me, at least in that instant.
BLITZER: Mark Foley, Republican congressman from Florida, Jim Glassman of the American Enterprise Institute, thanks to both of you for joining us.
GLASSMAN: Thank you.
FOLEY: Thanks, Wolf.
BLITZER: And stay tuned to CNN day and night for the most reliable news about your security.
We're watching this developing story right now, an agreement between the maker of Black -- maker of BlackBerrys, Research In Motion, apparently works out a deal -- a deal -- with the -- over this patent dispute. We are going to have specific details coming up next.
Stay with us.
BLITZER: Welcome back.
Let's get some now more on this deal, BlackBerrys apparently going to be allowed to operate -- a lot of us breathing a little bit easier right now.
ALEX WELLEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNET PRODUCER: Yes.
BLITZER: Our senior Internet producer, Alex Wellen, is joining us. He's an expert on cyber-law, himself an attorney.
Give our viewers a sense of what this means.
WELLEN: There was some real concern, Wolf, that it would shut down, that BlackBerry wouldn't be available. There were workarounds. There were all kinds of contingency plans in place.
But, essentially, would it continue to work? Would we lose it? Would federal officials, would everyone, from hospital workers to people in the news business, have this information every day? And the answer is that we are going to have it. We're going to continue to have it. There's going to be no shutdown. They did find a settlement. They have just announced it right now, 5:30. They're talking about the settlement negotiation. They are announcing the figures. There was a time, at one point, when Research In Motion could have gotten away with settling for much, much less. We will find out if it's in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, which is what is expected.
BLITZER: Hundreds of millions of dollars.
WELLEN: That's right, hundreds of millions of dollars, rather, in fact -- and -- but they could have gotten away with hundreds of thousands of dollars.
BLITZER: This is a Canadian company...
WELLEN: That's right.
BLITZER: ... Research In Motion. So, what they're basically going to do is pay off this other company, several hundreds of millions...
WELLEN: That's right.
BLITZER: ... to end this dispute, this patent dispute, so that they can go forward and, presumably, make a ton more money.
And it's so interesting, because this small company that had five major patents that were being contested were going before the patent office at the exact same time. And they were getting information -- Research In Motion, the people who do BlackBerry, were getting information that those patents wouldn't hold up. And they were hoping and hoping and hoping.
But, clearly, what we're learning here -- and this is directly from the information they have put out -- that their numbers are lower. Their subscribers are lower. There are people in the retail not giving as much toward BlackBerry because they're worried about this looming, looming infringement case, this lawsuit case. And, as a result, they said, you know what? We better pay up.
BLITZER: I can tell you, personally, a lot of people are breathing a lot easier now...
WELLEN: They sure are.
BLITZER: ... knowing their little BlackBerrys...
WELLEN: I have mine here.
BLITZER: And we have a BlackBerry right here for our viewers to see, if you don't know what it is.
WELLEN: Yes. Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: ... very much -- a deal struck, the patent dispute over between Research In Motion and this other company that had been suing them for a ton of money. And now that deal moves on.
Let's turn on -- let's move on, ourselves, to a CNN online investigation. Imagine, your phone rings. You check the caller I.D., and the you read out -- and the readout says it's your credit card company. But, little do you realize, it's an impostor.
It's all part of a disturbing new service being offered online known as caller I.D. spoofing.
Abbi Tatton, our Internet reporter, is looking into this story.
What is going on, Abbi?
ABBI TATTON, CNN INTERNET REPORTER: Wolf, there are a number of sites out there like this.
What we did today is, we went to one of them. We paid a few dollars. And we were able to make a call immediately, pretending we were someone else. In fact, I pretended to be using a number from a local bank here. It showed up on the person I was calling's caller I.D.
You know, it even gave me the option to change my voice as I was doing it. Take a listen.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hello?
TATTON: This is not your bank. This is Abbi Tatton calling from CNN.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
TATTON: Yes, that is, indeed, me, changing -- changing my voice there, using this simple service.
Now, these sites come and go. We contacted SpoofCard, trying to get a response, to see what it was they were doing. They -- no one got back to us from that one.
Telespoof did get back to us. The 21-year-old founder says did not want to give his name, but he tells us that he's currently not accepting new customers. The reason, he said he recently got a letter from the Federal Communications Commission, asking him to turn over his customer list. The FCC tells us they won't comment on an ongoing investigation or an open issue.
Now, these sites are out there. They're easy to look at. They say they're for entertainment only. But the potential for fraud is obvious. A security consultant testified before Congress just last month, saying that these sites could be used by someone pretending to be from a legitimate company, but duping people out of information -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Abbi, thank you very much.
You would expect politics to come up in some high school classes, but not necessarily in geography glasses. But that's the problem for one Colorado teacher.
CNN's Brian Todd is joining us now. He has this story -- Brian.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, earlier today, the teacher in question, Jay Bennish, and his lawyer settled a dispute over whether Bennish could speak to the media about this case. Bennish's side had threatened a lawsuit if school officials didn't back away from their claim that he would be committing insubordination if he spoke to the media.
They did back off that today. But this case is still testing the bounds of how much freedom teachers really have to speak their minds in the classroom.
TODD (voice-over): Jay Bennish is going to toe-to-toe with the Cherry Creek School District near Denver.
Bennish, a geography teacher at Overland High School, is on paid administrative leave for remarks he made in class the day after President Bush's State of the Union address.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
JAY BENNISH, TEACHER, OVERLAND HIGH SCHOOL: Now, I'm not saying that Bush and Hitler are exactly the same. Obviously, they're not, OK? But there are some eerie similarities to the tones that they use.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
TODD: Bennish also asks if it isn't a dangerous precedent for the U.S. to, in his words, illegally invade another country and violate its sovereignty. The class was taped by 16-year-old sophomore Sean Allen.
SEAN ALLEN, SOPHOMORE, OVERLAND HIGH SCHOOL: Kids are writing that down like that's fact. Kids are writing it down like George Bush is like Hitler as -- as fact. And they're going to go on to think that.
TODD: But at least 100 other students walked out of school this week to protest the action against Bennish. School officials say they're looking into whether Bennish violated policy by not presenting balanced viewpoints.
TUSTIN AMOLE, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, CHERRY CREEK SCHOOL DISTRICT: In the tape, I think it's clear that the teacher was presenting a very biased point of view.
TODD: But, they say, they will look at the entire context of Bennish's remarks that day.
Bennish's attorney says he has presented the pro-Bush- administration side and says the school district sanctioned his methods.
DAVID LANE, ATTORNEY FOR JAY BENNISH: So, what he does, and what he has always done, as part of his class that has been approved by Cherry Creek School District is say provocative things in class, in an effort to get his students all fired up, and respond, and think critically. His mission is to get his students to think critically.
TODD: But even David Lane agrees with some legal experts, who say that, because teachers are viewed as agents of their school districts, school officials have the authority to regulate their speech in the classroom, to an extent.
This case may well test that extent. School officials should complete their investigation by next week. Bennish's attorney tells CNN, if disciplinary action is taken, they may well end up in court -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Brian, thanks very much for that.
Let's go back to New York -- Lou Dobbs getting ready for his program. That begins right at the top of the hour -- Lou.
LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Wolf, thank you.
Coming up here at 6:00 here on CNN, we will be reporting the latest developments in the uproar over the Dubai ports deal. There are new charges tonight the Bush White House put commerce ahead of national security by failing to consult with anyone else about this deal. We will have full coverage.
And we will be reporting on the president's remarks today in India and Pakistan, actually supporting and encouraging more outsourcing of American jobs.
And there is outrage tonight, after one of the country's most powerful Catholic cardinals calls upon parishioners to break the law to help illegal aliens. We will have that special report. I will be talking with three of the country's very best political analysts about what has been an incredible week for the country, a terrible week for President Bush -- all of that, and more, at 6:00 p.m. Eastern here.
Please join us -- back to you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Thanks very much, Lou. That's coming up right at the top of the hour.
Still to come here in THE SITUATION ROOM, Hawaii, a muddy mess right now -- steady rain causing flash flooding. We are going to tell how bad things are right now and when the situation, we hope, will improve.
And, in our 7:00 p.m. Eastern hour, the former FEMA Director Michael Brown returns live to THE SITUATION ROOM. Our Jeanne Meserve and I will ask him some more tough questions. Part two of our live interview, that's coming up, 7:00 p.m. Eastern tonight.
BLITZER: Zain Verjee is off today.
Fredricka Whitfield joining us once again from the CNN Center with a closer look at other stories making news around the world -- Fred.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello again, Wolf.
Sectarian tensions are high in the Israeli town of Nazareth, after an incident in a Christian shrine. A Jewish man, said to be dressed as a Christian pilgrim, set firecrackers in the Church of the Annunciation. Police used tear gas and batons to disperse an angry Christian mob that later gathered outside the church. The man and two companions were evacuated.
In Hawaii, people in low-lying areas of Oahu are being urged to seek higher grounds, On parts of the island more than a foot-and-a- half of rain has fallen over the past 48 hours. Some residents are taking refuge in emergency shelters. A flash flood warning is in effect across the island. Similar weather is being reported on two other Hawaiian islands. One official calls it the worst flooding in a decade.
And British police say they have recovered millions of dollars in cash from a record $92 million heist last week. The money was discovered in bags in an industrial area in London. Police aren't exactly sure how much was found. They are not saying. But they said it was in the millions of dollars -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Fredricka Whitfield at the CNN Center.
Up ahead, how serious are lawmakers on Capitol Hill when it comes to lobbying reform? What do you think? Jack Cafferty has been going through your e-mail.
And former FEMA Director Michael Brown here in THE SITUATION ROOM, live, coming up tonight, 7:00 p.m. Eastern, part two of our interview.
BLITZER: Hundreds of expensive, exclusive goodie bags will be given out to celebrities come Oscar Sunday. What's in those bags? The Internet gives us a rare peek at what is called Oscar swag.
Our Internet report, Abbi Tatton, is joining us with more -- Abbi.
TATTON: Wolf, as if being there wasn't enough, they also get free stuff, these celebrities, at the Oscars.
And this is Swagtime.com. They're tracking what is in each of the bags for the different categories. If you're presenting an Oscar, you're going to get a bag that is worth about $100,000. That is for people like Jennifer Aniston.
George Clooney could be enjoying a balloon ride. That's in there. There's also jewelry, vacations. Ludacris, another person presenting an Oscar, could enjoy this wonderful espresso coffee maker there. There are different categories as well, different types of bags. If you arrive in an eco-friendly vehicle, you get the eco- friendly swag. That's -- one has got beer, water, and wine in it, not quite worth $100,000, but interesting all the same -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Jack Cafferty wants one of those. So do I.
Thanks very much, Abbi.
You know, viewers -- guests, they come in to THE SITUATION ROOM, Jack, you know what we give them?
CAFFERTY: The back of our hand.
CAFFERTY: All right, Wolf, here's the deal.
Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs overwhelmingly rejected a proposal would -- that would have created an independent office to investigate ethics abuses in Congress. The question is, why do you suppose they did that, vote to reject this outside ethics committee that would take a look at what they're doing down there?
Beth writes: "Why? Why, it's obvious. They're mostly a crooks club. What else can one believe? It's time for a change, and one is coming. Those who voted against this should start packing."
Melanie in Los Angeles: "They ought to be ashamed of themselves. The reason why it was voted down was because the senators taking moneys from lobbyists don't want to be exposed -- period."
Carol in Savannah, Georgia: "One word, Jack -- arrogance. U.S. senators simply cannot be answerable to mere mortals. They are second in importance only to the president. But don't tell them that. They think they're first."
Lynn in Ohio writes: "It's time to vote the bums out, if they don't want to put the good of this country and the people first. The American people are fed up with politics as usual. As a resident of Ohio, Senator Voinovich just lost my vote."
He's one who voted against it, along with, what was it, 11-5, along with 10 others.
Jeff in Minneapolis writes: "As a Minnesotan, I'm ashamed that not just one, but both my senators voted against the independent committee. Here in Minnesota, we preach to the rest of the country that we have one of the cleanest and most effective governments around. Either Washington corrupts that easily, or we are just a bunch of liars."
And Cameron in Austin, Texas -- senators voting against outside supervision when it comes to ethics, he says, "That's like a crack head inviting a DEA officer to move into his house."
BLITZER: See you back here at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. Jack, thanks very much.
Up next, securing our borders with new technology. We're going to show you what the future may hold.
You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: This week, CNN is looking at the future of security. You're about to meet a woman who lives on the U.S.-Mexico border and never leaves her house without a firearm.
Here's CNN's Miles O'Brien.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I live seven miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border and right in the middle of the human smuggling trails.
Thousands of illegals come through our neighborhoods per night. They're carrying drugs and AK-47s.
When I bring my daughter up to the school bus stop, I always have a firearm with me. Border Patrol is totally outnumbered. All's I want is a secure border. I want a wall.
This is not homeland security. If it's so easy for people to be backpacking drugs right past my bedroom window, why can't terrorists get through?
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: More than 1.1 million illegal immigrants were arrested last year by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. And, yet, Cindy still doesn't feel safe. But there may be a way to fill the gaps in our borders with new technology.
(voice over): Thousands cross the nearly 2,000-mile-long U.S. border every single day. Some scale walls. Some brave rapids. Others tunnel their way in. But, according to San Diego Chief Patrol Agent Darryl Griffen, it's not just drug smugglers and violent criminals we need to worry about.
DARRYL GRIFFEN, SAN DIEGO CHIEF PATROL AGENT: The real and immediate challenge is the threat of terrorism. We are attempting to identify and locate the needles in the haystack that wish to do harm to our country.
O'BRIEN: To reduce the size of that haystack, the agency has installed stadium lighting, secondary fencing, and night-vision cameras. But even more advanced video cameras and heat sensors may be on the way with the government's newly proposed $2 billion secure border initiative.
GRIFFEN: And we will do everything that we can to ensure a secure border, because a secure border is a safe border.
BLITZER: And we have just learned that former Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham has been sentenced to eight years, four months in prison for accepting nearly $2.5 million in bribes -- much more coming up, 7:00 p.m. Eastern, here in THE SITUATION ROOM.
For now, let's go to "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT."
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