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Lou Dobbs Tonight
Gaza Showdown; U.S. Troops Killed in Iraq and Afghanistan; Planning Blunders; Unprepared Emergency Rooms; FBI Changes Training Methods; Military Missions Described; Herndon to Build Dayworker Facility
Aired August 18, 2005 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everybody.
Tonight, four U.S. troops are killed in Iraq. Did the Pentagon ignore critical warnings about the risk of an insurgency?
Plus, demands to make English the official language of this country. We go to a Midwest neighborhood where English is the second language.
Also, segregated by sex, how Saudi Arabia is forcing one U.S. public university to hold separate classes for men and women.
And the BTK killer, Dennis Rader, gets 10 life sentences after emotional testimony by the victims' families.
We begin tonight with a major showdown between Israeli police and Jewish protesters in Gaza. It was the most violent confrontation since Israel began forcing settlers to leave. Dozens of Israeli police stormed a synagogue occupied by hundreds of protesters. The protesters threw paint, glue and acid at the police.
Guy Raz reports from the biggest settlement in Gaza.
GUY RAZ, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The conflict is within now. For 60 years, Israel battled its Arab neighbors. Today, Israelis battled one another, brother versus brother, Jew against Jew.
"Jews don't expel Jews!" the demonstrators shouted, using words as a weapon, words that strike right at the heart of the national consciousness. Some shouted as they were carried away. Others wept. But most simply walked out onto the buses and out of Gaza. Police didn't want to storm this synagogue, but the demonstrators inside, opponents of the Gaza withdrawal, refused to leave.
(on camera): It's not just about activists versus soldiers, but a reflection of a wider struggle in Israel, religious versus secular, a struggle that's been played throughout Gaza during this process.
(voice over): A struggle some in Israel believe was long overdue. But it stirs questions, conflict, strife. Those who made their last stand here regard Gaza as part of Eretz Yisrael, the biblical land of Israel. Removing them, they say, defies the will of God.
But though their struggles are fierce, and their voices loud, their will is not backed by most of their countrymen. The majority just wants out of Gaza. No more bloodshed, no more fighting, just quiet. Peace and quiet.
Guy Raz, CNN, Neve Dekalim settlement, Gaza.
PILGRIM: The White House today declared that President Bush completely supports the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. The White House said the pullout is a bold move that will strengthen ties between the United States and Israel.
Well, a deadly day for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Six troops were killed today, four of them in Iraq. At the same time, new suggestions today the Bush administration ignored warnings about the problems of post-war Iraq.
Kathleen Koch at the Pentagon reports on the latest U.S. combat deaths. And Andrea Koppel at the State Department reports on the planning blunders for Iraq.
We go first to Kathleen Koch -- Kathleen.
KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kitty, a costly day for U.S. forces overseas, and the weapon of choice in both cases was homemade bombs. One first killed two soldiers in Afghanistan, as they were a part of a convoy near the southern city of Kandahar. That convoy working on making road repairs.
The second attack occurred in Iraq, in the city of Samarra, some 60 miles north of Baghdad. Four Task Force Liberty soldiers died when a roadside bomb exploded around 11:15 there this morning. The names of all the soldiers are being withheld pending notification of their families.
And despite the attack in Samarra and yesterday's bloody series of bombings in Baghdad that claimed lives of some 43 Iraqis, the U.S. military says that suicide attacks in Iraq are down nearly 40 percent over the last few weeks.
Meanwhile, in Iraq, leaders are still scrambling to try to complete that country's new constitution in time for the Monday deadline. Leaders of the various factions met in the Green Zone in Baghdad late into the night. A spokesman for the larger Shiite party, though, is predicting a breakthrough on the constitution could come, Kitty, within the next two days.
PILGRIM: Thanks very much. Kathleen Koch.
Well, new assertions tonight that the Bush administration failed to prepare for the post-war Iraq. Three top State Department officials say they warned U.S. military planners about serious planning gaps, saying the Pentagon was totally unprepared for an insurgency.
Andrea Koppel reports from the State Department -- Andrea.
ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN STATE DEPT. CORRESPONDENT: Kitty, it is no secret that there are a lot of officials here at the State Department who are still upset about the fact that the Pentagon pretty much ignored the extensive efforts that they put into planning for pretty much every aspect of post-war Iraq. But what's new today is this: it is a memo that those three State Department officials you just referred to was just declassified today. And it was written by three senior State Department officials just one month before the U.S. invaded Iraq, and shortly after they say they met with top military officers at the central command.
In the memo, these officials warn that "Unless the U.S. military were ready to take on short-term policing role after the war, there could be serious planning gaps for post-conflict public security and humanitarian assistance." "A failure to do so," these State Department officials went on to say, "could result in serious human rights abuses, which would undermine an otherwise successful military campaign and the U.S. reputation internationally."
Today, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack dismissed these allegations as old news.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN MCCORMACK, STATE DEPT. SPOKESMAN: There was substantial -- substantial planning, substantial plans in place. And in particular on humanitarian frame. I think that one of -- one of the great positive developments of post-conflict Iraq was the fact that there was not a humanitarian crisis of the type that many -- many were predicting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KOPPEL: But as we've since found out, while there may not have been a humanitarian crisis, there certainly was a breakdown, a tremendous breakdown in law and order immediately after the U.S. invasion. And then, of course, even today, Kitty, as we know all too well, the U.S. and Iraqi military forces continue to battle a growing insurgency -- Kitty.
PILGRIM: Thanks very much. Andrea Koppel. Thanks, Andrea.
Well, Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, today challenged U.S. policy in Iraq. Putin declared the United States must immediately set a timetable for the withdrawal of troops. The Russian president said a U.S. pullout would encourage insurgents to give up their terror campaign.
Russia and China today launched unprecedented war games between their two countries. Military commanders declared that the maneuvers do not threaten any country, but the exercises are clearly designed to send a very clear message to the United States.
PILGRIM (voice over): The opening ceremony with Russian and Chinese generals, eight days of war games, land, sea and air, with 10,000 military personnel from both countries, a clear signal of regional power.
PETER BROOKES, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: The Chinese originally wanted to have these held 500 miles to the south, much closer to the Taiwan Strait. The Russians actually nixed the idea, probably seeing it as a little too provocative.
PILGRIM: The kickoff ceremony in Russia's Vladivostok. Exercises are off China's Shandong Peninsula, basically on both sides of the Korean Peninsula.
It's the first time Russian troops will be on Chinese soil since World War II. Russia and China were Cold War adversaries, now they are military and business partners.
DEREK MITCHELL, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES: China's been very bad at developing its own weaponry domestically, so they've had to look outside. Most countries won't sell China advanced weapons. But Russia has been one where they've gotten most of their best stuff.
PILGRIM: Experts say Russia is worried about U.S. influence in the region, especially after the orange revolution in Ukraine.
JASON KINDOPP, EURASIA GROUP: The Ukraine was certainly the catalyst, because that's where Moscow, which, of course, traditionally has a very strong influence in the Ukraine, had a clear preference for the outcome, and Washington had another preference. And Washington's choice won.
That deeply disturbed Moscow. And secondarily, it also disturbed Beijing, because they always apply these things to their own back yard.
PILGRIM: Russia and China, with a 4,000-mile common border, formed a power alliance with Khazakstan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan called the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. On July 5, the group asked the United States to pull its troops out of nearby Afghanistan.
PILGRIM: Now, the exercises are code-named Peace Mission 2005. And China and Russia say they're not aimed at any other country, but to combat terrorism. Regional experts say it's more about exerting power than thwarting terrorism.
Well, still to come, officially English. Increasing demands for English to be the official language of the United States. Some people say that's racism. And segregated by sex. A U.S. public university separates men and women in some classes under pressure from Saudi Arabia.
PILGRIM: Tonight there's growing momentum to make English the official language of the United States. More than half of all states, 26, have done so already. But the federal government has not.
Christine Romans reports from Chicago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen again and repeat.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Antonia Antunez has lived in Chicago for 20 years, raising seven children. She says it's finally time to learn English.
ANTONIA ANTUNEZ, ENGLISH STUDENT: My little kid, he's only 8 years old. And sometimes he say, "Mommy, you want to help me? Do you want to read with me?" So, to me, it's very important to explain when I read to him, to explain the story so he understand it.
ROMANS: She's defying the odds. A record 12 million households in this country are what the Census Bureau calls linguistically isolated.
Only 50 percent of Mexican immigrants speak English, compared with 69 percent of Chinese and 78 percent of Russians. Hispanic neighborhoods have the lowest English proficiency, yet are the fastest growing in the nation.
In Chicago's Little Village, there's no need to speak English. Work, shopping and government business are conducted in Spanish.
Immigrant neighborhoods have always celebrated their home cultures, but English language advocates say there's a difference now.
TIM SCHULTZ, U.S. ENGLISH: When you can vote in a foreign language, when you can shop in a foreign language, when every 800 line that you call says, "Press 1 for English," press 2 for something else, we have made it possible really for the first time in American history for someone to come to the United States and live their whole life in relative comfort without ever having to learn English.
ROMANS: A recent Zogby International poll found 79 percent of Americans want English as the country's official language. Among first and second-generation immigrants, it's 81 percent.
But that, says Mirna Garcia, is ignorant and unfair.
MIRNA GARCIA, INSTITUTO DEL PROGRESSO LATINO: America is becoming a place where multiple languages are heard and are spoken. And the reality is that there's a shift.
ROMANS: She says making English the official language would dilute Hispanic culture.
GARCIA: I think fundamentally it's fear. And that fear we recognize as racism, a fear of the unknown, a fear of what's happening in this country.
ROMANS: Supporters of English as the official language say it's not racism, it's tradition.
SCHULTZ: All immigrants, whether they were from Germany, or whether they were from Poland, or whether they were from Italy, and now whether they're from Mexico or Guatemala, it's always been the expectation that they have the responsibility, even a civic duty, to learn English. And that doesn't mean perfect English.
ROMANS: Statistics show immigrants who do speak English make almost 20 percent more than those with the same background who don't. But for Antonia Antunez, it's not for money. It's for her children.
ANTUNEZ: When they heard me to I can read in English, or I have a conversation with someone in English, I think they a little bit proud of me. And this is what makes me feel good.
ROMANS: In Chicago, the fastest-growing neighborhoods are Hispanic. Making English the official language of this country is not very popular in many of these communities -- Kitty.
PILGRIM: Christine, is there any common ground. Do either side find any common ground in all of this?
ROMANS: There is some common ground. Both sides agree that, where appropriate in certain communities, it is necessary to have 911 operators who can speak multiple languages, to have hospital emergency rooms or translators available. It depends on the neighborhood.
Some places it will be Spanish and English, some places it will be English and Korean, or English and Chinese. But the bottom line here is that the pro-English lobby wants to make sure that English is the common denominator -- Kitty.
PILGRIM: All right. Thanks very much. Christine Romans.
Well, we would really like to know what you think about this important national issue. Do you think that Congress should make English the official language of the United States, yes or no? Cast your vote at loudobbs.com. We'll bring you the results a little bit later in the broadcast.
Here's a disturbing new report. Tonight, massive numbers of teachers leaving our nation's schools. Now, according to the National Center for Education Information, 40 percent of public schoolteachers plan to give up teaching within the next five years. Among high schoolteachers, the rate is even higher, 50 percent.
Now, the main cause is retirement. The teaching force is aging fast. Forty-two percent of the nation's teachers are 50 or older.
Well, coming up next, segregated by sex in America. Saudi Arabian students refusing to take co-ed classes while visiting a public university in this country. Their demand has caused outrage at the school.
And then, judging John Roberts. Newly released documents raise questions about the Supreme Court nominee's position on women's rights.
Stay with us.
PILGRIM: Outrage tonight over one American university segregated by sex. A group of professors from Saudi Arabia is visiting Virginia Tech, a publicly funded university. They refused to take classes with members of the opposite sex.
Lisa Sylvester reports from Blacksburg, Virginia.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Sixty visiting professors from King Abdul Aziz University in Saudi Arabia have been taking summer courses at Virginia Tech University. The classes were separated by gender.
Nedaa Jambi holds a Ph.D. and several Masters degrees. She says the arrangement was conducive to learning and was in keeping with Saudi customs.
NEDAA JAMBI, PROFESSOR, KING ABDUL AZIZ UNIV.: I feel a comfort level to kind of work within and express ourselves the same way. It was not constricting in any way to us, because we were able to exchange ideas.
SYLVESTER: The Saudi faculty asked that the segregated classes be written into the contract with Virginia Tech, but marketing professor Eloise Coupey was stunned when she saw signs on campus directing men to one classroom and women to another.
ELOISE COUPEY, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, VIRGINIA TECH: We're taking a giant step backward if we've got administrators who feel that separate but equal, which was overturned in 1954, and -- you know, that the Civil Rights Act doesn't apply to some groups of people who visit us on campus.
SYLVESTER: Coupey took her complaint to university administrators. The school asked the Saudi students if they wanted to voluntarily integrate. They declined. But the university may still have violated the Title 9 amendment that prohibits public schools and universities that receive federal funds from discriminating based on gender.
LARRY HINCKER, ASSOCIATE VP., VIRGINIA TECH: In retrospect, we probably should have had some red flags on that. Some would say, on the surface, it's not right, it's problematic. Some claim it's discriminatory.
They don't feel it's discriminatory. They're quite happy with that.
SYLVESTER: Some full-time Virginia Tech students feel the class is run counter to U.S. culture and laws.
LINDSEY CAINE, STUDENT: Being here at Virginia Tech, I don't see why they would do that. Like, it's our culture here to have everyone together.
SYLVESTER: And the university was paid $246,000 by the Saudi students. But the money may not have been worth it. After this backlash, the university has decided it will not host the students again under the same conditions.
And one other note, Kitty. This university where this group comes from, King Abdul Aziz University, their most famous graduate, Osama bin Laden -- Kitty.
PILGRIM: Thanks very much. Lisa Sylvester.
Well, the Reagan Library today released yet another round of documents on Supreme Court nominee John Roberts. More than 38,000 documents from his time as a lawyer in the Reagan White House. Now, in some of these, Roberts expresses controversial views on women in the workplace.
Joe Johns reports from Washington.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do we want?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When do we want it?
JOE JOHNS, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In the early 1980s, the Equal Rights Amendment for women was a leading political issue. The amendment essentially said that equal rights under the law should not be denied or abridged by the federal government, or by any state on account of sex.
John Roberts, as associate White House counsel, described the amendment as an attempt to "bridge the purported gender gap" and said it was "neither theoretically nor practically sound." Roberts echoed the administration's view that the amendment would infringe on states' rights. It wasn't the only time Roberts expressed strong views on gender discrimination and how the administration should respond. He questioned attempted remedies such as equal pay requirements and higher education initiatives.
Roberts was also asked about a proposal in 1985 for White House staffer Linda Chavez to nominate her deputy for a corporate award to honor women who made a significant change in their lives after the age of 30. Roberts said it was OK, but also added this comment: "Some might question whether encouraging homemakers to become lawyers contributes to the common good."
It was unclear from the context of the memo whether Roberts was making a joke at the expense of lawyers.
JOHNS: Of course, Roberts is a lawyer. His wife is a lawyer as well. As you said, Kitty, about 38,000 pages released today.
Even before those pages were released, Democrats were complaining they weren't yet getting what they really want. That, of course, is a peek at some of the documents he produced while he was at the solicitor general's office -- Kitty.
PILGRIM: And that's a lot of reading.
JOHNS: That's for sure.
PILGRIM: Thanks very much. Joe Johns.
Well, coming up, the families of the victims come face to face with a monster. Dennis Rader, the self-confessed BTK killer, is sentenced in an emotional court hearing.
Plus, border mole. An illegal alien charged with an outrageous crime has his day in court.
PILGRIM: The man who admits he was the ruthless BTK killer was sentenced today to 10 consecutive life terms in prison. The sentence came a day after dramatic testimony. Relatives of the 10 victims describe their heartache, and a detective testified that even Dennis Rader admits he is a monster.
Chris Lawrence reports from Wichita, Kansas -- Chris.
CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kitty, a lot of the victims' relatives didn't even stick around to hear what Dennis Rader had to say. They left the courtroom. But for those that stayed, they saw a different man than they had seen in court up to this point.
He showed emotion, choking up at times, stopping to take off his glasses and wipe his eyes. He also said he was dishonest to his victims. He said, "In a strange way, they trusted me to tie them up, take their money and leave. And I killed them."
He also at times thanked the police, his defense, people who came to see him in jail. He stood up there and at times sounded like a man accepting a statue at an Academy Awards.
His rambling speech went from here to there. He said, "Some people say that I'm not a Christian. But I think I am."
When the families say -- one of the sisters of one of his victims said in response to that somewhat, said, she had this hope for what happens to Mr. Rader when he dies...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEVERLY PLAPP, BTK VICTIM'S SISTER: On the day he dies, Nancy and all of his victims will be waiting with God and watching him as he burns in hell.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAWRENCE: It was just a tremendously emotional day for the families. Rader himself said that he felt the families can never forgive him, but that he wished that they could. Not very possible when you hear what some of these families have lost.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANIE KLINE, BTK VICTIM'S DAUGHTER: It's been almost 19 years now that my brother and I had the most important woman in our lives taken from us. My brother and I had to go through so many important moments in our lives without her. Every day is a struggle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAWRENCE: And that was Stephanie Kline talking about the loss of her mother, who was murdered by BTK.
Dennis Rader confessed to killing 10 people. One thing we heard today, that he was in the process of planning an 11th murder that he was never able to carry out. He was sentenced to 40 years -- at least 40 years without parole. He was -- the judge also ruled that all of his sentences for these murders would be served consecutively, meaning, in effect, that Mr. Rader will never walk out of prison again -- Kitty.
PHILLIPS: Thanks very much. Chris Lawrence. Thanks, Chris.
Well, new developments tonight in the outrageous story of illegal alien Oscar Antonio Ortiz. Ortiz was arraigned today on charges of using a fake I.D. to get a job with the U.S. Border Patrol and then helping smuggle other illegal aliens into this country.
Casey Wian is live in San Diego -- Casey. CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kitty, Oscar Antonio Ortiz, the illegal alien former Border Patrol agent, now faces additional criminal charges and more prison time. Federal prosecutors had already charged him with smuggling more than a hundred illegal aliens into this country, in some cases using his Border Patrol vehicle. And he was charged with lying about his citizenship to get his job with the Border Patrol more than four years ago. Those two charges carried a maximum prison term of 13 years. Today, a grand jury added two new charges: Being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm and lying about his immigration status to obtain a firearm.
Each of those two counts carries a maximum prison term of 10 years. So, Oscar Antonio Ortiz now faces the possibility of 33 years in prison if he's convicted. Ortiz was born in Mexico and prosecutors allege, as you mentioned, that he used a phony birth certificate to get a job with the Border Patrol. He spent four years with the U.S. Navy, four years with the U.S. Border Patrol and he was arrested earlier this month. He's now traded in those two uniforms for an orange prison jumpsuit -- Kitty?
PILGRIM: Unbelievable. Thanks very much. Casey Wian.
Well, last night after heated debate, the town of Herndon, Virginia, approved the construction of a site where day laborers can wait for work. Now, critics say many are illegal aliens and taxpayer dollars should not be used to help illegal aliens break the law. Supporters say the site will keep day laborers off the streets.
Joining me tonight to debate Herndon's decision is Joel Mills, the executive counsel of Project Hope and Harmony. This is a group in favor of the site. And also joining me is Dennis Husch, a Herndon council member who voted against it. Thank you very much for joining us.
Let's start with you, Joel. About 100 people signed up to testify. This got national attention. Many people oppose the site in their testimony and yet, it went through: 5-2 vote by the town council approved. What's your reaction?
JOEL MILLS, PROJECT HOPE AND HARMONY: Well, we're obviously pleased with the decision that was made last night. But at the same time, we realize that this is the beginning. We have a lot of work ahead of us. It's been a long process. It's involved some divisive dialog about the issue.
It was mentioned last night during our public hearing that we even have families whose members have been on opposing sides of this issue. It's been a healthy debate. It's something that we think has really improved the approach the town is taking with this issue and we're excited to move forward.
PILGRIM: Let me ask you a follow-up question on that, in that, is the community ready to drop this or is this still being debated actively?
MILLS: Well, it's only been a day. We've certainly heard from a lot of people today, a lot of support. We're getting more indications of private donations coming in to help fund this initiative. We're also reaching out to, particularly, residents of the adjacent neighborhoods to the proposed site -- or now, approved site, because we know that they have raised some specific issues about cut-through traffic, trespassing, things of that nature and we want to be able to work with them on this. We want to make sure that both concerns are concerns that are addressed as we move forward.
PILGRIM: Dennis, you really were against using taxpayer money for this and yet, you lost the battle at least for the moment. What's next?
DENNIS HUSCH, HERNDON COUNCIL MEMBER: It's only a skirmish in a very long war. I guess next is to manage expectations. The proponents of the day-laborer site have made a lot of promises. The town has made a lot of commitments and those expectations are going to have to be met. If they're not met and they're not met in a very quick manner, then we're going to revisit the debate over and over and over.
PILGRIM: Joel, what promises are you making? What can you do to help this mend fences?
MILLS: Well, the reason why we put this proposal forward is the existing situation that we've had in the town for the better part of a decade. We have a daily public safety issue, at an informal day-labor hiring site.
We have proposed to create a formal day-labor hiring site that is in a safe location and is in -- is under a managed environment that provides safety for all of our community and improves the situation we have currently.
As we move forward, we want to be working very closely with the residents who feel that they are most affected by this site. We want to work hand-in-hand with them to address their concerns at each stage of the process. As Councilman Hutch said, we have made commitments. The town has made commitments and we want to move forward to realize those commitments for our community.
PILGRIM: But Dennis, you know, many people say that the people that are at this site are illegal. One of the promises made is that they'll inform employers that it's illegal to hire illegal aliens. It seems a little bit obvious. Is that sort of false --
HUSCH: I believe they'll certainly inform employers, but there's no way to check to make sure that the proper paperwork is filled out, or that the individuals who are working have the proper documentation to allow them the privilege of working in this country.
We all agree that there was a problem and the problem needed to be solved in some manner. It was going to take a partnership amongst community groups to do it. Where the difference arose is when public money was introduced into the equation.
PILGRIM: One hundred and seventy thousand dollars of county funds, right?
HUSCH: A hundred and seventy thousand dollars this year. We have no idea what it's going to come to next year from Fairfax County and right now, we have no idea what the town's investment is going to have to be in order to secure the safety of our neighborhoods.
Once public money, public property got into the equation, that's when my oath of office to uphold the constitution, the commonwealth, the Commonwealth of Virginia, forced me to a position where I had to vote against this proposal.
PILGRIM: Joel, last question: Do you think it's fair that taxpayers have to cough up the bill for this?
MILLS: I think that this is a local issue that is an immediate issue for our town on a daily basis. The current informal site has featured hit-and-runs, severe traffic accidents. It's a daily safety concern and we, frankly, can't afford not to address this issue.
I think that the town has taken a leadership role where they could and we have stepped up to the plate. To put in place a managed environment to make sure that this activity can happen in a safe way.
PILGRIM: But some say they -- that the community's been twice victimized: One by the situation and the other by having to pay for it.
HUSCH: And I'd counter that the introduction of public funds into this equation no longer makes it a local issue. It becomes a national issue. It focuses on the problems we have on our borders and as I mentioned last night, the most important thing that happened is what did not happen.
The voices that were not heard at our public hearing were the voices of our elected officials in Fairfax County, our federal congressmen, our federal senators. They hid in the background while Herndon was on the front lines of this battle and that was really unfortunate.
PILGRIM: Well, this will be continued, I'm quite sure. Thank you, gentlemen, for joining me this evening to discuss this. Joel Mills and Dennis Husch. Thank you.
MILLS: Thanks for having us on.
PILGRIM: Coming up: Grange on point. The Pentagon is sending hundreds more American troops to Iraq. What is their mission? How long will they stay? General David Grange joins us next.
And then: A charge that our nation's emergency rooms are unprepared for another terrorist attack. Now, one medical expert joins us ahead. Stay with us.
PILGRIM: The Pentagon is sending another 700 troops to Iraq. Now, the military says those troops will guard prisons. CNN has also learned the Pentagon may temporarily increase the number of troops in Iraq by 20,000 for the upcoming elections. General David Grange joins me now to assess this. Thanks for being with us, General.
GEN. DAVID GRANGE, "GRANGE ON POINT": Thank you.
PILGRIM: The Pentagon says they're dispatching 700 troops from the 82nd Airborne Division. Do you believe this is a good use of the 82nd Airborne Division?
GRANGE: Well, if you're a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division, the only airborne division the United States Army has, the type of mission you dream about, you want to go on is to parachute into some combat situation to fight. But all these Army units actually train for and are ready for a range of operations, from humanitarian assistance to peacekeeping to combat. And they'll go over on this mission as ordered. They probably won't be guards, but they'll provide security in the local areas. They will be a reaction force if something happens, terrorist attacks or attempted breakouts or whatever the case may be.
And the other part of it is that they probably won't be in that mission that they started in, as things develop through this fall with the constitution being written and the elections coming up.
PILGRIM: That's interesting.
Let me talk to you a little bit about deadlines. Senator Feingold has become the first senator yesterday to call for a total withdrawal by December of 2006. Now, you've had some conversations with senior military leaders. Do you believe that's feasible?
GRANGE: I do not. A couple of things. First of all, to even put that kind of a plan together and announce it to the enemy lets them plan in a very detailed manner their actions through the end of December of 2006.
The other is that, as we see every day, this insurgency is still very dangerous, and it's going to take a while to curtail the enemy, to train the Afghanistan police and military to take on these missions themselves. And that doesn't happen overnight. Most counterinsurgencies on an average, if you look back in history, take about 10 years to complete. So it's going to take several years of deployments. There's plans to deploy soldiers and Marines and others in and out of Iraq for some time to come.
You know, I think you always want to have some type of a U.S. footprint in that country for a while, if nothing else, to advise and to support if things really got bad. So, no, I think it's very unrealistic.
PILGRIM: Is the military overstretched at this point? We have Iraq. We have Afghanistan. And we're talking about beefing up, temporarily at least, in Iraq. Do you think we're overstretched?
GRANGE: I think big pressure's on the military, especially the United States Army. Right now, this ground war, you have the Marines and the Army doing all the heavy lifting. And so, it is tough.
And if you look back, again, when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, since that time to now, the Army, in particular, came down almost half its size. And at the same time, the task, the missions, or what they call the operational tempo, the pace, increased three to four times. And so, you're still doing it with this Army that was half as small. And so it's very difficult.
And when you come back from Iraq, you don't just hang out. When you come back, you train. You go to school. You modernize your force for the next rotation, and you stand by in case there's a possible war in North Korea or Iran or someplace like that. So there's really no letdown at all.
PILGRIM: You know, the great debate at the kitchen tables of America is, will they have to bring the draft back. What's your assessment?
GRANGE: Well, you know, I'd rather not see a draft. I don't think you need that many people in uniform, or called up and disrupted. I do think you need some kind of national service.
But here's the issue. You have the prime market to bring people into the military, is between the ages of 17, let's say, and 25, 26 years old. There's about 28 million of those in the United States. Of that, 41 percent are not qualified physically or mentally to join the United States Army. So that knocks out a good portion. You have about 30 percent of people already in the service, already in the job market. That's another 30 percent. And then you have 15 percent in college. That leaves 15 percent eligible to be drafted -- or to be recruited into the military, about 4 million. Of that, the Army needs 165,000 a year, more than all the other services combined. And they're also competing with the other services. And so though it's 165,000, you say, well, so what -- in two years now, the Army's been authorized to increase by 30,000. And they've only achieved 9,000. So it's a tough task.
PILGRIM: Those numbers are tough to swallow. All right. Thank you very much, General David Grange, thank you.
GRANGE: My pleasure.
PILGRIM: Well, as the Iraqi government struggles with writing a constitution, the words of former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt ring true today as they did in 1936. In our quote of the day, FDR said, "in the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed. It must be achieved."
Tonight, Cindy Sheehan said she will temporarily leave the anti- war demonstration near President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. Now, Sheehan declares she's leaving because her mother has had a stroke in Los Angeles. And she lost a son, as everyone knows, in the war in Iraq. She's been demanding a meeting with President Bush.
Well, a reminder now to vote in tonight's poll. Do you think that Congress should make English the official language of the United States? Yes or no? Cast your vote at loudobbs.com. We'll bring you the results in just a few minutes.
On July 11th, we reported on Israel's request for U.S. funds to help pay for the relocation of Israeli settlers from Gaza. Lisa Sylvester reported that Israel received $3 billion in 1991 for costs related to errant Patriot missiles during the first Gulf War. The actual amount of emergency supplemental assistance Israel received from the United States in 1991 was $650 million.
Well, if the very thought of sky diving fills you with dread, don't even thinking -- think about taking up a new sport. It's called sky jumping. And sky jumpers are launched off a 600-foot platform, and don't begin to slow down until they're only 60 feet from the ground.
Now, that's compared to most skydivers, who pull the cord at 1,500 feet up. Sky jumpers are attached to a set of cables that guide their fall and brakes them just before they hit the ground.
And the hard landing that wasn't asked for, a scary hard landing for an American Airlines jet in Las Vegas. The jet scraped its right wing tip against the ground as it landed on Sunday. The pilot quickly righted the plane. No one was injured. Aviation experts say the plane, which is an MD-80, is prone to wing scrapes, because its wings are located far back on the fuselage and close to the ground.
Coming up, my guest, a specialist in emergency medicine. And he says ER rooms are totally unprepared for a terrorist attack, or any other major health disaster.
Plus, a special report on the FBI's efforts to hone its counterterrorism skills, and polish its image.
PILGRIM: My next guest warns that four years after September 11th, the nation's emergency rooms remain dangerously underfunded. He says they're woefully ill prepared for a biological or any other type of terrorist attack, even a major flu pandemic. Joining me now to discuss these glaring gaps in homeland security is Dr. Arthur Kellerman, chair of emergency medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. Thanks for being here, doctor.
DR. ARTHUR KELLERMAN, EMORY U. SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: Thank you.
PILGRIM: Let me first ask you, why has nothing been done with emergency room situations since September 11th?
KELLERMAN: Well, it is ironic that about four years ago, a national news magazine had a cover story entitled "Crisis in the ER," and it focused on the fact that America's ERs are severely crowded with ill and injured patients, and are really struggling with resource issues.
That story was dated September 10th, 2001, and nothing has been done since. This is simply an area in health care that everyone takes for granted. Everyone assumes it's going to work right and so we have been completely overlooked in the government's very kind of narrow- minded focus on bioterrorism at the expense of all other threats.
PILGRIM: Yet we here no end of emergency preparedness chat. Where is that money going?
KELLERMAN: Well, the bulk of the money is going toward bioterrorism. It's shoring up state health departments. It's funded a lot of very advanced on the research on the biology of bioterror agents, but the fact of the matter is the calling card of international terrorists is not bioterrorism, it's explosives.
We invaded Iraq to take out weapons of mass destruction, but our Marines and our soldiers are being killed by improvised explosive devices and conventional weapons. I don't want the same thing to happen to our police, our paramedics and our civilians here at home.
PILGRIM: Well, you bring up a great point, because the most recent terrorist incident was in London, where it was explosive devices. Seven hundred people were injured in that attack. Would we be prepared for something like that in a major American city?
KELLERMAN: No, I don't believe we are. In most major cities, even in metro Atlanta, we have many emergency departments on any given night that are so filled with patients, most of whom have been admitted for hours or days, waiting for an inpatient bed, that we're struggling to deal with the night's 9-1-1 calls, much less a multi- casualty event like a London bombing or a Madrid bombing or a Baghdad bombing, or I could go on and on.
KELLERMAN: It's bombs that are the primary threat and we have completely taken our eye off that ball. In fact, we have zeroed out funding in most of the current budgets in under the discussion with Congress for any funding for trauma care in this country. That's just crazy.
PILGRIM: You know, we have the opportunity here to say what would be ideal. So, go ahead, what would you like to see?
KELLERMAN: I think we to focus on the A, B, Cs. This is a very simple issue. A is for access: We need to understand that boarding admitted patients in an E.R. blocks the access to incoming patients with serious medical or surgical or trauma problems.
Hospitals need to move admitted patients out of the E.R. If they've got to be in a hallway, better to be spread on multiple hallways in the hospital, not packed in one hallway of the E.R.
Number two is B, basic training, basic equipment and basic supplies: We may be the front-line providers of health care, but we're at the back of the line when it comes to resource decisions about preparedness in terrorism. And C is capacity: We have got to understand that trauma systems, trauma centers and emergency departments are the backbone of access to care in this country and we need to fund them as an essential community resource, not take them for granted.
PILGRIM: That's a prescription that we all should all listen to. Thank you very much, Dr. Arthur Kellerman.
KELLERMAN: You're welcome.
PILGRIM: Thank you, doctor.
Well, doctors in Atlanta, Georgia, say Coretta Scott King suffered a massive stroke and a mild heart attack before she was hospitalized earlier this week. Now, the widow of the late Martin Luther King, Jr. is said to be in fair condition. At this time, she's aware of her surroundings, but not able to speak. Still, doctors say they're optimistic that Coretta Scott King will be able to recover from the stroke. She is 78 years old.
Still ahead, the results of tonight's poll, plus a look inside the FBI, the agency undergoing massive change to better protect our nation.
Almost four years after September 11th, the FBI is making major changes in its programs to recruit and train agents. Now, the changes are designed to combat the threat of radical Islamist terrorists. Kelly Arena reports.
KELLI ARENA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: FBI agents come to the aid of a police officer being assaulted. It's a real-world situation in a make-believe town. Hogan's Alley has been used for decades to train FBI agents and it's time for an upgrade.
KAREN GARDNER, FBI: This was set up and built by a company 25 years ago that builds Hollywood sets.
ARENA: Karen Gardner has been an FBI agent for two decades and used to oversee new agent training.
GARDNER: We really don't have a training venue where we could simulate a biologic attack or a chemical weapons attack.
ARENA: Construction is expected to start next year, but other changes are already under way. To start with, training now lasts 18 weeks instead of 16. Besides law enforcement basics, agents whose faces we cannot show, because they may one day work undercover, are learning lessons that reflect the FBI's new mission: Preventing another 9-11.
GARDNER: We used to talk about kidnappings, extortions, drug cases, now we talk about al Qaeda. We talk about locations like working overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan.
ARENA: And there are other obvious post-9-11 changes. Eric, a new agent who used to be a college coach, points to an emphasis on creative thought.
"ERIC," FBI AGENT: To think outside the box. Don't look at things so much black and white. Try to give it as vivid a color as you can possibly get out of something.
ARENA: And the agents themselves are different. Jim Trinka, who overseas all training, says new agents are older, starting around 30 now. Bringing more life experience to the job. And they come from a variety of backgrounds, no longer mostly lawyers or former military.
JIM TRINKA, FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: You have the computer scientist, the engineers, more of the linguists and cultural experts.
ARENA: This new agent used to be in telecommunications and speaks several languages.
"DAVID," FBI AGENT: Primarily Mandarin. I also speak some Indonesian.
ARENA: But as this line of white faces shows, the Bureau is still having a hard time attracting racially diverse agents, especially Arab-Americans.
GARDNER: We can only hire the people who apply and we can't go out and grab people off the street and you know, force them to come to new agents' training.
ARENA: And that's not the only challenge. Changes made today must anticipate future threats. As terrorists continue to adapt, so, too, must the agents who are trying to stop them.
Kelli Arena, CNN, Quantico, Virginia.
PILGRIM: Now, the results of tonight's poll: 100 percent of you think Congress should make English the official language of the United States. That's 100 percent.
Finally tonight, Judith Miller, Pulitzer prize-winning "New Times" reporter, now been in jail for 43 days for protecting her confidential sources in the White House-CIA leak case.
Thanks for being with us tonight. Please join us tomorrow, our weekly solute to our nation's heroes. A remarkable recovery for one Marine sergeant who almost lost his leg to friendly fire in Iraq. We'll have his story.
And then: Should English be the official language of the United States? You just told us yes. Two Americans with very different views on the subject will join us for the debate. So, please join us.
For all of us here, good night from New York. "Anderson Cooper 360" starts right now -- Anderson?
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