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U.S. Military Continues Search for Three Kidnapped Soldiers in Iraq; British Army Keeps Prince Harry Home

Aired May 16, 2007 - 17:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, HOST: And to our viewers, you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Happening now, raids, arrests and reward money -- can they lead to three American soldiers believed held by al Qaeda or its allies?

We're with the troops in Iraq's so-called Triangle of Death.

Harry is staying home. Britain's army chief says Iraq is simply too risky for the prince. We're going to tell you what's behind the about-face.

And they're getting rich by writing, speaking and just letting their money grow. White House wannabes reveal their personal finances and we'll reveal some of the current occupants' strong gifts.

I'm Wolf Blitzer.


Thousands of American troops are combing through Iraq's Triangle of Death in a desperate search for three American soldiers missing since a weekend ambush that killed four other Americans and their Iraqi interpreter.

There are little tips, there are some clues, though, and they're offering a reward. Now, the U.S. military saying it's still a case of whereabouts, though, unknown.

Let's go live to our senior military correspondent, Jamie McIntyre -- Jamie, what is the latest?

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, they're tired, but they are not giving up. Thousands of U.S. and Iraqi troops are continuing to hunt for those missing soldiers.


MCINTYRE (voice-over): True to its word, the U.S. military is sparing no effort to find the missing soldiers.

MAJ. GEN. WILLIAM CALDWELL, MULTI-NATIONAL FORCE, IRAQ: We're sure praying that our soldiers are still alive at this point. We have no indications to reflect otherwise. MCINTYRE: What the U.S. military needs is a break -- inside information. So the search area has been blanketed with leaflets in Arabic, offering a $200,000 reward.

BRIG. GEN. PERRY WIGGINS, U.S. ARMY: But we only need one tip.

MCINTYRE: So far, the U.S. and Iraqi troops have launched at least 37 separate operations, based on information from 143 tips. The search area, south of Baghdad, has been divided into 35 zones, where more than 600 people have been questioned and more than a dozen suspects detained.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Checkpoints have been established throughout the area to focus the search and prevent potential transfer of our missing soldiers.

MCINTYRE: A nearby canal was even drained after a tip said there might be bodies hidden in it. So far, nothing has panned out.

In response to questions about the wisdom of leaving two Humvees alone at 4:00 in the morning in the so-called Triangle of Death, the military revealed the eight soldiers were behind a barrier of protected razor wire only 500 yards from other U.S. troops and did return fire.

In Torrance, California, Joe Anzack, whose 20-year-old son, Joe, Jr. is listed among the missing, clings to hope.

JOSEPH ANZACK, SR. FATHER OF MISSING SOLDIER: We come from a long -- a long line of military -- military people. And that's what it is, gut instincts.

And you rely on it, you know?

And I'm -- I guarantee that's why he's alive today, because he listened to his instinct and did what he had to do.


MCINTYRE: Wolf, this is a classic case of no news is good news. So long as the military doesn't have any evidence that those soldiers have been killed, they have reason to believe they may still be alive -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Let's hope they are, Jamie.

Thank you.

CNN's Arwa Damon is embedded with the U.S. Army unit searching for those missing troops.

She's joining us on the phone now from Yusufiya in the Triangle of Death -- Arwa, from what you're seeing, what you're hearing on the scene there, how is the search going?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, in all honesty, they actually don't really know the exact whereabouts of these soldiers, which is why the search is really quite intense at this point. I mean they are quite literally taking the lead and trying to follow up on any sort of tips that they are able to achieve. And I can tell you, the troops are worn out, both physically and mentally, but they are utterly determined to keep going.

They're searching the same homes over and over again, looking for anything they might have missed the first time around. Everyone here is vowing that they will find their fallen men.

But it is very difficult out here now. Some glimmers of hope took place when they did find some equipment that they believe could have belonged to the missing soldiers and it could have been stolen from the scene. They also did tell us that two of the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) that they did detain were involved in those attacks.

But as of yet, none of these tips have led to their fallen men. But they are going out 24 hours around the clock looking for them -- Wolf.

BLITZER: And right now they're telling you, Arwa, they're just going to simply stay on this mission as long as it takes.

Is that right?

DAMON: Absolutely.

In fact, I just spoke with the brigade commander of the 2nd Brigade 10th Mountain Division, Colonel Mike Kershaw. And he had a message to the families. He absolutely vowed that he would be bringing their loved ones home.

And an interesting thing is that a lot of the troops don't seem to be down on what has happened, and their determination is so strong. And they are clinging to the hope that they will be able to find their missing men alive. And that really is driving the entire morale of this unit. They are drawing strength from one another. They are drawing strength from the knowledge that the U.S. military is literally using all means, obviously, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to try to find these missing men.

I mean, the courage of these soldiers that are out searching is really quite admirable.

BLITZER: Arwa, thanks very much.

Wish them the best of luck.

Later this hour we're going to be getting an update from Major General William Caldwell, the chief U.S. Military spokesman in Baghdad.

Palestinians may be moving a lot closer to all out civil war. There's simply chaos in Gaza right now. A power struggle has led to gun battles and dozens of dead. Now Israel being drawn into the conflict, as well. CNN's Ben Wedeman is joining us from Jerusalem with the latest -- Ben.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, for much of Wednesday, Gaza seemed to be rushing madly toward total anarchy.

In the evening, some of the fighting did subside, but nobody in Gaza is betting that the calm is going to last for very long.


WEDEMAN (voice-over): In Gaza, cease-fires are made to be broken. Wednesday evening, Hamas declared a unilateral cease-fire. But three truces have already come and gone.

For Gazans, Wednesday was the blackest yet in a series of black days. Gaza's morgues are filling with the dead, hospitals urgently appealing for blood for the wounded. Complicating matters, Hamas has lobbed dozens of crude, locally made Qassam rockets in the direction of Israel, wounding more than a dozen Israelis since Tuesday.

Hamas may be trying to provoke an Israeli ground incursion, working on the assumption that the only way Palestinians will reunite is in the face of an invasion by a common enemy -- Israel.

For now, Israel isn't taking the bait. But Israeli aircraft have retaliated, striking, among other targets, a base in southern Gaza belonging to the Hamas-controlled executive force.

Three months ago, leaders from Fatah and Hamas met in Mecca, Saudi Arabia and worked out an agreement for the creation of a national unity government. But all along, unity was more facade than fact. The factions couldn't settle their differences through words. Now, with ordinary Gazans caught in the middle, they're giving war a chance.

A few of those ordinary Gazans braved the gunfire to protest against the internal fighting only to come under fire themselves.

Also caught in the crossfire, more than two dozen journalists, pinned down for hours as Hamas gunmen tried to take a building that houses several media organizations.


WEDEMAN: Leaders from both Hamas and Fatah have publicly stated they do want to restore calm and unity. But in Gaza, it seems the guns speak much louder than words -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Ben Wedeman reporting for us in Israel.

Thank you, Ben, very much.

He's watching the situation closely in Gaza.

Jack Cafferty is joining us from New York with The Cafferty File. You know, in the Middle East, Jack, they say just when you think the situation can't get worse, guess what?

It gets really, really worse.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And it just happens over and over and over again, giving rise to the theory that as a species, we're just -- we're not very bright are we, in some ways?

There is a big winner Hazleton, Pennsylvania's primary elections. That would be Republican Mayor Lou Barletta, who became known nationwide after his efforts on behalf of his town to crack down on illegal aliens.

Get this, Barletta won not just the Republican nomination for a third term as mayor yesterday, he also won the Democratic nomination.

Barletta whooped up on the GOP challenger, getting 94 percent of the vote, and he also beat the Democratic challenger, a guy who's a former mayor of Hazleton, with a last minute write-in campaign.

He said that Democrats in Hazleton kept telling him they wished they could vote for him in the primary. So about a week ago, he mailed them instructions -- to the Democratic voters telling them how to do just that, and they did.

Barletta said of his victory: "I think the message is clear. The people of Hazleton want me to keep fighting for them."

His Illegal Immigration Relief Act was approved last summer and it became a model for other cities around the country, but it's on hold now because, of course, it's being challenged in court.

This Act would penalize landlords who rent to illegal aliens and ban businesses that hire them.

So here's the question -- what message does it send when the mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania wins both the Republican and the Democratic primaries?

E-mail us, or go to -- Wolf.

BLITZER: See you in a few moments, Jack.

Thank you.

And still ahead, fallout from one of the most heated moments of the Republican presidential debate.


BLITZER: I think you're going to have a long wait if you really expect Rudy Giuliani to apologize to you for that last night.


BLITZER: Find out what else Congressman Ron Paul says about that tense exchange with rival Rudy Giuliani. That's coming up.

Also, new developments in the search for those American soldiers missing in Iraq. We're going to get the latest from the top military spokesman in Iraq. Major General William Caldwell joining us from Baghdad.

Plus, rich and richer -- White House hopefuls revealing their wealth. We're going to show you who's got what.

Stay with us.



BLITZER: Another Congressman may be a long shot, but he gave it his best shot last night in the latest Republican debate, going toe- to-toe with the Republican frontrunner.

And joining us now from Capitol Hill, Congressman Ron Paul, Republican of Texas.

He's a candidate for president of the United States.

Congressman, you had quite a little testy exchange there with Rudy Giuliani last night.

Let me run this little clip to remind our viewers what happened.


PAUL: They attack us because we've been over there. We've been bombing Iraq for 10 years.

RUDY GIULIANI (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That's an extraordinary statement, as someone who lived through the attack of September 11th, that we invited the attack because we were attacking Iraq. I don't think I've ever heard that before and I've heard some pretty absurd explanations for September 11th.


BLITZER: He really had some supporters in that auditorium.

Are you ready to back away from the implication of what you were saying last night?

Because certainly when you were given the chance last night you didn't.

PAUL: No. There's no reason to. I think he's going to have to back away from his statement pretty soon, because I found two very clear quotes in the 9/11 Commission report that says that very thing, that our foreign policy has a very great deal to do with their willingness and desire to commit suicide terrorism.

So, I would suggest that he read the 9/11 Commission report.

BLITZER: Well, but the impression that I got from what you were saying is that the U.S. monitoring in the no-fly zones in Iraq for 10 years before the war, that that was -- that was responsible for Al Qaeda coming to the United States and blowing up the World Trade Center?

PAUL: No. I said that was part of it. And part of it was the fact that we had troops in Saudi Arabia, which is considered holy land. And this is what -- this is backed up by the 9/11 Commission report.

So I think he needs to read that, because that's policy. And the CIA does not deny this. This is what they found when they went into deep investigations.

So here he is, mayor of the city, and brags about all this security and he hasn't even read the report. So, I think he needs to read that report.

BLITZER: But you were saying specifically that the U.S. had been bombing Iraq for 10 years. You didn't mention the Saudi Arabian element last night.

PAUL: Well -- well, you know -- you know, Wolf, you know, in 30 seconds, sometimes you don't get to make a full explanation. But that's what the case has been. Yes, we did bomb.

I mean how many times did Clinton bomb?

And how many times did Bush bomb?

And it was not infrequent. I'll bet you we didn't go one year where we didn't bomb it. Besides, we had sanctions. They also cited sanctions where, literally, hundred of thousands of people died from the sanctions, from loss of medicine and food, due to our sanctions.

I mean if somebody did that to us, would we be angry?

BLITZER: But that...

PAUL: That's -- that's my question.

BLITZER: I guess the bottom line question, though, is that a lot of viewers came away saying here's Ron Paul. He's a Republican who wants to be president. He's blaming the United States, in effect, for 9/11...


BLITZER: I wonder if you want to -- if you want to revise that impression?

PAUL: No. No. They -- they need to understand history. They need to understand that he's hiding behind patriotism, because what they're saying is I'm un-American because I'm challenging policy.

I am an American because I have a right and an obligation to challenge policy. If policy is detrimental and has blowback, then we should change it. But to say that we have to accept this policy without any question, I think is the wrong thing to do. And this is what they expect. And if you don't do it, they say oh, you're blaming America. You're unpatriotic. And I think that's foolish.

I think somebody that does not allow dissent and discussion and arguments about why this policy is good or bad -- the American people -- see, he wants to say -- put words in my mouth and say that the American people caused this. I blamed the American people.

No. I blame bad policy. And bad policy can have consequences, unintended. The CIA recognize it. The 9/11 Commission recognize it.

So, to me, this sounds very logical.

I think he needs to back down and I think he needs to read the report and come back and apologize to me.

BLITZER: If he is the Republican nominee -- and he is the frontrunner right now could you support him...

PAUL: It would be...

BLITZER: ... for president?

PAUL: That would be pretty difficult.

It depends -- if he changed his foreign policy, I might consider it.

But, no. He's not very Republican and he -- he faced a lot of challenges in the debate, too, you know, on abortion and gun rights and -- and a lot of other issues that fiscal conservatives, you know, challenged him on.

So, I mean he has a ways to go. And I -- I take it as a compliment that he did what he did, because, you know, if you're at the bottom of the wrung of the ladder, you know, you don't get attacked like that.

So evidently he considers me a threat. And in the polling last night, on Fox, of all places, I outbeat him. You know, I won the polling over -- over Giuliani.

So why do people not talk about that?

BLITZER: We're almost out of time, Congressman.

But if you were president, what would you do about the Al Qaeda threat?

Forget about Iraq right now. The Al Qaeda threat, Osama bin Laden -- he's still on the loose.

What would you do about that threat to the United States?

PAUL: Well, I'd go after him. I voted for the authority. I wish they had done it. We voted for the money and yet we ignored it. So this is my complaint, that we didn't do what we were supposed to do and we went and started a war that we shouldn't have.

And here we have Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. They have a nuclear weapon. They have a military dictatorship. They overthrew an elected government.

And what do we do when they get nuclear weapons, not following the NPT Treaty?

We reward them. We give them money.

So I'm saying don't reward people who get nuclear weapons. Then they'll want to get them. That's why Saddam Hussein pretended he had one, because he thought if he had one maybe we'd leave him alone.

So it's natural for people like Iran -- the leadership in Iran -- to want to get a nuclear weapon, because we respect people that have power and we disrespect people that we think we can run over them and run roughshod over their countries, invade them preemptively and change their regimes.

I think it's a bad foreign policy. It's not Republican. It's not conservative and it's not constitutional.

BLITZER: Congressman Paul, thanks very much for joining us here in the in THE SITUATION ROOM.

PAUL: Thank you, Wolf.

BLITZER: I think you're have a long wait if you really expect Rudy Giuliani to apologize to you for that last night.

PAUL: Well, ask him, please.

BLITZER: All right.

The next time I interview him, I'll ask him.

Thanks, Congressman.


BLITZER: And don't forget, we're gearing up for our own big debates in New Hampshire. CNN, WMUR and the "New Hampshire Union- Leader" are sponsoring back-to-back debates early next month. The Democratic candidates square off on Sunday night, June 3rd. The Republicans go head to head on Tuesday night, June 5th. You're going to want to see it.

Still coming up here in THE SITUATION ROOM, the British military does an about-face on a would-be royal warrior. There are new developments in Prince Harry's deployment to Iraq.

Plus, the British prime minister, Tony Blair, meeting here in Washington tonight with President Bush and paying a hefty political price for that alliance. We're going to show you how it might be impacting their personal relationship.

Stay with us.



BLITZER: Our Carol Costello is off today.

Fredricka Whitfield monitoring other stories incoming to THE SITUATION ROOM right now -- Fred, what do you have?


North Korea may be developing a new long-range ballistic missile. An official with Japan's defense ministry says it's believed to have a range of 3,100 miles, capable of striking as far away as Guam. Analyst say it may be a show of strength by North Korea amid the dispute over its nuclear program with the U.S.

And California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is unveiling a new plan to resume executions in his state. A federal judge put them on hold last year after an inmate challenged the lethal injection process as cruel and unusual. Schwarzenegger's proposal includes a new execution chamber and more oversight of prison officials and execution teams, but it doesn't change the lethal drug mix critics say can result in a painful death.

And checking the bottom line, Tyco is agreeing to a $3 billion settlement of a class action lawsuit by shareholders accusing the company of fraud. Former CEO Dennis Kozlowski and other top executives were convicted of looting Tyco and inflating its value. If approved, the settlement would be the largest of its kind ever. Tyco is now being split into three separate companies.

And the bottom line on Wall Street, another record high for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It gained more than 100 points, to close above 13,487.

The Nasdaq and the S&P posted modest gains -- Wolf.

BLITZER: People are making a lot of money out there today.

But you know what they say, Fred?

What goes up? WHITFIELD: Must come down.

BLITZER: All right, Fred, thank you.

Coming up, American troops are involved in a massive search for three missing soldiers in Iraq.

Does the military have any intelligence on whether they're still Alive?

A top U.S. Commander joining us from Baghdad in THE SITUATION ROOM. Also, British Prime Minister Tony Blair is in Washington for his last official visit to the White House. He's paid a steep political price for his support of President Bush's policies. We're going find out whether their personal relationship has suffered as a result.

Stay with us.



BLITZER: To our viewers, you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Happening now, very tough talk on Iran by the former United Nations ambassador, John Bolton. He's quoted by Britain's "Daily Telegraph" as saying it's proven Iran can't be talked out of its nuclear program, and that if all else fails, and I'm quoting now, "We need to look at the use of force."

John Bolton speaking to the "Daily Telegraph."

Also, federal prosecutors trying to have environmental activists accused of arson declared terrorists. The 10 defendants are on trial for a string of fires targeting animal research, logging and other businesses. A terrorist label could get them tougher sentences.

And Greenpeace taking dramatic action to call attention to global warming. Volunteers are building a replica of Noah's Arc on Mount Ararat in Turkey, where the Bible says the original came to rest after the great flood. Greenpeace is calling on world leaders to take action on climate change.

I'm Wolf Blitzer.


He's been President Bush's best foreign friend and Iraq War ally, and it's cost him. The British prime minister, Tony Blair, will step down next month, but he's making what may be his last visit to the White House.

Let's turn to CNN's Brian Todd.

He's joining us now with more -- Brian, are they still good friends despite all the problems that this war has created for both of them?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From every indication, Wolf, they are. And it's leading many to ask with all that's happened in Iraq, doesn't the prime minister, even in private, have doubts about the path he's taken with George W. Bush?


TODD (voice-over): A last official visit -- one last chance to plot a future course in Iraq, a war so unpopular in Britain it's pushing Tony Blair out earlier than he'd planned, casting a shadow over all his other accomplishments.

Blair has paid an immense political price for his alliance with George W. Bush. But the closest he comes to showing any outward resentment, when pressed by NBC News that he couldn't have been happy with the Americans' management of the war and asked if he ever said that to the president.

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Look, there are discussions that you have in the course of something like this that, again, should remain between allies.

TODD: Blair says since September 11th, he's never had any doubt about standing shoulder to shoulder with the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Could he have had those doubts in private about Bush?

EDWARD LUCE, "FINANCIAL TIMES": Not even in private that I'm aware of, and I've spoken to many people who work for him and with him. He's absolutely dogged in his loyalty.

TODD: But why, when it's cost him so dearly? Analysts say Blair's driven by a sense of honor, not wanting to let down the man who has shown unwavering faith in him.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When Tony Blair tells you something, as we say in Texas, you can take it to the bank.

TODD: Observers say the strength of their religious convictions still bonds the two men, and Blair, they say, has a firm belief to this day that intervention in Iraq was right.

JAMES CUSICK, "SUNDAY HERALD": Tony Blair almost shared very similar objectives. He regarded Saddam Hussein's Iraq as a dangerous regime.


TODD: That belief, analysts say, dates back to the late 1990s, when Bill Clinton was president and Blair advocated a hard line against Saddam, an interventionist streak that led him to push for action in Kosovo as well -- Wolf.

BLITZER: What about the prospects for Tony Blair's likely successor having a similar stance?

TODD: Well, most analysts we speak to believe that George W. Bush will not find such a soul mate in Gordon Brown. Brown has already begun to distance himself in Iraq, and we are told that he will likely visit European capitals first when he takes office.

BLITZER: Brian Todd watching this story for us.

This is Prime Minister Blair's 20th official trips to the United States. More than half of his visits, 11 of them, have been to Washington. Mr. Blair has visited Camp David four times. He's twice met U.S. presidents at the United Nations, and he's made one trip to the president's ranch in Crawford, Texas.

He'll be having dinner with the president at the White House tonight.

Let's get back to our top story now. The U.S. military mounting an all-out effort to recover those three soldiers missing since the weekend ambush in Iraq's so-called Triangle of Death.


BLITZER: And joining us now in Baghdad, Major General William Caldwell, U.S. Army, the chief spokesman for the multinational forces in Iraq.

General Caldwell, in the search for these three missing American soldiers, are there any indications, any signs of life that have come up that they're still alive? Any videotapes, any ransom demands, anything along those lines?

MAJ. GEN. WILLIAM CALDWELL, SPOKESMAN, MULTINATIONAL FORCE, IRAQ: Wolf, we have not had anything of that nature that's been brought to our attention, but through intelligence sources, obviously, at this point we have no confirmation either that the troops have been harmed. So we're holding out hope, we're praying for the best, but more importantly, we're continuing an intensive, massive search to look for our three missing soldiers.

BLITZER: And is it your working assumption, General, that al Qaeda is directly responsible for this, al Qaeda in Iraq, or other groups, or simply those seeking money?

CALDWELL: Wolf, still based on the intelligence, we've been continuing to pick up, all indications are it's al Qaeda or an al Qaeda-affiliated group that has taken our three soldiers.

BLITZER: And you've deployed, what, 4,000 soldiers to this so- called Triangle of Death area south of Baghdad as part of this massive search for these three missing soldiers? Is that right?

CALDWELL: That's correct, Wolf. There's literally thousands of soldiers, both coalition forces but also Iraqi security forces. They're very much involved with about 2,000 Iraqi security forces down there assisting us and helping us not only on the ground searching, but also helping us with intelligence assets to further work the neighborhood and the surrounding areas to help us to see if we can pick up any more leads.

BLITZER: Have you gotten any leads yet?

CALDWELL: There have been about -- about 140 different good tips that have come in so far, Wolf, that have come from the people and other sources that we followed up on. Based on that, 37 of them specifically.

We followed up and conducted immediate raids, although we did not find our missing soldiers. Each one leads us to a little more information, and so we're going to continue with that pushing forward over these next few days.

BLITZER: I know you're going to do whatever it takes to find these three soldiers, but in terms of the overall strategy, the new strategy in the Baghdad area specifically, by moving a lot of these troops to search for these guys, how much of a setback is it for part of the broader security situation in the Baghdad area?

CALDWELL: Wolf, what I would tell you when it comes to a missing American soldier, there's nothing we won't do to find them. And that becomes our priority.

BLITZER: The whole notion of security in the Baghdad -- the capital area, once again today for the second day in a row there have been mortar attacks inside the so-called Green Zone, the international zone where the U.S. Embassy is, the Iraqi government is located. This, until recently, was widely seen as the most secure part of Baghdad.

What's going on? Is there a major change now in these attacks going into the so-called Green Zone?

CALDWELL: Well, Wolf, you know, again, we go back to the nature of this enemy to do indiscriminate attacks against women and children. There's literally, you know, thousands and thousands of Iraqi citizens that live in this international zone. It's the seat of their government. And these terrorists are just lobbing mortar rounds in here indiscriminately to induce fear and create a sense of hopelessness amongst the people.

BLITZER: Let's end it the way we started, with those missing American soldiers.

General Caldwell, good luck to you and all your troops out there. We hope you find them safely, as quickly as possible.

Our prayers are with you. Thanks very much for joining us.

CALDWELL: Thank you, Wolf.


BLITZER: And still ahead here in THE SITUATION ROOM, Prince Harry, he really wants to go to fight in Iraq, but there's a new development regarding his orders, and our Richard Quest has it for you.

That's coming up next.

Also, the presidential candidates are letting us know how much personal wealth they have. You might be surprised at where some of that money is coming from.

Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.


BLITZER: Prince Harry is staying home. Britain's army chief says the risks of deploying to Iraq are simply too great for the royal who's third in line to the thrown.


BLITZER: And joining us now in London, outside Buckingham Palace, Richard Quest, our man on the scene.

Richard, this is a huge, huge development for everyone in England, because it was only days ago everyone assumed he was on his way to Iraq. And then all of a sudden, they announced, guess what? He's not going.

What happened?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What happened was that the military decided it was simply too dangerous, not only for Prince Harry, but also for the other members of his battalion, the Blues and Royals. The chief the defense staff said basically he had been to Iraq. There had been reports that Harry was to be targeted, and that then simply the risk simply became unacceptable.

It would have been a disaster, not only if Harry had been injured or worse, killed, but if any of his battalion had been injured. And they turned around and said this would not have happened if we'd not been with Prince Harry -- Wolf.

BLITZER: I assume this is a big disappointment for Prince Harry. Has there been any reaction from him or associates of his?

QUEST: At the moment, the view seems to be Harry will take it as a big disappointment, but that he probably won't resign. He always knew there was a risk. The problem, Wolf, was the decision to send him in the first place.

They were never going to be able to win with this one. If he went to Iraq, it could have been seen that the royal family were involved in some cases in the occupation of Iraq. If they didn't send him to Iraq, then, of course, it's a clear indication that the military can't keep an heir to the British thrown safe against the insurgents. And that's what's happened tonight, the worst, in some cases, of all P.R. scenarios, the decision taken, now you're going, now you're not. And that's what really is the most damaging aspect tonight -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Because I assume going into this weeks ago, months ago, they must have known the pros and cons, the dilemma of actually sending him off to Iraq. That's why I thought it was a little late in the game, all of a sudden, to make this about-face today.

QUEST: I think that's the interesting thing about it. The circumstances don't really appear to have changed.

There are no new arguments that can be advanced today that couldn't have been advanced say, three, four, five weeks ago. The only new element is this comment from Sir Richard Dannatt, the head of the general staff, that says he's been to Iraq, he's heard the reports, he now realizes that the risks to Prince Harry and crucially, Wolf, do not forget, to his battalion, is simply too great.

Those are the issues tonight. Whether Harry just has to suck it up, like it and get on with it, he's a serving member of her majesty's forces, and you know something, Wolf, you just follow orders.

BLITZER: Richard Quest, our man in London outside Buckingham Palace.

Richard, thanks very much.

And still ahead here in THE SITUATION ROOM, combined they're worth hundreds of millions of dollars, but some have much more than others. We're going to show you what the presidential candidate are revealing about their wealth.

And coming up in our 7:00 p.m. Eastern hour here in THE SITUATION ROOM, the anatomy of a joke. CNN's Jeannie Moos takes a most unusual look at one of the hit one-liners from last night's Republican presidential debate.

Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.



BLITZER: Presidential candidates are revealing their wealth, with most putting out their financial disclosures.

CNN's Mary Snow is on the money trail for us.

Mary, what are you finding?

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, all about money. We're learning everything from gifts given to the president and vice president, to how '08 contenders make their money.


SNOW (voice over): Writing is paying off for Senator Barack Obama. His financial disclosure report shows he made about $572,000 last year from royalties from one book and an advance on another. Obama's 2006 tax return shows he and his wife reported income of $991,000 last year, including the books.

What does it say about his wealth?

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It will say that I'm not one of the wealthiest candidates in this race.

SNOW: The wealthiest candidate appears to be Republican Mitt Romney. Advisers estimate his worth to be between $190 and $250 million, plus a blind trust for his children and grandchildren worth at least $70 million. Details of his fortune are yet to come since Romney filed for an extension on his financial disclosure form.

So did Senator John McCain. Much of his family's millions are tied to the beer distribution company founded by his wife's family.

Also filing for an extension, Senator Hillary Clinton. She is expected to report her husband earned roughly $10 million in speeches alone last year.

As for the president, he listed his assets estimated between $6.5 and $20 million. It's just a fraction of Vice President Dick Cheney's assets, estimated to be between $21 million and $100 million.

But it's the gifts they've received that are gaining the most attention.

SHEILA KRUMHOLZ, CENTER FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICS: We want to know exactly who is presenting these gifts, to know whether they're truly longtime friends, or if they are perhaps people who are trying to win favor with the president or vice president.

SNOW: Among the gifts to President Bush this year, about $2,600 worth of fishing rods, reels and equipment. From Vice President Dick Cheney, he got a $658 wireless weather station and a $400 personal trainer and cycle computer.


SNOW: Well, in return, the president gave Vice President Dick Cheney $667 worth of instruments to measure temperature, barometric pressure and tides. Cheney's staff spent $778 to give him an iPod and CDs.

And Wolf, we should just mention that of the '08 contenders, not all of these reports have yet been made public. So we're still waiting to hear from some of the candidates.

BLITZER: All right, Mary. I know you'll stay on top of this part of the story. Thank you. We've been looking, by the way, into some of the unusual gifts given to presidents and their families over the years, most from private citizens.

Franklin Roosevelt received a wooden cowboy figure with a lasso around the neck of Adolph Hitler. A sign of the times.

Richard Nixon was given a cloth doll that captured him in a familiar pose, with his fingers in the "V" sign.

First lady Barbara Bush was given a painted chair in appreciation of her work to promote literacy and help the homeless.

And the Clinton family cat Socks was immortalized in this oil painting given to then first daughter Chelsea.


BLITZER: Still to come, he takes a hard line on illegal immigration, and now a Pennsylvania mayor has won both the Republican and the Democrats nominations. Jack Cafferty wants to know what kind of message that sends.

We'll be right back.


BLITZER: Twenty-six million people in the United States receive food stamps from the government. Now several members of Congress are starting a week-long food stamp challenge, living on the average benefit of just $3 a day.

Let's bring back Abbi Tatton.

Abbi, what did $21 buy this week?

ABBI TATTON, CNN INTERNET REPORTER: Well, Wolf, lunch today for Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky was Pasta Roni left over from last night. Tomorrow's she's got ramen noodles to look forward to.

Congresswoman Schakowsky tells me today that she's looking longingly at the diet sodas in her office fridge, strictly off limits this week.

For Congressman Tim Ryan, his grocery bill that's posted online revolves heavily around peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. No money for produce, even after the congressman borrowed his intern's savings card. He still didn't get there.

Ryan and Schakowsky responded to a food stamp challenge by the co-chairs of the House Hunger Caucus: Experience for one week what millions of American do year round.

Congressman Ryan is blogging about it on his site, saying he's finding it near impossible to find a balanced diet on those $3 a day. Representatives Jo Anne Emerson and Jim McGovern has introduced legislation to increase funding to the food stamp program -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. Thanks very much.

It shows you how some people have to live nowadays.

Let's go to Jack Cafferty. He's joining us from New York -- Jack.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: The question this hour is: What message does it send when the mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, wins both the Republican and Democratic primaries? He won everything.

Tam writes, "Illegal immigration is an American issue, not a partisan one."

Gabi in Wilmington, North Carolina, "I think it says that hatred appears to be the great uniter. Sad, but true."

Doreen in Bellevue, Washington, "That American citizens will support anyone, Democrat, Republican or Independent, who stands up to the flood of illegal immigrants. America is drowning in illegal immigrants. They are pulling us all down, and soon America will become just another poor, corrupt, third world country."

Dan in Osprey, Florida, "Expecting landlords to enforce laws against illegal immigration is just nonsensical. Why not expect supermarkets to stop selling food to illegal immigrants, too? Soon we'll be carrying passports just like citizens of certain totalitarian countries."

"No thanks. Voters are often wrong."

Ed in Middletown, Rhode Island, "Mark my word, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, is about to be engulfed in a vast, centrist conspiracy."

Matt in Maine writes, "The obvious answers is that Americans are overwhelmingly disgusted with the immigration debacle in this country and will vote for anyone who will solve the problem regardless of party affiliation. If one presidential candidate stood up and declared that he or she will deport all illegal aliens and prosecute those who hire them, that person would be swept into the White House."

Doug in Woodbury, Minnesota, writes, "When a candidate can win both nominations based on his stance on one issue, I'd say the people have spoken. It's also pretty damn funny."

And Andy in Lexington, Kentucky, "I don't know what it means, but I can't wait to see him debate himself."

If you didn't see your e-mail here, you can go to We post more of them online, along with video clips of "The Cafferty File" -- Wolf.

BLITZER: You see, all of this is taking place now right on the eve of a major supposed breakthrough that senators, Republicans and Democrats, are having on this immigration reform legislation that the president supports as well. The critics call it amnesty, they deny that.

CAFFERTY: Well, it's just -- it's all a joke. There are laws against illegal immigration that have been on the books for a long time. They're simply being ignored by our government. So what's the point of passing more laws? I mean, I don't get it.

BLITZER: See you in an hour, Jack. Thanks very much.

Let's wrap it up with some of the "Hot Shots," pictures coming in from our friends over at The Associated Press.

In India, a police officer shouts for help as firefighters try to extinguish flames inside a police station. Also in India, a boy dives into a pool to cool himself from the scorching heat.

In Macedonia, a boy participates in the country's first Little League.

And in Vermont, check it out, children walk on to the topsy-turvy bus. It's heading to New Hampshire to join a campaign urging presidential candidates to increase investment in families and communities.

Some of this hour's "Hot Shots," pictures often worth a thousand words.

We'll be back in one hour. Much more of our coverage in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Let's go to Lou Dobbs in the meantime.


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