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Lou Dobbs Tonight

Marines Killed; Red Storm; Air France Plane Crash; Iraq Violence; Iran's Nuclear Activities; Chinese Trade Practices; Profiling Terrorists

Aired August 03, 2005 - 18:00   ET


KITTY PILGRIM, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everybody.
Tonight, 14 U.S. Marines are killed in Iraq. Six Marines were killed in the same town two days ago. I'll be talking with one of this country's leading experts on fighting insurgents.

Plus, targeting radical Islamist terrorists. My guest says it's politically correct suicide to stop the police from targeting their searches of young Muslim suspects.

And a risky spacewalk. A critical repair mission. NASA declares it a success. Former astronaut and spacewalker Kathryn Sullivan is my guest tonight.

We begin tonight with a deadly bomb attack in Iraq that killed 14 U.S. Marines. The Marines were in an armored vehicle that was hit by a massive roadside bomb in Haditha. The attack comes after six members of a Marine Corps sniper team were killed in the same town two days ago.

Barbara Starr reports from the Pentagon -- Barbara.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kitty, in just the last 10 days alone, 43 U.S. troops killed across Iraq. In the latest attacks, several Marines from the same reserve company in Ohio.


STARR (voice-over): As U.S. troops moved through the town of Haditha, in western Iraq, a crater marks where a roadside bomb killed 14 Marines on Wednesday. It was the latest of two deadly attacks in far western Iraq, where U.S. and Iraqi forces have been moving throughout this Euphrates River area, conducting simultaneous raids to isolate insurgents still controlling much of this Sunni stronghold.

U.S. commanders believe the insurgents are now stepping up their response. The roadside bomb attack was one of the most lethal in months.

BRIG. GEN. CARTER HAM, DEP. DIRECTOR, REGIONAL OPERATIONS: We are seeing larger amounts of explosives. We are seeing different techniques that are -- that are being used in an effort to counter the efforts of coalition and Iraqi security forces to protect folks while they are moving, different types of penetrators, different techniques.


STARR: I guess we're having some technical difficulties there, Kitty. But what has happened in Iraq is, of course, six additional Marines killed in another attack in Haditha on Monday.

What's very interesting about that attack is five of those Marines were found dead in one location. They had been on a sniper patrol. But a sixth Marine was found some distance away, also dead.

Now, insurgents on their Web site have posted video of what they say is a dead Marine. The U.S. is not yet confirming that. But tonight, the Marines are saying they're looking at that video, trying to determine if in fact it was one member of that team killed on Monday in -- also in Haditha -- Kitty.

PILGRIM: All right. Thanks very much, Barbara Starr.

An American freelance journalist has been killed in Iraq. He was kidnapped by men in a police car. Steven Vincent was murdered in Basra. This is just days after he wrote a "New York Times" article criticizing the Iraqi police. Now, Vincent said that some Iraqi police were killing former members of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party.

A new challenge to U.S. military power in Asia tonight. China and Russia will hold unprecedented military maneuvers between August 18 and 25. Nearly 10,000 Chinese and Russian troops will take part in the maneuvers in China, and in Russia. The two countries insist the maneuvers are not directed at any other nation.

China's economic assault against this country is certain to intensify in the years ahead. And that's despite China's decision to abandon its aggressive attempt to buy Unocal, one of the country's biggest energy companies.

Casey Wian reports from El Segundo, California.


CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Amid growing pressure from Congress and mounting evidence its deal made little financial sense, China's state-owned oil company CNOOC withdrew its $18.5 billion buyout offer for Unocal. It's a victory for lawmakers who say a communist government-controlled company has no business buying a strategic American asset like Unocal. But the victory may be temporary.

CAROLYN BARTHOLOMEW, U.S.-CHINA ECON. & SECURITY REVIEW: I think that the CNOOC deal is the first of what we're going to see in a long series of potential bids for American companies. The Chinese have at most recent count $711 billion in foreign currency reserves that they're going to want to be spending somewhere. Their interest in energy resources is manifesting all over the world.

WIAN: CNOOC made it clear money is no object, saying in a statement it was prepared to raise its bid for Unocal. But, "The unprecedented political opposition that followed the announcement of our proposed transaction was regrettable and unjustified."

From Iran and Sudan, to Brazil and Canada, Chinese deals for increasingly scarce petroleum are a significant threat to U.S. economic and national security.

GAL LUFT, INST. FOR ANALYSIS OF GLOBAL SECURITY: Now when the Chinese come into the Western hemisphere and they are vying for the same oil, that means there will be less oil available to our market, and that means that the United States will have to look for this oil elsewhere, particularly in the Middle East, Africa and central Asia. And these places are remote, unstable, politically difficult.

WIAN: In recent years, the United States has dealt with potential threats from China on a case-by-case basis.

FRANK GAFFNEY, CENTER FOR SECURITY POLICY: I'm sorry to say neither the Bush administration nor any of its predecessors has really thought strategically about communist China. We have to. The strategy China is pursuing has as its purpose, I believe, displacing the United States economically, and if necessary, defeating us militarily.

WIAN: Gaffney and others say the defeat of CNOOC's bid for Unocal is a hopeful sign that lawmakers are finally taking the challenge of China seriously.


WIAN: Meanwhile, Chevron's purchase of Unocal is expected to be approved by shareholders next week. Here at Unocal's headquarters, transition teams are already up and running, and most Unocal jobs are said to be safe -- Kitty.

PILGRIM: Thanks very much. Casey Wian.

In Canada tonight, air accident investigators have found the data and voice recorders from the Air France jet that crashed yesterday. All 297 flight passengers, 12 crew members, survived that crash.

Mary Snow reports from Toronto -- Mary.

MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kitty, investigators from the Transportation Safety Board have been on the scene of that fiery crash yesterday, piecing together the final moments to try and determine exactly what happened and what led Air France Flight 358 to skid off the runway, go into a ravine and go up in flames. Investigators are saying that they are looking at all factors, including the weather, since there had been a lightning alert in effect at the airport at the time of the landing.

Now, as you mentioned, investigators did retrieve the flight data recorder and the voice recorder, in hopes that they will provide clues as to why the Airbus A-340 overshot the runway and went up into flames.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REAL LAVASSEUR, CHIEF INVESTIGATOR, TSB: Today, the onboard recorders for the aircraft were recovered. I must say that they look pretty good. There is some fire damage to them, but we should be able to recover the information. And are presently being taken, those recorders, to our TSB engineering branch in Ottawa for downloading and transcripts of the information that they contained. This information will be very useful to the team in focusing its efforts where it counts with respect to the identification and validation of possible safety deficiencies.


SNOW: Now, the chief investigator for the Transportation Safety Board said if there are any deficiencies, that action would be taken. But he would not give a timeline on just how long it will be before there are any clear-cut answers.

Meantime, 309 people getting off that plane, escaping with really minor injuries, saying that they are very grateful to be alive tonight -- Kitty.

PILGRIM: All right. Thanks very much. Mary Snow.

Prosecutors in Britain today filed their first charges in the London terror investigations. They charged a 23-year-old man with failing to disclose information about possible terrorism.

Meanwhile, the State Department, the U.S. State Department, has issued a new warning about the possibility of attacks by radical Islamist terrorists.

Well, controversy is growing tonight over the methods to prevent terror attacks on our nation's transit systems. That controversy has peaked in New York, where police have begun searching passengers on the subway.

Today, two elected officials in New York say police should focus on those who fit their "terrorist profile." One state assemblyman said, "It's all very nice to be politically correct here, but we're talking about terrorism."

And later in the broadcast, we'll talk with one investigative reporter who says, by not profiling, we are violating the first principle of warfare: know your enemy.

First, we would like to know what you think about this issue. Do you think that profiling in an effort to stop terrorist attacks is racist or is it necessary? Cast your vote at and we'll bring you the results later in the broadcast.

Still to come, a risky repair mission on the Shuttle Discovery and an unprecedented spacewalk. My guest is former Astronaut Kathryn Sullivan.

Plus, the United States has spent billions of dollars to fight the war against cocaine. But has the war been lost? We'll have a special report.

And Iran's nuclear challenge. Tehran reaffirms its determination to restart the nuclear program as the new president takes office.

Stay with us.


PILGRIM: High drama today. Two hundred and 20 miles above the Earth, astronaut Steve Robinson performed risky, never-before- attempted repairs on the shuttle during a daring spacewalk, and he did it flawlessly.

Now, NASA cameras captured the unprecedented action as Robinson pulled out fabric that could have endangered the shuttle on reentry. And here's how the mission went.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Soichi Noguchi will be first out of the airlock, followed by Steve Robinson, as they begin to set up tools and equipment in support of what could be up to a seven-hour excursion today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, Andy, I'm in the great outdoors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pilot Jim Kelly reports that he and Wendy Lawrence will be moving in to the International Space Station momentarily to take up their positions at the robotics workstation, operating the Canadarm 2, the station robotic arm for the duration of the space walk.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Steve, sit back, relax, enjoy the view.

STEVE ROBINSON, DISCOVERY ASTRONAUT: I am doing exactly that. A rare opportunity.

Maybe it's a good time to thank the folks who put these suits together. The suits are perfect. My suit is perfect, the fit (INAUDIBLE), and the gloves are great. Appreciate all the work and careful, careful attention to detail that went into making these things.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, locking bars were a bit stubborn in being clamped down, but now have been firmly locked in place. And the ESP, or the external storage platform, is a new component to the International Space Station, the new three-ton platform that is holding spare parts for future shut assembly missions.

ROBINSON: OK. From the camera views, can you confirm that this is properly stowed?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actually, we're watching you out the window.

ROBINSON: So here it is. How do you like that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looks pretty good.


ROBINSON: My plan is to do a gentle pull with these A-number-one fingers here. If that doesn't work, I'll use the forceps and do a slightly stronger pull. If that doesn't work, we'll go to the hacksaw tool.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. It goes without saying that we don't want to see inadvertent contact with tile or the belly of the orbiter.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you've got a lot of things still hanging on you, even though we cleaned you up. So try to keep the tools (ph) where they are.

ROBINSON: And I'm ready to go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's your show, Steve. Take it away.

ROBINSON: OK. I've got it, and I'm pulling. It's coming out very easily.

Beautiful. OK. That came out very easily. It looks like this big patient is cured.


PILGRIM: Well, as NASA celebrates a job well done, it's eyeing a new shuttle problem that could force a new spacewalk. NASA says a thermal blanket located just below the shuttle cockpit window was damaged on takeoff, and it appears to have been punctured by insulating foam that fell off the shuttle's external fuel tank. And NASA is worried that the blanket could tear loose and hit the shuttle on reentry. NASA could order another spacewalk as soon as Friday to repair it.

Well, joining me now to talk about today's historic day in space, former NASA astronaut Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, the first American female astronaut to walk in space.

And Kathryn, what were your thoughts today when watching these incredible images? And you've done this. You can really speak with authority on this.

KATHRYN SULLIVAN, FORMER NASA ASTRONAUT: Well, the honest first answer was a fair bit of envy. Steve Robinson just had the most spectacular views of spacewalking an astronaut has arguably ever had. Maybe he finishes in second place to the guys on the moon. But this was pretty great.

You know, great appreciation for the detail and the care and the exacting preparation that went into both the spacewalking procedure side, but also the robotics side of this. It's easy to lose sight of the important role that all the RMS and SSMRS guys played in planning this out, choreographing it, and equipping Jim Kelly and Wendy Lawrence to do some pretty intricate dancing with Steve on the end of that arm, 58 feet out at the end of it.

PILGRIM: What's it like on that arm?

SULLIVAN: Well, it's a fabulous view. I mean, it just is like being -- it's as if your eyes and your brain are just flying around in space. It's kind of magic.

Normally the process of moving around in a spacesuit is, as you can see from other scenes, is sort of a hand over hand, reminds me a bit of being a little kid and clamoring on a jungle gym, although a jungle gym with the world's best view. But it's pretty strenuous on your arms in particular, because every clench of your hand has to be strong enough to hold you, or strong enough to pivot you, or strong enough to open a tether. And that takes the normal strength that that would require, plus extra strength just to make the suit move the way you need it to.

PILGRIM: I thought he was very gracious in complimenting the makers of the gloves and the suit. How difficult was the task? He made it look fairly easy.

SULLIVAN: Well, you know, one of my favorite mottoes from the space program was, the best thing you can be is under-prepared and over-taxed. And so, since things actually clicked off as expectations and predictions had indicated, I think everyone was very alert, very focused, but relatively calm, watching for indications that might tell you something's beginning to not go as you had planned.

But as long as it does keep going as you planned, you just keep that focus. And it's sort of -- you're aware of where you are. You're aware of the consequences and the challenge in your hands. But it is also sort of bizarrely serene and calm because of that focus that you're all maintaining, everybody on the whole team, not just Steve on the end of the arm.

PILGRIM: We -- how do you assess the torn thermal blanket situation?

SULLIVAN: To the best of my knowledge, it's not a phenomenon we've seen before. I can't think of any documentation or recording of something similar previously. So I'm sure that will get a very close look.

The forward end of the orbiter, the pointy end, gets some of the most severe heating during reentry. Obviously the bulk of that is on the very bottom. But even up along the sides, where that flow would wash over the windows, there's cause to be concerned.

Looking at the analyses that I've been able to track today, it seems that the top concern right now is actually that that piece might come off at lower velocities, where the air is thicker and you're further down towards the Earth. And it could become a debris hazard of its own to portions of the shuttle that are further back.

PILGRIM: Unplanned spacewalks, a little bit dicey, right?

SULLIVAN: Yes and no. You've got to lay out a plan in similar detail to what you saw today.

You have fewer times to go through it. You have fewer times to let Steve and Soichi go through it and explore all the what-ifs, and prepare both their procedures and their heads for what might we be looking at -- looking for as a, you know, indicator of something bad.

It will challenge the coordination of all of the members of the crew as they sort through the procedures. But I have to say, in that regard, I was terribly impressed and proud, as only an alumni can be, listening to this crew all day today. Very skilled, very exquisite, very thoughtful and intentional in making sure that they each knew where the other was, that they each were watching out for each other, and that they were very, very careful to be sure they understood each other clearly.

PILGRIM: Well, I'm sure that they can hear your mental support. And thanks for explaining it to us this evening. Kathryn Sullivan, thank you.

SULLIVAN: Pleasure, Kitty.

PILGRIM: Well, today's quote of the day comes from astronaut Stephen Robinson. And after Robinson traveled on the shuttle's robotic arm 220 miles above the Earth, he came back and he told his fellow astronauts, "That was the ride of the century."

A new tropical storm is strengthening in the Atlantic, heading toward Bermuda. Tropical Storm Harvey is the eighth named storm of the hurricane season. It's packing winds 60 miles an hour.

A tropical storm warning has been posted for Bermuda. Harvey is expected to hit Bermuda tomorrow and then head further out into the Atlantic.

Two boys in Massachusetts have been taught a pretty tough lesson in business at a very early age. Their lemonade stand was shut down by police after a nearby sausage vendor complained. The sausage vendor said the children didn't have a permit and they were taking away his customers.

Well, we'd like to note that these kids made about $25 so far this year. The boys, age 9 and 11, moved their stand. They lost a lot of business, however. And the sausage vendor says he regrets calling the police and is embarrassed by the incident.

Still to come, some are calling it the lost war. The United States is spending billions of dollars to fight the war on cocaine, and we'll tell you why many say the administration's plan is simply a waste of time. Later, I'll be speaking with the author of "Countdown to Crisis" about the nuclear threat posed by Iran and what he says must be done now to protect the United States and the rest of the world.


PILGRIM: The United States has spent billions of dollars in the past few years to fight the cocaine war. Although cocaine use in this country is down, the highly addictive drug is still posing a fairly serious threat to our country.

Bill Tucker has the report.


BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Production is down in the cocaine capital of the world, Colombia, after the United States spent billions of dollars on drug interdiction, only to see a massive increase in cocaine production in Bolivia and Peru. Street prices remain stable, while potency has increased.

DR. WESTLEY CLARK, SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT, SAMHSA: Stimulants are heavily abused in this country, and cocaine remains the dominant stimulant. So one of the things that we have to keep in mind is that right now, methamphetamine is kind of overshadowing cocaine as a media phenomenon.

TUCKER: The amount of seizures point to the size of the problem. One hundred and eighty-nine metric tons were seized in 2003. That's a little less than the weight of the Statue of Liberty. But that represents only 40 percent of the cocaine shipped to this country, virtually all of that traffic coming through Mexico, and across the southwest border of the United States -- the Texas border the most vulnerable.

MICHAEL BRAUN, CHIEF OF OPERATIONS, DEA: There are areas where you can fly along that border in south Texas at night and really not -- not see, you know, a light for miles and miles and miles. It just -- it is -- it just presents tremendous challenges.

TUCKER: And drug trafficking organizations have been quick to exploit those challenges.

(on camera): According to a Department of Justice report, Texas now appears to be the state through which the most cocaine is smuggled into the country. And Houston has emerged as a leading distribution center.

(voice-over): Geographically, Houston is a natural. It's a large metropolitan area relatively close to the border, giving the drug runners a place to hide and plenty of transportation choices to make distribution easy. From Houston, the drug is moved to Dallas, Atlanta, New York, Des Moines, Iowa; Boise, Idaho.

Bill Tucker, CNN, Houston, Texas.


PILGRIM: According to the White House, 35 million Americans 12 and older have tried cocaine at least once in their lifetime. Among teens, the numbers are really cause for alarm. Three percent of eighth-graders say they've tried cocaine at least once. That's eighth- graders. Five percent of tenth-graders have tried it at least once. And among seniors in high school, eight percent say they've tried cocaine at least once. In addition, more than 40 percent of seniors surveyed, they say cocaine is fairly or very easy to obtain.

Coming up next, a deadly attack on U.S. Marines in Iraq. Twenty Marines have been killed in three days in one town. A leading authority on fighting insurgents joins me next.

Then, American companies and their workers joining forces to fight unfair trade overseas. We'll have a special report.

And random searches of passengers on our nation's subways and mass transit. One author says they are a dangerous form of political correctness gone awry. He is our guest.

Stay with us.


PILGRIM: My next guest says the United States must not change course in Iraq because of the deaths of 20 U.S. Marines in Haditha. Former Marine Corps Colonel Thomas Hammes is a senior fellow at the National Defense University, and he's also the author of "The Sling and the Stone," which is a highly-regarded study of war in the 21st century.

And thank you very much for being with us, sir.

What are we seeing here? The lethality of this month is appalling.

COL. THOMAS HAMMES, NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIVERSITY: Well, we've had two incidents in two days that have been particularly bad. But then if you -- war is sometimes fairly random -- if that bomb had gone off and there had been a single truck next to it with only one or two Marines in it, we wouldn't have had all the news coverage.

Insurgency is a very long struggle. And you have got to look at it over a longer term. You look for long-term trends in casualties.

PILGRIM: Now, there are some in Congress who are looking for the timetable for an exit. Is that something we should be doing at this point?

HAMMES: No. The problem -- the counterinsurgent has to develop governance. And the only way he can do that is long-term stability. Obviously, you don't trust people who come in, do a sweep and leave and then the insurgents come back.

The insurgent, on the other hand, primary mission is to break the will of the American people. When we start to get calls for withdrawal, or we don't have an aggressive program to tell the American people why this is important, then we give the insurgent a chance to attack that will, because that's how you defeat the Americans. PILGRIM: It seems the insurgents have changed tactics a bit in that we've had such a high number of civilian casualties of late.

HAMMES: Well, they've constantly been attacking Iraqis since the beginning. All the way back in August of 2003, they were going after police academies and individual Iraqis. As we harden up the Iraqi government sites and the U.S. military sites, then they have to go after softer targets, and that's often people on the street.

PILGRIM: I'm taking a look at numbers, since the beginning of April, 2,700 Iraqis killed, half of those civilians. But in a way, doesn't that work against the insurgents?

HAMMES: Very much so. Again, the key, though, the people may hate the insurgents, but if they don't feel safe, they can't very well inform on them. And that's why you need a continuing presence. And frankly, we just don't have the number of troops to do a continuing presence in the western Anbar province.

PILGRIM: Let's talk about where these operations are going on, on the Syrian border. Haditha -- we're seeing foreign insurgents at this point, right?

HAMMES: Well, everything I've read in reports I've seen say about 5 to 10 percent of the insurgents as a whole in Iraq are foreign. I don't know what the percentage is out in the Anbar province. It should naturally be higher, because that would be the route into the country.

PILGRIM: Tell us how these unit sweeps operate, and how that functions?

HAMMES: Well, unit sweeps are something that you have to do when you're short of troops. And they've never been particularly successful in insurgencies.

But essentially, a unit sweeps through the area, tries to find the insurgents, disrupt their supply caches, kill those you can, capture those that you can and then move on. Of course, the problem is, the insurgent knows you're going to move on and just slips in behind you. The people know you're going to move on, so they're obviously not going to come out and say, hey, you should really look in that house over there. We know there are weapons in there. Because they know they'll be seen talking to the Americans.

PILGRIM: Colonel Hammes, you've advocated more troops. Do you think we have sufficient?

HAMMES: Do I think we have sufficient troops in Iraq?


HAMMES: If you read what the brigade and regimental commanders on the ground are saying, they're all saying they're short troops -- that they're playing whack-a-mole with the insurgent. He pops in one place, you run over, you suppress the insurgency there. And while you're gone, it pops up behind you. So, that would indicate insufficient troops to occupy the whole country.

The British faced that in Malaya. And they decided to focus on certain parts of the country and leave other parts of the country for later.

PILGRIM: We're moving the political process aggressively forward, the American advisers taking an even more strenuous role right now. Are we likely to see more violence as we move towards the writing of the constitution, and towards the political process?

HAMMES: Well, the insurgents will certainly try to block the constitution, because what the constitution brings is even more legitimacy to the government. And that's the way the counterinsurgent wins. If he establishes a legitimate government that can provide security, and that security is absolutely vital, then the counterinsurgent can win. So the insurgent is going to do everything he can to disrupt that.

PILGRIM: Former Marine Corps Colonel Thomas Hammes, thanks very much for being with us tonight, sir.

HAMMES: My pleasure.

PILGRIM: Here's a reminder now to vote in tonight's poll. Do you think that profiling in an effort to stop terror attacks in the United States is racist or necessary? Cast your vote at We'll bring you the results in just a few minutes.

And coming up next, nuclear challenge. Iran's new president takes power at a crucial time in the country's nuclear program. We'll talk to the author of a new book who says Iran probably already has nuclear weapons.

And then, hundreds of thousands of American jobs lost to unfair trade overseas. How one American company and its workers are fighting back. Our special report, ahead.


PILGRIM: Iran today reaffirmed its determination to resume nuclear processing. But it declared it will not restart nuclear activities until next week. Now, the nuclear challenge came as Iran's new president took office in Tehran.

Chris Burns reports.


CHRIS BURNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He took up the mantle of Iran's presidency by receiving the blessing of the country's spiritual leader. Former Tehran Mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is embraced by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as well as the outgoing president, Mohammed Khatami.

But Ahmadinejad's rise to power could point to a change. While he's pledged his devotion to Khomeini, he's the first non-cleric president in nearly 25 years.

In his acceptance speech, Ahmadinejad pledged equal opportunity for all in a land of 68 million people, where so many have benefited little from the country's vast oil riches.

MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, INCOMING IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Especially young people and those who have been deprived of these opportunities, and defend the rights of our country at international level.

BURNS: Among those rights Iran is claiming, that of developing nuclear power, setting the country on a collision course with much of an international community nervous that Tehran wants to build the bomb. Khamenei indicated a hard line.

AYATOLLAH ALI KHAMENEI, IRANIAN SUPREME LEADER (through translator): All the mighty powers of the world, especially the Great Satan America, should know the Iranian nation will not surrender to any power.

BURNS: In Ahmadinejad's speech, what could be perceived as a conciliatory gesture -- he made a bid for worldwide disarmament of weapons of mass destruction.

While he faces international tensions, President Ahmadinejad will have to address growing discontent among the poor and young.

Chris Burns, CNN, London.


PILGRIM: My next guest says Iran poses a clear and present danger to the United States. Kenneth Timmerman is the author to "Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran." He joins me now from Washington. And thanks for being with us.

How worried are you about Ahmadinejad and his hard-line rhetoric?

KENNETH TIMMERMAN, AUTHOR: Well, first of all, this man is a killer. He began his career as one of the hostage takers in one of the -- leaders of the group that took the hostages in Tehran in 1979. He's been fingered by the Austrian Interior Ministry for his involvement in murdering an Iranian dissident in Vienna in 1989. He has a deep involvement in terrorism.

This is a man who's also announced that Iran will not give up its nuclear capabilities. We're headed for a showdown.

PILGRIM: The Europeans today saying we're in a major international crisis if Iran resumes its activities. Would you agree with that assessment?

TIMMERMAN: Absolutely, Kitty. And you've got here even the French who have said that if Iran resumes producing uranium hexafluoride, which is the feed material to make enriched uranium, they will take Iran, along with us, to the U.N. Security Council for sanctions. Now, that's a very serious step. People might not think the U.N. is a very powerful force, given how they failed to act with Iraq, but to have the French behind us with this, the other Europeans behind us, is going to make it a challenge to the Iranians.

PILGRIM: That is considerable to have that many countries lined up against Iran on this issue. You've been studying Iran for 20 years. What do they have? What are you worried about?

TIMMERMAN: Well, here's the thing. We now know that they've been importing enrichment equipment for over 10 to 15 years. If they had used the equipment for over 10 to 15 years -- if they had used the equipment we now know they possess, they could have enough nuclear material to build 20 to 25 bombs.

We also know that they have missiles. And those missiles are deployed -- in some cases they're deployed in deep-buried underground sites, which I describe in the book. We -- and they're pointed at Israel. They're working on longer-range missiles that will be able to hit Europe and later on, the United States. They have a broad nuclear and missile capability that is very threatening.

PILGRIM: The IAEA, the nuclear arm watchdog of the United Nations, has said that they may convene a special session. They can't put their monitoring equipment in place until next week and they might have to discuss courses -- other courses of action. What are we talking about here, other courses of action?

TIMMERMAN: Well, I'm not quite sure what the IAEA has in mind. Until now, they have not had the political will to take Iran's violations and refer them to the U.N. Security Council, which is what they should have done quite some time ago.

I've been to Vienna. I followed some of those meetings. Frankly, until recently, they have not been very helpful and they've allowed the Iranians to buy more time. Now, it looks like their time is running out and it's going to go to the U.N. Security Council.

PILGRIM: Yes. What are we talking about in terms of real crisis here in the timeline, Kenneth?

TIMMERMAN: Well, for one thing, we don't know for a fact whether the Iranians have actually built weapons. There's a lot of suspicion involved. For instance, they have a site in Parchin that they won't allow the IAEA to inspect, where the U.S. and others believe that they were doing weaponization work.

We also know that they have a new design for their missile re- entry vehicle, specifically to carry a nuclear warhead. This was something that Colin Powell, when he was secretary of State, last November revealed to the press.

Now, why would they redesign the re entry vehicle of their missile unless they had a bomb designed?

PILGRIM: Iran has a pattern of lying and hiding their nuclear progress. How do we expect them to be up-front, going forward?

TIMMERMAN: Well, they haven't been up-front until now and I don't expect they're going to be up-front, going forward. They have lied to the IAEA, as you mentioned. They have made promises, which they have repeatedly violated.

They promised that they would not begin again this making of nuclear material, and here they are now, announcing that they're going to do it anyway. So, they really have not kept their word and I think they've run out of time with the IAEA.

PILGRIM: Thanks very much for being with us tonight, Kenneth Timmerman. Thank you.

TIMMERMAN: Thank you.

PILGRIM: Well, success tonight in Seoul, where scientists have cloned a dog for the first time. The scientist named the Afghan Hound SNUPY. It stands for Seoul National University Puppy. He's described as a frisky, healthy, normal, rambunctious puppy.

Now, despite the cloning success, don't get your hopes up for duplicating your favorite pet. One of the dog's co-creators says the goal is to work on advanced stem cell science and medicine. But we still think he's very cute.

And a Missouri family got a shocking surprise when they moved into their apartment. The Leafty family of Sedalia, Missouri found a four-and-half-foot python hiding in the kitchen behind their dishwasher.


STEPHANIE LEAFTY, NEW TENANT: I saw its head about right here and about this much of his neck. And it was very thin, so I didn't think it was a great big snake. And then they showed it to me and I was like, oh, my gosh!


PILGRIM: The apartment's former tenant says the snake is his. He says the snake escaped a while back and he decided he didn't want it anymore and we don't blame him.

Well, at the top of the hour on CNN, ANDERSON COOPER 360 joins us.

And joining me with a preview is Heidi Collins -- Heidi?

HEIDI COLLINS, GUEST HOST, ANDERSON COOPER 360: I can't get past the snake story, Kitty, but I will tell you what's coming up next on 360. Survivors, rescuers and onlookers talk about the miracle in Toronto.

Also, with weather being suspected in the Air France crash, a look at the danger of lightning and wind sheer in air travel. And our Gary Tuchman is going to take us inside a plane. He's going to talk to us about what happens during a crash and what you should do.

Plus, in other news, is your boss spying on you? We're going to take on the issue of workplace privacy. Kitty, coming up at 7:00.

PILGRIM: Thank a lot, Heidi. We look forward to it.

Still to come, the story of one company that's fighting back against China's unfair trade practices. The CEO's on a mission to tell anyone that will listen that China is destroying American jobs.

Also, we'll be speaking with Paul Sperry, who is the author of "Infiltration." He says this is not the time to be politically correct. We need to profile young Muslim men in our fight against terror. Stay with us.


PILGRIM: China's unfair trade practices have driven hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work. And now one American steel company and its workers are fighting back.

Christine Romans reports.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dean Menigoz has worked in this steel mill for a year. Downsized from another local manufacturer, Menigoz knows the importance of preserving American manufacturing jobs in the face of unfair foreign competition. His message for Washington...

DEAN MENIGOZ, NUCOR STEEL WORKER: They need to start waking up and start protecting our jobs.

ROMANS: The company he works for now, Nucor Steel, is on a campaign to do that. General Manager John Ohm.

JOHN OHM, GEN. MGR., NUCOR STEEL KANKAKEE: Steel, I think, is the backbone of the U.S. economy. Without steel, you can't build buildings, you can't build highways. And if you're not doing those things and you're bringing it from overseas, what happens when overseas gets upset with us.

ROMANS: Here in Illinois, it's not just steel. Three thousand manufacturing jobs have been lost every month for more than a decade.

Nucor CEO Dan Dimicco says that is unacceptable. He says American business loves a good fight when it's fair, and he says it's not. China manipulates its currency, subsidizes its industrial development, pollutes the environment and exploits labor.

DAN DIMICCO, CEO, NUCOR STEEL CORP.: On a level playing field, we'll beat anybody at this game and it's not just Nucor. The domestic manufacturers are good, efficient, productive, great workforces.

All this poppycock about not having educated workforces, all this stuff about, well, you're crying protectionism, you're China-bashing. You know, the people who say those things are people who are trying to perpetuate a massive fraud on the American public. And we're about making sure the American public knows what's going on.

ROMANS: Nucor Steel picked up the pieces of this bankrupt Kankakee steel mill and turned scrap metal into building products. Nucor employs 300 people here, over 10,000 nationwide. Average pay: $70,000 a year. For the small towns around here, the jobs are critical.

MAYOR DON GREEN, KANKAKEE, ILLINOIS: Those dollars come in, will provide those families the ability to raise their family, to buy a home, to buy a car, to educate their family and to continue that cycle.

ROMANS: Jeff Regel knows that cycle. He's worked this job for 19 years and has a wife and two kids in this town. To him, it's nothing less than life or death for the American manufacturing worker.

JEFF REGEL, NUCOR STEEL WORKER: America can't survive without the jobs. We can't pay for all those cheap things that are coming from somewhere else at the same price that what we've been paying now, so...

ROMANS: That's why Nucor is fighting back with nationwide town hall meetings like this one which drew 1,200 people.


ROMANS: Nucor just finished its seventh town hall meeting. Its mission is to educate its workers and the towns they live in about what executives there say are 10 years of trade policies that are neither free nor fair. And Nucor employees say it's about time someone started to stand up to what's happening to the American manufacturing worker, Kitty.

PILGRIM: These workers are getting a lot of support from their management, aren't they?

ROMANS: They absolutely are. And this CEO is a very blunt speaker. He told me it's like a street fight with China. And the American manufacturers are out there with their fists, and the Chinese are raining down with a howitzer. He said that's not fair. It's not free. It's not a level playing field. And he welcomes competition, but it has to be a fair competition.

PILGRIM: Are they hoping to spark a good bit of debate and get some attention with hits?

ROMANS: I think they are. The first town hall meeting more than a year ago in South Carolina had 400 or 500 people. This one 1,200. Each one has been a bigger event with more people from the town, more employees, more media. He's really getting the message out there. PILGRIM: All right. Thanks very much, Christine Romans.


PILGRIM: Well, a new survey tonight shows that Americans are frustrated with a lack of progress on immigration and jobs. The survey was conducted by the nonprofit organization Public Agenda for the Council on Foreign Relations. And here are the results.

Three-quarters of the public gave the United States a grade of C or worse in protecting our borders from illegal aliens. Nearly a quarter of those gave it an F. And on the issue of outsourcing, half of Americans gave the country a D or an F grade on protecting jobs from going to cheap foreign labor markets.

Still ahead, is racial profiling always wrong? My guest coming up says it's pointless to perform random searches on what he calls Girl Scouts and grannies. He wants law enforcement to target young Muslim men. He'll explain. Stay with us.


PILGRIM: After the attacks of 9/11 and the London bombings, new questions are surfacing about how to prevent future terrorist attacks. How far can the law enforcement go without curtailing basic civil liberties. Well, my guest, Paul Sperry, argues that stopping the police from picking out young Muslim men for searches is what he calls politically correct suicide.

Sperry is an investigative reporter. He's an author on "Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington." And he joins us now.

Let me just go to your -- one of your most incendiary quotes and let you defend it. "The authorities will be stopping Girl Scouts and grannies in a procedure that has more to do with demonstrating tolerance than with protecting citizens from terrorism."

And that, although it may in essence be perfectly obvious, is a very incendiary comment. How do you defend it?

PAUL SPERRY, AUTHOR: Well, Kitty, why are we forcing police to waste their time searching, like I said, little Girl Scouts and grannies, and for that matter, old Muslim men, elderly Muslim women when they don't fit the terrorist profile? You know -- and when the Brits right now, even liberal London is no longer wasting time.

As they said -- the British Transit Police in London said, with old white ladies, and they're zeroing in on young Middle Eastern men who are behaving suspiciously. And that's the key here. You have to combine the physical indicators of a suicide bomber with the behavioral and the religious indicators.

PILGRIM: The way the searches are done now in New York, it's one in 10 random, correct? SPERRY: Yes, that's right. And that's an exercise in futility and political correctness. We're really just trying to demonstrate our tolerance rather than effectively protecting the citizens and the public from terrorism, because with the random search, terrorists can easily game that. They can -- if they can count to 10, they can easily slip through a one in 10 random search -- I mean, slip through that numerical window.

So what law enforcement would rather do is zero in on the highest statistical threat out there. And it just happens to be right now young Muslim men, south Asian and Arabic descent, who are also behaving suspiciously. And there's a number of indicators of that.

You have fiddling nervously with their bags, sweating profusely, praying fervently to Allah. And also smelling like flower water, which is a pre-martyrdom Islamic ritual called ablution. And these suicide bombers actually believe that they are going to need to perfume themselves to prepare for their weddings in paradise with their dark- eyed damsels with swelling breasts, the proverbial virgins, according to the scripture.

And the 19 hijackers went through this ablution process, including the flower water. And by the way, I get this straight from the Department of Homeland Security document that was distributed to the border authorities last year.

And also, the Palestinian suicide bombers do this ritual. And there is some indication that the 7/7 London bombers did this.

PILGRIM: You know, I would like to go back to the issue of searches, because we'd like to focus on that. Christopher Dunn, who is the associate legal director of the NYCLU has said, "we agree that the NYPD's random search policy is ineffective. Racial profiling, however, is hardly the answer. What the NYPD should be doing and what would be lawful is to search those people who they suspect of wrongdoing."

Is that a middle ground rather than just targeting everyone who looks like a suspect?

SPERRY: That sounds like an after-the-fact type of situation that we can't afford to do anymore in this environment.

You know, terrorism is all about intelligence, and preemption. And no one's talking about profiling a race. No one's talking about racial profiling. At least, I'm not calling for that. I'm calling for targeted profiling, based on a very narrowly defined group, a high- risk group that's also behaving suspiciously. And if police can articulate that suspicion, then they -- their searches will be upheld in court.

And courts right now would give the latitude to governments, great latitude in this crisis situation like this, where the government has to protect the public from terrorists. So that's just smart law enforcement.

PILGRIM: You make a lot of sense. Thanks for joining us. We've got to end it there.

SPERRY: Thank you, Kitty.

PILGRIM: Thanks a lot, Paul Sperry.

All right. Results of tonight's poll: 79 percent of you say profiling in an effort to stop terrorist attacks is necessary; 21 percent say it's racist.

Finally tonight, Judith Miller, Pulitzer Prize-winning "New York Times" reporter has been in prison for 28 days -- that's four weeks -- for protecting her confidential sources in the White House CIA leak case. We do keep track.

Thanks for being with us tonight. Please join us tomorrow. Good night from New York.

ANDERSON COOPER 360 starts right now with Heidi Collins -- Heidi.