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Glenn Beck

Are Americans Prepared for the Next Major Disaster?

Aired July 19, 2007 - 19:00   ET


GLENN BECK, HOST: Tonight, are we prepared for another 9/11? Pandemonium as New Yorkers reacted to a city street ripped apart by a steam pipe. I`ll tell you what you need to know to prepare for the next real terror attack.
Plus, could a pardon be in the works for two imprisoned Border guards? I`ll talk to none other than Johnny Sutton, the man responsible for putting these men behind bars in the first place.

And the surprise ending to the new "Harry Potter" book that you won`t find in the "New York Times." Why is this newspaper treating the book with more discretion than our Pentagon papers? Are we men, or are we muggles? All this, and more, tonight.

Hello, America. By now, I`m sure you`ve seen the video of yesterday`s disaster near Grand Central Station here in New York. One woman, who was standing nearby died of a heart attack, and at least four other were seriously injured, but while the explosion itself may have been spectacular, the reaction to it wasn`t.

Here`s the point tonight. Yesterday`s accident proved without a shadow of a doubt that Americans are extraordinarily unprepared for this country`s next big disaster, and here`s how I got there. What fascinated me about this story, huh, the media has just completely missed, is not the huge crater on Lexington Avenue, or the threat of asbestos in the air, it was the reactions of the people who were at the scene. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I looked, there was about -- there were hundreds of people running towards me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were pushing each other, and pulling each other.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were pushing me down the escalator. I was trying to run up the steps.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People started running, through Grand Central.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I only hear somebody says it`s a bomb, it`s a bomb get out of the way.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People in wheelchairs, old people, babies, baby carriages, it was incredible. It was chaos.


BECK: Listen to that. It was chaos. There was panic. I understand human reaction and fear, and I especially -- if you live here in Manhattan, if you don`t live in New York City, you really don`t understand what it`s like, the second hear you noise louder than a car horn, you start thinking 9/11 part two?

But the irrationality relative to the reactions you saw on that video happened because deep down, people have no clue what to do even in the smallest of emergencies. And we better correct this. As far as I thought we had come since 9/11, we still don`t even begin to understand the basics of disaster planning.

And that`s in New York City. A place that`s supposed to be the most prepared in the country. If outright pandemonium is still the default reaction here, what`s it going to be like if, you know -- in Kansas, if there is a disaster in Kansas? Like it or not, our entire country is interconnected. Our entire country is a target.

First of all, what happens in Manhattan doesn`t stay in Manhattan, it will affect you. And every time I travel to the center of the country, people are saying, what`s it like to live in New York? I always tell them, it`s the same thing, man. Don`t worry about New York, worry about your own town. Worry about your own neighborhood. Worry about how prepared you are.

Panic and confusion are what terrorists count on. And by not preparing, we`re handing them what they want on a silver platter. So tonight, here`s what you need to know.

When people were running out of buildings yesterday screaming, it`s Al Qaeda attacking. They were not running towards John Murtha or Nancy Pelosi, or really for any politician, for that matter. When disaster strikes, your politics don`t matter. But your preparation does. And that means doing two things. First, find and kill Al Qaeda members, here and abroad. While that`s happening, simultaneously, start planning.

After Katrina, people had to survive on their own for a whole three days. Are you ready for that? Ask yourself right now, when the next disaster strikes, will you be on the roof with the "save me" sign or will you be the one out saving others?

Josh Piven, author of "The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook" series and John Bobey, longtime New York City resident who has done absolutely nothing to prepare for any kind of disaster, whatsoever.

Josh, let me start with you. How do you develop a game plan?

JOSH PIVEN, AUTHOR, "WORST CASE SCENARIO": I think the first thing, of course, is don`t panic, which I think you alluded to is part of the problem, is people panic immediately. But also, be prepared, have a plan. You know, and whatever you`re going to do, do it quickly. So that not panicking is critical, because it enables you to think carefully, and it enables you to put your plan into action. Otherwise, as you saw on the television, it`s chaos.

BECK: Yes, I want to introduce you to John Bobey. He`s a senior writer on this program. He`s a guy --

John, how long have you lived in this city?


BECK: OK, 14 years. How long have you known that we were going to have an attack here in New York City?

BOBEY: I guess I`ve been working for you for about 10 months, so I guess about 10 months.

BECK: OK. So you had 10 months. You will be eating cat food from your neighbor`s closet in day one, and you`ll be eating the cat in day two. How long would you survive?

BOBBY: Glenn, I wouldn`t survive long. There`s not much in my apartment on a good day, let alone on the day after.

BECK: But you see, you know what? Most people are like that, Josh. They don`t think that it`s going to happen to them. Oh, well, we`ll deal with it when we can. We don`t prepare. Especially in New York, nobody has everything they need. They`re used to going downstairs and getting what they need or calling in for Chinese food, or whatever. How do you convince people to actually prepare?

PIVEN: Well, I think, you know, listen, none of us wants to be eating the neighbor`s cat food. But the good news is we can survive a long time without food, but really we need water. I mean, water is a necessity. So, you know, you can stockpile water in your house, in your apartment. You know, I`m not talking about a jug of water, but enough water to last you and your family for several days, or at least until the authorities get a handle on whatever`s going on. That`s certainly, water is the critical, the number one thing that you need in your survival kit.

BECK: You also have -- in fact, we have a list of all the things that you say we should have in a go bag. You say we should have a compass, trash bags, why dryer lint? What is that?

PIVEN: Dryer lint is actually really good for starting fires, if you need to start a sort of campfire to cook food, or to keep warm. It`s real light and it`s highly flammable.

BECK: Hang on just a sec.

Hey, John?

BOBEY: Yeah?

BECK: I`m going to give you some dryer lint.

BOBEY: That`s good --


BECK: Start a fire.

BOBEY: If I had a compass, I wouldn`t know how to use it. I live in New York. I don`t know how to use --


BECK: Let me ask you this, John. This is a serious question. Here we are in New York City.


BECK: We`re in New York City, the people who live here are the first to deny that Al Qaeda -- you know, hey, let`s talk to them. Let`s be friends. So they`re the most liberal. They`re the biggest target, and yet they`re the least prepared. Why?

BOBEY: Living in New York, Glenn, is about sacrifice. We all accept a certain amount of sacrifice. Things are not going to go well. Thousands of dollars to live in your apartment, there are long waits for everything. A beer is $9. I mean, this is just -- I guess, not the beer thing, just on a bigger scale.

It`s inconvenient living here. I guess if we`re just a big target on the map, you know, that Al Qaeda has West 83rd Street on it, I guess that`s going to be all it, for me.

BECK: Josh, what is the difference between -- OK, for instance, I have a go bag at the house for all of my kids. And I have one in the trunk of my car. But I don`t even think about it. What`s the difference between somebody who`s prepared -- and a kook?

PIVEN: Well, I mean, you certainly don`t want to go overboard. I don`t think it`s practical to expect everybody taking the subway to work to take a duffel bag filled with all these items. But certainly, yes, having it in the trunk of your car makes sense. You can certainly keep one in your office. It doesn`t have to have every one of those items.

But you know, a few critical items I think is important. Something like a handkerchief, in this situation, with the steam pipe, a handkerchief that you soak with water, put it over your nose and mouth, at least it will keep some of this from getting in your airway.

Certainly not everything and in the case of a biological or a chemical attack, it may not offer protection. But in this case if it can keep some of the contaminants out of your face, allows you to breathe, to get away without passing out. That`s an important thing to do.

BECK: OK, devil`s advocate. No, go ahead, John.

BOBEY: I`m wondering, I mean, if I had a go bag, most people in New York, where would we go? We live in our apartments and the only place I go is brunch and the movies. And I`m going to guess most of those places are going to be closed.

BECK: You know what, let me tell you something. This is why, Josh, help me out on this, correct me if I`m wrong, this is why I truly believe you thought New Orleans was bad. You have a massive disaster in this city, people like John, they`ll be eating people within four days.

PIVEN: You know, Glenn, I don`t think that`s true. I think in general, humans are pretty resourceful. We`re not talking about going somewhere, like escaping New York City immediately. We`re just talking about getting away from the disaster. In this case, get as far away as possible. If I had been there, I certainly would have run west, away from the winds, which are typically going west to east, carrying this plume of asbestos-laden smoke across New York City.

So, certainly, there -- I`m talking about getting away from the center of the disaster, not necessarily driving across the country at the drop of a hat.

BECK: Right. And I`m not talking about a small disaster, even on the scale, and I hate to say this was small, of 9/11. I mean something that would shut this city down. Something like New Orleans. Something that would shut this city down for a while. These people are just not prepared.

Josh, John -- God bless you, John.

Coming up, the U.S. policy is to never negotiate with terrorists. But what if an attack involved our children? Are we prepared to protect our schools? If you`re a parent, you don`t want to miss this. Some information I had never heard before.

Plus, energy is at a premium with expectations of global consumption simply off the charts. Is it time to start thinking about the dreaded "N" word? Relax, Reverend Sharpton. I mean "nuclear". The race is one and the real story is we`re losing.

And Border guards, Ramos and Compean, are still sitting in prison for doing their jobs. Time we make things right. We take on U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, coming up.



BECK: Apparently there are people that make money smuggling people across our southern border. These guys came from Iraq, and then they went to Mexico, because, I don`t know how this word got out, but apparently they knew that it was easy to get across our southern border.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re saying that?

BECK: Yeah. No, they`re here -- no.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re going to take care of it right away.

BECK: No. I don`t think they`re going to do anything about it.


BECK: Coming up a little later on in the program, we`re going to go another round for the man responsible for locking up two of the guys trying to keep us safe on the border. U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton will be here. You really don`t want to miss this one. There`s a time for pardon for Agents Ramos and Compean. We`ll get to that.

But first, federal authorities have arrested a contract worker for allegedly stealing highly classified information about how to make enriched uranium from the Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee. The contractor was attempting to sell the information to a still unnamed foreign country. Which one on our enemy list is trying to buy it.

Fortunately for us, he was talking to an undercover FBI agent. Another day, another plot to compromise our security thwarted. But sooner or later, the guy on the other end of that phone is not going to be an FBI agent. Sooner or later, terrorists won`t decide to have their training videos transferred at Circuit City. One day we won`t be so lucky.

And that`s the threat the thriller writer and former member of the Department of Homeland Security`s analytic red cell program, Brad Thor, thinks about almost every day. In his new book, "The First Commandment", it deals with the idea that the -- there`s only really one exception to the rule about not negotiating with terrorists, and that`s when our children are involved. Unfortunately, that may be exactly where the terrorists are headed next. If you have kids in the room, you may want to pause the TiVo, save this one for a little later.

Brad, let`s start with what happened in Russia a few years ago?

BRAD THOR, AUTHOR, "THE FIRST COMMANDMENT": Well, we had the Beslan school massacre, which were Islamic terrorists that wanted to ignite a holy war in the Caucuses. And they did it by taking over a school, torturing and killing a number of adults, and over 172 children.

BECK: OK, now I happened to -- I talked to you on the radio today.

THOR: Right.

BECK: I spent an hour with you, before that had Marcus Luttrell in, who is the author of "Lone Survivor" and the Navy SEAL guy. I happened to be on a break talking about what was coming up, to one of my producers. He said, "Oh, Russia, that`s exactly what happened." There`s stuff that people don`t have any clue as to what really happened in that school. What is the truth about what happened in that school, and how do you know it`s true?

THOR: Well, there`s been a lot of stuff that the mainstream media just ignored. There have been after action reports and things like that, that have come out, that have been kind of close hold information that`s been shared with law enforcement and military officials, as well as intelligence people. But the take-away from it is the attack was a little bit more sophisticated. It wasn`t just Chechen separatists, the way it was painted.

These were multinational Al Qaeda affiliates who were in there and were planning to do this. Now, what the worry is, is that has become -- they`ve learned their lesson from that. They`ve seen what they`ve done wrong. And they are looking towards America, and conducting something like this, because of the incredible impact it would have here. It would make September 11th look, if they did it across the country, in several schools in one day, it would be terrible.

BECK: You told me what really happened in Russia, that they were --

THOR: Raping and torturing the children.

BECK: And then throwing their bodies out in the streets.

THOR: Throwing their bodies outside, yes.

BECK: Not reported in the news. Are you confident that that is accurate information?

THOR: Yes, I am confident.

BECK: When you told me that today, I said, this would set the United States on fire. We would go crazy. Why would they do that? And your answer is?

THOR: Well, I think it would work to their ends for propaganda. Because I think what would happen in this country, is we would be so incensed, so enraged, that you would find people turning that anger against Muslims in their own communities, burning mosques and attacking Muslims, which would play well for the radical elements of Islam. In saying, look it, now Islam is under attack in America, let`s forget about the fact that the schools were taken over and this was done to the children. That`s what they wanted to do in the Caucuses.

BECK: OK. This is disturbing because when we talked about it, there was a situation in Florida.

THOR: Right.

BECK: Where they caught two -- go ahead.

THOR: A couple of Middle Eastern men boarded a school bus and they were in control of the school bus for a certain amount of time. That story just kind of died out. Who were these guys? Why did they get on the school bus?

Then we heard about the warning, from the FBI, about potential Al Qaeda members, terrorists, going for school bus driver`s licenses, who want to drive our kids to school.

BECK: Right. And that happened, I think last spring that they were doing this?

THOR: Yes.

BECK: Now, when I got to work, we were preparing for the last segment, and we were talking about, what do you need to do to prepare? And if we could bring this up on the screen. This is actually from the New York office of Emergency Management. They have six items that you need to do. And this is the last item. If your children are at school, and there`s an emergency, do not pick them up.

THOR: Do you want to know why?

BECK: Yes.

THOR: One of the biggest concerns that the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and law enforcement across this country has, they`re issuing similar warnings to news outlets, local news stations, because they don`t want parents and news trucks rushing to the scene, driving into the school parking lot, which could very likely be mined with car bombs. You get all these people in, you get the first responders in, and they start lighting of the car bombs in the parking lot.

BECK: So, are you saying that -- I know you`re a fiction writer, but you`ve also war gamed for the Department of Homeland Security, and tried to come up with these kind of scenarios. Are you convinced that this is the way they`re going to hit, and not in a major city? Not try to take down another -- you know, take down the Empire State building?

THOR: If they`re going to do buildings, it`s going to be in the major cities. If they`re going to do a plot like this, with schools, from everything I`ve heard, from all my sources, it`s going to be in the Heartland. More of a rural area where you might have a multi-jurisdictional SWAT unit, that takes -- where there`s a big lag in response time, from having a 911 call, to being able to get officers who are properly trained and equipped to deal with a threat to the school. Because they need as much time as possible to put the explosives around the perimeter and prevent tactical teams from getting in.

BECK: I`ve got to tell you, as you said that to me today, I thought of all of the coverage that I have ever seen about -- from -- all the way from Columbine, all the way out.

THOR: The Amish schoolhouse shooting.

BECK: We gather. That`s exactly what we do. We gather out in front. Thank you very much. Best of luck on your new book. It is absolutely tremendous. It is "The First Commandment" by Brad Thor.

Thank you, sir.

THOR: Thank you.

BECK: Back in a second. Let`s talk about another book when we come back: "Harry Potter", pandemonium, "The New York Times" has published an early review, and the ending? It`s not in there. Somehow or another they managed to keep that a secret -- but not the Pentagon papers. Details on that, in just a bit.

Plus an update on imprisoned Border Agents Ramos and Compean. I`ll talk to the man who put them there -- who put them behind bars, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton. Could we finally get some real justice? I`ll ask him, coming up.


BECK: I read a review of the new Harry Potter book in "The New York Times," which means that "The New York Times" had an advance copy. And they did not reveal the ending. I found this ironic. Let me see if we can get this straight.

"The New York Times" cares more about guarding the secrets of J.K. Rowling than those of the U.S. military. Weird, isn`t it? "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" hits the streets tomorrow after midnight. So I`ve got to move this segment along because I`ve got to get in line over at the bookstore.

Sara Nelson is the editor-in-chief of "Publisher`s Weekly".

Sara, it`s weird, isn`t it, that "The New York Times" -- or is it Ms. Rowling has tougher attorneys than the U.S. government?

SARA NELSON, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Well, I don`t know about that. But it is an interesting irony that you point out.

I mean, I think the thing is that the publisher guards this book as if it`s a state secret. But then they`re asking us, and now that the book has been leaked, they`re asking us to keep the secret for them for another day or two. On the one hand, they`re treating it like a serious thing, and on the other hand they`re asking us to all be, you know, nice girls about it.

BECK: Yeah, I find it -- it says a couple of things about us. Why wreck the secret? We don`t want -- I mean, let people read it. Why wreck the secret? Why should we print that secret at the end? But the other thing it says is, what kind of crazy society do we live in where it`s this kind of security? You were telling one of my producers about a secret railroad, or a railroad, that hasn`t been used in a long time, and printing presses in the middle of the night.

NELSON: Right. Well, we found at "Publisher`s Weekly", we found a printing plant in Indiana, where they`re printing some of the 12 million copies of the book that they`re going to be printing altogether. And people in the town were reporting that they were using a certain -- that a certain train track that hadn`t been used in, I don`t know, dozens of years, was suddenly being called into service. And they were coming in the middle of the night, backing up to this printing plant, and going back and forth between the printing plant and somewhere else. It was this -- a real sense of -- you know, this kind of stealth of night.

BECK: I`m telling you, she`s going to build a factory with Umpah- Lumpas, at any time.

What are the odds -- and I mean this seriously -- what are the odds that someone will set up grief counseling for the readers of the book who have just lost their -- you know for Hermione, or whoever gets killed?

NELSON: I think that`s pretty likely. But the thing is that there will be reviews on Saturday or on Sunday, you know, completely legitimate reviews, and this sense that everybody`s going to sit down on Friday night at 12:01 and read the book, so that if you spoil it by running a review with the ending on Saturday, that would be OK. But running it today would not be OK.

BECK: Is it true that the -- some in the English have actually compared the people who have spoiled the ending of the book and already released it on the Internet to the Boston Tea Party?


NELSON: I hadn`t heard that.

BECK: You hadn`t heard that? Yeah, I`ve heard that. It was a little - - it`s a little different than the Boston Tea Party.

NELSON: It`s a little different, yes.

BECK: Best of luck to you. Thanks very much, Sara.

NELSON: Thank you.

BECK: Coming up, nudity. Yep, coming up, nudity. No, I`m not kidding. A Vermont town no longer happy with its residents parading around in their birthday suits. This is a story that will make you laugh out loud. Back in a bit.


BECK: Coming up, U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton faces me for some tough questions about our wrongfully imprisoned border guards, Ramos and Compean.

But first, welcome to the "Real Story." Universal health care, three little words that keep popping up every election season, and Michael Moore has even jumped on the bandwagon. And, oh, how I pity that bandwagon.

He has the documentary "Sicko," his hate letter to American medicine, which most people around the world would love to have access to. Here`s the "Real Story" tonight: The real story, universal health care, it is universally a bad idea. And you don`t have to take my word for it. I know I`m a clown. Just ask those who are living with it, like the nation of Norway.

I hate to rain on anybody`s parade, especially if they`re wearing those wooden shoes -- or is that Holland? I think that`s Holland. Anyway, the government is giving you free health care. That`s what they say. But that means you`re paying for it through your tax dollars. Remember, there`s no such thing as a free lunch or a free check-up.

Norwegians are some of the most heavily taxed people in the world, and that in turn has made Norway one of the most expensive countries in the world to live in, and Norwegians are fed up with it. A glass of wine -- not the good stuff, mind you -- costs the equivalent of nearly $16. Gas is almost $9 a gallon. And the tax on new cars doubles the price of that car. I`m guessing they don`t sell a lot of Hummers over there.

So Hillary Clinton, as she goes out and tries to spend the next year- and-a-half trying to blow your kids` college fund by shoving universal health care down your throat, remember, it`s a bitter pill to swallow. Would you rather spend $20 on a doctor`s visit co-pay or an extra $20,000 grand for a Ford Taurus?

Michael Tanner is the director of health and welfare studies at the Cato Institute. Michael, the French, I read -- while we were having a slumber party in our congressional house of power, we have the French cutting taxes. How bad is their deficit over there due to health care?

MICHAEL TANNER, CATO INSTITUTE: Well, the health care system in France is running about a 12 billion euro budget deficit, so that`s probably around, oh, $18 billion U.S. It`s the largest single component of the French budget deficit, and that budget deficit has now grown to the point where it is seriously threatening their ability to meet the Maastricht criteria for the euro.

BECK: Yes, and they really haven`t hit the crunch years of the baby boom and everything else. Everybody says, "Yes, but it`s free. It`s free." And the point has always been, "Yes, except you have to pay taxes," but there`s more to their universal health care than just the tax, right?

TANNER: Well, that`s right. I mean, they pay payroll taxes for their health care, income taxes for their health care, sales taxes for their health care, and then they have to pay out of pocket on top of it. They have enormous co-payments in France, 10 percent to 40 percent. The actual French patient pays about as much out of pocket as the average American patient pays.

BECK: So I have to ask you, what is driving this stuff? Because the misinformation is incredible! I want to show you a chart. They always say 46 million or 47 million Americans uninsured. When you actually look at that, 10 million of these are illegal; 8 million make more than $75,000 a year; 8.3 million make between $50,000 and $75,000; 14 million are eligible for Medicaid but don`t apply. You`ve got another amount that are between 18 and 24 years old. Some of them are just off of or in between medical insurance for six months. I mean, why the lies? What`s driving this?

TANNER: Well, I think the reality of it is that these are folks who want to make the decisions for you. They don`t believe the average American is competent to make their decisions about health care. They really believe that there needs to be experts who decide everything for us. The whole question about health care is, who`s going to decide? Are you and your doctor going to make your health decisions, or a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington going to make those decisions?

BECK: Thank you very much, Michael.

Now, let`s move into another hot topic: $9-a-gallon gasoline in Norway is ridiculous. How about the $3 a gallon that we`re paying here in the U.S. now? It`s no day at the beach. And the "Real Story" is, gas prices are getting so high, most people aren`t even going to be able to afford to go to the beach soon. According to a new poll, nearly half of all Americans would rather reduce their driving, retail and entertainment spending if gas goes to $3.50 a gallon -- and trust me, it ain`t a matter of if, it`s a matter of when -- so what do you do?

Do you buy hybrids? Do you mount a solar panel on the roof rack? Turns out, not going to help a whole lot. Back in 2005, the energy secretary asked the former chairman of Exxon -- you know, that evil oil corporation -- what is the future for fossil fuel supplies? His answer was kind of vague at the time. It`s taken him two years to actually put this study together. He has spoken to literally thousands of experts, and here`s what he found. And the answer now is a little frightening.

Since the world`s population is growing and living standards are also growing worldwide, global energy consumption is expected to rise by at least 50 percent or more over the next 25 years. Our existing supply, according to him, will be long gone by then, so we will need to consider every option, even the dreaded "n" word. Yes, I said it, nuclear.

The bottom line is that we`re all going to have to keep driving, because it`s a reality. We`re all going to all have to heat our houses, and we`re all going to go on living our lives. So we can`t afford literally, or figuratively, to dismiss any energy option.

Conservation is one thing. We must conserve. But when you think that the new safer face of nuclear power could give us energy independence, shouldn`t we also consider that? Even the Russians are building 26 new nuclear reactors. One even floats on the water, which doesn`t make me real comfortable. You know, it`s the Russians. Should we remind them about Chernobyl? These guys aren`t exactly real good at the nuclear thing, I`m just saying.

Dennis Avery is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and author of "Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years." Dennis, is there a shortage of three-eyed babies in Russia? Why are they thinking about 26 nuclear reactors when they`re really not good at it?

DENNIS AVERY, HUDSON INSTITUTE: Well, the death toll from Chernobyl is only about 50 people, and they think it`s been overstated. And the rest of the world thinks they can build nuclear reactors with safety shields. And the French have done it. They`re getting two-thirds of their electricity from nuclear plants. And we`ve been backed into a nuclear corner by the environmental movement.

BECK: Well, I tell you, you know, it is amazing. I mean, Dennis, let`s not kid around here. Chernobyl was a bad thing. But...

AVERY: Yes, it was.

BECK: ... you see on the news about Tokyo, it`s my understanding that the nuclear spill that has happened is one one-billionth of the legal level. Is that even possibly true? Because I sure don`t hear that on TV.

AVERY: How many people die in coal mining accidents every year?

BECK: I don`t know. A lot.

AVERY: A lot. The total safety profile of nuclear is very safe.

BECK: It seems to me that the environmental movement has been very, very good at marrying the word "nuclear energy" right to "nuclear bomb." The word "nuclear" scares people. And there is -- you know, you should think of the energy of the sun, not the energy of the atom bomb. There`s a difference. I don`t want to live on the sun, but as long as we use the sun appropriately, it`s a good thing, right?

AVERY: They`re suing to stop two geothermal plants in Northern California, which have no emissions of any kind, just two nine-acre sites in the middle of the boondocks. And the environmentalists say, "Well, that was really pretty, and we don`t want to mess it up." It`s 18 acres with no emissions, two power plants.

BECK: Yes. The problem is -- and this is what I tried to say to, you know, RFK Jr., I mean, we`ve got to come together. There are no perfect solutions, but it doesn`t seem like they want any solutions. You know, one of the founders of Greenpeace who was on who said, you know, the answer is clean nuclear energy. You`ve got to have energy. This is clean. And when Greenpeace said, "No, no, no," he realized this is all about politics. It`s not really actually about keeping things clean and green. Isn`t it true that nuclear energy has zero CO2 emissions?

AVERY: Zero C02. And then we contrast it with corn ethanol, which produces 50 gallons worth of gasoline per acre per year, against an annual demand of 135 billion gallons. How much of America`s forest are we going to destroy to grow low-grade auto fuel at 50 gallons per acre per year?

BECK: I`ve got to tell you, the ethanol thing, I`m sorry, heartland, I know you love it. It`s good for the farmers. It is bad, bad news for the environment and bad news for the country and bad news for our energy needs in the future.

Dennis, thank you very much. That is the "Real Story" tonight. We`ll be back in a minute with the one, the only Johnny Sutton. Don`t touch the dial.


BECK: Well, thank goodness something is finally being done to help our border agents, Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos, who were sentenced to a decade-plus prison sentence each for shooting and superficially wounding an illegal alien trying to smuggle hundreds of pounds of drugs into our country. You`d think you`d get a medal for that, both of them would, but not in this country, not anymore.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding hearings on the matter to see if U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton abused his power when he prosecuted these loyal Americans. For months, I`ve been pleading that something be done to help these men and their families, and I pray that those in Washington, some of whom I`ve had on this program, use their power to do the right thing and free these guys. Justice delayed will be justice denied, at least in my book.

A guy who couldn`t disagree with me more, after a long bout on my radio program this morning, an hour we spent with Johnny Sutton, he is the prosecutor who put these two men behind bars, Johnny, you have said, last time you were on this program, that I peddle misinformation, I and people like Lou Dobbs. But I want to start with the sound of you testifying in front of Congress this week.


JOHNNY SUTTON, U.S. ATTORNEY: Agents Compean and Ramos crossed the line. They are not heroes. They deliberately shot an unarmed man in the back without justification, destroyed evidence to cover it up, and lied about it. These are serious crimes.


BECK: Mr. Sutton, let me just start here. In that statement, you peddled some misinformation. "Unarmed man"? We don`t know he was unarmed. He was never frisked. Nobody frisked him. Nobody was a witness except for the two border agents and that is taking the word of the drug dealer. He was not shot in the back; he was shot in the buttocks. Without justification? Well, I guess, according to him, there was no justification. He was peddling. He was here in our country illegally, and he had 700 pounds of marijuana. And the two border agents said that they saw a gun or what they thought was a gun. It could have been a cell phone.

So wouldn`t you say you`re a peddler of misinformation?

SUTTON: No, Glenn. I mean, that`s why we have jury trials in this country, to determine what the facts were. And in this case, we had a two- and-a-half-week jury trial, where a bunch of West Texans got to listen to all the evidence, not just the drug smuggler, but the two agents that were claiming self-defense and all the other agents that were there at the scene, as well as the physical evidence.

The whole trial was about whether that smuggler had a gun and whether it was self-defense, and it was rejected. The jury rejected it, because it was false. These two agents weren`t acting like they were two guys who just got a gun pointed at them. If that smuggler had pointed a gun at them, all they had to do was report it, say, hey, that drug smuggler just pointed a gun at us, we shot at him 15 times, we think we hit them, and that would have been the end of it. But all the evidence pointed the other way, and that`s why I say he didn`t have a gun.

BECK: In hindsight, do you believe that it was wrong to give a cartel member a humanitarian pass to come back and forth across the border unchecked, unsupervised?

SUTTON: And that is kind of one of the things that`s been -- if it wasn`t so serious, it would be funny how the argument keeps changing. Did he have a gun? I mean, did they shoot...


BECK: The whole thing is insane.

SUTTON: Now it turns into what kind of parole card the smuggler got. I mean, that is something that`s set by the Homeland Security Department...

BECK: No, sir. For those of us who have been paying attention to this, we thought that was insane since the very beginning. Dianne Feinstein said that she believes there is prosecutorial overreach, and she is writing the president a letter to have him commute the sentences for these guys. You have told me on this program before that you have an opinion but you haven`t been asked for it. Why don`t you just volunteer your opinion to the president?

SUTTON: Well, because, you know, we`ve got a process by which the Department of Justice, at the appropriate time, will ask the opinion of me and the prosecutorial team on commutation. And we`ll give that. That`s part of the deliberative process. But, obviously, that`s advice we`ll give to the Department of Justice, you know, as a part of the case there.

But, you know, frankly, Glenn, look, I`m not saying it`s your fault that this all happened. You`re just getting the information from the defenders who are feeding you information that`s wrong.


BECK: I`ve got to tell you, I`ve read a lot of the documents, sir, and I know I`m not privy to everything, but I`ve read a lot of the documents.

SUTTON: Well, then tell me why they covered up, Glenn. Then why did they cover it up? That`s my question.

BECK: We`ve gone through this. We`ve only got a couple of seconds. I do want to ask you this. I started a fundraiser. It`s a t-shirt that says, "U.S. border guards to protect and serve time," all of the proceeds do go to their legal defense fund. I wanted to know, it`s only $20. Would you like to buy one, sir?

SUTTON: No, obviously. I mean, my heart does go out for these families. They`re in a tough situation. But nobody put us here but Agents Compean and Ramos. If anybody`s at fault, it`s them for committing crimes. And no prosecutor ever wants to prosecute a federal agent or a cop. We don`t like to be there. Unfortunately, we`re here.

BECK: I`ll hold one for you just in case. We`ll see you when their sentence hopefully is commuted. Johnny Sutton, thank you very much.

SUTTON: Thank you, Glenn.

BECK: Time to take our semi-frequent hard left turn and introduce you to a man who is making the daily lives of newly injured American troops who have returned home just a little bit better. He is doing it a very special way in a way that only a few can. He is tonight`s "CNN Hero."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did this start?

BOB KUNKEL, "COMMUNITY CRUSADER": The new injured have no idea how dramatic their lives have been impacted. And I have experience in that area, and I knew I had to do something.

I was with the Ninth Infantry Division. My knee joint was blown out, so they took the bottom part and welded it to the top. I did not cope well. You name the self-destructive behavior, I did it times 10. Now I view all that experience as training for what I`m doing now.

My name is Bob Kunkel. I have the privilege and honor of being allowed to interact with the new injured at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. I function as a friend. I teach jujitsu so that the injured person can become empowered in protecting themselves.

He went that way, so you step here.

There`s a connection. Been in combat? I`ve been in combat.

You`re laughing? They know.

My purpose is to steer someone to make better choices in life. If you`re injured, you`re still the same person.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For me, I feel fortunate to have met somebody like Bob, you know, someone that can kind of understand the disability, but that can also teach me a skill that I can pass onto other people.

KUNKEL: I`ve taken soldiers out for coffee, out for a drive, and dinner. And you can just see people relaxing. It`s my way of showing my true appreciation for their sacrifice.



BECK: And finally tonight, this week, the town of Brattleboro, Vermont, passed an emergency ordinance outlawing public nudity. Yes, until this week, it was perfectly acceptable to wander around Brattleboro completely naked. Unfortunately, a backlash against naked people began after some of the over-55 clothing-optional set heard that Brattleboro was the great place to visit naked. Apparently everybody was OK with it last year, when it was only the hot 22-year-old lingerie models prancing around with no clothes on, and then they saw the senior citizen with the fanny pack, and that`s it. I want you to know, right up front, I`m against this ordinance. In fact, I think Brattleboro is sitting on a tourism gold mine.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): It`s called Brattleboro. And for the proud residents of this bucolic hamlet located in the southeast corner of Vermont, Brattleboro is about as close as you can get to a slice of Heaven on Earth. Just stroll down any one of its cozy downtown streets and you`ll be greeted by plenty of warm, friendly faces. And if you`re really lucky, you might even run into some of them nude folks.

Yes, Brattleboro is a town rich in tradition. There`s the annual spring fling down at the high school. Then, of course, the annual strolling of the heifers. Everyone comes out for that one. Oh, and there`s that great summer ritual of strange, elderly men from out of town walking down the street stark naked.

But it`s the residents of Brattleboro, the very fabric of this town who set Brattleboro apart. Residents like Karen Hesse, who won the Newberry Prize in Literature for her children`s book, "Out of the Dust." Or guitarist Alex McPherson (ph), who may not have won any prizes for playing guitar bare-assed on the steps of the historic Brattleboro Commons bandstand, but he did make a few new friends.

So if you`re looking for a quiet, picturesque slice of New England charm this summer, you could do a lot worse than Brattleboro, Vermont. And, hey, if you do come here, you just might make a few new friends. Brattleboro, come for the charm, but stay for the nudity.


BECK: Don`t forget, if you want to know what`s on tomorrow`s show, or if you`d like a little more in-depth commentary of the news of the day, seriously all you have to do is sign up for my free daily newsletter at

From New York, good night, America.