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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT
Amnesty Agenda: Bush Sells Plan on Border; Broken Borders; Battle for Iraq: 10 Troops Killed
Aired April 9, 2007 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU DOBBS, HOST: Tonight, President Bush makes a new effort to sell his so-called comprehensive immigration reform plan. The president, yes, he's at it again, insisting that plan isn't amnesty.
We'll have complete coverage for you.
Also tonight, Iran ignores the latest United Nations sanctions, says it is now a nuclear nation. How close is Iran to manufacturing a nuclear weapon?
We'll have that special report.
And Don Imus facing a barrage of criticism for his offensive remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team. Imus has apologized. His critics say that isn't enough.
We'll examine racism and sexism in this country.
We'll have all of the day's news and much more straight ahead here tonight.
ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT, news, debate and opinion for Monday, April 9th.
Live in New York, Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: Good evening, everybody.
President Bush today said the United States has strength and security along our southern border with Mexico. The president also declared that it is now time for Congress to pass what he calls comprehensive immigration reform. Opponents say his plan will simply give amnesty to as many as 20 million illegal aliens.
Meanwhile, a rising number of our troops are being killed in the battle for Baghdad. Insurgents killed at least 10 of our troops in Baghdad and surrounding areas over the past weekend.
Ed Henry tonight reports on the president's determination to push through his amnesty agenda.
Casey Wian reports on the gaping holes that remain in border security with Mexico.
Michael Ware tonight reports from Baghdad on the rising military challenges facing our troops. We turn first to Ed Henry -- Ed.
ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Lou, it was back to the future for the president, returning to Arizona to inspect the new border fence to show he's cracking down on illegal aliens. But it's also clear that Mr. Bush is straddling a political fence, as well.
HENRY (voice over): Eleven months after touring the border in Yuma, Arizona, the president found himself in the same spot, literally and figuratively.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We need a comprehensive bill, and that's what I'm working with members of Congress on, a comprehensive immigration bill. And now is the year to get it done.
HENRY: Echoes from last year.
BUSH: And I'm looking forward to working with the United States Congress to get something done.
HENRY: But since last May, the president has gained little if any ground for his plan to tighten border security, plus provide a temporary worker program for the 12 million illegal immigrants already here. When it comes to putting illegal immigrants on a path to U.S. citizenship, conservative outrage is still smoldering.
REP. DUNCAN HUNTER (R-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In the Republican Party, the idea of creating new benefits, which will cause a rush for the border, while you have this very porous 2,000-mile border, has no enthusiasm.
HENRY: That's why the president said he came back to Yuma to highlight progress in apprehensions, thanks to this massive pile driver helping to build a new border fence and stadium lights to catch illegals at night.
BUSH: We're saying we're going to make it harder for you, so don't try in the first place.
HENRY: Ironically, the president's plan has a better chance of passing in a Democratic Congress. But CNN has obtained a copy of a PowerPoint presentation the White House is using privately to sell its plan, with details that are nonstarters for Democrats, like a provision hitting illegal immigrants with a $2,000 fine and $1,500 processing fee to obtain visas to stay in the country.
Democrats say that's too expensive for temporary workers, but the White House PowerPoint says, "Large penalties are important to putting sneak entry at a disadvantage to legal entry. Penalties are the difference between amnesty and restitution."
(END VIDEOTAPE) HENRY: The president is insisting he's not for amnesty so he can try to move to the right, but that only endangers support on the left, which is why the odds of actually getting any reforms signed into law are long -- Lou.
DOBBS: Ed Henry reporting from Yuma.
Whatever the chances for passage of the president's so-called comprehensive immigration plan, the divide between those who favor strict border security and amnesty for aliens appears to be widening.
Casey Wian has our report.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and Gentlemen, he's back.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Back to Yuma, Arizona, where President Bush last year first unveiled his plan to deploy the National Guard to the border.
BUSH: This border should be open to trade and lawful immigration and shut down to criminals and drug dealers and terrorists and coyotes and smugglers.
WIAN: Six thousand National Guard troops have helped. The Border Patrol says apprehensions of illegal aliens are down 30 percent this year. But Border Patrol agents say for every illegal border crosser they catch, two or three still escape. So, at the current rate, between 1.5 and two million people will cross the U.S. southern border illegally this year, and between 12 to 20 million are already living here illegally, straining schools and hospitals and driving down wages.
The president's latest plan would allow them to stay indefinitely if they pay $3,500 in fines and fees every three years.
BUSH: We've got to resolve the status of millions of illegal immigrants already here in the country. People who entered our country illegally should not be given amnesty. Amnesty is the forgiveness of an offense without penalty. I oppose amnesty.
WIAN: President Bush also wants a temporary worker program that would not take effect until several conditions are met, including a beefed-up Border Patrol, more fencing and new requirements for workplace identification. Border security activists say it's not nearly enough.
T.J. BONNER, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL BORDER PATROL COUNCIL: The president's plan, pure and simple, is a repeat of the mistakes of 1986. It claims to crack down on the work site, yet there's no teeth in it. And it would give away legal status to 12 to 20 million people.
WIAN: Meanwhile, more than 10,000 amnesty advocates marched in Los Angeles over the weekend saying the president's plan is too harsh. They want resident alien or green cards for all illegal aliens.
WIAN: President Bush says 6,000 additional Border Patrol agents will be hired by the end of next year, but clearly those positions will be difficult to fill. So the president made a personal plea today urging Americans to consider a career with the Border Patrol -- Lou.
DOBBS: Casey, thank you very much.
Yuma County sheriff Ralph Ogden, with the president today, listening to his remarks. He's been on the front lines of the fight against illegal immigration and drug trafficking for years. He will be joining us here later in the broadcast.
And as the president focused on the illegal immigration crisis, insurgents in Iraq stepped up their attacks on our troops. The number of our troops killed in the Baghdad area has increased sharply since U.S. reinforcements began to arrive back in February.
Michael Ware now reports from the Iraqi capital -- Michael.
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, it's been a tumultuous three days here in Iraq politically and militarily. Over this Easter weekend, 10 U.S. service personnel were killed in five separate attacks involving roadside explosions, small arms fire, and indirect fire from mortars or rockets.
At the same time, we have seen violence spreading out of the capital, Baghdad, as there's been an assault on the rebel stronghold of anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in a city just south of the capital. At the same time, we see the same anti-American cleric calling for mass demonstrations to mark the fourth anniversary of the war and to oppose U.S. forces. And that's precisely what we saw today, as what Iraqi police officials in the holy city of Najaf said were tens of thousands of his supporters taking to those streets.
This is very much an attempt by Muqtada al-Sadr, who has been virtually in hiding for the past seven weeks, firmly replanting himself back on the.political scene -- Lou.
DOBBS: Michael Ware from Baghdad.
In addition to our 10 troops killed over the weekend, the military now says three more of our troops were killed Friday.
Thirty-two of our troops have been killed so far this month in Iraq, 3,281 killed since the war began. 24,476 of our troops wounded, 10,931 of them seriously. As more American reinforcements arrive in Iraq, the Pentagon is considering extending the tour of duty of up to 15,000 of our troops already in Iraq. The four-month-long extension, if approved by the Pentagon, would affect five Army combat brigades.
A new challenge to this country and the rest of the world from Iran. The Iranian president today said Iran has begun producing nuclear fuel on what he termed an industrial scale. Some experts say Iran could be capable of manufacturing a nuclear weapon in as little as a year.
Richard Roth has our report.
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SR. U.N. CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In a show of global defiance, Iran's president announced significant technical gains that, if true, could put his country farther along the road to a nuclear weapon.
MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Iran has succeeded in the nuclear fuel cycle development to attain production at an industrial level.
ROTH: Assessments vary, but if Iran has now produced industrial- scale nuclear fuel, a nuclear bomb could be as little as two years away. Two rounds of U.N. Security Council sanctions on Iran have not stopped Iran's nuclear ambitions.
MEIR JAVEDANFAR, MIDDLE EAST ANALYST: Ahmadinejad is telling them, look, you guys are installing sanctions on us. We're still continuing forward. Obviously, the sanctions up until now have not worked.
ROTH: Iran says it's pursuing nuclear fuel for peaceful sources of power. The U.S. and major Security Council countries don't trust Tehran after years of concealment of uranium enrichment. The White House said it was very concerned about the Iranian leader's remarks, and called the failure to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency unacceptable.
SEAN MCCORMACK, STATE DEPT. SPOKESMAN: Well, it's another missed opportunity from the Iranians. They've had numerous opportunities over the past months to take up the offer that's been extended to them of negotiations.
ROTH: The speech comes just days after the Iranian president handed over British sailors held prisoner.
DANIELLE PLETKA, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INST.: The Iranians have tested us, they've found us wanting, and they're going to move forward based on those tests. That's something we all need to be aware of.
ROTH: Another analyst said the world should not jump after every Iranian scary speech. This centrifuge system, Lou, is prone to breakdowns. It's shaky. A lot more has to be done before any weapon is developed. But obviously, a diplomatic showdown continues to loom.
DOBBS: Well, what is demonstrably shaky here is the ability of the United Nations to effect its will on Iran. Any prognosis there?
ROTH: I would say pain, which is from the "Rocky III" movie, but it's really patience that may go nowhere. There was an Iranian Revolutionary Guard general who was put on a Security Council resolution a couple of weeks ago, a watch list. He still flew to Moscow, and the Russians said fine and he went back to Tehran.
It's a voluntary watch list, but they didn't feel it was worthy to detain him despite the sanctions.
DOBBS: Richard Roth, thank you very much.
Still ahead here, our criminal justice system appears to be near the breaking point. Millions of arrest warrants may be unserved all across the nation. Millions.
We'll have that special report for you.
Also, imported food flooding into this country as never before. And you won't believe how little of that food is being examined by the FDA and food safety inspectors.
And Don Imus apologizes for his offensive remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team. That apology not accepted.
We'll be examining racism and sexism in this country.
Stay with us. We'll be right back.
DOBBS: The United States today taking action on unfair trade practices by communist China. The United States filing two complaints with the World Trade Organization. One case aimed at putting a stop to the piracy of music, books and movies and computer software. The second case challenges China's barriers to the legitimate sale of U.S.-produced movies, music and books.
The Bush administration has been under increasing political pressure to act on China's restrictive trade policies. If for no other reason, then to at least build a favorable condition for its requests for an extension of trade promotion authority or fast track authority, which seems to be at risk now in Congress.
The current pet food crisis has exposed a serious flaw in our food safety efforts. Not just for pets, but for people as well.
As Bill Tucker now reports, the federal government is inspecting less than one percent of all the food that we import.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): President Bush likes to emphasize the faith-based nature of his administration. Food safety is one of those areas. Over the past decade, our food imports have doubled, our food inspections have not kept pace.
WINONA HAUTER, FOOD AND WATER WATCH: Look at seafood. We import 81 percent of the seafood into this country. And the FDA inspects about one percent of it. When you look at the actual real tests where they're sending something to a laboratory, a sample, that's about six- tenths of one percent.
TUCKER: Less than one percent of our total food imports are inspected by the Food and Drug Administration. Yet, one-fifth of the food we eat comes from somewhere over than an American farm.
MICHAEL DOYLE, UNIV. OF GEORGIA CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY: Our Food and Drug Administration, which is responsible for about 80 percent of the foods that we consume, does not have all the inspectors and personnel that's needed to provide us the safest foods that we are accustomed to.
TUCKER: The FDA has 600 inspections for 65,000 facilities. While the FDA managed about a one percent inspection rate, the U.S. Department of Agriculture managed only slightly better at 16 percent last year. Critics say it isn't hard to understand why imports are so rapidly increasing.
TOM BUIS, NATIONAL FARMERS UNION: A lot of the countries that we import our food from pay their workers a fraction of what we pay in the United States. Their environmental standards in which they produce to protect the air, water and soil are far less than the water required for U.S. producers.
TUCKER: They are cheaper and earn the importing companies higher profits.
TUCKER: And while big ag companies are bringing in more imports, they're also fighting country of origin labeling. Despite Congress passing the law in 2002, those labels are still not mandatory. Corporations would rather consumers just see the USDA-inspected sticker, Lou, and let them have faith that it's been inspected and believe that it's from a farm in the USA.
DOBBS: And in 99 percent of the cases, that's absolutely not true.
DOBBS: Bill, thank you very much.
Turning now to the toxic wheat gluten imported from China that killed dozens of pets in this country, Senator Dick Durbin will hold hearings on the pet food recall this Thursday. Witnesses will include veterinarians from the FDA, and private practice as well. Also, representatives from the Feed Control Officers Association and the pet food supply industry.
Understandably, millions of you are extremely concerned about the safety of the food you're feeding your animals. For a complete list of pet food that manufacturers have assured us on this broadcast that is safe, please go to loudobbs.com. You'll find a list there.
The Pennsylvania State court's new computer system has revealed an astonishing fact. The state has nearly 1.5 million outstanding arrest warrants, some for crimes as serious as murder.
And as Kitty Pilgrim now reports, many other states simply have no idea how many of their warrants are outstanding.
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Pennsylvania installed a multimillion-dollar computer system to track arrest warrants and found 1.4 million arrest warrants outstanding. Nationally, there is no accurate count of how many arrest warrants are unserved.
FBI statistics only list 1.3 million outstanding warrants in the whole country. That's because there is no requirement for any state to report outstanding warrants to the FBI. It's voluntary.
The U.S. Marshal Service says states don't report all warrants, and they were called in to track down 137,000 warrants last year. Some states like New Jersey, Kentucky, Iowa, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina have statewide computer bases. Mississippi, Minnesota and Indiana are in the process of upgrading theirs.
But some large states such as Florida and Texas have no comprehensive computer system. And experts say California is many years away from a statewide system.
Some outstanding arrest warrants are for minor crimes such as low-level traffic violations, and states are too overburdened to follow them up.
MARTIN PINALES, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS: And that just shows that law enforcement is giving out a lot of tickets, a lot of warrants that they don't care to know act on. And therefore, they're just being stacked up in the system.
PILGRIM: But other outstanding warrants are for violent crimes like homicide, robbery or sexual offenses. Even these don't have to be reported to federal authorities. Most states only report felonies to the national law enforcement agencies.
PILGRIM: Now, the FBI says their criminal information center computer really is a service to other agencies. It's not a comprehensive national reporting system. So the national statistics are vague, and it's clear that many of the states have no clear idea either, just how many arrest warrants are outstanding.
Lou, shocking stuff.
DOBBS: Shocking, but, you know, at the same time, just another demonstration that government is just basically not working in this -- in this country. The state of Pennsylvania, it turns out, has some reason to be proud of 1.4 million outstanding warrants. At least they know.
The idea that the FBI would even put its signature below a report on outstanding warrants without having accurate data is an absurdity.
PILGRIM: Yes, they say they're really not the ultimate source on this.
DOBBS: Does anybody have an estimate as to how many of these outstanding warrants are for felonies and how many are for misdemeanors?
PILGRIM: A good many of them are for minor violations, but...
DOBBS: Is it that specific?
PILGRIM: ... you know, it's not...
DOBBS: Does anybody know what the percentage is?
PILGRIM: No, actually not.
DOBBS: OK. Thank you, Kitty. Appreciate it.
Coming up here next, Mexico's bloody drug wars are escalating. We'll have a report on what is outright carnage in Mexico. A result of that country's illegal drug trade and the clash of the drug cartels in that country.
Radio talk show host Don Imus under fire for his racially offensive remarks. Should he lose his job? We'll be talking about that controversy here later.
And a great deal more straight ahead.
Stay with us. We'll be right back.
DOBBS: Deadly drug violence is rising in Mexico. Since March, hundreds of people have been killed in that violence. Many of those people with ties to Mexico's lucrative drug trade.
As Christine Romans now reports, the violence is becoming increasingly more brutal. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This television journalist, Amado Ramirez (ph), gunned down on Good Friday, killed a block from Acapulco's main plaza. Watchdog group Reporters Without Borders demanded the Mexican federal government investigate the murder and condemned the rampant violence throughout Mexico.
LUCIE MORILLON, REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS: The violence is affecting Mexican citizens, affecting judges, affecting journalists, affecting a lot of people. Not only people only involved in drug trafficking.
ROMANS: There is a bloody war for turf by half a dozen cartels. They're battling for lucrative smuggling routes into the United States and their slice of America's $65 billion dollar a year drug market.
Violence spreading after the Mexican government declared war on the cartels. And in an unprecedented move, extradited drug kingpins to the United States.
President Felipe Calderon sending some 30,000 federal troops and law officers into at least nine states. The cartels sending a message of their own.
GEORGE GRAYSON, COLLEGE OF WILLIAM AND MARY: The blood is flowing. And these are clearly cartel-type killings because they involve decapitations, castrations, and more recently, notes have been left on bodies after an ice pick has been driven through someone's skull.
ROMANS: He estimates 527 drug murders so far this year, after more than 2,000 drug executions last year. The State Department notes a "rising level of brutal violence in areas of Mexico..." and "execution-style murders of Mexican and U.S. citizens..."
ROMANS: A DEA spokesman says they are watching the rise in violence, but applauded the Calderon administration's extradition of those cartel leaders to the United States. Four cartels straddle the Southwest border with the U.S. Violence there has been persistent, DEA says, for some two decades now -- Lou.
DOBBS: It's extraordinary. And many Americans simply oblivious of what is happening, particularly in northern Mexico.
The United States still has, the State Department still has a travel warning for Americans in that part of the country. But we've got to give, as I have done before, with the outset of the Calderon administration, he's already done more to attack the drug cartel violence and the drug trade in Mexico than Vicente Fox in five years.
Thank you very much. Thank you.
Christine Romans. Turning now to the subject of our poll.
Do you believe that President Bush's priority is to establish border and port security during his term in office, the remaining years, or pass a guest worker program and amnesty for millions of illegal aliens living in this country?
We'd like to hear from you. Please cast your vote at loudobbs.com. We'll have the results upcoming in the broadcast here later.
Next, President Bush says security along our southern border is much better. Is he right? We'll be joined by Yuma County Sheriff Ralph Ogden, who was on the border with the president earlier today. He joins us here.
President Bush's own party deeply divided on the issue of illegal immigration. Can the president win over skeptical Republicans?
We'll have that report.
And don Imus apologizes for his offensive comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team. Is that enough?
We'll be talking about that with Reverend Jesse Jackson; author, radio talk show host, Michael Eric Dyson; and the president of the National Organization for Women, Kim Gandy.
They'll be with us here next. Stay with us.
DOBBS: Radio host Don Imus under fire for controversial comments he made last week about the Rutgers University women's basketball team. The comment and others made during his show have offended many in this country, especially those in the African-American community and women.
Don Imus has apologized, but the outrage and controversy continues. His comments have stirred great debate about racism and sexism in this country.
And joining me now with their views from Chicago, Reverend Jesse Jackson, civil rights activist, the founder and president of Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. Jesse, good to have you with us.
From Philadelphia, author and nationally syndicated radio host Michael Eric Dyson. Michael, thank you for joining us. Mr. Dyson, the author of the book, "Debating Race".
And from Washington tonight, Kim Gandy. She's the president of the National Organization for Women.
Kim, good to have here, as well.
KIM GANDY, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN: Glad to be here with you, Lou.
DOBBS: Jesse Jackson, you have called for Don Imus to resign for his -- his comments. Why do you think that is in order?
REV. JESSE JACKSON, FOUNDER/PRESIDENT, RAINBOW/PUSH COALITION: Lou, his apology does not correspond to the depth of the infraction. Besides, he has done mea culpa under pressure before, so this really is repetition.
To have on the show a conversation, not a slip of the lip, call these girls hard-core hos and then nappy-headed hos and then say no, they look like the Toronto Raptors. No, they look like the Memphis Grizzlies.
I mean, to kind of animalize them, much like they did referring to Venus and Serena Williams that day. They should not be "Playboy". They should be in "National Geographic".
Or suggesting Hillary Clinton suggesting that she spoke in Selma that maybe next she'll have on front rollers (ph) and gold teeth and giving a Cripps sign.
So we see here a repetition and a pattern that suggests that the NBC and CBS radio must now make a big decision about the character of their on-air personalities.
DOBBS: Michael Eric Dyson, what's your view?
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, SYNDICATED RADIO HOST: I think Reverend Jackson has brilliantly stated it. The first thing is that Mr. Imus certainly now issues, as Reverend Jackson said, this mea culpa. But the reality is that it takes more than an apology to make good. First you say you're sorry. Then you behave it. Then you act it, you behave it.
If he said it in the past, that he was sorry, and now he's done this again, obviously, there's a deeper shock treatment that is necessary to bring him back to consciousness, that this is not the kind of thing that we should tolerate in America.
We know that we don't want to stigmatize him as if he the only person to express such reprehensible beliefs. But the reality is, he is a very visible, vocal person with a bully pulpit that allows him to shake the perceptions of others. And I think he has to be severely remonstrated with and certainly punished.
DOBBS: And fired? Is that your call?
DOBBS: Kim, your thoughts.
GANDY: Well, I'm not used to such a chorus of agreement. And clearly, I agree with what Reverend Jackson has said and Professor Dyson. There's no question that this was so wrong on so many levels: racist, sexist, misogynistic, just unbelievable that the No. 2 team in the country, women's collegiate basketball team, is -- is denigrated this way on a sports radio station that has a broad viewership and listenership. It's just wrong, and this station, these stations should not be profiting from hate.
DOBBS: Profiting from hate. Let's turn to -- Imus appeared on Al Sharpton's program today to discuss the controversy over his comments. And this was one exchange, if we could roll that for everybody to hear.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST/RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: What is any possible reason you could feel that this kind of statement could be just forgiven and overlooked?
DON IMUS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I don't think it should be. I don't think it can be. I think it can be forgiven, but I don't think it can be overlooked.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: Jesse, can it be forgiven?
JACKSON: Yes, forgiveness is a process. If you rob someone, you can be forgiven if you serve your time for the punishment, and then you are, in fact, redeemed in time.
So what separates the superficiality of "forgive me" under pressure has been a profound shift in behavior. And again, what we're saying, and that show constantly is that -- the kind of -- and it's not a shock jock show, Lou. This is a -- Tim Russert is on this show often. Harold Ford, Senator Lieberman, this is a two-hour political show on every day.
DOBBS: You and I have been on that show. You and I have been on that show.
JACKSON: No, you have been on. I have not been.
DOBBS: You have not been? I'm surprised.
JACKSON: No. But -- well, don't be surprised. That's the part -- again, you know, and I think it's not just that Imus should go, but there is no black host of an MSNBC show. So there is no balance.
There is no -- when we talk with NBC officials, hopefully Thursday, we're going to talk about not just Imus and that little offense and talk maybe with -- with some sponsors, but also why is there not a single black host of a show on MSNBC?
DOBBS: Michael, your thoughts?
DYSON: I think this is a part of a larger network of belief and association. Now we're not suggesting that racism, sexism, misogyny and the like can be quarantined to Mr. Imus's show. But I think Reverend Jackson's point is exactly right. To say I'm sorry without facing the fire nearly of what he has instigated would be to essentially rap him on the back of the knuckles without saying, "Look, Mr. Imus, what you did is indicative of a deep and virulent pathology that needs to be removed."
And the reality is, these kinds of thoughts and behaviors have to be at least isolated, talked about and dealt with. We don't hate him. Certainly, we should forgive him.
But at the same time as we forgive him, we should also, I think, mete out the correct punishment. And MSNBC and others who perpetuate that legacy of ignorance should be held accountable, as well.
GANDY: The other thing that needs to be said about the apology is that it wasn't much of an apology. He didn't say actually he was wrong. What he said was he was insensitive and thoughtless.
In other words, "Well, of course, it's all true. I just shouldn't have said it on the air." It wasn't much of an apology. And we've had, as of a few hours ago, over 10,000 of our members have already gone to our web site and told CBS Radio and WFAN and MSNBC what they thought about it.
DOBBS: And let's put Don Imus in some context. You said he was no longer just a shock jock. But the truth is, he is a shock jock by heritage and by disposition. He is irreverent with just about every political figure that I can think of and every celebrity I can think of.
JACKSON: That's not so.
DOBBS: I'm sorry?
JACKSON: That's less so.
DOBBS: That's what I was just about to say, Jesse, is that doesn't really explain what he was doing here. Because typically, Don speaks irreverently to powerful people.
In this instance, and I'm just curious what you think about this, he has -- he's offended the Rutgers women's basketball team.
JACKSON: Well, he's not -- he's not irreverent...
DOBBS: And hurtfully. Ignorantly. This has to really begin first with him.
JACKSON: He's not irreverent towards Tim Russert.
DOBBS: I'm sorry?
JACKSON: He's not irreverent toward Joe Lieberman. He's not irreverent towards Harold Ford. He irreverent towards those he chooses to call out. But the idea of this pattern, the statements about. And even today he said he didn't want Hillary Clinton on his show. A political statement, you know. It's a very political show.
And then the guest he had on, all those guys on the show today, this show has a political following. There must be a standard. And the burden is not shall we forgive or not. It's just what will MSNBC do? What will CBS do? What standard do they hold?
DYSON: Yes. That's absolutely right. And the thing is again, not to scapegoat Mr. Imus as if, if we remove him and his voice is longer heard, that these viewpoints won't be vocalized.
The reality is he has to confront that fire in MSNBC and everybody else who is benefiting and certainly being advantaged by this has to be held accountable, as well.
DOBBS: Michael, this -- this is unusual in that he -- he attacked a women's basketball team at Rutgers during the national finals.
DOBBS: Doesn't whatever process that moves forward have to begin first and foremost with them?
DYSON: There's no question that he has to -- you know, and I heard that he's attempting to reach out to them. But the reality is that what he said about those particular black women is symbolic and representative. Those black women represent women who work at MSNBC, who work at CNN. Black women in corporate America who have, quote, "nappy hair", who wear their hair in a way that is alternative to the mainstream, straightened hair.
So the reality is that nappy hair is as equally lethal as the so- called host statement. Because it's signifying upon the choices that black women make aesthetically and what they look like. That's the deepness of the harm. And all of us have to confront that in every circle in America.
DOBBS: I couldn't agree with you more on that, in America. And I'd like for you all to get to this issue.
The idea -- and Imus himself raised it during his discussions with Reverend Al Sharpton today. The idea that we are watching this gangster rap, hip-hop in this country, the language that is being used, offensive to women, offensive, I think, to darn near everybody that I can imagine.
Why would we not as a country come together over this? We're not going to tolerate this kind of behavior.
JACKSON: Well, degradation -- the degradation is wrong.
JACKSON: And so is degradation for a profit. We must take the profit out of bigotry, the profit out of pain. That's why in some sense, removing him says that bigotry must no longer be prosperous. It must be expensive.
But are you pure in taking the profit out of pain if you don't go after rap artists who do the same thing?
JACKSON: Well, I think, Lou...
DYSON: Reverend Jackson has certainly been...
DOBBS: Go ahead, Michael.
DYSON: I think that the reality, Reverend Jesse Jackson has led a campaign for a long time against the kind of vicious misogyny that's being expressed in hip-hop music along with Reverend Al Sharpton.
But I'm saying I think it's also important to say. But it's not just hip-hop culture. Hip-hop culture is only 30 years old.
So we have to go after civil rights circles. We have to go through black and white circles. We have to go after American churches and synagogues and temples where women are subjected to second class status and citizenship and are subordinated to men and patriarchy.
We have to go after the news industry. We have to go after the university. America feeds off of the second class citizenship of women across the board. The specific instance of this virulent, pathological expression of negativity toward black women has to be isolated.
And yes, we have to go after hip-hop, as well. But more broadly, this has been sustained in an American culture every day of our lives.
GANDY: And I could not agree more with that. And want to add to that that the more progress women make in society, the more women move up, the more we are in law school and medical school, the more, the higher jobs we have, the more the misogyny increases.
A few years ago, it was the "b" word. Now it's calling women hos. It absolutely is tied, in my opinion, to the advances that women are making. And we cannot allow our young women, our daughters to be called names like this when they go out and do a great job.
DOBBS: It's also, is it not, tied to the celebration of the lowest common denominator in this country. Is it not also glamorizing in our media, whether it be movies, whether it be television, whether it be music, some of the basest actions and words that our society produces?
DYSON: That's only the sharp edge of it, Lou. The reality is behind the scenes, sexism, misogyny and patriarchy are sustained, most especially and most helpfully, in subtle fashion. It's not the calling of the "H" word. At least you know where they're coming from. It's not in hip-hop, where you know I'm calling you a "B" or an "H" because that's explicit. It's the more subtle subordination of women to men's lives that has to be dealt with.
DOBBS: I appreciate the nuance, Michael. But I don't know about you, partner, but I'd sure as heck like to get rid of the blunt instruments.
DYSON: No doubt about it.
JACKSON: But they must go, and the thing, this context is so mainstream today, I've been on TV. Reverend Sharpton knows (ph). But I think the presidential candidates. He took a shot at black women as hos.
There is Senator Obama and there is Senator Clinton, and there is Senator Edwards. This could not be an isolated incident. Those were -- the leaders must lead us beyond racial attacks and pain. The young gender bashing, they too must be a part of making some -- they have a plan to end pain in Iraq. Let's talk about ending pain at home, as well.
GANDY: Well said.
DOBBS: I want to thank you all for being here. I do want to answer you as we wrap this up. We've got -- we're out of time. But does it not give you, each of you, from the standpoint from speaking for women, Kim, speaking for the African-American community. Should there not be uniformity in response to this kind of language? That is, if there be emancipation at all, as Chekhov said, let there be equity in all things?
It seems to me whatever the response is, and we have just received word that MSNBC has suspended Don Imus for two weeks effective Monday. That just came in.
It seems to me that this has to be a response on the part of every human rights organization, every women's organization, every African-American organization -- and I want to hear your thoughts -- to say we're not going to tolerate this in any quarter at any time. And our response will be as virulent and vigorous in each case, including...
GANDY: There's no question. No question about it. In fact, we are all united on this with Rainbow/PUSH, with Reverend Al Sharpton. The national YWCA has now come out on this issue. Many women organizations, the National Council of Women's Organizations, all sending their members to the web site to make a response.
DYSON: Lou, here's the point. It's not only about this or gang gangster rap and the like. It's about the fact -- I'd love to have a ruckus created over a black host of MSNBC. But we don't have one. The reality is, when we get that kind of progress, then we can have that kind of responsibility and accountability. JACKSON: We can't accept a double ethical standard. If a white kills a black, it's riot time. A black kills a white, it's electrocution time. Black kills black, it's Miller time.
We must have an ethical standard that's high enough for all of us. And no one should operate beneath that ethical standard.
DOBBS: I want to thank you all. Kim, thank you very much. Michael, Jesse, thank you...
DYSON: All right.
DOBBS: ... for being here.
Up next, President Bush once again pushing his plan for so-called comprehensive immigration reform. I'll be joined by one border sheriff about what needs to be done to stop illegal immigration and the rising trafficking of illegal drugs across our border with Mexico.
And the leading Democratic presidential candidates agree with the president's amnesty agenda? Where do those Republican presidential candidates stand? That story and more as we continue. Stay with us.
DOBBS: Border Patrol agents and sheriffs have repeatedly called for the federal government to stop the smuggling of illegal aliens into this country, to the stop the smuggling of illegal drugs into this country.
At the forefront of the fight, Yuma County sheriff's office, and the head of that office assist is Sheriff Ralph Ogden. He's also chairman of the Southwestern Border Sheriffs Coalition. He was with the president today.
Sheriff Ogden, great to talk with you. Were you impressed with what the president had to say today?
SHERIFF RALPH OGDEN, YUMA COUNTY, ARIZONA: He had some good things to say. It's exciting to hear people just talking about the subject.
DOBBS: It is. I'm sorry, go ahead.
OGDEN: No, that's fine, sir.
DOBBS: He acknowledged for the first time the tremendous burden of illegal immigration. He acknowledged for the first time that I've ever heard him speaking on the issue, that we had a real crisis that had to be dealt with. Were you encouraged in terms of his discussion about the drug cartels, as well?
OGDEN: Yes, I was. The drug cartels and the human smuggling cartels are basically the same.
DOBBS: There's the same, and they're at war. We just reported 384 deaths in Mexico, gang-related murders, in the last month. Are you seeing also a rise in violence in Yuma County?
OGDEN: Most definitely, along the border, specifically on the Colorado River. We're seeing assaults on officers, homicides, rapes and murders, thefts, this type of thing. It's growing. It's undeniable that the gap is being closed, and they're all coming our way.
DOBBS: They're coming your way. The president made much of the fact that the fence was being constructed. That there was more manpower, that there is, specifically, talking about Border Patrol agents and the fact that the National Guard is there.
Is it is your sense that we will see border security established on our boarder with Mexico to stop the illegal human smuggling, the illegal drug cartels that are smuggling billions of dollars across that border, that we will see significant progress made in the next two to three years?
OGDEN: I think we will. We've seen significant progress in this sector within the last year. We've just got to keep it in the forefront. We've got to keep working at it and keep closing each door so they can't come in.
DOBBS: A 68 percent decline in apprehension of illegal aliens in the Yuma sector. But overall, a 30 percent decline would suggest that a lot of people, as many as a 1.5 million to 2 million people, by the traditional Border Patrol estimates, are entering this country illegally.
What has to be done, in your judgment, to secure the border?
OGDEN: Well, we're working on securing it, of course, through the fences, the vehicle. But also, there's areas, such as one in the river bottom that we're working on clearing areas so that the technology can really get out there and work so that the cameras will work, so that we can see what's going on and stop the people before they can get by us.
DOBBS: When you meet with Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff later this week, Sheriff Ogden, what are you -- what are you going to tell him, what are you going to ask for?
OGDEN: Well, very similar to we're talking about here. But one of the things we need is when we need equipment, when we need moneys for overtime, whatever, we need it now.
And we need to set up some kind of system so that we can pull down that money and get it immediately, versus going through grant programs and the bureaucratic stuff that goes on to get it to us.
DOBBS: Sheriff Ogden, it is always good to talk with you. I look forward to seeing you relatively soon. Sheriff Ralph Ogden, sheriff of Yuma County, Arizona.
OGDEN: Yes, sir. DOBBS: Coming up next, Democratic candidates for president agree on one thing. They agree with President Bush's call for comprehensive immigration reform. How about those Republican candidates? We'll find out here next.
Stay with us. We'll be right back.
DOBBS: President Bush's job approval rating remains at historic lows according to the latest "USA Today"/Gallup poll. Only 38 percent of Americans approve of the president's job performance. But that is an uptick.
A new poll by the Gallup news service found the approval ratings are even worse for the Democratically controlled Congress. According to that poll, only 33 percent of Americans approve of the job the Democratic leadership is doing in both houses of Congress.
Most of the Democratic candidates for president are supporting President Bush's amnesty agenda for illegal aliens. As Bill Schneider now reports, the Republican candidates aren't nearly as united on the issue.
BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): Everybody favors better border security. The issue is what to do about the millions of illegal aliens already in the United States. President Bush favors a path to citizenship.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: People who meet a reasonable number of conditions and pay a penalty of time and money should be able to apply for citizenship.
SCHNEIDER: The Democrats running for president tend to agree with Mr. Bush.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That everybody who lives within those borders has the right to a life that is full of opportunity.
SCHNEIDER: Republican candidates are split down the middle. Five oppose a path to citizenship.
REP. TOM TANCREDO (R-CO), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We're going to make them explain why they have decided that maybe amnesty is a good idea.
SCHNEIDER: Five favor a path to citizenship for at least some illegal aliens.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know of no one who believes you can just round up 12 million people.
SCHNEIDER: The president's party is split, while the opposition party, which tends to agree with the president on this issue, controls Congress. President Bush has to depend on Democrats to deliver for him on an issue he hopes will define his domestic legacy. That irony is not lost on his fellow Republicans.
TANCREDO: I guess -- I guess he could be congratulated for that, for helping change the Congress of the United States from Republican to Democrats so now he can get his immigration bill through.
SCHNEIDER: But you know, Democrats are not going to make it easy for President Bush. House Democratic leaders say they will not pass an immigration bill unless they get at least 70 Republican votes. They want to make sure it's not just Democrats who get attacked by -- for supporting amnesty -- Lou.
DOBBS: For supporting amnesty. The Democrats, what is their strategy here on this issue? The Democratic presidential candidates.
SCHNEIDER: They don't talk about it very much. They are united, but their view is when they talk about it, they get in trouble because the opponents of this bill, the opponents of immigration reform, are very vocal. They're very angry. And the Democrats know that they'll come after them. So they just talk about something else.
DOBBS: The Democrat candidates are all united on the issue, though?
SCHNEIDER: Yes, we checked. The seven Democrats now running for president all support some version of comprehensive immigration reform.
DOBBS: Or amnesty.
SCHNEIDER: Well, that's not what they would call it.
DOBBS: No, they would call it a path to citizenship. Or whatever the president would like them to say for their given week. Bill Schneider, thank you very much, as always.
DOBBS: Coming up at the top of the hour, "THE SITUATION ROOM" with Wolf Blitzer. Wolf is here to tell us what's in store -- Wolf.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Lou.
Did Don Imus go too far? He faces off with the Reverend Al Sharpton. Now there's word of disciplinary action against Imus. Is anyone defending him following those racially charged remarks?
Also, we've learned that thousands of U.S. troops could be in Iraq a lot longer than expected. We're going to have details.
And a backtrack on Iraq. Senator John McCain, he's doing some major damage control after controversial remarks he made right here in "THE SITUATION ROOM". All that coming up in "THE SITUATION ROOM" -- Lou.
DOBBS: Thank you very much, Wolf.
The results of our poll tonight when we return, and we will be right back. Stay with us.
DOBBS: The results of our poll tonight. Eighty-nine percent of you say President Bush's priority is to pass a guest worker program and amnesty for millions of illegal aliens living in this country, rather than border and port security.
It's time now for one of your thoughts, at least Shai in Connecticut saying, "I'm really hurt by the comments Imus made in regards to the mostly African-American basketball team. What did they do to deserve to be called such nasty and racially hurtful names? It's said that our ethnic physical differences are still used to taunt and tease us."
Gary in Montana: "I'm so sick of Bush saying illegal aliens are doing the jobs Americans won't do. Maybe we should be looking for an illegal alien to do the job our president won't do."
And Carl in Wisconsin: "Just a little reminder for the tax paying middle class, to remember to pay their taxes. Millions of illegal aliens are depending on you."
Thank you for being with us. Please join us here tomorrow.
For all of us, we thank you for watching. Good night from New York. "THE SITUATION ROOM" begins now with Wolf Blitzer -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Thanks very much, Lou.
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