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No Decision Made on U.S. Troop Cuts in Iraq; Weapons of Mass Destruction Found in Iraq?; Catholic Church Exempts Illegal Aliens From Background Checks; Peter Hoekstra Interview; American Democracy Open To Voter Fraud; Rahm Emmanuel Interview

Aired June 22, 2006 - 18:00   ET


LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, insurgents have killed nine of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the military has made no decisions yet on whether or not to withdraw more troops from Iraq.

And the U.S. Senate today rejected two Democratic proposals to begin withdrawing our troops.

Our complete coverage begins now.

ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT, news, debate and opinion for Thursday, June 22.

Live in New York, Lou Dobbs.

DOBBS: Good evening, everybody.

Five more of our troops have been killed in Iraq, as the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, General George Casey, visited members of Congress to defend the conduct of this war; 2,510 of our troops have now been killed in Iraq. More than 5,000 Iraqi police and troops have also been killed in this war.

In Washington, the Senate today voted against two separate Democratic proposals to begin withdrawing our troops. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld today said the military has made no decisions about further troop reductions in Iraq.

Arwa Damon reports from Baghdad on the rising number of American casualties in Iraq, particularly in Al Anbar Province, west of Baghdad. Jamie McIntyre tonight reports from the Pentagon on the prospects of more troop withdrawals from Iraq this year.

And Dana Bash, from Capitol Hill, reports on today's votes in the Senate on Iraq.

But, first, Arwa Damon reports from Baghdad.


ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, and four of those five deaths happened in Iraq's volatile Al Anbar Province. It is one of the most dangerous places to be in Iraq today. To give you an example, by some security estimates, approximately 50 percent of IED attacks against U.S. and Iraqi security forces happen in that area. Now, there have been massive security operations in that area, starting with the Fallujah offensive back in 2004, followed by multiple operations up and down the Euphrates River Valley in 2005.

The aim of these operations was to drive the insurgents out of these cities and towns, where they had essentially established strongholds, and leave behind a U.S. and Iraqi presence. Now, this did help disrupt the insurgency. However, it did not destroy it. The insurgency does have the ability to blend in with the local population.

And in the previous absence of U.S. and Iraqi forces, insurgents there were able to stockpile weapons, as well as IED-making materials.

A Marine colonel who operated in Al Anbar Province last year once said that this was so important, because presence equaled security, which equaled stability. And, also, by establishing a presence in these areas, civilians are more likely to come forward and give information to U.S. and Iraqi security forces about the insurgents or about stockpiles of weapons or IED-making material, all part of the process to bring this incredibly volatile area under control -- Lou.


DOBBS: Thank you, Arwa Damon, from Baghdad.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld today refused to speculate about the possibility of more troop reductions in Iraq. Rumsfeld said reports that the military is preparing to announce the withdrawal of two more brigades from Iraq are simply wrong.

Jamie McIntyre reports from the Pentagon -- Jamie.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lou, you know, a year ago about this time, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, General George Casey, was predicting that he would be able to recommend substantial reductions in U.S. troop levels by spring or summer of this year.

Well, spring is gone. Summer is here. And Casey says he still has not been able to make those recommendations, although Pentagon sources tell CNN that one of the things Casey is considering is holding back the planned rotation of one or two brigades later this year.

That would result in a troop cut of about 6,000 to 10,000 over time. One thing Casey said he's absolutely clear about is, he does not favor any firm timetable for withdrawal.


GENERAL GEORGE CASEY, COMMANDER, MULTINATIONAL FORCE IN IRAQ: I don't like it. I feel it would limit my flexibility. I think it would give the enemy a -- a fixed timetable. And I think it would send a terrible signal to a new government of national unity in Iraq that's trying to stand up and get its legs underneath it.


MCINTYRE: Now, the Pentagon is blaming the delay in getting any recommendation from Casey on troop cuts on the long time it took Iraq to put together a working new government.

Defense Secretary Rumsfeld says Casey still has to sit down with the new members of the Iraqi cabinet and work out a plan for transition. Casey said he is still confident, though, that he will be able to make reductions later this year -- Lou.

DOBBS: Jamie, thank you -- Jamie McIntyre from the Pentagon.

Four of our troops have been killed in Afghanistan in the battle with radical Islamist insurgents near the Afghan border with Pakistan. One of our soldiers was wounded in that firefight; 238 of our troops have been killed in the war in Afghanistan.

The president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, today criticized U.S. tactics employed in this war. Karzai said U.S. and coalition troops should not be killing as many Afghan citizens, even if those citizens are members of the Taliban.

The Senate today voted against two competing Democratic proposals to begin withdrawal of our troops from Iraq. Republicans said there should be no timelines or deadlines for the withdrawal of our troops. But Democrats said it's time to end the president's open-ended commitment to Iraq.

Dana Bash reports from Capitol Hill.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The yeas are 13. The nays are 36.

DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): First, an overwhelming defeat for Senator John Kerry's call to bring combat troops home by July of next year.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Let me say it plainly. Redeploying United States troops is necessary for success in Iraq. And it is necessary to be able to fight a more effective war on terror.

BASH: Kerry declared the 13 Democratic votes he got a dramatic step forward.

The Democratic counterproposal urged the president to start pulling combat troops out this year, but no date certain for total withdrawal.

SEN. JACK REED (D), RHODE ISLAND: This is not some arbitrary fixed timetable. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The yeas are 39. The nays are 60.

BASH: That failed, too, but nearly all Democratic senators voted yes, a fact they raced to the cameras to point out, hoping to change the storyline of the debate from Democrats are divided to Democrats are united.

SEN. CARL LEVIN (D), MICHIGAN: When you get 80 percent of the Democrats agreeing on the specifics of a policy, folks, you have got a strong consensus of Democrats.

BASH: The election-year Senate debate sets the stage for how both parties hope to turn Iraq to their political advantage.

For Republicans, the same strategy they believe worked in the last election: Warn that Democrats demanding any withdrawal are handing a victory to terrorists and would make Americans less secure.

SEN. JON KYL (R), ARIZONA: Of what importance is it, given the fact that they're there now mutilating and killing American soldiers and Iraqi citizens? What do the terrorists have in mind if we pull out?

BASH: Democrats tested their campaign tactics, too: Paint Republicans who say stay the course complicit in a war policy Americans increasingly call misguided. The Democratic leader quoted Teddy Roosevelt.

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MINORITY LEADER: That we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but it is morally treasonable to the American people.


BASH: The White House is working to keep anxious Republicans from turning against the war and, by extension, turning against President Bush. The fact that only one moderate Republican voted for a Democratic Iraq proposal shows that, at least for now, it appears that White House effort is working -- Lou.

DOBBS: Dana, thank you -- Dana Bash from Capitol Hill.

New developments tonight in the missile crisis with North Korea, as North Korea prepares to test a missile with a range to reach this country.

Former Defense Secretary William Perry today called upon President Bush to launch a preemptive strike against the North Korean missile base. Vice President Dick Cheney brushed off the suggestion by Perry -- the vice president telling CNN he believes the administration is addressing the crisis appropriately.

Vice President Cheney also expressed skepticism about the capabilities of the North Korean missile.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RICHARD B. CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We believe it does have a third stage added to it now, but, again, we don't know what the payload is.

I think it's also fair to say that the North Korean missile capabilities are fairly rudimentary. I mean, they've been building Scuds and so forth over the years, but their test flights in the past haven't been notably successful.


DOBBS: The vice president's interview with John King will be coming up in "THE SITUATION ROOM" at 7:00 p.m. Eastern here on CNN.

Next: The Catholic Church in Southern California appears to believe that protecting the rights of illegal aliens is more important than protecting the community from sex offenders. We will have that special report.

The Bush White House, supported by corporate America and special interests, building a superhighway dividing this country, a superhighway that will run between Mexico and Canada. We will have a special report.

And top Republican lawmakers say the military has found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I will be talking with one of those lawmakers. The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Peter Hoekstra, will join us here next.

Stay with us.


DOBBS: Corporate America's addiction to cheap foreign labor and our consumers' addiction to cheap foreign imports has emboldened many of this country's leading political elites to further erode America's security and its sovereignty.

The U.S. government is pushing ahead with its plans for a massive superhighway that would divide the United States, running from Mexico to Canada, a highway that would run through the heart of the nation.

In Los Angeles tonight, the Roman Catholic Diocese is so intent on its support of illegal immigration and its opposition to a federal crackdown on illegal immigration that it's breaking a key promise to families victimized by pedophile priests and church workers.

We have two reports tonight, Bill Tucker reporting on the push for that NAFTA superhighway. And Peter Viles is in Los Angeles as the Roman Catholic Church backs away from its fingerprint background checks for illegal aliens.

We begin with Bill Tucker.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is truck traffic at the border crossing in Laredo, Texas. More than $3 billion worth of imports pass through this crossing alone every month, all headed north.

Since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the flow of imports from Mexico to the United States has exploded by more than 400 percent at just the Laredo crossing, as American manufacturers have rushed to take advantage of Mexico's cheap labor.

REP. MARCY KAPTUR (D), OHIO: Ford Motor Company has made a decision to invest $9 billion in Mexico. And what this highway provides is a way for them to bring goods into the United States to be sold here, with none of the jobs being located here.

TUCKER: The highway she's referring to is actually several different projects collectively known as the NAFTA Superhighway. The routes are a combination of existing roads, planned expansion of others, new roads and rail lines. The project is funded with a mix of private and state and federal funds.

The trade route begins at Mexico's ports on the West Coast and runs all the way up to Kansas City, with facilities being developed there known as the K.C. SmartPort -- the project's aim, to expedite trade flow. The combination of reduced inspections at the borders and surging Chinese goods coming through Mexican ports are raising concerns about security.

JAMES HOFFA, PRESIDENT, TEAMSTERS UNION: The Bush administration is not serious about border security. They are not serious about port security. When we talk about a super-port controlled by Mexico, this is Dubai all over again. We stopped Dubai, but this is another way to take it out of the purview of Congress.

TUCKER: And while proponents tout the benefit of capitalizing on the trade flow, critics see a darker reality.

ALAN TONELSON, U.S. BUSINESS & INDUSTRY COUNCIL: This country is the world's import sponge. That's our main role in the world economy nowadays. And this NAFTA Superhighway will make that sponge a great deal more porous.

TUCKER: And it reduces economic growth to a reliance on infrastructure development, driven by our need for imports.


TUCKER: Which means that the once proud American economy is now relying on the output of other countries, Lou, for goods that were once made in America.

DOBBS: Once made in America -- and it also means that the ports of the United States, particularly along the West Coast, will be augmented by those Mexican ports. And those goods will be shipped in Mexican trucks, driven by Mexican drivers, through the heart of the United States.

TUCKER: Exactly.

DOBBS: What are the odds this is going to be stopped?


DOBBS: Well, let's change the odds. It's America.


DOBBS: Let's think about it.


DOBBS: Bill Tucker, thank you.

The Catholic Church in Southern California tonight appears more intent on protecting the rights of illegal aliens than in keeping its promise to rid the church of sex offenders and to protect its parishioners.

Church leaders vowed four years ago to fingerprint and to run background checks on volunteers who work with children. Tonight, the church is breaking that promise and exempting illegal alien volunteers from those background checks.

Peter Viles reports.


PETER VILES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The sex scandal that rocked the Catholic Church resulted not just in lawsuits and prison sentences, but in commitments like this one.

CARDINAL ROGER MAHONY, ARCHDIOCESE OF LOS ANGELES: The archdiocese has strong policies and procedures in place to ensure the safety of all, especially our children and young people.

VILES: One of those policies from the archdiocese's Web site -- quote -- "It is recommended that all other adult parish volunteers who have regular supervisory contact with minors be fingerprinted."

But the church is now waiving that recommendation for illegal aliens, because the government will not conduct fingerprint background checks on those who do not have valid photo I.D.s.

PAUL KIESEL, ATTORNEY FOR ABUSE VICTIMS: It's a violation of the public trust, to say that you're going to engage in these fingerprinting and law enforcement checks and not do it. But that pales in comparison to the safety of the children.

IRA MEHLMAN, FEDERATION FOR AMERICAN IMMIGRATION REFORM: In spite of the fact that the Catholic Church has had a recent history of problems with people who have molested children, that they are placing the interests of protecting illegal aliens above the interests of protecting children who are placed in their care.

VILES: The church says all Catholic school employees must still be fingerprinted. But parish volunteers who do not have a valid photo I.D. can instead sign an affidavit saying they have never been convicted of a crime in any country or explain any past convictions.

Church officials declined our request to appear on camera. A spokesman for the archdiocese told Lou Dobbs Tonight -- quote -- "In a five-million person archdiocese, there are going to be people volunteering who do not have photo I.D.s. That's a small fraction of the 50,000 who have been fingerprinted."


VILES: Now, this sex abuse scandal is still a -- a fresh story out here, Lou.

Settlement talks with the church have broken down completely. And the Catholic Church here in Los Angeles faces more than 500 lawsuits from people who allege they were sexually abused, either by priests or others who were serving the Catholic Church -- Lou.

DOBBS: And Roger Mahony, Peter, the cardinal of the archdiocese there in Los Angeles, also lost a Supreme Court case in which he was trying to keep secret those documents relating to the pedophilia and...

VILES: Sure.

DOBBS: ... the sex offenders in his diocese.

VILES: Sure, lost at the Supreme Court level, but still hasn't settled with these victims.

Not only do they want some sort of financial restitution; they want all the records released, so the community can see exactly how the church handled this issue over the years and covered it up over the years. And, so far, the archdiocese has not agreed to any sort of transparency on this sexual abuse scandal.

DOBBS: And to suggest that it is a small fraction, I believe was the language used by the church in their statement, Peter, it's a small fraction of pedophiles and sex offenders who have created these victims over the years in Los Angeles and, indeed, around the country.

VILES: Yes, it is a statement by the church and a policy by the church that has freshly angered a group of people who have been angry at the church for long time and want to settle with the church, and still can't get the church to settle on their terms.

DOBBS: An incredible story, and one that we will follow here, I assure you, rigorously and relentlessly, in point of fact.

There's something very wrong in Los Angeles, when an -- when an archbishop. When a cardinal is calling upon parishioners to break laws if the Congress passes them, fighting in court to protect the identity of sex offenders, and putting the interests of illegal aliens ahead of the safety of his parishioners, there's something terribly wrong.

Peter Viles, thank you very much for that report -- that report from Los Angeles.

Up next here: the "New York Times" editors weighing in on the immigration debate. They say House Republicans who want to hold hearings are simple-minded. We will have a full report for you.

And Congressman Rahm Emanuel, leading the Democratic Party's efforts to take over the House, he claims Democrats are the party of border security. Congressman Emanuel will be our guest here.

Stay with us.


DOBBS: House Republican leaders today strongly deny that their upcoming hearings on the Senate's so-called comprehensive immigration reform legislation are intended to kill the Senate's amnesty bill.

House Republican leaders insist they want to see an immigration reform bill pass Congress this year. Congressman James Sensenbrenner, the author of the House legislation, charged the Senate with stalling this process.


REP. JAMES SENSENBRENNER (R), WISCONSIN: We're not negotiating because the Senate hasn't sent us a bill to negotiate over. You know, I am sick and tired of you folks in the media blaming the House for obstructing the process. The Senate passed a bill a month ago. It has not sent the papers over for us to proceed to the next step. And I think one of the reasons it hasn't done that is, they violated the Constitution in putting about $50 billion worth of taxes in their bill.


DOBBS: A minor consideration.

But, tonight, Senate Minority Leader Senator Harry Reid is placing the blame solely on the House.

A spokesman for Senator Reid said today -- quote -- "House Republicans looking for someone to blame for the delay on immigration reform should look in the mirror. It is the House Republicans who are blocking progress to the conference committee. We are only waiting for Republicans to join us."

The Senate is holding hearings on the House immigration bill beginning next month.

Congressman James Sensenbrenner referred to an editorial in today's "New York Times" that blasted House leaders who plan to hold hearings on immigration reform legislation.

In its lead editorial this morning, "The Immigration Road Show," as it's titled, "The Times" said, House members opposing amnesty for illegal aliens are -- quote -- "simple-minded." The editors go on to say -- quote -- "The immigration debate has been obscured for far too long -- for too long -- by a fog of distortion and fear."

Supporters, I might suggest to you, of so-called comprehensive immigration reform have deliberately obscured the fact that the legislation is amnesty, then blurred consistently the line between legal and illegal immigration in this country.

The Senate's so-called Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act would have an extraordinary impact, of course, on our country if it were to become law. A study by the Heritage Foundation, just so that no one is obscuring anything and facts are being put forward straightly, well, the Heritage Foundation has determined that 66 million people will be given legal status over the next 20 years in this country if the Senate bill were to become law.

And the Heritage Foundation says 10 million illegal aliens already in this country, under that legislation, would be granted amnesty under the legislation. In addition, that legislation creates a new guest-worker program that would admit at least 325,000 workers each year.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that number could grow to 1.4 million a year by 2016. The Budget Office says, increased welfare benefits alone will cost American taxpayers $54 billion. Other provisions of the bill will cost an additional $4 billion over 10 years.

And these estimates are on the conservative side, just so no one is obfuscating what is going on in this debate.

Taking a look now at some of your thoughts, Andrew in Texas: "Lou, I don't think our anti-missile system could stop a snowball if the North Koreans threw one at us. Perhaps the administration's hot air could melt it in time."

Robert in Texas: "I'm waiting for Bush to tell the middle class -- quote -- 'Let them eat tortillas.' Then the hard working middle class can come out of the shadows, where they have been hiding, and let themselves be heard loud and strong."

Vince in Nevada saying: "Lou, it seems very obvious the attitude of our politicians when it comes to the American worker: Keep the minimum wage low, so Americans cannot afford to take the job. Then let in the illegal immigrants, who will take any job for a ridiculous wage. The rich get richer, and everyone else gets screwed."

Send us your thoughts at We will have more of your thoughts coming up here later.

In tonight's poll, tell us: Do you believe the American people would be better off if we simply gave all three branches of our federal government a summer holiday, yes or no? Please cast your vote at Yes, it has been that kind of week. We will have the results coming up here later in the broadcast.

Next, I will be talking with the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who says weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. He says he has the documents to prove it. And he's the man who led to their declassification.

Also, new violence against our troops in Iraq, as the Senate rejects calls for an early troop pullout. General David Grange will be here.

And Congressman Rahm Emanuel, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, will be here to explain the Democrats' position on immigration reform, and its prospects for success in the midterm elections.

Stay with us.


DOBBS: In a moment, I will be talking with the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee about weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq.

But, first, the Earth is hotter than it has been in hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. The National Academy of Sciences says rising temperatures over the last few decades are simply unprecedented. The report blames greenhouse gases from industry for the warming.

And, in Arizona, fire crews continue to battle stubborn wildfires, in fact, all across the Southwest. A 3,000-acre blaze continues to spread north of Sedona, Arizona. Aerial tankers are supporting ground troops fighting to save 500 homes and businesses, that fire less than 10 percent contained.

In Washington, the Supreme Court has ruled that an illegal alien may be deported under a 1996 immigration law. The man has been living in the United States for the past 20 years and is married to an American citizen. The man has been deported several times, in the 1970s and '80s. Today's ruling could affect up to 100,000 people in similar positions.

My next guest says we found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, according to a military intelligence report that he managed to have declassified and made public. Coalition forces recovered approximately 500 artillery shells filled with degraded mustard gas or sarin nerve gas. The weapons predate the 1991 Gulf War and are hazardous and potentially lethal.

A defense department official tells us the weapons are left over from the Iran/Iraq war, which ended nearly 20 years ago and are not evidence of the weapons of mass destruction sought at the outset of the Iraqi war in 2003. Congressman Peter Hoekstra, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee joins us tonight from Capitol Hill. Congressman, thank you very much for being here.


DOBBS: This is not, you have said, it is not a silver bullet, a smoking gun. Tell us what it is.

HOEKSTRA: Lou, what it is, it is one more piece in a very complicated puzzle dealing with Saddam Hussein in Iraq. We all know that in the 1980s, Saddam Hussein had WMDs. He used it. We know that in the 1990s, he claimed to have destroyed all of the WMD. Now that we have found these artillery shells and rocket shells still filled with sarin or mustard gas, we know he was lying in the 1990s.

Then if we take a look at what the Iraqi survey group found after the war, we found evidence of ongoing research and development programs and we found that he had the capability to produce anthrax within four weeks after the war or four weeks after sanctions were lifted and produce other weapons within six months through his dual use facilities. So we're getting a more complete picture of Saddam Hussein.

DOBBS: A more complete picture, a picture that is now fading as his trial goes forward. And the issue of the weapons of mass destruction, as you know Mr. Chairman, still a difficult one for the, a difficult burden for this administration to carry, because its intelligence upon which it relied and its analysis of that intelligence, leading it to conclude that it was existing and current, and a contemporaneous and dangerous form at the outset of that war.

But that does raise another issue and that is how is it that the U.N. inspections failed to detect this material? And what does that suggest about the level and adequacy and effectiveness of inspections, period?

HOEKSTRA: Well I think it raises them into question. It is not only the U.N. inspectors that were there for much of the 1990s. You also remember we had the Iraqi survey group. 1,700 people there for 18 months who did not find these. And remember, the other fact in this report says that WMDs still exist in Iraq. They're not accounted for. And our field commanders are concerned about these weapons falling into the wrong hands. These things are still very, very lethal and deadly.

DOBBS: And this is the reason that it took some considerable time and effort on your part, the efforts of Senator Santorum, to get this material declassified, out of concern for the troops, our troops right now in Iraq?

HOEKSTRA: Well, actually, Lou, it took six weeks for me to even find out that this report existed in the intelligence community after it was published. Senator Santorum made me aware of that. Then once we asked for it, we got it very, very quickly. But you have to ask a question, if we're finding these levels of WMD munitions in Iraq, they are posing a threat to our troops, why would the intelligence community not inform the Congress and I think it is important to inform the American people of their existence.

DOBBS: Absolutely. Let me say that Democrats, as you know, are downplaying this document and its implications. Congresswoman Jane Harman of California had this so say, Mr. Chairman. Let's listen in.


REP. JANE HARMAN (D), CALIFORNIA: Rolling out some old, fairly toxic stuff sounds to me like a desperate claim for those, by those who wish that we could find some new way to rationalize the ongoing devastation in Iraq.


DOBBS: What say you?

HOEKSTRA: Well, I think this is not a rash rationalization. Like I said yesterday, when we brought this forward, we didn't say this was a silver bullet, the smoking gun. We were very, very specific about what this was. This was one more piece of this complex puzzle.

Saddam had WMD in the 1990s, he had them when we went to war, he lied about them. They're still there and they're dangerous to our troops and they're dangerous to Iraqi citizens. And perhaps, if they ever got out of the country, they would be deadly in other parts of the world as well.

DOBBS: Mr. Chairman, this all brings back to bear front and center the confidence we have in our intelligence around the world in the war on terror, but specifically within in Iraq. Are you confident that our intelligence has progressed to such a point that we can say that we're now carrying out effective covert operations and are bringing forward real substantive actionable intelligence?

HOEKSTRA: I think for the things we're focused on right now, the intelligence community has really made significant strides forward. We're identifying terrorists. We're identifying where they are. We are taking them out of action, by either capturing them or killing them.

But there are certain things that the intelligence community, because of the multitude of missions we've got them focused on right now, that they can not deal with. And I don't believe that they're focused on identifying WMD and other capabilities in prewar Iraq. It is not one of the things that they are doing right now. We need to get them to focus on that more extensively.

DOBBS: Thank you very much Congressman Hoekstra, the chairman of the intelligence committee.

HOEKSTRA: Thank you Lou.

DOBBS: Good to have you with us. American democracy is increasingly vulnerable to massive voter fraud. Legislation designed to increase voter participation, making it possible for illegal aliens and others who are not entitled to a vote of any kind in this country to register and to cast their ballots in our elections.

Kitty Pilgrim reports.


KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's a basic American freedom, the right to vote. The 1965 Voting Rights Act, a civil rights measure to help minorities gain access to the polls, allowed for more documents to be valid at polling places. That and the 2002 Help America Vote Act opened the door to a plethora of documents that are now accepted as voter identification.

JENNY FLANAGAN, COMMON CAUSE: The concept of getting lots of different forms of I.D. really originated with the help America vote act in 2002, which provided a long list of potential I.D.s that would be acceptable. Then states took it a bit further.

PILGRIM: According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, just six states request photo I.D. to vote. There are many more states that require identification, but not photo I.D. Instead, a bewildering variety of documents now suffice for a voter to gain access to the booth.

In Alabama, a fishing license will suffice. A hunting license will do the trick in Arkansas, a pilot's license in Colorado, a utility bill in Delaware, a neighborhood association I.D. in Florida, a college I.D. in Missouri, a bank statement in New Mexico, a pay stub in Texas, a credit card bearing the voter's signature in Tennessee. Advocacy groups call for more discussion on how to reach uniform requirements without alienating voters.

KATHLEEN WYNNE, BLACK BOX VOTING: Now voting is fast, easy and convenient, rather than accurate, transparent with meaningful citizen oversight. That's the checks and balances that is missing.

PILGRIM: Arizona's Proposition 200, approved in 2004, requires voters to show government-issued identification to prove U.S. citizenship when they register to vote and a photo I.D., such as a driver's license when they vote.


PILGRIM: Arizona's Proposition 200 has been challenged by open bothered and voter advocacy groups in court since the measure passed. They say tightening up I.D. requirements will cut out eligible voters, but those who argue for the measure say that at least it certifies that the voters are U.S. citizens.

DOBBS: Kitty, you've just scared the dickens out of all of us. I mean a hunting license, a fishing license, a utility bill.

PILGRIM: It is a total mishmash of what is required to actually show at the polls when you vote. DOBBS: You have been with, you're terrific focusing on e-voting as this broadcast has for some time. All the problems with e-voting, Diebold, Sequoia, all the systems across the country. We have a system that is so antiquated, it's as if we still live in a village circa 1910.

PILGRIM: It is a bit shocking. It's so ad hoc and it seems that there's no uniform standard at all.

DOBBS: You know what I love because Peter Viles earlier today reporting on Cardinal Roger Mahoney in Los Angeles, he wants a million people to sign up for voter registration in Los Angeles, where there's no requirement at all, of course, for a demonstration of citizenship. So it looks like the system is playing into his hands as he advances the causes of illegal immigration through the power the church has seen fit to give it. I mean, it's just crazy.

PILGRIM: Well, at least the citizens groups are looking at this and trying to be very vocal about it.

DOBBS: Well, you keep looking, to, and keep bringing back those fine reports, even if you do scare the dickens out of us. Thanks Kitty Pilgrim.

Coming up next, illegal immigration, border security could be decisive issues in the upcoming midterm elections. I'll be talking with Congressman Rahm Emmanuel. He's the man in charge of the Democratic Party's congressional campaign to take back congress. And General David Grange will be here. We'll be talking about the feasibility of significant troop withdrawals from Iraq. Stay with us.


DOBBS: And General David Grange will be here. We'll be talking about the feasibility of significant troop withdrawals from Iraq. Stay with us.


DOBBS: My next guest says voters should trust the Democratic party to get tough on border security and solve the illegal immigration crisis. Congressman Rahm Emmanuel is chairman of the Democratic congressional campaign committee. He leads the Democratic campaign to unseat the House majority, the Republican House majority in the upcoming midterm elections. Congressman Emmanuel joins us tonight from Capitol Hill. Good to have you with us.

REP. RAHM EMMANUEL (D), ILLINOIS: Thank you. Good to be here.

DOBBS: Well, here's what you had to say, as you well know, on the House floor this morning.


EMMANUEL: One thing is clear. When it comes to addressing real immigration challenges facing our nation, the Republican Congress is all hat and no cattle. It's time for a new direction. It's time for results.


DOBBS: You think the Democrats have got the solution?

EMMANUEL: Lou, the Republicans want to make this election about one issue, a single issue that they haven't accomplished a single thing on. Just take work place enforcement, for example. In 2003 all across America there were only four work place enforcement actions. Republicans have had control for six years and our borders are no more secure and our workplace is no longer enforced.

And that is their record. All they do is throw up hot air. This is not a problem that requires hot air. It requires solutions and real action. I'll tell you, we have 12 million illegal immigrants in this country as you well know and report on. Republicans have given you 12 million excuses why they can't get anything done. They have failed.

DOBBS: Well, they've failed, but in the Senate they've succeeded, sort of, with the majority of the Democrats, a true bipartisan effort there in the Senate. I know you got to be proud of the result. But let's hear what House judiciary chairman, Congressman Emmanuel, had to say today about those hearings that people want between the House and the Senate.


REP. JAMES SENSENBRENNER (R), WISCONSIN: We're not negotiating because the Senate hasn't sent us a bill to negotiate over. And, you know, I'm sick and tired of you folks in the media blaming the House for obstructing the process. The Senate passed a bill a month ago. It has not sent the papers over for us to proceed to the next step.


EMMANUEL: Now, that should make the --

DOBBS: Yes, go ahead.

EMMANUEL: Lou, that should make the American people feel real good. Here they are, the Republican party's in control and they're saying we haven't sent the paper over to solve illegal immigration. You have 12 million illegal immigrants in this country. The border isn't secure. The 9/11 commission gave the Republican Congress an F for securing the border.

In fact, it gave them opportunities to increase the funding for it. They voted against it in 2005 twice. And at the workplace, for six years in 1999 there were nearly 200 enforcement actions across the country in different workplaces. In 2003, four, a 95 percent drop. Why are they coming here?

Because of the workplace. Where is the workplace enforcement? Under a Republican Congress and a Republican president it's negligible. And they have failed to do the things that they are elected to do, which is to deal with illegal immigration problem here in this country in a comprehensive way, any way, get something done. They've offered you nothing but rhetoric, and that's not a result.

DOBBS: We're going to put this right on the table. I'm ready, right now, to vote Democratic in the upcoming midterm elections. You're the chairman of the Democratic congressional campaign committee. I've been saying for months that you can't reform immigration in this country if you can't control it. And you can't control it unless you absolutely secure our borders and our ports. So, I'll ask you just a couple questions and I'll sign up.

EMMANUEL: All right.

DOBBS: Ready? One, will the Democrats secure the border, and by that I mean secure our ports and our borders to the point that there will not be an invasion of illegal aliens? But furthermore, reduce to almost nothing the level of traffic across those borders unless it is lawful?

EMMANUEL: Yes. And as you saw just the other day in the six in 06 agenda that we've laid out, that's to move this country in a new direction. The third vote in Congress will be on the 9/11 commission recommendations and one of the principal pieces of that is to secure or borders and our ports.

DOBBS: Number two, will you give amnesty to 12 to 20 million illegal aliens in this country?

EMMANUEL: Here's number two for me.

DOBBS: No, wait, wait. You're speaking for the party here now.

EMMANUEL: I understand what I'm speaking for. And I want to make clear. The workplace must be secured next and there must be real enforcement, so that employers don't have the incentive to hire illegal immigrants. There will be a real penalty if you do that.

DOBBS: And that real penalty will be?

EMMANUEL: Right now you know what the cost is for hiring illegal immigrants, based on if you're caught? Do you know what the price is.

DOBBS: The price of an illegal alien?

EMMANUEL: No, the price that you're penalized right now.

DOBBS: It's $50 right now.

EMMANUEL: It's $500.

DOBBS: Depending on the use of the number, right.

EMMANUEL: Raise it to a level that there's a real consequence. Then you have employers --

DOBBS: Congressman, you are doing well for the Democratic party here tonight. Let's go back to the amnesty issue, though.

EMMANUEL: I'm going to go to the third one, which is English first.

DOBBS: How about English only?

EMMANUEL: English first.

DOBBS: How about English only.


DOBBS: You're required to speak English to be a citizen of the country, says right there.

EMMANUEL: I'm saying to you is our answer is speak English first as a language.

DOBBS: Let's go to that amnesty thing.

EMMANUEL: The Democratic party believes that you have to earn your citizenship. And that means you cannot break our laws to be a citizen.

DOBBS: Congressman, you're starting to sound like a Republican, I hear, I know. What's his name? George W. Bush.

EMMANUEL: I got you on three out of four.

DOBBS: You were so close, Congressman. Let me ask you this ...

EMMANUEL: Let me say this, Wolf.

DOBBS: Sure.

EMMANUEL: First of all, in my household, three out of four, I call it a victory. I don't know about you. But in my house ...

DOBBS: My house is even lower than that.

EMMANUEL: What you've moved off of and here's the thing, they control the House, they control the Senate, they control the White House and they have not just on this legislation but they have six years of failure on this agenda. And Democrats will move it. That's why we put it in our first six votes. It is going to happen, the 9/11 commission, whether it's the border, the ports and every other area to make America safe and also fight illegal immigration.

DOBBS: So if indeed the Senate does send over the blue slip and they do work out the little cost thing that was built into that, you'll work with the Republicans to get the border secured, employers sanctioned and we can get to work on this deal?

EMMANUEL: That's right. Lou, here is what you're missing. All they want to talk about is they want to run around the country and put more hot air as it relates to illegal immigration. They've had six years to do it. And not until an election did they decide they want to pay attention to it. Given all the hot air from Republicans, I now think we've discovered a new contribution to global warming, their hot air.

DOBBS: What I detect out there in the atmosphere?


DOBBS: Just a little, of an emanating from the Democratic side, as well, because for the eight years previous to this administration, the Democrats had a similar opportunity. Not at these levels, I will admit, in terms of illegal immigration.

EMMANUEL: Wait, I was part of that.

DOBBS: I know you were. That's why I brought it up.

EMMANUEL: Let me say then. When did Operation Gatekeeper in San Diego that really closed down, that had an impact. Operation Gatekeeper under President Clinton. We also did stuff at El Paso and also started finally adding agents and increased the agents if I'm not mistaken, you can check the facts, by 65 percent on the border under President Clinton. And we had more workplace enforcement than they've had accumulated over five years.

DOBBS: You sure did, 191 prosecutions. One big year I remember. You know what? Your points are exact. We appreciate you being here. And I want you to know I feel just as good right now about the Democratic party as a result of our discussion as I do the Republican party.

EMMANUEL: Thank you. I'll take that as a vote of confidence then.

DOBBS: You may indeed, sir. Thanks a lot for being here.

EMMANUEL: Thank you.

DOBBS: A reminder to vote in our poll. Do you believe the American people would just simply be better off if we gave all three branches of our government a summer holiday? The results will be coming up here shortly.

Also ahead a look at some of your thoughts and I'll be talking with General David Grange about the likelihood of further withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Stay with us.


DOBBS: Insurgents in Iraq have killed five more of our troops. They The troops were killed as the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, General George Casey, was talking with members of Congress in Washington to defend the conduct of this war.

Joining me now is General David Grange. General, let's start out with the discussion of troop withdrawal. Is it likely, given everything that you've heard today, that we're going to see any significant withdrawal of American troops from Iraq?

BRIG. GEN. DAVID GRANGE (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: I think you'll see about two brigades worth, 5,000, 10,000 near the end of the year. And what they'll be, they won't be brought out of Iraq. Just those that are going in to replace other troops will be held back. Leading to a reduction.

DOBBS: What do you say to cynics who say each time this discussion comes up the civilian leadership moves forward, then they bring forward, in this case, the leading general and start talking about troop withdrawals. It looks a little vaguely political to a civilian occasionally. How about you?

GRANGE: Not to me at all. Because it's prudent to have these withdrawal plans or reinforcement plans which they do have. They're updated constantly. I know they have them. If the conditions are right, they execute them. If not, they don't. It has nothing to do with politics in that regard.

DOBBS: Eight service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan today. The violence is escalating. Just a week and a half after killing al Zarqawi, two of our young soldiers brutally murdered in Iraq. And then we were watching the spectacle of seven U.S. marines and a Navy corpsman charged with murder. Things don't look like they're in very good balance, general.

GRANGE: Well it's a tough situation. This is probably the biggest challenge that commanders, officers and sergeants alike have, is when you have a situation like your own troops charged with murder, and violating the rule of land warfare, and again our people are held to a higher standard than our enemies are, and we have to go through that process, it's very tough for the troops on the ground when they see or hear or are very much involved in their own troops being butchered.

Emotions run high. Revenge is in your blood. And it's a challenge for the commanders. And having seen that before, having soldiers involved in that before is probably the toughest thing you have to do as a leader.

DOBBS: General David Grange as always, good to have you here.

GRANGE: My pleasure.

DOBBS: Still ahead, more of your thoughts and the results of our poll tonight.


DOBBS: The results of our poll tonight, I said it had been that kind of week. Our poll do you believe the American people would be better off if we gave all three branches of the federal government a summer holiday? 84 percent of you seem to think it would be a good idea. I happen to agree with you on this one.

Time now for a look at more of your thoughts. "Lou I worked for the Social Security Administration for many years and I can tell you for a fact that anyone with a good laser copier can reproduce or create new Social Security cards. But here's the kicker. According to the Social Security administration regulations you cannot laminate your card in any manner. Could we possibly make it any easier for counterfeiters?" Apparently not.

And Dixie in California, "I was very disappointed in your criticism of public education. America cannot expect the schools to solve the problems in our society. Many of the students who enter our schools lack motivation, discipline and quite frankly ability. We act as though every child is of high intelligence and the schools simply don't educate them. Get real. The schools are overwhelmed and are doing a remarkable job, considering the handicaps they face."

I take your point, but we're not doing nearly enough and those students have for more talent and we need to get far more resource and energy to educating in our public schools, our important young people.

Dorothy in Tennessee, "Lou, it really makes me ill to see how passive the American people are. If the people don't do something soon about this nonsense, it is over for us."

And Sandra in New Jersey, "Come on Lou, merge the U.S., Mexico and Canada! This is a joke, right? Is it April Fools Day or are all the fools holding political office?" Closer to the facts.

Jim in Wisconsin, "Lou, so now the solution to illegal immigration and border security is to erase our borders? What is next?"

Dan in Texas, "Would we need to print the ballots in French as well as Spanish?"

And Carolyn in Texas, "Dear Lou, I would love to vote on this agreement between countries, but are we going to use machines by Diebold or can we have paper ballots?"

Send us your thoughts at We thank you for being here tonight. Please join us tomorrow. For all of us here, thanks for watching. Good night from New York, "THE SITUATION ROOM" begins right now with John King, John?


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