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LOU DOBBS TONIGHT
Defeat Of The Immigration Bill, That Everyone Loved To Hate, Begs The Question, What Next? Better Border Security?
Aired June 29, 2007 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR, LOU DOBBS TONIGHT: Tonight the Senate's vote in favor of the American citizens and against amnesty sending political shock waves across the nation. The vote appears, however, unlikely to improve the low standing of the president or Congress among those responding to polls, we'll have complete coverage.
Also new demands for the federal government to enforce existing immigration laws. Will the Bush administration now live up to its constitutional responsibilities? We'll have that story.
And Congress standing up for working men and women in this country, refusing to give the president a blank check to pursue his so-called free trade agenda. We'll have that report.
And three of the country's best and brightest political analysts and strategists join me to talk about what's been a fascinating political week. All of that, all the day's news, and much more, straight ahead here tonight.
ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT, news, debate and opinion for Friday June 29. Live from New York, Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: Good evening, everybody. Congress tonight stepping up its assault against the Bush administration after the crushing defeat of the president's amnesty legislation. Democratic leaders escalating their offensive against the White House on issues ranging from the war in Iraq to the president's executive powers. Members of Congress trying to win political advantage from the Senate's vote to stand up for the American people, and defeat amnesty, but lawmakers facing a difficult task, as approval ratings for Congress have been plunging to levels below that of the president.
Bill Schneider has our report -- Bill.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Lou, the immigration bill was a bipartisan bill, it's failure was a bipartisan failure, one that could signify a new dynamic in American politics.
SCHNEIDER (voice over): After six months, the Congress is taking a break. Well-deserved? No, say Republicans.
REP. ERIC CANTOR (R) VIRGINIA: We are now halfway through the first year of the 110th Congress, and there's no question that the failure on the part of the Democrats, in terms of their midterm exam, is really I think a letdown to the expectation of the American people.
SCHNEIDER: Democratic leaders are inclined to agree.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I'm not happy with Congress, either.
SCHNEIDER: And the American people? Look at the grades. While President Bush is doing terribly, an average of 30 percent job approval in recent polls, Congress is doing worse, 25 percent. Why the low marks? Democrats point to one issue where not much seems to be getting done.
SEN. HARRY REID, MAJORITY LEADER: The war in Iraq is dragging down people's confidence in what is going on in this country.
SCHNEIDER: Republicans point to another issue.
SEN. JIM DEMINT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: One of the reasons that confidence is at an all-time low is because of in immigration bill.
SCHNEIDER: So, are voters ready to change horses again, and go back to a Republican Congress? Nope. A solid majority says it's good for the country that the Democratic Party is in control of Congress, even though they're doing a lousy job? Yes. People think, OK, the Democrats aren't so great, but the Republicans are worse. Americans are not convinced that changing parties will make much difference. The new dynamic in American politics, right now, isn't Democrat versus Republican.
SEN. JON KYL (R), ARIZONA: It's a sad commentary in America today that many Americans have lost faith in their government. The only group that has poll numbers less than the president these days is the United States Congress. Americans don't believe that their government is representing them, is acting on their behalf.
SCHNEIDER: It's the people versus the government.
SCHNEIDER: The immigration bill is a perfect illustration. It was a bipartisan bill supported by President Bush, and most Democrats in Congress, or in the Senate at least. Now, why didn't it pass? Because the people didn't like it.
Lou, I checked the Senate vote and found that senators running for reelection next year were more likely to vote no; Democrats, as well as Republicans. Voting yes on this bill, and then having to face the voters next year was a frightening prospect for many Senators.
DOBBS: And I expect, as well, Bill, that it was very frightening to those senators to have their switchboards break down because their constituents were actually voicing their views and opinions, about those senators and that legislation.
SCHNEIDER: That's right. When it comes to issues like this, the intensity of opinion matters even more than numbers. Senators respond to intensity.
DOBBS: And as the polls suggest, this time numbers were matching intensity.
SCHNEIDER: That's right.
DOBBS: Bill Schneider, thank you very much, from Washington.
DOBBS: After the collapse of the amnesty legislation there are new demands for the government to enforce immigration laws already on the books. As many as 1 million people are crossing our borders illegally, each and every year. Between 40 and 60 percent of legal visitors to this country overstay their visas. Christine Romans has our report.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Trying to sell its amnesty plan, the White House promised it would enforce the law and secure the borders, but a promise wasn't enough.
SEN. DAVID VITTER (R) LOUISIANA: The message is crystal clear that the American people want us to start with enforcement, both at the border and at the workplace.
ROMANS: The question now, what next? The administration almost apologizing as it promises to enforce the law.
MICHAEL CHERTOFF, SECRETARY, HOMELAND SECURITY: You will continue to see heart-wrenching examples of families being pulled apart, because I have an obligation to enforce the law, whether it's painful to do, or whether it's pleasurable to do. But in order to regain the credibility with the American people that has been squandered over 30 years, we're going to have to be tough.
ROMANS: Credibility so badly squandered that Americans have lost faith in government.
SEN. JON KYL (R), ARIZONA: They don't think we can control our borders, that we can win a war, that we can issue passports, that we can solve other problems.
ROMANS: But will the administration get serious? And 854 miles of fence was signed into law last fall. The Homeland Security secretary expects just 150 miles finished by September. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says worksite enforcement is up over the past couple years. Some 3,000 administrative and 600 criminal arrests so far this year, but there are an estimated 12 to 20 million illegal aliens. ICE has triple the number of fugitive arrest teams to 61, but there are still more than 600,000 criminal fugitives at large. And in Washington, resistance to enforcing the law on the books.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: I've looked at it. It's unenforceable. The current law doesn't work, and we're about to change it in a way that would, in my opinion.
ROMANS: Fake documents and purchased Social Security numbers make the current system of worksite enforcement impossible.
ROMANS: But that's not the message sent to Washington this week. Crack the document rings, punish employers who hire illegal workers, deport criminal fugitive aliens, and you don't need a bipartisan -- grand compromise -- to do those things, Lou.
DOBBS: Not even a little bit. For them to complete that 140 miles of fence, that means they would have to complete 10 times as much fence as this administration has put up over the course of the past seven months.
ROMANS: We're mandated next year for another 200 and some miles. At the pace we're going now, the critics say it's just not going quickly enough and they're concerned there's just not a will to do that.
DOBBS: There's not the will on the part of this government. Senator Kyl, I thought it was striking, saying -- listing the many things that the federal government cannot do. Senator McCain, Senator Graham, now referring to these laws as unenforceable. This is much like the mantra about jobs that Americans won't do, change to jobs that they're not doing.
This administration, and the efforts here to push this amnesty through, to start creating now the expression "unenforceable laws" rather than a government that will not enforce the laws is quite a different distinction. This is becoming an Orwellian practice in Washington, D.C.
ROMANS: And I wonder what the folks who are in those fugitive teams, going out to hunt fugitives -- I wonder what those -- the people who are building that fence, the people working for the Border Patrol, I wonder how they feel when they're told the current system is unenforceable, when that is their job and they're working hard.
DOBBS: To hear the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security speak in such reluctant tones about enforcing the U.S. laws has got to send a wonderful signal to the outstanding men and women of Homeland Security. Quite something to behold. Thank you very much, Christine Romans.
Later here we'll have much more on our continuing crisis of illegal immigration and border security, and the failure of our government to address the crisis.
Turning now to the war in Iraq and the rising number of U.S. casualties. The past three months have been the deadliest quarter of the entire war for our troops; 329 of our troops have been killed since the beginning of April. Roadside bombs accounted for four out of every five American combat deaths. Barbara Starr has our report from the Pentagon.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The threat from improvised explosive devices, IEDs, suddenly is growing. This attack caught on camera earlier this week, no one died. Insurgent videos show their tailoring their attacks to military vehicles, but on Thursday in Baghdad, five U.S. soldiers were killed and seven wounded when insurgents set off a deeply buried IED and then attacked with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades.
MAJOR GEN. JOSEPH FIL, JR., MULTI-NATIONAL DIVISION, BAGHDAD: It was a very violent attack. And we thought it did show a level of sophistication that we have not often seen, so far in this campaign.
STARR: IEDs are now being found buried in sewers, irrigation ditches, and under roads, often so deep military detection devices are useless. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is pressing industry to build hundreds of these new armored vehicles as fast as possible and get them shipped to Iraq.
ROBERT GATES, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Lives are at stake. For every month we delay, scores of young Americans are going to die, and so I think that's the biggest incentive of all.
STARR: But the new vehicles, designed to be the best protection yet from an IED attack, won't end the threat.
GATES: There is no fail-safe. These IEDs, these large IEDs can destroy an Abrams tank, so there is no surefire guarantee that anything will be -- provide absolute protection.
STARR: General Fil also said that U.S. troops and personnel in the green zone are now being targeted and attacked by Iranian-made rockets and mortars, some of them with very recent manufacture dates on them -- Lou.
DOBBS: Barbara, then, the question arises again -- why is the United States government tolerating Iranian interference in Iraq and permitting them to support the killing of our troops?
STARR: Well, Lou, I think most people would ask the question if the U.S. government, you know, has anything it can really do about it, or the U.S. military? Clearly they're not going to cross the border into Iran. They're continuing to go after what they say are the networks of insurgents, and people bringing these weapons in, trying to arrest the people when they can. But there is absolutely no intent on the part of the U.S. military, at the direction of the politicians, to cross the border and go into Iran, Lou.
DOBBS: Well, if the United States government cannot stop the support of those who would kill Americans, and stop a foreign nation from participating in the murder, the killing of our troops, why in the world would we keep our troops in that area? STARR: Lou, I think most people understand that President Bush has this national strategy to try and bring some measure of security and stability to Iraq. They believe, if they can get the Iraqi government up and running, working, and really running that country, that they can deal with the Iranian situation, but of course all that remains to be seen, Lou.
DOBBS: Barbara, thank you very much. Barbara Starr reporting from the Pentagon.
Five of our troops have been killed in Iraq over the past 24 hours, 99 of our troops have been killed so far this month; 3,576 of our troops killed since the war began, and 26,350 troops wounded, 11,831 of them seriously.
President Bush is expected to discuss the war in Iraq and other international issues with Russian President Vladimir Putin Sunday. The meeting in Kennebunkport, Maine will focus on the rising tensions between the United States and Russia. Russia, rapidly building up it's military, Moscow using its rising economic power to intimidate its neighbors. Ed Henry has our report.
ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Lou, today some fishing and fun for President Bush near his family's compound at Walker's Point. But he'll have to shift gears, as you noted, very hard on Sunday when the Russian president arrives. They have a lot to talk about.
President Bush hoping that the casual atmosphere in Kennebunkport here will help repair a relationship that has suddenly really become frayed, in particular over a controversial U.S. plan to build a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe. Mr. Putin not happy about that being built on his doorstep, so the Kremlin spokesman today tried to downplay all this talk of a new Cold War.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DMITRY PESKOV, PUTIN SPOKESMAN: I would say that expectations of Cold War is something that is more about press, than it is the expectations of the media. It is the over-exaggeration and the relations were never tense, as tense as was described in the media, although, of course, we have to acknowledge the existence of some serious disagreements.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HENRY: But, point of fact, though, President Putin did initially respond to this missile defense program with a threat to aim nuclear weapons at Europe if the U.S. did not abandon those plans. Both men, though, are heading out of office soon. They have an incentive now to come together over this missile defense plan; end their terms in office on a high note, if you will, and try to mend U.S./Russian relations. Especially for Mr. Bush.
You remember six years ago he famously said that he had looked into Mr. Putin's eyes, had seen his soul, a lot of questions about that remark now. Mr. Bush, obviously trying to mend that relationship, Lou.
DOBBS: Thank you very much. A lot of soul-searching perhaps then over the weekend. Ed Henry from Kennebunkport, Maine.
Coming up next, British police smash a plot to explode car bombs in London, bombs that could have killed, police say, hundreds of people. We'll have a live report from London.
And another big setback for the president and the administration's war on the middle class. This time the issue of so- called free trade, we'll have that special report on a Congress slowing down fast track. Stay with us.
DOBBS: Congress may finally be taking back its constitutional authority over this nation's trade policies. President Bush's fast- track power to negotiate those agreements expires tomorrow. Congress had essentially ceded its constitutional responsibility over trade to the White House.
But congressional Democrats now say they aren't moving to renew the president's authority. The United States has implemented free- trade agreements during the Bush administration, on fast-track authority, which was first approved back in 1975, giving the president the right to negotiate trade agreements, which the president can accept or reject, not make any changes.
As Lisa Sylvester now reports, administration officials are pushing hard to have the president's trade authority restored.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In the past five years, the Bush administration negotiated more than a dozen trade deals, thanks to fast-track trade promotion authority. That authority allowed the executive branch to take the lead with trade agreements, while Congress took a back seat.
LORI WALLACH, PUBLIC CITIZEN: Fast track consolidates all of the power in the White House. They can pick trade partners, start a negotiation, decide the content, and even sign the agreement, all before Congress votes or the public has any oversight.
SYLVESTER: But Democrats say the days of handing over a blank check on trade are done.
REP. LINDA SANCHEZ (D), CALIFORNIA: President Bush has used those blank checks before, and he has found every single one of them.
SYLVESTER: Fast-track authority expires this weekend. The critics are all too happy to see it sunset. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today we bid farewell to fast track and aggressively assert our constitutional authority in setting our nation's trade policy.
SYLVESTER: The trade agreements have been a bonanza for corporate America, but left thousands of Americans out of work, according to Democrats and unions.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To this member of Congress, we need to go back and renegotiate those agreements that are not working, starting with NAFTA.
SYLVESTER: Hill Republicans and the White House urged a quick renewal of the authority. They say consumers could see prices rise, and U.S. companies could lose a competitive edge on the global market.
REP. WALLY HERGER (R), CALIFORNIA: Without TPA, countries won't come to the negotiating table and we risk losing market share around the globe, as we did when TPA, or its predecessor, fast track, lapsed in the 1990s.
SYLVESTER: With fast track running out, the Bush administration signed deals with two more countries, Peru and Panama, and hoped to reach new agreements with Colombia and South Korea before the deadline.
SYLVESTER: Now that fast track is ending, Democrats say they'll push for a new direction on trade. Representative Marsha Cantor (ph), plans to introduce legislation next month to suspend NAFTA. And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said they will work on expanding the benefits of globalization to all Americans, Lou.
DOBBS: Will that be comprehensive legislation, do you suppose, Lisa? Thank you very much. Lisa Sylvester from Washington.
It's time now to take a look at some of your thoughts. We're receiving thousands of e-mails about the defeat of the amnesty bill. And it's fairly happy e-mail, I must say.
Joan in Virginia saying: "Thanks, Lou for presenting the views of legal American citizens. Can you believe there are still 46 senators who don't understand the negative impact of illegal aliens on the economy, homeland security, schools and Social Security.
Fred in Florida: "We love you, Lou. Your hard work paid off. Thank you, thank you. Now we need to get this very sick administration to enforce our existing laws."
"Thank you, Lou Dobbs, for leading the charge against this immigration bill. Now how do we get the government to secure our borders and enforce the immigration laws as written on the books?"
You see a theme here? And that reveals the views and thoughts of so many of you, who wrote in. And I mean literally thousands and thousands over the last couple days.
We'll have more of your thoughts later here in the broadcast. Time now to take a look at our poll. The question tonight: Does the Senate's defeat of amnesty encourage you to voice your views to elected officials on future legislation? We would love to hear from you on this, yes or no, cast your vote at LouDobbs.com. We'll have the results coming up here later.
Next, London police have discovered and defused two car bombs in the city's entertainment district, bombs that could have killed hundreds of people. We'll have the latest.
And Communist China retaliating against U.S. recalls of its dangerous products. It's banned some U.S. goods, because they say those goods don't meet Chinese standards.
We'll have that report and more, coming right up. Stay with us.
DOBBS: Communist China today blocked the import of some U.S. products. China is saying those American products don't meet Chinese safety standards. Their move comes after several new recalls by the United States of dangerous products manufactured in China, products that include seafood, pet food, and toys. Kitty Pilgrim has our report.
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Chinese officials today called the FDA ban on farm-raised Chinese fish unfair, saying all countries should honor trade deals with China. In principle, if you don't find any problems, Chinese goods should be allowed to be exported. The Chinese government also blocked certain U.S. exports in return, saying China will take corresponding measures to deal with imported foods which don't meet the safety standards.
Then China blocked U.S. exports of orange pulp and preserved apricots for supposed unacceptable levels of bacteria and mildew. Many Chinese exporters have long been operating without rules, or conscience, mislabeling products, doctoring products with dangerous substances to make them cheaper, and exporting substances banned in other countries.
CHRIS WALDROP, CONSUMERS FEDERATION OF AMERICA: They're using ingredients that we don't allow, they're using anti-microbial agents that are banned in the U.S.; and that's a real problem, if they're coming into the U.S. and consumers are eating them.
PILGRIM: Page after page of the FDA documents reject Chinese food products coming into this country for such reasons as contaminants and filth. Mislabeling is epidemic. This month the European parliament moved to ban Chinese exports of cat and dog fur on toys and clothing. Europeans officials said China disguises the fur with false labels. The U.S. ban on fish comes after years of complaints to Chinese exporters. DAVID ACHESON, FOOD & DRUG ADMINISTRATION: We have known about these problems about antimicrobials for some time, with antibiotics and other drugs in the seafood for some time. And have been doing something about it. We have been putting individual companies on hold.
PILGRIM: China is the top violator of U.S. food safety standards, 60 percent of the products recalled this month are from China.
PILGRIM: Chinese authorities are playing a double game, admitting they have a problem, and then denying it all in the same breath. But it is clear the problem is epidemic. Earlier this month Chinese officials admitted they shut down 180 Chinese food manufacturers for using inedible material for food production -- Lou.
DOBBS: Quite remarkable, and not a word from the Bush administration, of course, on why they are failing to protect the American consumer and why they have put the United States in this ridiculously vulnerable position.
Kitty, thank you very much. Kitty Pilgrim.
New reports say Tom Cruise will film a new movie in Germany despite being banned because of his religion. He's a Scientologist. Cruise's new movie is about a plot to kill Adolph Hitler. Earlier this week the German government says Cruise could not film at any military bases because he's a Scientologist. The German government says Scientology is a cult disguised as a religion just to make money.
The filmmakers say they have all the necessary permits to shoot on the military sites, so we'll see.
Up next, three of the best political minds, best strategists, they'll be here to discuss what has been a fascinating week in the nation's capital, and something of a glorious week for American citizens.
Also, new evidence of the massive efforts by Mexican drug cartels to smuggle drugs into this country. We'll have that special report.
And rising tension in London after police find two car bombs that could have killed hundreds of Londoners. We'll have a live report for you, next. Stay with us.
DOBBS: In London, rising fears of a new wave of radical Islamist terrorism after police found two massive car bombs, those bombs found in London's West End, the busiest commercial district of the British capital. Police say those cars were packed with fuel, gas canisters and nails and that the two bombs could have killed hundreds of people had they exploded. Paula Newton reports from London.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With this light- green Mercedes, Britain turned a corner, the new risk dead ahead, chillingly uttered in two words. Car bomb.
PETER CLARKE, COUNTERTERRORISM CHIEF: There's no intelligence whatsoever that we would be attacked in this way.
NEWTON: As crude as it was, security forces close to the investigation say the bomb would have worked. Gallons of gasoline packed in the front and back, gas canisters, the kind used for barbecues stuffed inside. The whole thing laced with nails and CNN has learned tethered to a mobile phone.
MICHAEL CLARKE, TERRORISM EXPERT: This was a bit different. This actually looks the sort of bombs we've had in Iraq and Afghanistan, this was an IED, an improvised explosive device, which was good enough to kill quite a lot of people.
NEWTON (on camera): Investigators will now take this car away to continue to sweep it for any kind of forensic evidence that would give them more clues into this alleged plot.
(voice-over): That evidence will enhance hours of CCTV footage. There's no hiding from cameras on this piece of London real estate. Still, Britain is now facing credible threats in the air, on the ground and of course underground. All of it borrowing from previous plots.
The gas limos project masterminded by Darin Barat (ph), he is serving a life sentence, his plans, though, worryingly similar. In 2004, he was busted for intending to blow up limousines in Britain and in the United States.
Then there's the fertilizer bomb plot, also foiled by police in 2004. One of the targets, a nightclub, evidence showing the bombers thought it was a legitimate target. Police say they are considering any and all links to other plots.
P. CLARKE: I'm keeping an entirely hope mind about that. I have of course referred to some facets, some features of what's happened which resonate with previous plots, but I wouldn't at this stage like to speculate. I think that would probably be unhelpful. I want to investigate.
NEWTON: With security alerts cropping up in other locations and police now confirming a second car bomb here on Park Lane, investigators are trying to rule out their worst fear, that there will yet be more.
SANDRA BELL, EXPLOSIVES EXPERT: There's a huge community that we know is a quiet community that will actually advise on how best to blow up a car, and so therefore it's not surprising that you see similarities in various ways.
NEWTON: As a new investigation into two car bombs continues, this could all be now a new sinister spin on the threat here and one that will be very difficult to prevent.
NEWTON (on camera): Lou, Scotland Yard indicated today they just didn't see this coming, but in truth a lot of the intelligence they have gathered for the past few several months, even years, really did point to the existence of this kind of a threat.
DOBBS: Paula, update us if you will on suspects and any sense from the authorities there to whether they're near making an arrest.
NEWTON: They are not ruling in or out any link to al Qaeda. Having said that, they're sifting through a lot of people that they've detained in the last several years here in fact and looking to see if they have any links to this. Keep in mind, Lou, there's a lot of surveillance material that the Scotland Yard has that we're just not privy to. I can tell you police sources say they're very happy with the quality of the evidence that they've gathered so far.
Telltale point, here, Lou, they did not release any kind of that CCTV or any kind of a composite so far, which tells you they might be close.
DOBBS: Paula, thank you very much. Paula Newton from London.
President Bush has been receiving regular briefings about the progress of the terror investigation in London. U.S. officials say Americans should be vigilant about any suspicious activity in this country. Those officials say there's no specific or credible evidence, however, of any threat to the United States.
Police in large cities such as New York have stepped up their what they call their routine checking of vehicles as a result of the London terror alert. Officers have also increased their patrols on the subway system.
Indictments today in the alleged plot to blow up New York's Kennedy International Airport. Four men, including a former airport employee, are charged with planning to destroy the airport's jet fuel tanks and part of a 40-mile pipeline. Two of the suspects are in custody in Trinidad where they are fighting extradition back to the United States. Those men have tied to radical Islamist groups in the Caribbean and South America.
Terror suspects being held at Guantanamo Bay won a victory in the U.S. Supreme Court today. In a highly unusual move, the court reversed its course, deciding to consider whether Guantanamo Bay detainees can use civilian ports to challenge their indefinite confinement. Back in April, the high court declined to hear an identical case. The justices took the action without comment, so there's no indication why they changed their decision.
There are 375 detainees at Guantanamo now including 14 suspected high-level al Qaeda members. That case is expected to be heard in the fall term of the court.
New evidence tonight that more security is needed at our borders, yet another border tunnel has been discovered. That tunnel running under ground from Mexico to Arizona. Bill Tucker has our report.
BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Why sneak across the border when you can go under it? This tunnel is the latest to be discovered, it runs from Nogales, Mexico to Nogales, Arizona. It's 200 yards long. It is not sophisticated.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These aren't engineers that went to the University of Arizona to design underground infrastructure.
TUCKER: Its purpose was to traffic drugs, but no drugs made it through this tunnel.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These raids were part of a cumulative investigation since April of this year in which we've been keeping the how on the U.S. side until surveillance since we heard that the tunnel was going to be started.
TUCKER: Since 9/11 more than 40 tunnels have been discovered along the southwest border, a number that ICE officials say represents only half of the tunnels running between Mexico and the United States.
The agency has stepped up its efforts at uncovering the tunnels with task forces in Texas and Arizona using new technology to reveal the tunneling projects. A lot is at stake.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tunnels are just another tool in the trafficker's toolbox to get drugs across.
TUCKER: ICE officials seize more than a ton of marijuana, seven pounds of heroin and almost 500 pounds of cocaine every day. Investigations into human trafficking have resulted in 184 arrests of smugglers, that's in addition to the 622,600 apprehensions made by the Border Patrol from October through the end of May.
TUCKER (on camera): Now the tunnel entrances discovered this week have been closed and the tunnel plugged up on the American side of the border. Lou, it's interesting to know that more than 40 percent of the marijuana seized at the border is seized at the border crossing in Arizona.
DOBBS: Which is also of course the heaviest traffic zone for illegal immigration. And we should point out again that Mexico remains the largest source of marijuana, methamphetamines, heroin and cocaine entering the United States. We also, people might forget, in addition to having no excuse for not securing our borders, no excuse for having prevailed against the drug smugglers at our borders. Bill Tucker, thank you very much. Coming up next here, more on the devastating defeat of the Senate's grand bargain on amnesty. Devastating for whom? The president and the Senate Democratic leadership. Three of the country's best political minds join me hear to discuss all of that, all of the week's top stories.
And later, "Heroes," our weekly tribute to the minute and women who serve this nation in uniform. Tonight we'll be introducing you to Army reservist Major Christopher Matson. Stay with us. We'll be right back.
DOBBS: I'm joined by three of the country's very best political analyst, Ed Rollins, former White House political director, Republican strategist, Michael Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist "New York Daily News," Democratic strategist and good guy Hank Sheinkopf. Good to have you here.
HANK SHEINKOPF, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thank you.
DOBBS: Hank, let's start with this defeat. Bill Schneider, our political analyst said that he sees this as a bipartisan defeat. Do you?
SHEINKOPF: I see this as an absolutely bipartisan defeat. The fact we had to get to this point is reflected in the low numbers in which Congress are now held which is not insignificant. More importantly what happened here was actual democracy. Whether we liked the bill or not, the American public spoke and somebody had to pay attention and these guys had to get clubbed in the head until they did, and they did the right thing only because of public opinion, Lou.
DOBBS: Well, based on what we heard from our audience, the audience of this broadcast, and God bless you, I mean, they were writing, they were calling. I mean, I can't tell you the thousands and thousands of e-mails we got, talking about their communications with their senators.
MICHAEL GOODWIN, "NEW YORK DAILY NEWS": And notwithstanding there's still a big problem to be resolved, I see this as a victory rather than a defeat, Lou. And I think it's telling that 15 Democrats voted against this piece of legislation in the end, so it really was a bipartisan victory, because most of the Republicans voted against it as well.
As far as the losers, yes, President Bush is the big one but so is Harry Reid. I think that Harry Reid sort of led his troops into battle and they were defeated. And I think that's why the Democrats will be desperate to get back to Iraq, very desperate to get back to Gonzales, the Justice Department, that sort of stuff, where they feel they're on safer ground with the public.
ED ROLLINS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: The most significant piece of legislation this congress will deal with in the next two years, they decided to do it without open hearings, they decided to not go through the normal process, the first rule of working on a Hill is you know how to count your votes, and certainly Harry Reid didn't know how to count his votes and certainly the White House didn't know how to count their votes and they deserved the defeat that they got.
DOBBS: I said this to a number of my colleagues. The fact that that Senate switchboard went down Thursday morning says two things. One, the numbers of Americans who really just despise the idea that their senators would vote against their interests, and secondly that the Senate had not even provided a switchboard capable of handling the traffic to hear from the people they represent.
ROLLINS: The worst thing is -- Let me add just this one comment. Over and over again you heard them make the comment that this is a bad bill, but it's better than what we have. I mean, how outrageous is that? If you're going to fix a problem that's been brewing for 20 years, take the time and do it right.
DOBBS: I don't know about you, but they not only picked up that mantra, but they did it in self-righteous, sanctimonious, self-serving tones that was -- that would have offended anyone.
GOODWIN: And it's even worse, because they kept saying over again, this is the last best chance. Why? Why is it the last best chance? I mean there will be more chances. We could start tomorrow with a new bill if we wanted. None of it made sense, but it was kind of an extortion scheme, take this one, this is the last offer.
DOBBS: As Ed suggests here, there was more marketing and nonsense, then the same talking points from Democrats, Republicans, the president, the White House, the Senate Democratic leadership, not only saying we have to have any bill, even if it's a bad bill, then when pressed, now you heard suddenly Senator McCain, Senator Kyl start talking about the laws are unenforceable, you don't trust us, but trust me the laws are unenforceable.
Senators of the United States saying that the laws they had made are unenforceable?
SHEINKOPF: People in the Heartland, in real America, outside the Beltway, the Beltway defined as just those buildings up on the Hill, want to make sure that something does happen and this is not what they wanted. But they want action. That's why they're so angry at Congress.
DOBBS: Again, poll after poll, public opinion poll showing that Americans want the border secured, they want immigration laws enforced, they want employers sanctioned for breaking the law and creating this mess -- and by the way, thanks to the Senate, Democrats and Republicans and the White House and the leadership of the Senate -- the American taxpayer would have been paying for -- would have been giving amnesty to corporate America for hiring these people and putting those cost burdens on the American people.
ROLLINS: The idea that you can't enforce the laws that you've already passed is one of the most absurd things. First of all they have appropriate - not appropriated, they authorized various things from more guards to more fences and they never funded, and I think they need to be held responsible. They need to live up to enforcement of this law and give the tools to the border ...
GOODWIN: I want to say real quick, I think it will be interesting now. You had really a bipartisan group on both sides here, and I think it will be interesting now, if those who opposed this bill, can really put together a piece of legislation that, you know, would get 60 votes in the Senate. Unlikely, but I think they're the ones now who have the ideas.
DOBBS: Here - let me help you out on that, Michael, I can't even -- I don't even want to buy into it. This Congress, this president have all of the money in the whole wide world. They have the credit, the full faith and credit of the United States to draw upon. They have laws to enforce, they have agencies to enforce those laws, they have a responsibility to secure those borders, they don't need to write another single law. They need to serve the people of the country.
GOODWIN: Right, but I think that when you have bipartisan -- I like the idea of centrist governing, I like the idea of a bipartisan group coming together and that's what you had here to defeat the bill, so I'm hopeful that can stay together and lead to real reform.
DOBBS: Hank, Michael's in favor of centrist government, I am, I think each of us at this table would probably be considered ...
SHEINKOPF: I believe in patriotic government.
SHEINKOPF: That's what I'm in favor of. I'm in favor of ideology where people fight each other, but come together on what is important, which is how we function. Now we live in a country with limited ideology, where the only thing that matters is how you win and how quickly and what it will cost.
DOBBS: Maybe that explains how Senator Trent Lott and Senator Dianne Feinstein, polar opposites on the political spectrum, come together to condemn talk radio show hosts for expressing their views.
SHEINKOPF: Well, the new form of agreement, huh?
DOBBS: It's just -- If you're going to come to agreement on something, it would be shams and silliness.
ROLLINS: Well, the good thing is now we have a Supreme Court that believes in free speech, so no matter what the Congress attempts to pass, and the Federal Communications Commission, the court is going to allow anybody with a microphone to speak.
DOBBS: The high court, however, even though every analyst I have talked with, has not challenged Brown v. Board of Education, but the decisions affecting school districts in Louisville and Seattle saying that racial discrimination is best ended by not discriminating racially. Your reaction? ROLLINS: I think it's a good piece of legislation. I think Roberts has clearly show we need to fix our schools, we don't; need to be basically shifting kids around, and I think that's our problem. We have urban schools and ...
GOODWIN: I thought it a very powerful statement, the line that you quoted, the way to end discrimination is to end discrimination. And I think that it's an interesting court. Kennedy left a little bit of room, as I think there should be some room in these cases for some distinctions if it is going to make a difference, but clearly the wide berth has been narrowed very significantly.
SHEINKOPF: Sometimes the purpose of the courts is to make people do things they don't want to do, and the question is how to get them to do things they really don't want to do and are the children going to be any better for it? I would have rather seen, because of the monumental nature of this decision that at least maybe 10 percent of the thought into Brown versus Topeka Board, maybe 10 percent of the thought because of the monumental nature of what this might cause to happen and it would mean hundred and hundred and potentially millions of dollars of legal costs that counties and localities and school districts have undertaken will now be wasted and they're going to be back in court. This is going to open up tremendous amounts of litigation.
DOBBS: You know what? If it's litigation, it's unfortunate. My concern is that we restore public education in this country to the excellence that was its hallmark for decades upon decades, and to overcome the failure of this educational system right now.
If we can guarantee every young man and woman in this country a quality public education, we can begin to do some good things. It disturbs me mightily, I will tell you, that we have communities still segregated de facto, and therefore neighborhood schools are also segregated, that's a difficult issue to deal with but this Congress, this president, or the next Congress and the next president have to deal with restoring excellence to those public schools. That's the right, the equal right of everyone.
So, gentlemen, as always, it is great to hear your thoughts, and we -- I think we agreed on a few things.
ROLLINS: This was a fascinating week. This is a historic week. I think - as someone who's been in this business for 40 years, this is a week that had big, big actions that matter. The voters got their voice heard.
DOBBS: That's amazing.
GOODWIN: And the president is going to be very weakened for the rest of his term as a result.
SHEINKOPF: It only gets more interesting.
DOBBS: There you go. Hank, thank you very much. Michael, Ed, thank you. A reminder now to vote on our poll. Does the Senate's defeat of amnesty encourage you to voice your views to elected officials on future legislation? Yes or no, we want to hear your answer if you're willing to provide it. We'll have the results coming up here shortly.
Up at the top of the hour, THE SITUATION ROOM and Wolf Blitzer. Wolf?
BLITZER: Thanks very much, Lou. London on alert. We're closely following developments in the investigation into a foiled terrorist strike on the West End. How vulnerable are we right here in the United States? We'll talk with a top security analyst.
A war of words and the war on terror, Elizabeth Edwards talked to us about her husband's presidential campaign and their public spat with Ann Coulter.
And the making of a martyr. A child martyr. We're going to tell you about one woman's crusade to bring attention to children being used as suicide bombers by Islamic militants.
All that, Lou, coming up right here in THE SITUATION ROOM.
DOBBS: Look forward to it. Thank you, Wolf.
Up next here, "Heroes," our weekly tribute to the extraordinary men and women who serve this nation in uniform around the world. Tonight an extraordinary soldier, Army reservist Major Christopher Matson. We'll have his story, next. Stay with us.
DOBBS: And now "Heroes," our tribute to our men and women in uniform. Tonight the story of Major Christopher Matson. Barbara Starr has his story.
BARBARA STARR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Major Christopher Matson spent a year in Mosul, his team, one of the first to help Iraqis learn to defend their country.
MAJ. CHRISTOPHER MATSON, U.S. ARMY: We lived with the Iraqis. We didn't live on an American base, we didn't even live on an Iraqi base. We lived in an abandoned building.
STARR: A reservist, Matson had been in sales in North Carolina. Those skills quickly became part of his Iraq strategy.
MATSON: We need to sit down and establish a relationship with these men, gain their trust, and probably spend more time listening than yelling and talking to them about what they need to do.
STARR: Mosul was becoming more dangerous every day.
MATSON: I can't think of a single morning I wasn't awakened by an IED blowing up.
STARR: Matson and his unit put their lives in the hands of the Iraqis who guarded their compound. One day this past February, a suicide car bomber attacked the front gate. Matson was just inside the building.
MATSON: It blew through. It probably blew me across room.
STARR: Matson had a fractured skull, the resulting brain injury left him with dizzy spells and memory loss, but he's unfazed. He still wanted to go back to his Iraqi troops, now his brothers in arms.
MATSON: If they needed me, they could wake me up at 3:00 in the morning, and we've got a problem we need this. And we could do the same.
STARR: But when Matson got home, his sales job was gone. Now he struggles to recover and find work. His only regret, he says, he didn't get the chance to say good-bye to the Iraqis he tried to help. Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.
DOBBS: Coming up next, the results of our poll.
DOBBS: Now the results of our poll. Ninety-seven percent of you say you're encouraged of the Senate's defeat of amnesty. And will voice your views to elected officials on future legislation.
Time now for one last e-mail on that issue. Wally in New Jersey is saying, "Lou, we did it. I thank you and the perseverance of all the American people for their continued fight to defeat the immigration bill. We all succeeded. America first."
Thanks for being with us tonight. Please joins us tomorrow. For all of us, thanks for watching. Good night from New York. THE SITUATION ROOM begins now with Wolf Blitzer. Wolf?
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