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House Votes on War Funding; Republicans Lay Into John Edwards; High-Tech Protection for U.S. Troops>

Aired May 24, 2007 - 19:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much, Lou.
Happening now, breaking news. Democrats under the gun over Iraq. The House votes on war funding without a timeline for withdrawal. Tonight, division, tough decisions and prodding for President Bush.

Also this hour, high-tech protection for U.S. troops. Should they all be equipped with tracking devices or would that only add to the danger if they are captured by the enemy in Iraq?

And Rudy Giuliani and other Republicans lay into presidential rival John Edwards. Tonight, the war on terror charges a bumper sticker politics and claims Democrats are in denial.

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

We begin with breaking news tonight. Painful choices for many Democrats. Their anti-Iraq war credentials simply on the line. The breaking news from Capitol Hill, the House just approved a $100 billion war funding bill without a troop withdrawal timeline and sent it to the Senate.

The debate apparently so emotional that even the top House Republican got all choked up. Our White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux is standing by.

Let's go to our congressional correspondent Dana Bash first. Dana, how close was the vote in the House?

DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well essentially as we expected it and what happened, Wolf, is that House Democrats who said that they were elected into the majority to try to force a change in the president's Iraq policy did give in to the president's command and sent him a bill, a war funding bill without a timeline for withdrawal. The vote exactly was 280-142.

What is noteworthy about that is that it passed with a lot more Republican support than Democratic support. In fact, the Democrats were really split on this as evidence of that. The House speaker Nancy Pelosi, she voted against this war funding bill.

Now, all day long, the angst, anxiety about this has been palpable here on Capitol Hill and that actually spilled out onto the House floor just late tonight and came from both sides of the aisle.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. JOHN BOEHNER, MINORITY LEADER: After 3,000 of our fellow citizens died, at the hands of these terrorists, when are we going to stand up and take them on? When are we going to defeat them?

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), SPEAKER: I urge my colleagues, as we go forward, however you see the ink blot, however you decide your vote to join to listen to go the American people in the coming days, weeks and months and bring this war to an end.


BASH: Now this particular war funding bill may not have a timeline for troop withdrawal, but it does set conditions. It says Iraqis must make progress on the military and economic front.

If they don't, then it threatens to take away their economic aid. It also forces the president to revise his Iraq strategy in the next couple of months. So this is a significant shift among Republicans, especially that they approved this particular bill and the president will sign it, Wolf.

BLITZER: The House passes it overwhelmingly 280-412. Now it goes to the Senate, Dana. When will the Senate have its roll call?

BASH: We could see that maybe in the next hour. They're trying to figure that out right now. They're trying to find a time to take it up.

But what we are looking for there, Wolf, is how some very important players, especially in the political world are going to vote. Senator Barack Obama, Senator Hillary Clinton, two of the frontrunners when it comes to the 2008 presidential race. They still have not said how they are going to vote.

Everybody is watching to see how they vote because it could determine how the Democratic primary voters look at them because there is big pressure on them to vote against a war funding bill with no plan to bring troops home.

BLITZER: And we'll bring you that vote, our viewers, as soon as it happens in the Senate, Dana, thanks.

President Bush today urged Congress to pass the war funding bill, warning, in his words of a bloody summer ahead in Iraq. Listen to the dire warnings from Mr. Bush during a Rose Garden news conference earlier today.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This summer is going to be a critical time for the new strategy. The last of five reinforcement brigades, we are sending to Iraq are scheduled to arrive in Baghdad by mid June.

As these reinforcements carry out their missions, the enemies of a free Iraq, including al Qaeda and illegal militias will continue to bomb and murder in an attempt to stop us. We're going to expect heavy fighting in the weeks and months. We can expect more American and Iraqi casualties. We must provide our troops with the funds and resources they need to prevail.


BLITZER: And some other key points the president made today, he says he would like to see the U.S. and I'm quoting now, "in a different configuration."

His words, in Iraq, at some point, once Baghdad is under control. He also says if the Iraqi government were to ask the U.S. forces to leave, the U.S. forces, he says, would leave. And he offered praise for the findings of the Iraq study group whose strategy, at least some key opponents of it, he rejected six months ago.

Let's go to our White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux. Suzanne, lots of praise for the Iraq study group. We sort of heard a different tone from the president today.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, you definitely did hear. This was a report, a strategy that was largely rejected by the president six months ago and it is striking to actually hear that report and compare it to this new configuration, the president is talking about.

That, of course, being the difference changing role of the U.S. troops to combat, to support a role and also the emphasis when it comes to the Iraqi political aspects, the efforts being made there and even talks with Iran and Syria, most notably, Wolf, as early as Monday, the U.S. ambassador, Iranian ambassador sitting down and talking one-on-one about the situation in Iraq. Clearly a very distinct reversal.

BLITZER: I assume the White House, Suzanne, believes, now that the House has overwhelmingly passed the war funding bill without a troop deadline, the Senate expected to follow suit, maybe as early as this hour, I assume the White House sees this as a huge victory for the president?

MALVEAUX: It certainly is a victory when it comes to the lack of timetables. That was the big sticking point, as you know, but it's a short-term victory and officials here acknowledge and recognize that.

That is because the president realizes he is going to have perhaps even a tougher battle with Democrats just a few months away when it comes to funding the Iraq war again.

Petraeus is going to come out with his report in September and also as you heard, the president acknowledging THAT there is going to be a lot of violence this summer.

One of the things that really underscores this, the president is not going to be having some sort of public signing ceremony. It is going to be very quiet, behind closed doors in the hopes it will be able to work Democrats and Republicans again in a couple of months. Wolf?

BLITZER: All right Suzanne, Suzanne is at the White House.

Here's some not so good news for the president. Look at this, 72 percent of Americans say the United States is seriously on the wrong track right now.

That, according to a new CBS News/"New York Times" poll. The number is the highest ever recorded in that poll. Only 24 percent of the American people in that poll say the United States, right now, is in the right direction, 72 percent say it's going in the wrong direction.

Jack Cafferty is joining us from New York. That's a record in that CBS News/"New York Times" poll, Jack.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Well, it's also illustrative of the fact that as a growing number of Americans continue to register their complaints about the direction the nation is headed in, the direction doesn't change.

The war on terror is causing new problems for the world rather than solving the old ones. The human rights group Amnesty International says the politics of fear created by the U.S.-led war on terror is polarizing the world and leading to the erosion of human rights, their words.

The report found these policies are, quote, "feeding racism and sowing the seeds for more violence and more conflict," unquote.

The State Department dismissed the report saying that the U.S. is a convenient punching bag for Amnesty International. They have a point. We've been beat up by those guys before.

But the United States wasn't the only country singled out for criticism. Several European countries were accused of failing to standing up to U.S. policies. Britain, Australia and Japan singled out for recently passing harsh new anti-terror laws.

So here is the question for this hour. Are human rights around the world being threatened by the so-called "politics of fear"? E- mail your thoughts to or go to 72 percent of Americans in that poll think the country is seriously headed in the wrong direction. That's depressing.

BLITZER: Right track, wrong track. A lot of pollsters say that is a great indicator of where the mood of the country is right now and I suspect the war in Iraq is clearly dominating the thinking on that, although there are plenty of other factors. Jack, you could weigh in as well.

CAFFERTY: I wonder now how the numbers if they continue with those levels will play into the election campaign as we get closer to 2008. It will be interesting.

BLITZER: Jack, we'll see you in a few moments.

Still to come here in THE SITUATION ROOM, their tears won't stop their tireless search.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It kind of hits home when you sit there and you hold the helmet of a soldier that you knew. Somebody you ate with and you went and did things with and joked around and played cards and some of them, you knew their families. You know, clean their helmet and know that they're gone. It just really hits home.


BLITZER: There is little time for mourning. One U.S. soldier killed in Iraq as troops desperately search for two others still missing.

Also, could something used in your cell phone or car help keep U.S. troops safe in Iraq? We're going to examine a promising technology.

A new book suggests Senator Hillary Clinton would radicalize the White House. We will debate its merits with the author and one of Senator Clinton's major supporters. Stick around. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.


BLITZER: In California, flags and flowers for one American soldier. Thousands of miles away in an area known as the Triangle of Death, a massive search for his killers.

Right now, U.S. and Iraqi troops are looking for those involved, as well as two other American soldiers still missing, after a May 12th attack.

Today, the military announced that a body pulled from the Euphrates River yesterday is one of the soldiers missing after that attack. Now, those who knew him, both at home and in Iraq, are mourning. Our Arwa Damon is embedded with troops involved in the search.


ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 20-year-old private first class Joseph Anzack. No longer listed as duty status whereabouts unknown. For his fellow soldiers, conflicting emotions.

CAPT. DON JAMOLES, U.S. ARMY: Closure. It's kind of like more of a relief feeling knowing that Anzack's body has been recovered. I'm more relieved, probably more for the families, just knowing that they -- they know where their son is and that he has been recovered intact and that they can put it all to rest for them now.

DAMON: Captain Don Jamoles led Delta company, a unit formed under his command about a year and a half ago. The kidnapped and killed soldiers were with the 1st platoon, one of his best.

JAMOLES: With these soldiers, they're the ones that made up the company so we've had a -- we've reached milestones together so there is little bit more camaraderie because of that.

You don't expect -- you always -- you tell the guys, especially these guys who came in, the young privates, they're coming in at a time of war and they know that we're going to get deployed sooner or later and you're going to come to war and we've explained to them that, hey, there will be times where we will have casualties, we will have death, and that is the fact of war. You know, people die.

DAMON: Anzack's boots were just added to these five pairs. The four Americans and one Iraqi also killed in the May 12th attack.

JAMOLES: I can't bring them back, you know? But I did promise I would bring them home. So, if anything, we bring them home one way or the other.

DAMON: Preparations are under way for a memorial service for the soldiers lost.

PVT. DUSTIN BOYD, CHAPLAIN ASSISTANT: It kind of hits home. I mean, you sit there and you hold the helmet of a soldier you knew. Somebody you ate with and you went and did things with and joked around and played cards and some of them, you knew their families and just, you know, sit there and clean their helmet and know they're gone, it really hits home.

DAMON: In the midst of the war, the battalion men look for moments of peace to absorb with what has happened.

JEFF BRYANT, U.S. ARMY CHAPLAIN: A lot of guys are seeing that they're coming here to the chapel to just find a quiet place where they can just gather their thoughts and try to -- try to process the hurt and the thoughts.

DAMON: But the realities of war soon intrude. There are still two missing soldiers that must be found, somehow. Arwa Damon, CNN, Yusufiya, Iraq.


BLITZER: Could a popular technology found in many cell phones and help many drivers navigate actually be used in incidents like these?

Let's go to CNN's Brian Todd, he's joining us now. Brian, the GPS and other tracking devices, potentially, they could be used to try to find missing American soldiers?

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They can be used in different ways, Wolf. The obvious is they can help troops and commanders figure out where they are and maybe where the enemy is. So we've been pressing military officials on their possible use for an individual service member in this situation.


TODD (voice over): A relentless search for two missing American soldiers in Iraq. Could tracking devices placed on their bodies have helped to find them faster?

MAJ. GEN. WILLIAM CALDWELL, SPOKESMAN, MULTINATIONAL FORCE, IRAQ: That kind of technology does exist. Obviously, it's not down to fine microchips at this point, but it does exist, and it is used in this theater by certain forces when they're conducting specialized-type missions.

TODD: Because of the high risk and sensitivity of those missions, we cannot say what units the troops who carry tracking devices are assigned to, what the equipment looks like, or where it's placed on the body. Just about every U.S. military vehicle in Iraq has GPS or another type of electronic tracking device so their commanders can monitor them. It's called blue force tracking.

Some law enforcement units back home have experimented with chips that give physical data about officers but don't have tracking signals. U.S. military officials say soldiers and Marines in most regular combat units in Iraq, like the missing soldiers' division, are not outfitted with tracking devices. One reason, the danger involved if a soldier carrying one gets captured.

MAJ. BOB BEVELACQUA, FMR. AMY GREEN BERET: That provides certain options for the adversary. If he knows that this is a tracker and somebody's going to come back and get this tracker because they think it's associated with a human being, they have the ability to set up an ambush for whatever unit's going to come back and try and find this unit.


TODD: One option, placing a tracking micro chip under a service member's skin. Former U.S. specialist operations officers tell us they believe that's being developed. Current military officials won't comment on that, Wolf.

BLITZER: What about the cost, Brian? Is that at all a consideration?

TODD: It's a big consideration. Just about every former officer I spoke with said the cost of outfitting each combat troop with a tracking device is one of the main reasons they don't have them right now.

BLITZER: So when you speak with the various special operations types and others -- I know you've been doing a lot of reporting on this, the pros and cons of having these type of tracking devices what are they saying?

TODD: Some believe that every service member should have them. Some don't because of the risks we talked about. But others say if they can deal with the cost and pay for all of this, it is worth it not only to track missing troops, but to be able to tell friendlies from enemies on the battlefield.

BLITZER: Brian Todd reporting for us.

Such devices by the way are not just tools for war, but they're also tools that could keep all of us and all of our families safe. We saw that back in February when three mountain climbers and their dog were stranded overnight on Oregon's Mt. Hood. Rescuers found them all safe by tracking their mountain locator unit, a device similar to the one seen here.

Also many models of cell phones use GPS tracking software that could locate you in case of an emergency. There are also several products available to keep track of children. Many of them act as emergency cell phones and tracking devices with some even able to display on a map the places your child has visited.

Still ahead tonight in THE SITUATION ROOM, cheered like a rock star. We'll take you inside Iran where thousands turned out for the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as he takes on the west.

Plus, why New Jersey's governor wants you to know that he should be dead. His special message, all that coming up when we come back.


BLITZER: The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is ruling out even a brief halt in his country's nuclear program. He says he would hand a victory to the country's enemies and keep Iran from its goal of becoming a world power. CNN's Aneesh Raman is the only American correspondent who is in Tehran right now and he is joining us -- Aneesh?

ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, yesterday, came the IAEA's report and today came the Iranian reaction. Neither has proved a surprise.


RAMAN (voice-over): They came out in the thousands to cheer a man regarded by man here as a hero. And Mahmoud Ahmadinjead did not disappoint, saying Iran would never halt its nuclear program.

And just days before the U.S. and Iran are set to meet to discuss Iraq, he had a warning for the west telling Iran's enemies to stop undermining the regime Ahmadinejad was just getting started.

"Whatever action they take," he said, "in the coming days, it will be their last useless attempt."

Amid reports the Bush administration is looking to actively destabilize a government here as more U.S. warships move into the Persian Gulf, all suspicions are, once again a hot topic in marketplace of Tehran. That the United States is looking for one thing right now, regime change.

But analysts say a majority of the Iranian people want a relationship with the United States. For them, what little hope remains is almost exclusively hinging on one moment, this coming Monday in Iraq, when Iranian and U.S. officials will talk one-on-one for the first time, at least publicly, since 1979.

It is, though, a tall order for a first date.


RAMAN: Over and over again, Iranians tell me what little hope they have left, that Iran and the U.S. can sit down now rests solely on what happens on Monday in Iraq.

BLITZER: Aneesh Raman reporting for us from Tehran. We will continue to get Aneesh's exclusive reports right here in THE SITUATION ROOM. He's in Tehran right now.

Let's go to Carol Costello, she's monitoring stories incoming to THE SITUATION ROOM right now. What is the latest?

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Wolf, an emotional tribute to the eldest daughter of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Hundreds of people gathered today for Yolanda King's funeral. It was held at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta where her father preached. Yolanda King was an actress, an activist, producer and a motivational speaker. She died May 15th in California. She was only 51-years-old.

The nation's largest consumer electronics retailer is being slapped with a lawsuit. Connecticut's attorney general accuses Best Buy of deceiving customers and overcharging them. The lawsuit accuses Best Buy of denying deals found on the company's Web site and it alleges that store employees charge customers higher prices found on a look-alike internal Web site. Best Buy strongly denies the allegations.

On the wide screen as Memorial Day approaches, U.S. forces buried at Arlington National Cemetery are being honored. Late this afternoon, members of the military placed an American flag at each of the cemeteries, more than 220,000 graves.

Back to you, Wolf.

BLITZER: Carol, thanks very much. We will get back to you shortly. Just ahead, presidential candidates do battle over so-called bumper sticker politics. Republican Rudy Giuliani accusing Democrat John Edwards of being in denial about the war on terror.

And later, the remaking of candidate Clinton. A new book says it's nothing but an extreme makeover. Stay with us. We'll be right back.


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

Happening now, gunfire shatters a two-day truce. At a Palestinian refuge camp in Lebanon, there were fiery exchanges between Lebanese troops and Islamic militants. It's unclear what started it all. We're watching the story.

Also, the $120 billion Iraq war spending bill passed this evening by the House of Representatives also includes increase in the federal minimum wage that would raise from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour in three installments. It's the first such wage increase in almost a decade.

Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer of New York says the Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will face a no-confidence vote in the Senate. This comes amid the controversy over those eight fired U.S. attorneys. Schumer says the Senate will take part in the vote after debate on the immigration bill is completed supposedly over the next couple of weeks. I'm Wolf Blitzer, you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

In the presidential race tonight, top Republicans are laying into Democrat John Edwards for brushing aside the war on terror as a mere slogan. Rudy Giuliani, for one, is accusing Edwards of being in denial.

Let's go to CNN's Mary Snow.

Mary, remind us what Edwards said, and now what Giuliani is saying in response.

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, what is at issue here is, Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said yesterday that the global war on terror is a political doctrine advanced by the Bush administration. Republicans have wasted no time firing back.


SNOW (voice-over): The clash began with this.

JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The war on terror is a slogan designed only for politics. It is not a strategy to make America safe. It's a bumper sticker, not a plan.

SNOW: President Bush called the notion naive. And, on the campaign trail, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney pounced.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Yes, boo. It's -- maybe he needs to explain that to the people in London. Explain that to the people of London, to the people in Madrid. Explain that to the people of New York City.

SNOW: Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani also jumped on Edwards, saying: "When you go so far as to suggest that the global war on terror is a bumper sticker or slogan, it kind of makes the point I have been making over and over again, that the Democrats -- or at least some of them -- are in denial." EDWARDS: John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, the other Republicans running for president of the United States are trying to be a bigger, badder George Bush. Is that really what America wants over the next four years?

SNOW: But other Democrats are questioning the war on terror. At a debate in South Carolina, Senator Joe Biden, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, and Edwards all criticized the global-war-on-terror label.

STUART ROTHENBERG, "THE ROTHENBERG POLITICAL REPORT": Well, for Senator Edwards, in the short term, it could be a plus if he tries to own the anti-war movement, the anti-war crowd. But, over the long term, I think it has some significant risk to him and to his party.

SNOW: That's because Democrats have been fighting the image that Republicans are stronger on national security. It's what sent President Bush back to the White House in 2004. Rudy Giuliani hopes it will be his ticket in 2008.

RUDOLPH GIULIANI (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't think the Democrats have gotten the full impact of the message the way the Republicans have, because I'm afraid they're going to put us back on defense.


SNOW: But even Giuliani has questioned the term "war on terror."

Back in March, he told reporters that too many view the United States as a country that prefers war. He suggested the better term would be, in his words, the terrorist war against us -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Mary Snow, watching this story for us.

By the way, it sounds like a dream come true for at least that one presidential candidate, a stake in a sunken treasure. We're referring to Senator John Edwards. It seems Edwards does, indeed, have a claim on a $500 million gold and silver fortune found at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean last weekend.

And here is why. Edwards has a stake in the New York based Fortress Investments. You may remember he recently defended his past work for that hedge fund, saying it doesn't overshadow his anti- poverty efforts. It turns out Fortress Investments is the biggest shareholder in Odyssey Marine Research. That's the company that discovered the sunken treasure.

And, right now, it's not clear what Edwards' share of the booty might be.

She is a front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination and the subject of a new book by Bay Buchanan, "The Extreme Makeover of Hillary (Rodham) Clinton." Is what you see what you get from candidate Clinton?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BLITZER: Joining us now, the outspoken author, a former CNN political analyst, Bay Buchanan, who is also now a senior adviser to equally outspoken Republican presidential hopeful Congressman Tom Tancredo.

Also joining us, Lanny Davis, former special counsel to President Bill Clinton, who's known Hillary Clinton, I guess, since law school days back at Yale Law School.


BLITZER: Bay, let's start with you.

The title, "The Extreme Makeover of Hillary (Rodham) Clinton" -- you put Rodham in parentheses -- here's what you write on page eight: "Hillary Rodham Clinton is going to run for president as someone she is not. This talk of an evolving Hillary is part of an extreme makeover to get the old Hillary remodeled -- remolded," that is, "and repackaged into a marketable political force for 2008."

All right, give us one piece of evidence why you say that.

BAY BUCHANAN, AUTHOR, "THE EXTREME MAKEOVER OF HILLARY (RODHAM) CLINTON": Well, it's clear. There is an attempt here not only to hide the fact that she is a liberal, that she is from the far left part of her party, but also the character herself.

Just think back a few years ago, Wolf. She was the first lady of the United States. After three years in the public limelight, 52 percent of Americans believed she was a liar, and 68 percent believed she had violated the law or done something wrong. She had done this on her own, yet, she takes no responsibility for any of this.

She has to make that image over, and she's done a very, very good job. But character stays with you. You don't move to another job and leave your character behind. And that's a critical aspect when you're running for president. We must know her true character.

BLITZER: Lanny, you have known this woman for a long time. Is Bay right?

DAVIS: She's not right, but she's entitled to her opinion, Wolf. But it is just opinion.

This is a person I have known, is ready to lead this country, has been on the front lines in two terms of a successful presidency, has fought for public education and children for over 35 years. She is the same Hillary Rodham Clinton that I knew.

She is bright. She's committed. She's a -- public service- oriented. She's kind. She's a good friend. And the American people will get to know her, the way the people of New York got to know her, where even red-state counties in 2006 overwhelmingly supported her. And she will be the Democratic Party nominee, and she is the candidate of change, and she will be our next president.


BLITZER: The people of New York State, which is a big state, they overwhelmingly supported her both times.


BLITZER: You have been criticized for this paragraph in the book.

And I will read it to you and let you respond: "As I studied Hillary from her early years, through her days as first lady, it became more and more evident that extreme insecurity is a dominant personality trait."

You go on and write this: "After days of research, I was led to a fascinating field of study involving narcissistic personality style. The symptoms of the related disorder were intriguing. I have included them in an end note."

Now, we went to the end notes.

BUCHANAN: Yes. You know...

BLITZER: We didn't see any end note at all explaining what you're talking about.

BUCHANAN: You know, and that's unfortunate, because it was to be there. It was cut off at the print, and my publicist will be glad to get you a copy of it. But this was interesting.

There is no question in my mind this is a very insecure person. And the reason I know that is, I read her book.

In my book, I give documentation. I have documentation where I show her own words, proving without question that she feels this. Insecurity -- and I say this in my book -- in and of itself does not in any way restrict somebody becoming a great leader, Wolf. John Adams was insecure, and wrote about it extensively.

The problem is how she's addressed it. She's got this air of superiority.

BLITZER: It's your opinion, though. And I want Lanny to respond.

Your opinion that she has this narcissistic...

BUCHANAN: No, no, I didn't say that in the book.

BLITZER: ... personality style...

BUCHANAN: I said I was led -- as I studied insecurity, I was led to this. And I asked the reader...

BLITZER: But you're not a psychologist. BUCHANAN: No. But -- and I didn't suggest she has it. I'm very clear in the book that it's for the reader to look at where I was led and decide themselves.

And then I make it very, very clear, I cannot make that judgment. All I do know is, she's insecure. I have a Ph.D. in life. I can guarantee you, this is a very insecure woman.

DAVIS: Let's at least leave your viewers with facts, rather than opinions.

This is a woman who, for almost four decades, has been dedicated to public service, advocating for children, advocating for health care, advocating for workers, and, in the White House, shared with her husband, the president, the commitment to fiscal conservatism, balancing budgets, and leaving the country with a surplus.

The future President Hillary Clinton will be a combination of a centrist Democrat that this country needs, but truly bring back fiscal responsibility.

And, Bay, even you will have...

BUCHANAN: You don't seriously -- seriously...

DAVIS: ... to admit that the deficits under a Republican administration should have been troublesome to you and your brother.


BUCHANAN: But you cannot -- you cannot call her a centrist. Her record is right up there with Kennedy's and Dodd's.

DAVIS: No, she's...

BUCHANAN: The ADA, American Democrats for Action, give her the same rating as the Dodds of this country. She is a liberal through and through, and she is recognized as such.


DAVIS: She is a progressive Democrat, there is no question, in the center of our party. We're for working people. And that's where she stands.


DAVIS: But I am saying that this...

BUCHANAN: The record does not show that.

BLITZER: All right.

DAVIS: ... country wants to go back to the prosperity of the Clinton years and changing the future. And she's the candidate...

BUCHANAN: She is a socialist. And I prove it, Lanny. She's a socialist.

BLITZER: We have got to leave it there, guys.


BLITZER: The book's entitled "The Extreme Makeover of Hillary (Rodham) Clinton".

Bay Buchanan, a former CNN analyst, joining us, now working for Tom Tancredo, good to have you here back in THE SITUATION ROOM.

BUCHANAN: Great to be with you, Wolf, always.

BLITZER: Lanny Davis, always good to have you here as well.

DAVIS: Thank you, Wolf.


BLITZER: And still ahead tonight here in THE SITUATION ROOM: two American allies on the brink of war? We have an exclusive report from the Iraqi-Turkish border, where things right now are heating up. You're going to learn something. Stick around for that.

And the attack was shocking. Now a 91-year-old beating victim confronts his accused attacker.

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


BLITZER: As rogue elements inflame sectarian violence and wreak havoc on the U.S. and Iraqi troops, some people in a country neighboring Iraq say they are also under attack. Many in Turkey, a NATO ally, say a hard-line Kurdish group in northern Iraq is behind Tuesday's deadly bombing in Ankara that killed at least six people, and they want revenge.

American troops in Iraq could be caught in the middle. Today, Turkey's prime minister said the parliament would support a strike, should the Turkish military request one.

CNN's Paula Hancocks is on the border between Iraq and Turkey with this exclusive report -- Paula.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, some 150,000 Turkish soldiers are currently on or near this border between Turkey and Iraq. The military desire would be to go into northern Iraq and destroy the camps of Kurdish militants, otherwise known as the PKK.

But the political question is, will Turkey go in, even without U.S. approval?


HANCOCKS (voice-over): This is where the U.S. hopes it will never have to take sides. We're in Turkey heading towards the border with Iraq. The closer we get, the more evidence there is of a Turkish military build-up.

Turkey's army chief says his troops are ready to attack what he calls Kurdish terrorist camps in northern Iraq. And a former Turkish general, Edip Baser, believes an operation could be just weeks away.

Now that snow's melting in the mountains ahead, Kurdish militants have been stepping up cross-border attacks into Turkey, and Turkish leaders are furious at Washington and Baghdad for not stepping in to help.

GENERAL EDIP BASER, FORMER TURKISH SPECIAL ENVOY FOR COUNTERTERRORISM: So for the Turkish people on the street, it is a testing ground for Turkish-American relations. Either we do something and stop this bloody terrorism together -- and, so, the Americans prove that they are fighting against terrorism of all kinds, not only their terrorists.

HANCOCKS: General Baser has since been removed from his post as special anti-terror envoy, some believe for being too vocal about the failure to crush the Kurdish militant group known as the PKK.

(on camera): This is the only official border crossing between Turkey and Iraq. Every day, more than 1,200 trucks come through into Turkey. And every single one of them has to be searched, to make sure that the PKK is not smuggling through arms.

But, of course, the PKK does not have to use this crossing. The entire border with Iraq lasts almost 250 miles. And even the Turkish military has to admit it cannot guard every inch.

(voice-over): The military has crossed into Iraq before, but not since Saddam Hussein was deposed and not since some 150,000 American soldiers have been stationed there.

Kurdistan has been heralded by the U.S. as the biggest success story of Iraq, and it wants to keep it that way.


HANCOCKS: In a worst-case scenario, Turkey would attack the PKK in northern Iraq. Iraq would feel compelled to respond. And then American, as an ally and a friend to both, would be stuck in the middle -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Paula, thanks very much -- Paula is doing some exclusive reporting from the border between Turkey and Iraq. This is a story we will stay on top of.

Still ahead: He was punched unmercifully by a carjacker. Now the 91-year-old beating victim gets a shot at justice.

And why the governor of New Jersey says he should be dead -- his gripping new message about the decision that almost killed him.

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


BLITZER: We told you the story of an elderly man being pummelled by a carjacker in a Detroit parking lot. Now the tables have turned on the accused attacker.

CNN senior correspondent Allan Chernoff has the new chapter.


ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN SENIOR CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was 8:30 in the evening when a thug assaulted 91-year-old Leonard Sims as he was about to check a lottery ticket. This store surveillance video called the assailant punching Sims 21 times.

In court Wednesday, the World War II veteran and former barber confronted his alleged assailant, 22-year-old Deonte Bradley.

LEONARD SIMS, BEATING VICTIM: He started punching, and said he wanted a light for his cigarette. And, before I could answer, he started punching me.

CHERNOFF: Several men stood nearby and did nothing to attack. Sims collapsed after his assailant stole his Chevy Malibu. He suffered multiple bruises and damage to his hearing. Seeing the video in court made his wife thankful her husband is still alive.

NORA SIMS, WIFE OF LEONARD SIMS: My mind went back to when I saw my husband in the hospital. I did not think he was going to make it.

CHERNOFF: Deonte Bradley is charged with assault and carjacking, carrying a potential sentence of life in prison. At Bradley's arraignment Wednesday, police officer Kevin White read what he said was Bradley's confession.

OFFICER KEVIN WHITE, DETROIT POLICE DEPARTMENT: "I hit him a few times, got the keys, and drove off in the car."

Question: "Why did you commit the crime?"

Answer: "It wasn't intentionally. It's something I did, and it was stupid."

CHERNOFF: Now Deonte Bradley claims he fears for his safety in jail, telling his lawyer he's been threatened, a claim to which Mrs. Sims has no sympathy.

N. SIMS: Well, let the prisoners have him. Let him see what it's like to be hit 21 times.

Allan Chernoff, CNN, New York.


BLITZER: A startling admission from the New Jersey governor. CNN's Carol Costello is joining us now with more on this story -- Carol.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, this should change things, Wolf. Governor Corzine broke his left leg, his sternum, his collarbone, 11 ribs, and a lower vertebra. If he had been buckled in, buckled in with a seat belt, he likely would have walked away with minor injuries.



GOV. JON CORZINE (D), NEW JERSEY: I'm New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, and I should be dead.


COSTELLO (voice-over): With that startling introduction, the man who did not wear his seat belt tells viewers in a public service announcement released Thursday that buckling up is a matter of life and death. And he should know.

Just last April, Governor Corzine was beltless, sitting in the front passenger seat when the state trooper vehicle he was riding in crashed.


CORZINE: I spent eight days in intensive care where a ventilator was breathing for me.


COSTELLO: So who's that person driving a pickup truck at his Texas ranch over the weekend?

Yes, it's the president of the United States. And, if you look closely, you will see that he isn't wearing his seat belt, either.

What about that, your boss wearing his seat belt, Tony Snow?

TONY SNOW, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, it's always important to wear seat belts, especially when driving slowly on the ranch. But I think it's -- it's, in point a fact, something, that, you know -- we encourage everybody to wear their seat belts.

COSTELLO: It's not known if President Bush will be watching Governor Corzine's public service announcement.

Now, technically, the president wasn't breaking the law. Texas is one of 49 states that requires adults to wear seat belts, though it doesn't require it on private property.

Which state doesn't require adult seat belt use? New Hampshire.

And, just this week, the Live Free Or Die state legislature voted in a committee to keep it that way, even though 77 percent of fatal crashes there involve people not wearing seat belts.

Perhaps they, too, might want to take a look at Governor Corzine's message.


CORZINE: Buckle up.



COSTELLO: It seems like such common sense.

You know, as Corzine left the hospital in a wheelchair, he apologized to his state, promising to set a good example. And, Wolf, this is his start.

BLITZER: And it's a good start. Let's hope our viewers out there are paying attention, especially as they hit the road this Memorial Day weekend.

Carol, thanks very much.

Let's see what is coming up at the top of the hour on "PAULA ZAHN NOW" -- Kyra Phillips sitting in for Paula tonight.

Hi, Kyra.


Well, we are going to be following the breaking news, as Congress gets closer and closer to giving President Bush the money he wants for the Iraq war.

Also out in the open: a disturbing new trend in the war on drugs, secret pot farms in pretty suburban homes.

And, when Muslims go to court, can they swear to tell the truth on Korans instead of Bibles? A new ruling at the top of the hour -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Sounds good, Kyra. We will be watching. Thank you.

And still ahead here in THE SITUATION ROOM: Are human rights around the world being threatened by the so-called politics of fear? Jack Cafferty with your e-mail -- when we come back.


BLITZER: Here is a look at some of the "Hot Shots" coming in from our friends over at the Associated Press, pictures likely to be in your hometown newspapers tomorrow.

In Siberia, minors leave a coal mine where a methane explosion killed at least 38 people. Rescuers have stopped their search for survivors.

In India, fishermen rest on their boat after a day on the river Ganges.

In Italy, cyclists in the Tour of Italy race, climb a hill, as a devilish supporter cheers them on.

And in Germany -- check it out -- Yogli, the polar bear -- that's his name, Yogli -- plays with a basketball at the Munich Zoo -- some of this hour's "Hot Shots," pictures often worth 1,000 words.

You like those pictures, Jack, don't you?


BLITZER: Yogli...

CAFFERTY: Yogli -- Yogli is...

BLITZER: ... a sweet little -- a sweet little guy.

CAFFERTY: ... is one cool dude, guarantee you.

The question this hour is: Are human rights around the world being threatened by the so-called politics of fear, as is alleged in the latest report by Amnesty International?

Mike in Pittsburgh writes: "It may well be that human rights are being abrogated somewhat by the politics of fear. However, they are also being heavily trampled on by global terrorism."

Patrick in Manhattan Beach, California: "Are you referring to the human rights of the soldier found floating in the Euphrates River, one of the hundreds of people beheaded by the terrorists, one of the thousands of innocent men, women, and children blown up by suicide bombers as they shop, go to school, or dine out? Or are you referring to the human rights of those forced to wear women's panties on their head and have water poured on their face? I certainly agree the human rights of one of those groups is threatened."

Claudine in Miami: "Unfortunately, fear is extremely contagious. Here in the U.S., the virus is usually transmitted via the media."

Kim in Colorado: "President Bush's recent disclosure of 2005 al Qaeda plots aimed at Iraq and the U.S. represents yet another transparent manipulation of intelligence in -- by this administration, designed to shore up support for the increasingly unpopular war in Iraq by using fear tactics. Doesn't it bother anyone that the Bush administration's hypocritical foreign policy condones civil rights violations in China, Saudi Arabia, Korea, the Soviet Union, Africa, and the U.S., but we will invest a trillion dollars to halt civil rights violations in Iraq, and install a government which still tolerates stoning women to death for allowing themselves to be raped?"

Jordan in Flushing, New York, writes: "I teach English at John Jay College, about two blocks down the street from you guys. And, every term, I have students select a modern political speech of their choice, and then tell me how it manipulates its audience into supporting reprehensible and immoral policies through fear and hate. I'm considering dropping the assignment. It's getting too easy."

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

BLITZER: Thank you very much, Jack Cafferty. We will see you tomorrow.

And we will see you tomorrow as well. Every day, remember, we're on the air for two hours, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Eastern, back for another hour 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

Tomorrow: The United Nations says Iran is advancing its nuclear program, but when will the U.N. take a tougher stance? A special report here in THE SITUATION ROOM tomorrow, 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

Until then, thanks very much for joining us. I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington.

"PAULA ZAHN NOW" starts right now, Kyra Phillips sitting in for Paula -- Kyra.

PHILLIPS: Thanks, Wolf.


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