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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT

104 U.S. Troops Killed This Month in Iraq; Chaos and Corruption: Iraq Reconstruction Failing; Tenet Under Fire

Aired April 30, 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, the number of our troops being killed in Iraq is rising sharply. This month now one of the deadliest of the entire war. What can be done to protect our troops?
We'll have a special report from Baghdad tonight.

Also, the Supreme Court has handed down a ruling on high-speed police chases that will affect communities across the entire country. How much force can police reasonably use in high-speed chases?

We'll have the story.

And the illegal alien open borders lobby to hold nationwide protests tomorrow pushing amnesty and open borders. The superintendent of California schools telling his students to stay away from the protests for their own safety. Other school districts saying something quite different.

We'll also have a special report for you on one border sheriff's bold efforts to stop illegal immigration, the latest on the alleged call girl scandal in Washington, and much more.

All the day's news straight ahead here tonight.

ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT, news, debate and opinion for Monday, April 30th.

Live from New York, Lou Dobbs.

DOBBS: Good evening, everybody.

The military says 14 more of our troops have been killed in Iraq over the past 72 hours. One hundred four of our troops killed this month, making April the sixth deadliest month of the entire war.

Meanwhile, new evidence tonight of chaos and corruption in our efforts to rebuild Iraq. The special inspector general for Iraq says as many as seven of every eight reconstruction projects may have failed.

Arwa Damon tonight reporting from Baghdad on the rising number of our troops being killed.

Barbara Star reporting from the Pentagon on the huge waste of U.S. taxpayer money on reconstruction in Iraq.

And Kelli Arena reports from Washington on rising criticism of former CIA director George Tenet and his role in the buildup to war.

We turn first to Arwa Damon -- Arwa.

ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, it is nearly impossible to really describe what it is like for U.S. troops fighting in Iraq. One thing for certain, it is a very challenging, difficult, frustrating, and oftentimes deadly atmosphere.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAMON (voice over): There is no sugarcoating the realities of war, from snipers who lay in wait on rooftops...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're talking about...

DAMON: ... to roadside bombs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jesus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go right, go right, go right, go right!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To be honest with you, this tour is a lot worse than the last one or the rest of them.

DAMON: As America increased its forces, drew up new strategies and dusted off old ones, the insurgency morphed itself as well. In the chess game that is the war in Iraq, a strategic switch by the American side is countered by a deadly change in tactics by the other side.

GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS, U.S. COMMANDER, IRAQ: Our achievements have not come without sacrifice. Our increase in operational tempo, location of our forces in the populations they are securing, and conduct of operations in areas where we previously had no presence, as well as the enemy's greater use of certain types of explosive devices, have led to an increase in our losses.

DAMON: This month among the deadliest for U.S. forces, and the deadliest for British troops operating in the south.

As the Baghdad security plan unfolded and caused a ripple effect throughout the country, senior commanders knew more of their men would pay with their lives. A risk deemed worth taking to make sure this plan for Iraq succeeds because, quite simply, there is no plan B.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DAMON: U.S. military commanders say that even the success of this plan is going to take a lot of time. Everyone right now is pretty much acknowledging that the war in Iraq is not going to be won simply with American military might. But both U.S. and Iraqi commanders say that should the Americans prematurely withdraw, Iraq will not stand a chance -- Lou.

DOBBS: Arwa Damon reporting from Baghdad. This month the most deadly for our troops in Iraq since December. As we reported, 104 of our troops have been killed so far in April, 3,351 troops killed since the beginning of the war. 24,912 of our troops wounded, 11,090 of them seriously.

More than 200 Americans have also died in Iraq working on reconstruction projects. But it turns out many of those projects are failures at a huge financial cost to U.S. taxpayers. The special inspector for Iraq blames the failures on poor construction, corruption, and, of course, the ongoing violence.

Barbara Starr reports from the Pentagon.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice over): At the Irbil Maternity and Pediatric Hospital in northern Iraq, the sewer system doesn't work. Medical waste and contaminated water back up into patients' rooms.

Just last year, the U.S. said the hospital was providing first- rate care. Today, it's a $7 million example of a U.S.-financed reconstruction effort gone wrong.

In the latest report from the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, inspectors also found continuing problems providing Iraqis with electricity, clean water and sewage treatment.

FREDERICK BARTON, SR. ADVISER, CSIS: We made bad choices in terms of the large projects, and then we put it all in a very fast timetable thinking that we could get the stuff done and get out of town.

STARR: Congress budgeted some $20 billion to rebuild Iraq. More than 80 percent of it has been spent, and most Iraqis don't feel it's brought them a better life.

The latest report looked at $150 million worth of projects. Its just a snapshot, but most of the projects are no longer in working order.

At Baghdad International Airport, 17 power generators were delivered some 16 months ago. Today, 10 are no longer working. It was a $12 million effort. At a $5 million barracks at the airport for Iraqi special forces, there isn't enough water to flush the toilets.

Barton calculates Iraqis see less than 30 cents on the dollar of reconstruction money turn into real improvements in their daily lives. The insurgency and government corruption in Iraq are partly to blame, but Barton says so is poor U.S. management.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

STARR: Now, Lou, the inspector general's work has already resulted in nearly half a dozen convictions, but there are another 79 cases pending of alleged wrongdoing. Twenty-eight of them currently awaiting Justice Department prosecution, and as the inspector general's office tells us, their work goes on -- Lou.

DOBBS: And did the inspector general lay out names in terms of the general contractors and those in the case of government agencies responsible for the mismanagement in managing these projects?

STARR: Well, what happens, Lou, is if these are criminal cases, they are referred to the Justice Department, and it's not until there's a conviction, of course, or that it goes to trial that generally those names become public. But there are a number of contractors that have been disbarred from bidding on government contracts because of their wrongdoing in Iraq -- Lou.

DOBBS: If not criminal, certainly disgraceful.

Thank you very much.

Barbara Starr from the Pentagon.

The escalating insurgency in Iraq contributing to a large increase in the number of terrorist attacks around the world last year. The State Department reporting the number of terrorist attacks worldwide rose by 25 percent in 2006. The number of people killed rose by 40 percent, to more than 20,000 worldwide. The State Department reporting two-thirds of those fatalities, however, were in Iraq.

Former CIA director George Tenet is facing rising criticism from former CIA officers for his account of events before the war in Iraq. In his new book, Tenet says the Bush administration blames him for the faulty intelligence that was used to justify going to war. But several former CIA officials accuse Tenet of hypocrisy.

Kelli Arena reports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): George Tenet is finding out it's not easy to rewrite your own legacy. Six former CIA officers say he already had a chance to change history, but instead kept his mouth shut.

LARRY JOHNSON, FMR. CIA OFFICER: George Tenet's hands are just as bloody as everybody else in this administration in helping gin up what was an unfounded case for war.

ARENA: Tenet says the White House destroyed his reputation by claiming he told President Bush finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq would be a "slam dunk". Tenet says that's not what he meant, and that the administration was hell bent on going to war regardless of what he said.

He recalls running into Pentagon adviser Richard Perle at the White House just after the 9/11 attacks.

GEORGE TENET, FMR. CIA DIRECTOR: He said to me, "Iraq has to pay a price for what happened yesterday. They bear responsibility." It's September the 12th. I've got the manifest with me that tell me that al Qaeda did this. There's nothing in my head that says that there's any Iraqi involvement in any way, shape or form.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ARENA: Now, Perle reportedly said that he was in France at the time. Tenet says, well, maybe he got the date wrong.

Lou, I don't have to spell it out for you. You get the picture. Washington as usual.

DOBBS: Perhaps Washington as usual. Let's pray that that is not the case.

Kelli, thank you very much.

Kelli Arena from Washington.

Still to come, the alleged D.C. madam sends shock waves through Washington by threatening to release the names of her clients. We'll have that special report.

And rising outrage over U.S. corporations exploiting loopholes in our laws to do business with Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism.

We'll have that story, a great deal more straight ahead.

Stay with us. We're coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: An explosive new development today in the growing scandal over an alleged prostitution ring used by Washington powerbrokers. The woman accused of running that call girl network, Deborah Palfrey, today threatened to release the names of her Washington clients.

Jim Acosta reports now from Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DEBORAH JEANE PALFREY, CRIMINAL DEFENDANT: I would ask the press and the media to put aside the titillation of the who's who's list...

JIM ACOSTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): After a brief appearance in federal court this morning, Deborah Jeane Palfrey took no questions, but she and her attorney left no doubt they remain willing to name names to put a stop to accusations she ran a D.C. prostitution ring.

PALFREY: Both he and I endeavored diligently for five months, from October of last year until early March, to maintain the confidentiality of the client records.

ACOSTA: The growing scandal claimed its first casualty last Friday when a top State Department official, Randall Tobias, resigned after disclosing he was one of Palfrey's clients. Tobias, a proponent of abstinence-based AIDS education, told ABC News he had only received massages, not sex, from her service. Palfrey wishes Tobias had come forward sooner.

PALFREY: Had he done so earlier, along with the many, many others who have used my company's services throughout the years, I most likely would not be in my current predicament.

ACOSTA: Palfrey's lawyer says he's already been approached by five attorneys wondering whether their clients should be expecting subpoenas.

MONTGOMERY BLAIR SIBLEY, ATTORNEY: When they are served with a subpoena to appear and testify under oath, we expect them to tell the truth.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ACOSTA: And White House press secretary Tony Snow was asked today about the scandal and the resignation of a top administration official. Snow said the president was saddened to hear the news but agreed that Randall Tobias was right to step down -- Lou.

DOBBS: Jim, thank you very much.

Jim Acosta from Washington.

Time now to look at some of your thoughts.

Anthony in Missouri wrote in to say, "Thanks for being a voice against illegal immigration. I'm a black male, and I feel if there were millions of blacks coming into America illegally, the federal government would be shipping them back on cruise ships."

Deborah in California said, "I'm sick of turning on my television and watching the illegal immigrants demand legal status. Why don't they take this energy and demand better lives standards in their own countries?"

And Don in Missouri, "Well, here we go again. Illegal aliens demonstrating in the United States. I say let them take their children and go back to their own country and put on a demonstration for their leaders."

More of your thoughts are coming up later.

President Bush today said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be polite, but firm, as he put it, if she runs into Iran's foreign minister this week. Secretary Rice and her Iranian counterpart will be attending a regional conference on the issue of Iraq. That conference being held in Egypt. There is speculation that they will meet.

The United States accuses Iran, of course, of helping the insurgents in Iraq kill our troops, and supporting radical Islamist terrorism around the world. On Capitol Hill today, senators demanded the immediate closure of a legal loophole that allows U.S. corporations to do business with Iran. That loophole has enabled American companies to make profits from their Iranian businesses even as those corporations claim to be patriotic and to be following the law.

Lisa Sylvester reports from Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Since 1995, U.S. companies have been barred from doing business with Iran. But U.S. subsidiaries are allowed to trade with the country, even though it's a state sponsor of terrorism. Legislation has been introduced in Congress to close that loophole.

SEN. BYRON DORGAN (D), NORTH CAROLINA: It is striking to me that we have a law which would allow a U.S. company through a foreign subsidiary to do business with a prohibited country. Why on earth would we allow that?

SYLVESTER: Senators accuse the companies of putting profits over patriotism. Halliburton, General Electric and ConocoPhillips are among the American firms that until recently had business dealings in Iran. A spokeswoman for Halliburton told a Senate panel the company did not break the law because the subsidiary, Halliburton Products and Services, was independence of the parent company.

SHERRY WILLIAMS, HALLIBURTON: None of the HPSL managers, none of the board of directors, and none of the work for HPSL took place from that location.

SYLVESTER: But that was disputed by Senator Frank Lautenberg, who referred to company phone and fax records.

SEN. FRANK LAUTENBERG (D), NEW JERSEY: Halliburton Products and Services did at some point work out of that building?

WILLIAMS: Senator, I'm not sure about that answer, but I'd be happy to provide it later.

LAUTENBERG: I would appreciate it, because it directly contradicts your statement.

SYLVESTER: The Justice Department has launched its own investigation into Halliburton's activities. Angry shareholders are already responding. New York City's police and firefighters threatened to drop Halliburton's stock from their pension plan unless the company quit doing business in Iran.

WILLIAM THOMPSON, NEW YORK CITY COMPTROLLER: It's clear that those subsidiaries, whether they are independent or not -- and in all too and in all too many cases, they aren't really independent -- should not be doing business in those countries. It is as simple as that.

SYLVESTER: The pressure is working. Halliburton, ConocoPhillips and General Electric have all agreed to pull operations from Iran.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SYLVESTER: But the senators are not convinced that these or other corporations will continue to be good corporate citizens and not do business in the future with rogue nations, including Iran, Sudan and North Korea. And that's why, Lou, they are still pushing for this legislation -- Lou.

DOBBS: Thank you very much. It's remarkable that someone would look beyond the spirit of that law to create a contrivance, if you will, so that they could do business with a country that is sponsoring terrorism around the world.

Thank you very much.

Lisa Sylvester from Washington.

We would like to hear your opinion on this issue, as well.

In our poll question tonight, we ask: Do you believe subsidiaries of U.S. companies that do business was Iran violate the spirit of the law banning companies from doing business with Iran?

Cast your vote at loudobbs.com. Those results will be coming up here later.

Up next, communist China's unfair trade practices now driving up the prices of some things you buy. So why isn't the Bush administration doing something about it? Why? Why?

We'll try to find out.

And thousands upon thousands of illegal alien amnesty supporters will be demonstrating all around the country tomorrow. But some students in California are being told to stay in school. Will they? And what are other students being told? And why? Why?

We'll have that special report and more.

Stay with us. We're coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Firefighters in the state of Georgia say they've contained just about 70 percent of a massive wildfire in the southeastern part of the state. That Georgia wildfire in Ware County, the largest in Georgia's history, it's been burning for the past two weeks. The fire has destroyed more than 82,000 acres of forest and swampland.

A separate fire in Atkinson County in Georgia has charred another 3,500 acres. It's about 30 percent contained tonight.

Turning now to communist China's unfair trade practices, or free trade, if you prefer. Those practices are, in fact, driving up prices in a number of U.S. commodities and final products. And that, of course, means not lower but higher prices for American consumers.

Some U.S. companies have responded, filing antitrust lawsuits against China. But as Kitty Pilgrim reports, the Bush administration is doing absolutely nothing about it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Cheap Chinese products. Until now, the U.S. consumer has paid less and less for products made with cheap labor in China. But now, a handful of U.S. lawsuits claim Chinese producers have cornered the market, raising prices on a handful of basic commodities -- Vitamin C, pain reliever acetaminophen, saccharin, bauxite, rayon and magnesite, a mineral used in steel production.

HAMILTON LOEB, ATTORNEY FOR U.S. PRODUCERS: The trade associations, the industry groups in China, have served as a means for the Chinese companies to get together and exchange information about who's charging what and trying to keep prices up for product.

PILGRIM: The most glaring example of Chinese cartel action, Vitamin C. The U.S. buys $100 million worth from China, but U.S. antitrust lawsuits claim Chinese producers raised prices from $2.80 to $10 a kilogram. And nothing has been done.

WILLIAM ISAACSON, ATTORNEY FOR U.S. PRODUCERS: The Bush administration, like every other administration, takes great pride in busting cartels. And yet, here there are these cartels in China that they fully know about, and where there's no -- no discussion of them doing anything.

PILGRIM: China dominates the world for a certain type of bauxite used for steel, glass and cement. The Chinese share of bauxite has grown to 75 percent of U.S. imports. Antitrust lawsuits charge prices went from $85 to $116 after China took control.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PILGRIM: Now, the Justice Department today said it had no information on any of these antitrust cases. U.S. firms say antitrust charges have been aggressively pursued against other countries, many foreign producers having to pay damages. And they question why communist China is allowed to pursue such illegal trade activity with no apparent consequences -- Lou.

DOBBS: I think the subtext here is we all know why. This administration is only putting on show maneuvers right now, trying to win Fast Track Authority extension from this Democratically-led Congress.

We're going to find out whether the Democratic -- the Democratic Party is just -- is going to be representing working men and women, the middle class in this country, or whether, in fact, they're just another wing of the same bird.

Thank you very much. Kitty Pilgrim.

Coming up next, the illegal alien lobby holds nationwide protests tomorrow to push amnesty and open borders agenda. How many folks will show up? In particular, how many public school students?

We'll have a special report.

And one border sheriff doing the job that the federal government simply won't do, securing our borders.

Christine Romans will have that story for us -- Christine.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio is known for being tough on crime. So tough, he puts inmates to serve out their sentences to ease overcrowding out here in the desert. He makes no apologies for that or for being very tough on illegal immigration -- Lou.

DOBBS: We'll be coming back to Christine Romans for that report from Phoenix, Arizona.

And how much more should police use in high-speed car chases? The Supreme Court today hands down a ruling that will affect the entire country. And believe it or not, some people are calling the ruling controversial.

I don't think so.

We'll have a report and a great deal more up next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: One Arizona sheriff is famous for cracking down on illegal immigration while the federal government refuses to do much of anything. Almost nothing.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio has arrested hundreds of illegal aliens under state and federal law, and the debate over illegal immigration takes to the streets tomorrow nationwide. Illegal alien open borders amnesty activists planning a series of demonstrations across the country.

Christine Romans now reports on the no-nonsense style of the Maricopa County sheriff's efforts to enforce our nation's immigration law, a model perhaps for the rest of the country.

And Casey Wian reports now on efforts to prevent a repeat of last year's events, where thousands of California students cut classes to attend those protests.

But first, we're going to the site of what will be one of those demonstrations tomorrow, in all likelihood. We don't know how large, but Phoenix, Arizona.

Christine Romans has the story -- Christine. CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, Sheriff Joe Arpaio says he's probably the only sheriff in American actually enforcing immigration laws. Cross the border illegally, you might just end up living here in one of his tents in the desert.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SHERIFF JOE APRAIO, MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZONA: I want to be number one. L.A. County, they keep letting them out. They'll come here. We'll lock them up.

ROMANS (voice-over): This sheriff is enforcing state and federal immigration laws. His county is home to Phoenix, a transportation hub for illegal immigration. His deputies are being trained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and he's using a new state anti- smuggling law to arrest illegal aliens. Five hundred forty so far, calling them co-conspirators with their smugglers.

ARPAIO: Everyone that crosses that border should be arrested for violating a federal law and put in jail. No one enforces that federal law.

ROMANS: He is a tough lawman is, famous for reinstating the chain gang, making inmates wear pink underwear and putting convicted criminals in tents in the desert to ease overcrowding. His efforts routinely draw lawsuits.

ARPAIO: So that's going to be a little controversial. Probably be sued on that.

ROMANS: The American Civil Liberties Union has tangled with Arpaio before, illegal immigration no exception.

ALESSANDRA MEETZE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ACLU, ARIZONA: Of course, everyone is frustrated. Everyone is frustrated by the current sort of immigration problems that we're all dealing with. But it's not the role of local, county police departments to enforce immigration law.

ROMANS: She says he has no business enforcing federal law and she says he's driving illegal immigrants further underground.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROMANS (on camera): But the sheriff said he doesn't listen to critics. He says if you don't want to do the crime time, don't do the crime. He says if no one else is going to enforce the law, he will. He is , after all, Lou, the one who has the badge and the gun. Lou?

DOBBS: Now Sheriff Joe is a model for - Sheriff Joe Arpaio is a model for the whole country in my opinion. And it's funny to watch the open borders amnesty activists just bristle that he would enforce laws and for them to suggest that he not.

I think that we're seeing a tide turn in this country in which people are starting to know, to understand, who perhaps before did not that we are first a nation of laws before we're a nation of immigrants.

And certainly when we talk about immigrants, more than 2 million coming into the country legally every year, it gets a little troubling to hear people try to rationalize so many coming in illegally. What is -- how is Sheriff Arpaio feeling there? Does he feel like he's making progress?

ROMANS: He feels like he's making progress. He's arrested some 540 just under this controversial state anti-smuggling law. Lou, it's interesting. He essentially says if you are being smuggled by a smuggler, you're a co-conspirator.

So he is arresting people for being smuggled, for coming across the border, using this law. His critics say he's misapplying the law completely. He says he just doesn't care.

DOBBS: Well, maybe the expression is he does care. And it's kind of nice to see someone in law enforcement who does care, who demonstrates it. And where by the way, is the ACLU, MALDEF and all the others so quick to jump on these kinds of programs?

ROMANS: Well, they are worried about racial profiling, they are worried about stepping on federal immigration law ...

DOBBS: I know where they're worried about. Are they complaining about it? Are they taking action like they do? Or do they not feel like ganging up on Sheriff Joe?

ROMANS: They're filing lawsuits. I'm told that there are a raft of lawsuits on behalf of the ACLU against Sheriff Joe. His lawyers are used to tangling with them.

DOBBS: Well, I think that's going to be an interesting match with Sheriff Joe Arpaio and whoever wants to take him on. Because he is a law enforcement officer. And Christine Romans, tomorrow lots of students, lots of people going to the streets. Demonstrating for amnesty. How many people are expected in Phoenix?

ROMANS: The high end estimates are 10,000, Lou, but we're told there's a lot of sort of division between a lot of these groups. They're not expecting as many people at all. Other sources are saying closer to 2,000 to 5,000. You will not see the show that we saw last year on the Phoenix streets by all accounts.

DOBBS: All right. Well, of course, CNN will be covering those demonstrations, whatever size they are. All around the country. That report beginning with the, with, dawn tomorrow running till dark and beyond.

Our coverage styled "Immigration Nation." And we thank you, Christine Romans. You can get out of the heat there for a little while now. Christine Romans in Phoenix.

Tens of thousands of students are expected to cut class tomorrow. Or leave class to join in tomorrow's marches and demonstrations supporting amnesty for illegal aliens. But as Casey Wian now reports, California state education officials are urging students throughout the state to stay in school for their own safety and for the reasons of their own educational future.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): California officials are urging students not to participate in Tuesday's May Day marches supporting amnesty for illegal aliens. State school superintendent Jack O'Connell invoked the name of farm workers' union leader Cesar Chavez, who stressed the importance of education for immigrant children.

JACK O'CONNELL, CALIF. SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT: I am urging all the of the students in the State of California to honor the many struggles of immigrant parents and make sure that they work hard in school every single day, including Tuesday, May the 1st.

WIAN: O'Connell acknowledged a sharp education gap among Latinos. According to a Harvard University study, more than half of all Latino public high school students in Los Angeles drop out. Statewide, 29 percent of California high school students fail to graduate within four years.

By ethnic group, the dropout rate is 16 percent for Asians, 22 percent for whites, 40 percent for Latinos and 43 percent for African Americans.

DAVID BREWER, L.A. UNIFIED SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT: I am a strong believer in freedom of speech. But one day lost is one day too many when it comes to our children and their education. We clearly cannot afford that.

WIAN: Last year, 27 percent of Los Angeles public school students were absent on May 1st. Nearly triple the normal rate. California school districts loots tens of millions in state funding because so many students skipped school.

Another issue is safety. Officials say some students congregated on Los Angeles freeway ramps during last year's amnesty march. This year some L.A. schools are providing buses to bring students back to class after the marches. Even two leading advocates for illegal aliens, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa ...

MAYOR ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA, LOS ANGELES: If you want to protest before school or after school, that's one thing. But during the day, we want you in school.

WIAN: ... and Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahoney are asking students to stay in class.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WIAN (on camera): The Los Angeles Unified School District alone lost about $3 million in state funds on May 1st of last year because of those student absences. It would have been enough money, Lou, to pay the annual salaries of more than 60 fully credentialed teachers for an entire year.

Lou?

DOBBS: Well, the good mayor and the good cardinal perhaps are wising up and learning something from their in my opinion pitiful, pitiful performance last year. I think they thought it was a bit cute and I think they saw the results were not cute at all nor in the interests of those students.

Casey, what are the expectation there in Los Angeles for the size of the demonstrations?

WIAN: They're expected to be smaller than they were last year. The numbers last year about 650,000 people were in the streets. The estimates we've seen are ranging anywhere from 150,000 to has high as 500,000, that's basically a worst case scenario as far as police, law enforcement are concerned. They're going to be significantly smaller than they were last year, Lou.

DOBBS: And apparently there's some division over what he everybody's demonstrating for, some wanting a guest worker program but not citizenship, others wanting amnesty to claim citizenship, but most will be about an amnesty, right.

WIAN: Absolutely. Most of these demonstrators want absolutely unconditional amnesty for illegal aliens in this country.

DOBBS: Well, welcome to America. All right. Thank you very much. Casey Wian from Los Angeles.

And as I said, CNN will be covering throughout the day from you dawn till dusk and beyond what we're styling "Immigration Nation," our coverage will be worldwide. Well, worldwide - well, worldwide -- we'll keep it countrywide tomorrow and please look forward to that coverage and join us.

Last year's nationwide marches by illegal immigration activists drew some say millions of demonstrators and protesters.

The marchers were then protesting pending legislation that would have increased the penalties for illegal immigration and would have classified illegal aliens as felons. That was a House bill that never became law. Part of the protesters' goal was to shut down businesses that they said depended on illegal workers. That just didn't happen. To our knowledge.

Those protesters were criticized for carrying foreign flags, the flags of their countries of origin. Disparaging the United States, condoning illegal behavior, but overall, the demonstrations were peaceful and quite orderly, just didn't have the impact political or otherwise and certainly not economic that the demonstrators, organizers had sought.

This Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m., I'll be hosting a special live town hall meeting. "Broken Borders" from the campus of Penn State University in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Hazleton at the epicenter of local activism against illegal immigration after that community passed an ordinance barring local landlords and businesses from hiring or sheltering illegal aliens.

That law being challenged in federal court by national open borders activist groups. We'll be taking a look in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. We'll be taking a look at the impact that illegal immigration has had on that community and its citizens and those illegal aliens who have moved to Hazleton. That is Wednesday night, 8:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN.

We hope you will join us for what promises to be an illuminating and interesting hour.

Coming up next, I'll be talking with the editor of an important new book on the state of illegal immigration and what should be done about it. Also, we've offered the presidential candidates be two minutes of uninterrupted airtime on this program to discuss each critical issue facing the nation.

Tonight, we're joined by Republican presidential candidate Congressman Tom Tancredo. And the Supreme Court issues a ruling on high speed police chases. We'll tell you what the Supreme Court decided.

And you know what? Some people are calling that controversial. I'm calling it reasonable. Sensible. And good instruction for lower courts in this country. Stay with us. We'll have all of that and a great deal more. We're coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: Joining me now with her perspective on the critical issue of illegal immigration is Carol Swain, she is professor of law and political science at Vanderbilt University. Also, the editor of a just published as of today new book, the title is "Debating Immigration" an important book, a timely book and I couldn't urge you strongly enough to read it. It is a fascinating study of the issues.

Carol, good to have you with us.

CAROL SWAIN, VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY: Thank you, Lou.

DOBBS: The idea that we're going to see another demonstration tomorrow, by all measures at least anticipated to be significantly smaller than last year's, what is your reaction and the context of your book to what's happening tomorrow?

SWAIN: Well, I believe that in the past, these marches that have followed the civil rights, they have followed the civil rights model of the 1960s and for the moist part, they have mobilized the public. I believe they have backfired and they're having the opposite effect than what the protesters desire.

DOBBS: In your book, the impact of immigration on low-skilled workers, I want to just share with everyone what you wrote. "The greatest competition, therefore occurs among people at the margin of society, no wonder it is members of the working classes and not highly educated Americans who are most upset about immigrant labor. Many of the other Americans parrot the refrain that immigrants merely take unwanted jobs."

With the elites controlling this debate, what can be done about your concerns?

SWAIN: Well, first of all, I think that most Americans know that there are not any jobs that Americans will not do. In places where have you immigrant raids, almost immediately, the next week, you see those jobs filled with Americans. And I think it's unfortunate that the wages of American workers are depressed to the point that many people are not getting by or they're working two or three jobs just to make ends meet.

And I think that what we need to do is to realize that the politicians are not being faith faithful to the nation, faithful to the people, that they're too beholden to big business and also to other interests and they're not representing the people that need representation. And they also are hurting immigrants themselves.

DOBBS: Lawful immigrants in particular.

The issue of illegal immigration we -- and we read his e-mail to us here tonight saying that if these illegal aliens coming in were black rather than predominantly Hispanic, he said in his, you know, with some cynicism certainly, that he believes they would be -- that those illegal aliens would be shipped out of here rather directly on, as he put it, cruise ships. What do you think of that remark?

SWAIN: Well, we see how Haitians are treated when they show up on the American shore. And I do believe there's a double standard when it comes to immigration policies. It works against people that are people of color from certain parts of the world. And I believe that there's too much focus on one group, that there are individuals affected by immigration, many of them are legal. They're trying to follow the laws.

And yet, they're the ones that are being punished. If President Bush truly wanted comprehensive immigration reform then he would address the needs of people that are trying to follow our laws.

DOBBS: Professor Carol Swain, as always, it is good to have you here. The book is "Debating Immigration." It is on book shelves near you beginning today. Thank you very much, professor, for being with us. Professor Carol Swain.

The Supreme Court today gave police officers in high speed chases protection from civil lawsuits. As Bill Tucker now reports, the high court ruled that a Georgia police officer used reasonable force when he forced a fleeing car off the road in a high-speed chase.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Few stories grab TV audiences like car chases. They are, after all, the story with natural video. Even if the store itself sometimes is less than compelling.

This one from 2001 was at the heart of a legal case heard by the United States Supreme Court. It was an extended police pursuit of a vehicle which initially had been spotted as speeding. The chase covered two counties in Georgia and at times topped more than 100 miles per hour. It ended with the vehicle being rammed from behind by the police, the car crashing, and the driver, Victor Harris was left quadriplegic.

Lower courts ruled the driver could sue the officer. But in an eight to one decision, the Supreme Court said no, that the officer acted reasonably. Writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, quote, "The car chase that Harris initiated in this case posed substantial and immediate risk of serious physical injury to others.

The lone dissenter was Justice John Paul Stevens who was clearly unimpressed with the videotape of the chase or the arguments by the officer's lawyer. He wrote, quote, "I can only conclude that my colleagues were unduly frightened by two or three images on the tape. Had they learned to drive when most highway speed driving took place on two lane roads rather than on superhighways, they might way have reacted to the videotape more dispassionately."

Law enforcement welcomed the ruling.

CHIEF DAVID GILBERT, MARION, IN, POLICE: In a perfect world, you wouldn't have to pursue like that. It is inherently dangerous. No question about it. But I think taken as a whole, I think we have a responsibility to make people safe and we just have to use good judgment when we do it.

TUCKER: There is no national policy on when to chase and when not to. The Los Angeles police department has a policy of no high- speed pursuit for traffic violations only.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TUCKER (on camera): There the decision was that the risk of serious injury is just too great versus the reward of a traffic ticket. Officers do run checks on license plates to see if there are any outstanding warrants. And Lou, if you're a driver that runs a stop sign and leaves, you will have a warrant of arrest sworn out on.

DOBBS: You you're saying in Los Angeles, if you're doing 100 miles an hour, as this 19-year-old was, you're not going to get chased.

TUCKER: Traffic violations only.

DOBBS: That's a traffic violation.

TUCKER: Right. DOBBS: Are you saying they wouldn't chase him?

TUCKER: When I spoke with them this afternoon, a traffic violation only, they do not pursue.

DOBBS: Well, you know, I think all of our hearts go out to that young man who was rendered paralyzed through his own actions and putting the lives of others at risk. But it is nice to see the Supreme Court for a change remove ambiguity where the responsibility for one's actions rests.

To put other people's lives in such danger, including that law enforcement officer who had to come up on that young man and do that, I mean, this is just crazy. The Supreme Court actually making sense. It's great. We should celebrate it.

And the idea that someone can be individually responsible. What's really annoying is that lower courts thought the case should go forward. That tells you something on the other side of the issue. Thank you very much, Bill Tucker.

Coming up at the top of the hour, THE SITUATION ROOM with my friend Wolf Blitzer.

Wolf?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Thanks very much, Lou.

Nine-eleven and the invasion of Iraq. The former CIA director George Tenet finding himself now at the center of a storm as he makes some very serious allegations about the Bush administration. Also, the World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz facing an open revolt right now, he is making some strong new statements about the accusations against him as he fights desperately to keep his job.

Plus, an accused Washington madam in court naming names in a scandal that's already cost one top government official his job. Who will be next? All that, Lou, coming up right here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

DOBBS: Poor Paul Wolfowitz, Wolf. He just can't seem to make friends wherever he goes.

Thank you very much. Up next, presidential candidate Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo joins us here running for his party's nomination for president. Tonight we'll be talking about his position and he will speak first on free trade. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: I've been offering presidential candidates seeking their party's nomination two minutes of uninterrupted airtime on this broadcast. We call it "2008, Time for Answers." And tonight, it's time for Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado. He's our second candidate to accept my offer. Joining us tonight from Washington, DC. Congressman? REP. TOM TANCREDO, (R) CO: Thank you very much, Lou. It's a pleasure to join you and to talk about trade related issues.

First of all, I should say that trade can be a very good thing. It can be a good thing if it is mutually good for both the countries that are involved. That can happen. Hasn't happened very much recently. That is true.

I have voted for some trade bills and against others. I have voted against CAFTA, for instance, the latest go round of the trade negotiations, the Central America Free Trade Agreement.

One of the things we see happening in trade deliberations today that very much upsets me is the fact that other issues begin to enter into the whole discussion of trade, including immigration-related issues. That happened in CAFTA. I'm afraid it will happen with the Free Trade of the Americas which is planned for perhaps this next year.

These things should never be in any sort of trade arrangement. Now, what can we do? I mean, are there trade arrangements that we can enter into? Yes, mostly bilateral. One country discussing and deliberating trade issues with another country.

I don't like multilateral trade negotiations. Gets us into a whole other world, especially one that is regulated by organizations outside the United States. We lose sovereignty under those kinds of situations. I'm opposed to that.

Also, frankly, we have done something bizarre here not many people have recognized. We no longer call these things treaties, Lou but they are. Under the State Department's five criteria for what is a treaty, every single one of these now "agreements" are treaties. Why don't we call them treaties? Because, of course, if they were treaties, they would require two-thirds of the Senate to in fact ratify them. So we don't call them that any more.

If I'm president of the United States, I'm going back to Article I of the Constitution which says the primary responsible for negotiating trade deals is with the Congress. And we should never, I'm never going to vote to give this president fast track authority.

DOBBS: Congressman Tom Tancredo, thank you. Let's turn to that issue because the Constitution is rather clear giving the responsibilities for treaties as you point out to the Senate for approval. And commerce, international commerce to the House of Representatives.

Do you believe that the fast track authority should be altered, changed, balanced or should it just simply be revoked and not extended to this president?

TANCREDO: Well, I think that fast track may need to be there. There are conditions which it can be beneficial. But frankly, you can't have -- it's very difficult to get fast track and go through the process, of, as I say of getting Senate approval. You can do it, the president can negotiate quickly but then the Senate should be required to approve by two-thirds.

This president has abused it. I voted for it, Lou. I made a big mistake. I did that years ago. It's coming up. I am not going to vote for it again, I am not going to vote for this president. He has abused this authority because he has entered into the discussion things that have absolutely nothing to do with trade. They are immigration related issues and as a result, he's not getting my vote again.

DOBBS: Congressman Tom Tancredo seeking your vote, looking for the Republican Party's nomination for president. We thank you for being here.

TANCREDO: Thank you.

DOBBS: Thank you very much, congressman.

TANCREDO: It's a pleasure.

DOBBS: Coming up next, the results of our poll. Do you believe that subsidiaries of U.S. companies that do business with Iran violate the spirit of the law banning companies from doing business with Iran? We'll be right back. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

DOBBS: The results of tonight's poll. Ninety-six percent of you say subsidiaries of U.S. companies doing business with Iran violate the spirit of the law banning U.S. companies from doing business with Iran.

Time now for some more of your thoughts. Quickly, Dave in Missouri. "Lou, with the stupidity of the North American Union, the craziness of the Ramos and Compean imprisonments and now the idea that the Salvation Army is discriminating, I have concluded that insanity reigns!"

And Thomas in Ohio. "This is America. One language, one flag, one government by Americans. I support the Salvation Army."

We thank you for being with us tonight. Please join us here tomorrow when among our guests will be the president of the National Council of La Raza, Janet Murguia. We'll be talking about those nationwide demonstrations. For all of us here, we thank you for being with us tonight. Thanks for watching. Good night from New York. THE SITUATION ROOM begins now with Wolf Blitzer. Wolf?

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.voxant.com

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