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YOUR WORLD TODAY
Controversial Church Raises Many Questions; Diplomats Angry Over Mandatory Posts To Baghdad; Bush Speaks At Heritage Foundation About Radical Islam, War On Terror
Aired November 1, 2007 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: A mission of mercy or mass kidnapping? Questions continue to grow after a charity tries to fly out children described as orphans from Chad to France.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: A tragic case of mistaken identity. London's police force is found guilty of violating the law in the fatal shooting of a Brazilian man.
HOLMES: And no sex, please. You're on an Airbus A380. Singapore Airlines has a request for first-class passengers on its new super jumbo.
GORANI: It's 5:00 p.m. across Chad, 4:00 p.m. in London, everyone.
Hello and welcome to our report seen around the globe this hour.
I'm Hala Gorani.
HOLMES: And I'm Michael Holmes.
From Paris to Pretoria, wherever you're watching, this is YOUR WORLD TODAY.
What do you do if you're relatively well off and you want to help children in war-torn regions of Africa?
GORANI: Well, you'd probably turn to an aid group and you'd trust them to do what they say they will.
HOLMES: Yes, but good intentions can go horribly wrong, which brings us to Chad and an explosion of anger over a French charity group.
GORANI: They are accused of kidnapping after trying to take more than 100 children out of the country.
HOLMES: Two U.N. agencies and the International Red Cross now say that most of the children involved actually are not orphans, but have families in the region.
GORANI: It is just the latest twist in a sad saga that defies conventional wisdom. HOLMES: Alphonso Van Marsh has more on the story.
ALPHONSO VAN MARSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A mercy mission to rescue orphans from Darfur or a mass kidnapping of children from Chad? Whatever the answer, these children are now at the center of an international scandal after a French charity, Zoe's Arc, tries to fly them out of Chad to waiting foster parents in France.
Six charity workers and three journalists could face 20 years in prison with hard labor if convicted in a Chadian court of kidnapping and extortion. Seven spanish flight crew and one Belgian are charged with complicity.
In an interview with the spanish daily newspaper "El Pais," one Chadian minister says, "People think that anything is allowed in Africa." Chadian authorities say Zoe's Arc tried to make the children look like refugee n desperate need of medical help in order to get them out.
AHMAT BACHIR, CHADIAN INTERIOR MINISTER (through translator): They had Band-Aids on their arms, legs, and even some had drips on. But the needle was just under the Band-Aid, so to pretend that those children were weak.
VAN MARSH: While there is no mention of adoption on Zoe's Arc Web page, it does say that French host families were waiting to take delivery of the children. They were planning to help them integrate into French life while seeking asylum for them, and that is a long process.
French authorities have condemned Zoe's Arc.
RAMA YADE, FRENCH JR. MINISTER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: We will see. The only thing we know, that the children have let (ph) this operation because it is illegal and irresponsible.
VAN MARSH: But some of the foster parents insist that the French authorities knew about the plan and could have stopped it. One child adoption expert says Zoe's Arc's approach, even if well-intended, was deeply mistaken.
STEVAN WHITEHEAD, ADOPTIONOVERSEAS.ORG: The whole thing about inter-country adoption, or, indeed, any for of adoption, is it is a specific family for a specific child. So for 103 sort of generic children to be placed with a number of families, nobody quite knowing who was getting what or why, obviously is fundamentally flawed.
VAN MARSH: Spain's Foreign Ministry reportedly is seeking the release of its nationals. French president Nicolas Sarkozy has suggested members of Zoe's Arc detained in Chad should be tried in France.
(on camera): What remains unclear, just what was the intent of Zoe's Arc? Was it to bring these children to France for what's called a temporary respite, offering them medical treatment and counseling, or did this charity promise these French families that they could keep these African children by bypassing international regulations?
Alphonso Van marsh, CNN, London.
GORANI: So many questions in this case that involves children in the end, 103 of them. It is a complicated situation.
Our senior international correspondent has traveled to Chad. Nic Robertson, he joins us now live via videophone from N'Djamena.
Nic, you had an opportunity, I understand, to speak to some of those relief agencies, the UNHCR, UNICEF. What have they told you?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the assessment of UNICEF -- that's the children's U.N. organization -- UNHCR, the U.N.'s refugee organization -- and International Committee for the Red Cross, they say that they believe these 103 children were very probably living along the Sudanese/Chadian border, and they say very, very likely they were living with families or at least one parent.
So their indication is, is this is exactly the opposite to the way Zoe's Arc had been describing these children. That they were with families, that they were inside -- that they were inside Chad. Zoe's Arc had indicated that these children were from Darfur, that they're in need of medical attention, and that they were orphans as well -- Hala.
GORANI: But if these children have families, does this mean -- are Chadian authorities and these relief agencies saying that they were essentially snatched from their parents and their families?
ROBERTSON: Nobody is saying that at the moment. Certainly that implication is in the air, that that could be one of the possibilities, but what the Chadians seem to be doing at the moment is working through the legal process. And their legal process here does have its own idiosyncrasies.
At the moment, the aid workers have been in court in Ibetia (ph), about 500 kilometers east of the capital. They're expected to be brought to the capital for that legal process to continue, but it would seem logical as the Chadian authorities begin to lay out their case that they would try to and find some of the families and bring them forward to present the situation for these children, to sort of essentially -- essentially present the case against -- against Zoe's Arc.
That would seem to be the implication. But let's not forget, this whole border region where the children are believed to have come from is fraught with trouble, fraught with fighting. The fighting in Darfur spills over, and there's also a very big anti-government, Chadian rebel movement in that area as well. We were there just a few months ago and it is quite chaotic -- Hala.
GORANI: I was going to ask you about Zoe's Arc's workers and that Spanish crew and some journalists, even, that are being held by Chadian authorities. France, some in the government, are saying we want them to be tried in France.
Is Chad giving any indication that it might release anyone soon?
ROBERTSON: There is certainly no expectation here that that's going to happen quickly. If anyone was going to be released quickly, it would seem at the moment logical that it would be the air crew. They've been charged with the lesser charges.
At the moment, by bringing -- by bringing the air crew and the Zoe's Arc team to the capital in N'Djamena, it looks like it's going to -- the situation for them is going to get bogged down in a much longer, lengthy, detailed legal process, but we've yet to hear that officially from the government of Chad. But that seems to be the direction they're going in, and certainly there is some political capital for President Deby to be gained, if you will, by pushing these charges. He has a very close relationship with France, but there will be certain elements that he can perhaps leverage here as he decides whether or not to push ahead with full charges -- Hala.
Our senior international correspondent, Nic Robertson, in N'Djamena, Chad.
Thank you very much -- Michael.
HOLMES: All right.
More trouble for the London police over the shooting of a Brazilian man they mistook for a suicide bomber. A jury has found the police guilty of violating health and safety laws in the operation that led to the 2005 killing of Jean Charles de Menezes.
Andrew Carey has more on the story.
ANDREW CAREY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): July 22, 2005, and London's police force is facing the biggest manhunt operation in its history. Four failed suicide bombers are on the run.
A gym membership card found at one of the crime scenes bears an address in south London. Police stake it out.
At about 9:30 in the morning, a man leaves the building and is followed. Just over half an hour later, he's shot dead in an underground train carriage full of passengers.
The story of how Jean Charles de Menezes was mistaken for Hussain Osman was, according to prosecutors, that of a flawed and confused operation, putting the public at grave risk. CCTV footage released during the trial shows de Menezes, marked "J.C.," making his way down to the platform at Stockwell Station, pursued by surveillance officers. Behind them, members of SO19, the Met's firearm squad.
The command or duty that day, Cresida Dick (ph), described receiving a series of positive identifications that the man being followed was the suspected terrorist. His behavior, too, described in court as nervous and agitated -- texting and talking on his cell phone, getting off and then back on a bus -- was judged suspicious. She gave the order to stop him, but told the court this was not an instruction to have him shot.
As CCTV recorded passengers fleeing the station, a scene of apparent confusion and chaos was playing out below. The driver of the train had a gun pointed out him as he cowered in a tunnel. Even one of the surveillance team that had followed de Menezes found himself being dragged to the floor by armed offices with a weapon pointed at his chest. Jean Charles de Menezes took seven bullets to the head.
This was a highly-charged trial and never more so than when prosecutors accused police of trying to mislead the jury. A composite image presented during the trial to show how the mistaken identity might have arisen was accused of being stretched or resized to make a better fit. The allegation was denied by police.
Five weeks of dramatic, often emotional testimony, and finally a verdict in one of the most controversial episodes in recent British history.
Andrew Carey, CNN, London.
HOLMES: All right. Stay with us.
Next up, a U.S. church goes too far spreading what it believes is God's word.
GORANI: Westboro Baptist sees its own judgment day. We'll tell you why its members have been ordered to pay millions of dollars to the family of a marine killed in Iraq.
HOLMES: Also, deadly floods in the Caribbean as a slow-moving tropical storm unleashes torrential downpours.
GORANI: Plus, a double bed, a bit of bubbly, and a lot of privacy. But don't even think about it. An airline has an unusual warning for passengers traveling in the swank new suite of the world's largest jetliner.
Stay with us.
GORANI: Welcome back, everyone. You're with YOUR WORLD TODAY on CNN International. The phrase has been said by many, "War is hell," but it isn't just so for soldiers. It also changes the lives of their families when they never return home.
Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder was a United States marine. He was killed in Iraq's unbar province. His family isn't only dealing with his death, but the controversy surrounding it.
Snyder's funeral was one of many protested by a fundamentalist Christian church. The church says God is punishing the dead soldiers and their families because they fight for a country that tolerates homosexuality.
Now a Maryland jury has awarded the family nearly $11 million, money to be paid by that very church for its protest. The family is still reeling.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALBERT SNYDER, FATHER OF KILLED MARINE: It's hard enough burying a 20-year-old son, much less having to deal with something like this. I mean, a lot of people don't think when your children are in the military -- my son was killed. You have two marines come tell you at your door at 9:00 at night, and you wait for the body to come back.
You don't know if you're even going to be able to see your son's body, and then to have to go through something like this, it was enough.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: All right. If you're left with the question, how could a church protest against soldiers at their funerals? Well, you're not alone. The members of this Kansas-based church have been called intolerant, mean-spirited, as well as many other things we can't repeat right here.
Our Ed Lavandera met the church's leader.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fred Phelps is on his way to another military funeral, laughing at all the people trying to silence him.
FRED PHELPS, PROTESTING AGAINST HOMOSEXUALITY: It's like popping popcorn. Here goes the kernel. Pow. Here goes the kernel. Pow. This state, that state.
LAVANDERA: He says that's how lawmakers are reacting to the military funeral protests Phelps and his family have launched. They believe U.S. soldiers deserve to die because they fight for a country that tolerates homosexuality.
Now four states have recently passed laws that restrict how close Phelps and his family can be to the funerals. Another dozen states are considering similar laws.
PHELPS: If those guys knew how I'm appreciating all this work they're doing, I think they would quit doing it, just for spite.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You crossed the line. Now God is your enemy!
LAVANDERA: The Phelps family says it has picketed more than 100 military funerals since last summer, but, because of these new laws, the Phelps say they will stay away from funerals in Wisconsin, Missouri, Indiana, and Oklahoma, but not for long. Several family members are attorneys, who say these laws violate their First Amendment right to free speech.
PHELPS: I want Congress to pass a law that says I can't picket, so we can immediately get it all brought to the nation's attention in one gulp.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a hero. You're slime!
LAVANDERA: The protests have sparked great outrage. They carry signs that read "Thank God for IEDs" and "Thank God for dead soldiers." The message is so callous, nasty and disruptive, it inspired a group of motorcycle riders from around the country to show up in support of the military families.
RANDY WENDLING, FATHER OF KILLED U.S. SOLDIER: ... to keep peace.
LAVANDERA: Randy Wendling lost a son in Iraq. He still struggles to understand how anyone could be so mean-spirited. Today, he welcomed the news that these new laws might be slowing down the Phelps family.
WENDLING: Families that are mourning should have the freedom to privacy, to mourn the loss of their loved one. And it is very important that this situation never arise again, that the people would be protected.
LAVANDERA: The Phelps family says it will continue picketing legally. These new laws won't slow them down, because, they say, there are plenty of other funerals in other places that will get their attention now.
PHELPS: Love it. You've got to love it.
LAVANDERA: Ed Lavandera, CNN, Dallas.
Still ahead, what some re calling undiplomatic moves from the U.S.' top diplomats.
HOLMES: Some anger and frustration after several hundred foreign officers were told about their new posting to this city and that building. One likens it to a potential death sentence. GORANI: Also ahead, Singapore Airlines tries to bring back the romance of travel, but the airline has a friendly warning for first- class passengers on its new super jumbo jet. I'm sure you can guess what it is.
We'll bring you the story after this.
HOLMES: Welcome back everyone, especially to our viewers joining us from the United States this hour. This is YOUR WORLD TODAY. I'm Michael Holmes.
GORANI: I'm Hala Gorani. Here are some of the stories we're following for you.
Most of the 103 nearly taken from Chad by a French aid group were not orphans as the group had claimed. That's according to two U.N. agencies and the Red Cross. Seventeen Europeans working with charity group Zoe's Ark have been charged with kidnapping in the case.
HOLMES: London's metropolitan police force has been fined $360,000 for mistakes that led to the shooting death of a young Brazilian man they thought was a suicide bomber in July 2005.
GORANI: Leaving at least 64 dead in its wake, Tropical Storm Noel has turned north from the Caribbean Islands. It's expected to strengthen as it moves toward the Bahamas. Torrential downpours caused by the slow-moving storm sent floodwaters rushing through the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
HOLMES: Well, there is trouble brewing in the U.S. Foreign Service. The issue, a new requirement for diplomats to take a turn working in harm's way including, specifically, Iraq. One State Department official called it a, quote, "potential death sentence," unquote. Well, the whole matter was hashed out in a very heated departmental town hall meeting.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
HARRY THOMAS, DIR. GENERAL, U.S. FOREIGN SERVICE: In the future, everyone in the Foreign Service is going have to do one out of three tours at a hardship post. And I don't believe that anyone will object to that. We're not going to punish people who haven't done that in the past. We salute you for your service. Those who serve us under different conditions, today, we have many posts and many unaccompanied posts.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HOLMES: Well, the news may have been hard to take for some foreign service personnel, but there is also plenty of anger about how they found out about it. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any other embassy in the world, the embassy would be closed at this point, before there was an incoming rocket or anything. So, basically --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, basically, you know, I just have absolutely no respect for the whole process because you've demonstrated a lack of respect for your own colleagues.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
HOLMES: Harris insisted that he does care about colleagues and that he found the criticism of his actions insulting.
GORANI: Now, the union that represents U.S. Foreign Service employees is also weighing in on the policy change. Earlier, I spoke with Jack Naland, he's the president of the American Foreign Service Association. He says he understands the staffing shortages in Baghdad, but he's urging the secretary of State to keep relying on volunteers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JACK NALAND, PRES., AMERICAN FOREIGN SERVICE ASSOC.: It's really an unprecedented situation; 40 years ago in Vietnam Foreign Service members did serve. But Saigon, except for in the TET offensive was never as dangerous as Baghdad has been and the Foreign Service members in the provinces of South Vietnam were never really targeted in the way that the provisional reconstruction teams are.
So, it's really a dramatic change. And certainly for anyone who's been in the Foreign Service for even 30 years, it's unprecedented. It's something they've never been exposed to, so it's quite a shock.
GORANI: So what are you going do next then? I mean, you are heading the union that represents these State Department workers. What are you going to do?
NALAND: Well, the secretary of State, as far as I can determine, has the authority to order Foreign Service members to Iraq. We urge her to continue to try to staff those with volunteers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOLMES: Let's get some more analysis now on the U.S. diplomatic call up. Edward Djerejian served as U.S. ambassador to both Israel and Syria, and he's the founding director of the James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University; he joins us now from Houston, Texas.
Ambassador, thanks for doing so.
EDWARD DJEREJIAN, DIR., JAMES A. BAKER INST. FOR PUBLIC POLICY: My pleasure.
HOLMES: Sir, what do you think about the diplomats? Do you think they should be forced to go to Iraq?
DJEREJIAN: Well, it's always been a tradition in the Foreign Service. I served in the Foreign Service for 32 years, that it was incumbent upon a Foreign Service officer to accept hardship assignments, sometimes in war zones. And that certainly has been a tradition of the Service.
In general, the Foreign Service has been able to get volunteers to go to these hardship posts, and has not had to direct assignments to hardship posts, or war zones. But ever since the end of the cold war, we have been involved in some 17 efforts internationally for stabilizing failed states or interstate conflicts, and assigning civilian personnel to conflict situations. So the international landscape has changed, but we have not changed our organizational basis to really face these challenges.
HOLMES: We're not really hearing a lot of these diplomats complaining about other places. It's Baghdad, isn't it?
DJEREJIAN: Yes, well, in this case it is Baghdad, right. Because it is indeed a war zone, but again, Foreign Service officers have served in the past in war zones. Now, I think there's about -- if my information is correct, there are about 50 positions that have to be filled immediately, if you will, in the near future for Baghdad, for Iraq. And according to some State Department officials they have gotten a large number of volunteers to fill these positions. So we're not talking about that big of number in terms of this immediate situation.
HOLMES: There's a few dozen people. You can't argue that they signed up for this, literally, actually, signed up agreeing to go anywhere they're asked. But that was before Baghdad became such a difficult place. It's very hard to practice diplomacy in Baghdad when you're holed up in the green zone.
DJEREJIAN: That's right. I've been there. It is extremely difficult to get anything done outside of the green zone, but again, that's why I go back. If you step back from this immediate issue of the assignments of Foreign Service officers to Baghdad, what the United States government has to do is to reorganize its whole structure on getting civilian experts, civilians with the expertise to do nation building, to provide civilian technical, engineering services to countries like Iraq.
Like we saw in the Balkans, like we see in Africa and other parts of the world, where we are going to be engage in what is called nation building. We are simply not organized to do that on the civilian side and that's what has to be done.
HOLMES: There's a lot of talent involved there, obviously, in the diplomatic service, what should happen to these people if they do refuse to go? I mean, a lot of people say they are just going to be pushed out the door.
DJEREJIAN: There is an appeals process, I understand. There has to be some major personal or medical reason why they cannot go to Baghdad or to Iraq. But there is an appeals process. But certainly, this is the worst-case scenario. Hopefully, there will be enough volunteers to go, but if not, look, you do sign up in the Foreign Service. I've done it myself. I've gone to hardship posts. I've been in -- if you will, countries during war.
You served in peace and war. It is part of the ethos of the Foreign Service, but what is important -- and I want to stress this -- that this hardship burden should be shared equitably throughout the Foreign Service, not just for those who go there, and are reassigned on a volunteer basis, but the burden has to be shared throughout the Foreign Service.
HOLMES: Ambassador, we appreciate your time. Ambassador Edward Djerejian, there, former ambassador to Israel and Syria. Thanks again.
DJEREJIAN: Thank you.
HOLMES: OK, well, now let's turn to a -- it's a delicate subject. A new feature on an airline that has some people talking about -- well, possible diversions on longer flights.
GORANI: All right. We're referring to a certain club that some people like to boast about belonging to. Will membership in that group be growing? We'll let our Richard Quest explain.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTL. CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Expensive, luxurious, and oh, yes, they are big. But the new double beds on the A380 have got Singapore Airlines all hot under the collar. It's a prospect of passengers joining the mile-high club that's got them sweating. The mile-high club is for those who boast they have, how shall I say this, made whoopee on a plane. Until now, joining the club has meant waiting until the dead of night and sneaking off to the lavatories, or making unorthodox use of blankets in a seat.
Salacious and some say sordid. Some airlines even winked at the possibility of red eye getting a whole new meaning. Singapore Airlines' new suite could mean many more people joining this club in comfort, a double bed, sheets, doors, curtains.
(On camera): And there's total privacy inside.
(Voice over): The loft. Last week on the inaugural flight the chief executive of the airline was coy about extra activities in his new suite.
(On camera): What is it about this plane that you really love?
CHEW CHOON SENG, CEO, SINGAPORE AIRLINES: If I had to put my finger on it, it's the space, Richard. In all of the configurations, and the outfitting of this aircraft (UNINTELLIGIBLE) space, comfort and fun.
QUEST: And the fun is the double bed?
SENG: Well --
QUEST: Oh, oh, oh, we don't think of Singaporeans having -- hmm, a bit racy, Mr. Chew. Bit racy?
SENG: Richard, we've always believed in the romance of travel, and we're trying to bring back more of that to air travel.
QUEST (voice over): Now the prospect of nocturnal hanky panky has caused the airline to say primly:
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We ask customers to observe standards of behavior on the aircraft that don't cause offense to customers or crew.
QUEST: Joining the mile-high club on the A380 has an expensive admission price. Each seat from Singapore to Sydney costs $4,000 one way. So unless you want to chance your luck with the passenger next door, it will cost a cool $8,000 to ensure success.
In the end, the mile-high club is usually more about bravado than reality. More hot air than hot stuff. And now, thanks to Singapore Airlines, a dose of cold water is extinguished those burning embers. Richard Quest, CNN, Hong Kong.
HOLMES: Oh, come on he could have had more puns in there than that. Cold water and hot air and -- they just had bunks, that would solve it.
GORANI: That will solve their problem right there. Next plane, next super jumbo. Bunks!
All right, coming up, the front-runner stumbles.
HOLMES: Opponents pounce on an apparent miscue by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
GORANI: We'll tell you what the fuss was all about.
And later, a new documentary looks at World War II through the eyes of those who lived it. Stay with us.
HOLMES: Welcome back, everyone. You're watching YOUR WORLD TODAY right here on CNN International.
GORANI: All right, we're seen all over the world, of course, but this hour welcome to our American viewers.
HOLMES: We want to keep people informed, too, that we're expecting the U.S. President, George W. Bush to speak there at the Heritage Foundation. He'll be touching on a number of topics including the war on terror.
GORANI: All right. We will bring you his comments and his speech live as it happens right here on CNN.
The fight over a controversial plan to grant drivers licenses to illegal immigrants in New York is now heading to court. The public interest group Judicial Watch claims that Governor Eliot Spitzer's plan is illegal, but he says critics are missing the point. It's about safety, he says, not citizenship.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. ELIOT SPITZER, NEW YORK: This is not a conversation about immigration. People have deeply felt beliefs about what immigration policy should be. This is about making sure our streets are safe. This is about not having people drive when they don't have a license. This is about law enforcement, knowing who's driving, this is about making sure people have insurance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Eliot Spitzer there. Under the new plan drivers would only need to show a foreign passport and a second form of I.D. and they will be granted a driver's license in New York.
HOLMES: Let's talk a bit about this. The issue of granting driver's licenses to undocumented workers came to haunt the Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. It was just one of the issues her rivals used to attack the front-runner. Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley detailed the dust up.
SEN. CHRIS DODD (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There is 50 percent of the American public that say they're not going vote for her.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESSPONDENT (voice over): It was her roughest debate, and probably her worst, and Hillary Clinton's Democratic opponent think she handed them ammo to fit their narrative. The issue said one camp is candor. There was this discussion of why publicly she talks fiscal responsibility when asked about Social Security, but privately told a voter she would consider raising Social Security taxes on the wealthy.
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, but everybody knows what the possibilities are, Tim. Everybody knows that, but I do not -- I do not advocate it. I do not support it.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is part of the politics that we have been playing, which is to try to muddle through, give convoluted answers.
CROWLEY: And there was this back and forth on giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants as proposed in New York.
CLINTON: It makes a lot of sense. What is the governor supposed to do? He is dealing with a serious problem?
I just want to add I did not say it should be done, but I certainly recognize what Governor Spitzer is trying to do it, and we have failed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait, wait, wait.
CLINTON: We have failed.
DODD: No, no, no. You said, yes, you thought it made sense to do it.
CLINTON: No, I didn't, Chris, but the point is what are we going do with all these illegal immigrants who are driving?
JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Unless I missed something Senator Clinton said two different things in the course of about two minutes.
CROWLEY: Clinton aids argue her statements over time and in context are perfectly consistent and she's in the front-runner's spot and the cleege (ph) lights are hotter there.
CLINTON: You know, Tim, this is where everybody plays gotcha.
CROWLEY: Tuesday night's debate left Wednesday questions. John Edwards is most willing to be in Clinton's face, but is he turning off neighborly Iowa voters. Certainly he raised eyebrows on the stage.
BILL RICHARDSON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's bothering me because it's pretty close to personal attacks that we don't need.
CROWLEY: Barack Obama has gotten more aggressive, but is it enough to ease concern that he doesn't have the stomach for the blood sport of politics. Wednesday the Clinton campaign was still explaining her position on driver's licenses. It suggests they're worried about another question out there. Are charges that Hillary Clinton dodges the tough ones beginning to stick? To be continued on the campaign trail. Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.
GORANI: Well, the ongoing immigration debate has had a significant effect on U.S. farms especially those near Mexico. Our Harris Whitbeck has the story of one California farmer who got so fed up that he moved his whole operation south of the border.
HARRIS WHITBECK, CNN INTL. CORRESPONDENT (voice over): This is what can happen when not enough Mexicans or other migrants go to the United States. These Mexican farm workers are harvesting lettuce for a California vegetable producer. Every day, Valley Harvesting & Packing ships tons of let us to school lunchrooms and restaurants all across the United States.
But the lettuce isn't grown in California, and these workers are not in the United States. They're in Mexico. Company owner Steve Scaroni moved his operation south of the border because he could not find enough workers back home.
STEVE SCARONI, VALLEY HARVESTING & PACKING: Every year it just seems we have less and less full crews every day. It seems like for the last five years in the United States all, or majority, of our crews are short every day.
WHITBECK: Immigration crackdowns and limits on the number of guest workers made labor scarce. Scaroni says he tried for years to get Congress to pass a bill that would allow for a bigger pool of legal guest farm workers. He even made six lobbying trips to Washington -- six -- but he says, his pleas fell on deaf ears.
SCARONI: We have people making laws and running the United States that are very disconnected from reality. And it's a very frustrating thing, I spent two years and six trips to Washington trying to be a solution to the problem, I finally gave up.
WHITBECK: Scaroni now employs close to 500 workers on his lands and packing plant in central Mexico.
SCARONI: People aren't raising their kids to be farm workers.
WHITBECK: While he allows that labor in Mexico is cheaper than back in California, his costs now are actually higher.
(on camera): Scaroni says he spends about $10 million a year to run this farm in Mexico, that means $10 million a year are not being spent back in California. And that's not all, according to statistics for every dollar spent on a farm, an additional --
HOLMES: All right. Let's interrupt that story now. George W. Bush is speaking at the Heritage Foundation.
GORANI: All right. Let's take his comments.
(BEGIN LIVE FEED, IN PROGRESS)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They have stated clearly they want to impose this ideology on millions. They're at war with America because they hate what they stand for and they understand that we stand in their way.
And so today I've come to talk to you about the war on terror, my firm commitment that we'll do everything in our power to protect the American people and my call on the United States Congress to give us the tools necessary so we can do the job the American people expect.
I, too, want to thank the members of the Heritage Foundation, the board of trustees who have joined us. Thank you for supporting this important organization.
I can't tell you how important it is to have good centers of thought in Washington, D.C., people who are willing to look at today's problems and come up with innovative solution based upon sound principle, to solve those problems. And that's how I view Heritage. I thank all of the members and guests who joined us today as well. It's a pleasure to be with you.
It's been now more than six years since the enemy attacked us on September the 11th and we're blessed that there has not been another attack on our soil. But the passage of time, the memories of the 9/11 attacks have grown more distant. And for some, there's a temptation to think that the threats to our country have grown distant as well.
They have not. The terrorists who struck America that September morning intend to strike us again. We know this because the enemy has told us so. Just last year Osama bin Laden warned the American people, quote, "operations are under preparation and you will see them on your own ground once they are finished."
Seven months later British authorities broke up the most ambitious-known Al Qaeda plot since the 9/11 attacks; a plot to blow up passenger airplanes flying over the Atlantic toward the United States. Our intelligence community believes this plot was just two or three weeks away from execution. If it would have been carried out it could have rivaled 9/11 in death and destruction.
The lesson of this experience is clear, we must take the words of the enemy seriously. The terrorists have stated their objectives. They intend to built build a totalitarian Islamic empire, encompassing all current and former Muslim lands stretching from Europe to North Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. In pursuit of their imperial aims, these extremists say there can be no compromise or dialogue with those they call infidels, a category that includes America, the world's free nations, Jews and all Muslim who reject their extreme vision of Islam.
They reject the possibility of peaceful co-existence with the Free World. Again, here are the words of Osama bin Laden last year, "death is better than living on this earth with the unbelievers among us."
History teaches us that underestimating the words of evil, ambitious men is a terrible mistake. In the early 1900s the world ignored the words of Lenin as he laid out his plans to launch a Communist revolution in Russia and the world paid a terrible price. The Soviet empire he established killed tens of millions, and brought the world to the brink of thermonuclear war.
In the 1920s, the world ignored the words of Hitler, as he explained his intention to build an Aryan super state in Germany, take revenge on Europe and eradicate the Jews and the world paid a terrible price. His Nazi regime killed millions in the gas chambers and set the world a flame in war before it was finally defeated in a terrible cost in lives and treasure. Bin laden and his terrorist allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them. And the question is will we listen? America and our coalition partners are listening. We have made our choice. We take the words of the enemy seriously. Over the past six years we have captured or killed hundreds of terrorists. We have disrupted their finances. We have prevented new attacks before they could be carried out. We remove regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq that had supported terrorists, and threatened our citizens, and in so doing, liberated 50 million people from the clutches of tyranny.
BUSH: With our allies, we're keeping the pressure on the enemy, we're keeping them on the move. We're fighting them everywhere they make their stand from the mountains of Afghanistan to the deserts of Iraq to the islands of Southeast Asia, and the Horn of Africa. On every battlefront, we're on the offense. We're keeping constant pressure. And in this war on terror we will not rest, or retreat, or withdraw from the fight until this threat to civilization has been removed.
BUSH: I fully understand that after six years the sense of imminent danger has passed for some. And it could be natural for people to forget the lessons of 9/11 as they go about their daily lives. I just want to assure you that I'll never forget the lessons of September 11th and nor will the people with whom I work. I know that when I discuss the war on terror some here in Washington, D.C., dismiss it as political rhetoric, an attempt to scare people into votes. Given the nature of the enemy and the words of its leaders, politicians who deny that we are at war are either being disingenuous or naive.
Either way, it is dangerous for our country. We are at war and we cannot win this war by wishing it away or pretending it does not exist. Unfortunately, on too many issues, some in Congress are behaving as if America is not at war. For example, in a time of war it is vital for the president to have a full national security team in place, and a key member of that team is the attorney general. The job of the attorney general is essential to the security of America.
The attorney general is the highest ranking official responsible for our law enforcement community's efforts to detect and prevent terrorist attacks here at home. I've selected an outstanding nominee to fill this vital role. Judge Michael Mukasey. Judge Mukasey has a long record of accomplishments in matter of law and national security. He has been praised by Republicans and Democrats alike as a man of honesty, intellect, fairness, and independence.
Judge Mukasey provided nearly six hours of testimony. He patiently answered more than 200 questions at the hearing. He's responded to nearly 500 written questions less than a week after his hearing. Yet, the Senate Judiciary Committee has been holding up his nomination, as a price for his confirmation, someone wanted Judge Mukasey to take a legal position on specific techniques allegedly used to interrogate captured terrorists.
As Judge Mukasey explained in a letter to committee members, he cannot do so for several reasons. First, he does not know whether certain methods of questioning are in fact used because the program is classified. And, therefore, he is in no position to provide an informed opinion. He has not been read into the program, and won't until he is confirmed and sworn in -- won't be, until he's confirmed and sworn in as the attorney general.
Second, he does not want an uninformed opinion to be taken by our professional interrogators in the field as placing them in legal jeopardy. Finally, he does not want any statement of his to give the terrorists a window into which techniques we may use and which ones we may not use, that could help them train their operatives to resist questioning and withhold vital information we need to stop attacks and save lives.