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Lou Dobbs Tonight
Rising Number Of Attacks On U.S. Troops In Iraq; Another General Calls For Rumsfeld's Resignation; Credibility Gap; Janet Murguia Interview; Paul Crespo Interview
Aired April 13, 2006 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, insurgents have killed four more of our troops in Iraq and 15 Marines wounded. Can the United States defeat this escalating insurgency in Iraq?
We'll have a special report tonight from Baghdad.
And tonight we examine the U.S. military's record of fighting previous insurgencies around the world.
The revolt by former generals against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is growing. A former commander of the 82nd Airborne Division says Secretary Rumsfeld has micromanaged the generals and he is demanding Rumsfeld's resignation.
We'll have that report.
Also tonight, you may be surprised to find out exactly who is funding the illegal alien lobby and its campaign in the streets to win amnesty for millions of illegal aliens. Big business putting its commercial interests front and center on the streets of this country.
We'll have that report.
And supporters of illegal aliens are planning massive, new protests on the 1st of May. Opposition to the protest is growing. Others say boycotts are better. We'll have opposing views from the president of La Raza, Janet Murguia, and Paul Crespo, a popular leading Spanish language talk show host.
All of that and a great deal more ahead tonight.
ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT, news, debate and opinion for Thursday, April 13th.
Live in New York, Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: Good evening, everybody.
Insurgents today launched a wave of new attacks against American troops in Iraq. A roadside bomb killed one of our soldiers near Baghdad. Insurgents wounded 14 of our Marines in Falluja, west of Baghdad. The military also reported the deaths of three other troops earlier this week.
In all, 2,368 of our troops have been killed in Iraq since this war began.
Aneesh Raman reports from Baghdad on the rising number of attacks on our troops there.
Barbara Starr reports from the Pentagon on the latest retired general to call for the resignation of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld.
And Bill Schneider reports on whether criticism of President Bush's conduct of the war will affect the president's policy on Iran.
We begin with a report by Aneesh Raman, in Baghdad.
ANEESH RAMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, good evening.
The U.S. military said today at least four more American troops were killed this week in Iraq, in addition to incidents already reported. One of them, a soldier, killed today southwest of the capital while on patrol hitting a roadside bomb.
Meantime, in the volatile city of Falluja, west of Baghdad, 15 U.S. Marines were wounded in multiple mortar attacks. This as the U.S. military expanded today on something we reported last night, that they had increased joint U.S. and Iraqi patrols in and around the capital. A spokesman for the U.S. military says those patrols have gone up 45 percent since February, a sign of the sectarian tensions that continue to grip this country.
And an unfortunately reminder of that as well coming late tonight. A car bomb exploding north of the capital in a Shia area, killing at least 15 people. And just around the same time, in the city of Baquba, a bombing at a Shia mosque that completely destroyed the building.
But perhaps the bigger question in Iraq these days is, where is the government? Nearly four months after Iraqis went to the polls it is still yet to form.
Today, I went to a cafe where Iraqis gather and they talk about politics. I asked them about the stalemate. They said, "Look, we, as Iraqis, and millions went to the polls in December, risked our lives, voted this government in. And now it is their turn to deliver."
Iraqis want the basics. They want security, and they say they want work so they can provide food for their families. But the wait continues. No sign that this political crisis is coming to an end, despite the fact the speaker of Iraq's parliament has called for the body to meet on Monday -- Lou?
DOBBS: Aneesh Raman from Baghdad.
Another retired general calling for the resignation of the defense secretary. A general who once led the 82nd Airborne Division in Iraq today joined the growing revolt against Secretary Rumsfeld.
Major General Charles Swannick is now the sixth retired general to demand Rumsfeld's resignation. The White House today defended Rumsfeld and insisted he's doing what they called a fine job.
Barbara Starr reports from the Pentagon.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In this case, the boss's opinion is really the only one that matters.
SCOTT MCCLELLAN, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president believes Secretary Rumsfeld is doing a very fine job during a challenging period in our nation's history.
STARR: But the questions kept coming.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Has Secretary Rumsfeld recently offered...
MCCLELLAN: I don't have any update. That could be a question to ask him, or -- I don't have any update.
STARR: Rumsfeld aides tell CNN the secretary has not offered to resign recently. He did offer twice during the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal. And they say the current firestorm is not a distraction.
But for the second day in a row, a recently retired combat commander from Iraq has called for Rumsfeld to step down. CNN spoke to Major General Charles Swannick, who commanded the 82nd Airborne Division in western Iraq through much of the insurgency.
MAJ. GEN. CHARLES SWANNICK, JR. (RET.), U.S. ARMY, 82ND AIRBORNE COMMANDER: I feel he's micromanaged the generals who are leading our forces there to achieve our strategic objectives. I really believe that we need a new secretary of defense.
STARR: Swannick suggests the problem is that things are simply out of kilter in the traditional balance between civilian control of the military and letting the generals do their job on the battlefield.
SWANNICK: Military (ph) leaders see their advancement only at the favor of Secretary Rumsfeld, not because of the good job they do, not because of the potential they have. More so the favor of Secretary Rumsfeld. That's where we get amiss in this whole thing.
STARR: Now, Lou, General Swannick says he did speak up while he was on active duty, but he also says that many generals stay on the job out of loyalty to the young troops that they command. But here at the Pentagon, Lou, there is growing anger amongst many of Rumsfeld's aides and Bush administration political appointees about this entire controversy -- Lou.
DOBBS: Thank you very much.
Barbara Starr from the Pentagon. Officials at the Pentagon and other government agencies tonight are examining the latest nuclear threats from Iran. The Iranian president today declared that Iran will not give up its nuclear program, a program that appears designed to produce weapons. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today said the United Nations Security Council must consider the possibility of military action against Iran.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONDOLEEZZA RICE, SECRETARY OF STATE: We will look at the full range of options available to the Security Council. One thing that the Security Council has that the IAEA does not have is the ability to compel through Chapter 7 resolutions, member states of the U.N., to obey the will of the international system.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: Secretary Rice declared that in her opinion Iran has no choice but to comply with international demands to end its nuclear program.
As this crisis over Iran escalates, a new opinion poll shows most Americans do not trust President Bush to make the correct decision on confronting Iran. The voters' concern reflects deep and wide skepticism about the president's conduct of the war in Iraq.
Bill Schneider has the report.
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): Most Americans now say the Iraq war was a mistake. Will that produce an Iraq syndrome, concern that any use of force by the United States will turn into another Iraq? The current challenge is Iran's nuclear program.
The Bush administration does not rule out the use of force against Iran. But it doesn't exactly embrace it, either.
DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: The president has indicated his concern about the country, but it is just simply not useful to get into fantasy land.
SCHNEIDER: A question in a new poll asks, "If Iran continues to produce material that can be used to make nuclear weapons, would you support military action against Iran?" The answer is a cautious yes, 48 to 40 percent. Iran is openly defiant about its nuclear program, although it says its purposes are peaceful.
MAHMOUD AHMADINEJAD, IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): And nuclear technology serves peaceful purposes.
SCHNEIDER: The U.S. is not alone in its concerns.
MICHAEL O'HANLON, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: Most countries are on record as being concerned about Iran's nuclear ambitions.
SCHNEIDER: Americans' reluctance to endorse the use of force against Iran may have bigger reasons than any Iraq syndrome.
O'HANLON: I think Americans are still fairly nervous about using force of any type under any circumstances, and there tends to be a high threshold for supporting such uses of force. And that, I think, is the fundamental reason why we are not at war anywhere else right now, as opposed to any Iraq syndrome.
SCHNEIDER: The clearest evidence of an Iraq syndrome comes from this question: "Do you trust George W. Bush to make the right decision about whether we should go to war with Iran?" Most Americans say they don't.
SCHNEIDER: And that may be the real Iraq syndrome, a credibility gap for this president -- Lou.
DOBBS: Those are stunning, stunning numbers.
Bill, there are also some interesting poll numbers about Senator John Kerry in a hypothetical race with the president. It appears Senator Kerry could easily defeat President Bush in a rerun of the 2004 election, this time by a margin of 10 percent. But interestingly, twice as many Republicans in that poll say they would vote for Senator Kerry as Democrats who would vote for President Bush.
What do you make of it?
SCHNEIDER: Well, it's a year and a half later, and the voters are saying, hey, you know what? We may have elected the wrong guy.
I think in part it's been a shift in the agenda away from terrorism, which I think is the issue that reelected President Bush, towards other issues, like the deteriorating situation in Iraq and immigration and gasoline prices and the Katrina disaster and the Dubai ports deal and the -- the corruption scandals on Capitol Hill. All of those issues have come to the fore in the last year and a half, and they've all hurt this president. And he's mishandled a lot of them.
DOBBS: Bill Schneider from Washington, thank you.
Former vice president chief of staff Scooter Libby is confirming that President Bush authorized him to give reporters selected pieces of intelligence on Iraq, but Libby says neither the president nor the vice president authorized him to leak the name of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Libby is accused of lying to investigators about whether anyone in the Bush White House revealed the identity of the undercover operative.
Papers filed by his attorneys last night say, "Mr. Libby's actions were authorized at the highest levels of the executive branch," and it's "a fairytale" to believe otherwise. Libby's attorneys also said they will call presidential adviser Karl Rove as a witness.
Coming up here next, illegal aliens and their supporters are now pressuring parents as they try to shut down the economy on the 1st of May. I'll be talking with the chief executive officer of the National Council of La Raza, one of the main supporters of this week's illegal immigration demonstrations and protests.
Also ahead, illegal aliens have friends in high places on K Street. We'll have a special report for you tonight on the powerful lobbyists and the interests they represent who care more about illegal aliens than working men and women in our middle class.
And Senator John McCain says Americans can't handle farm work, even if it pays them $50 an hour. We'll give you a chance to prove the senator wrong. Others are doing so as we speak.
Stay with us.
DOBBS: Powerful K Street lobbyists have declared all-out war on this nation's working middle class. Lobbyists are now pressuring Congress even as they're on vacation to approve illegal alien guest worker amnesty and to expand visa programs for foreign workers. Those lobbyists are helping some of the nation's most profitable companies secure a steady supply of cheap foreign labor in this country.
Lisa Sylvester reports.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Millions of dollars are flowing into Washington to shape the immigration reform debate. According to Senate public records, agricultural interests, big business and labor unions have formed an unusual alliance lobbying for an amnesty program.
The National Council of La Raza spent more than $400,000 last year. The Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund, at least $200,000. The National Immigration Forum, more than $120,000.
But that's nothing compared to what their big corporate backers have at their disposal. The Chamber of Commerce spent more than $10.5 million in the second half of last year lobbying a number of issues, including immigration. The American Farm Bureau's six-month lobbying bill, $5 million. Microsoft, more than $4 million.
ALEX KNOTT, CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEGRITY: Money talks when it comes to lobbying, and it's probably the most effective way of getting legislation passed. Given that you have almost 1,500 lobbyists that worked on this issue in recent years, it can be an avalanche of support.
SYLVESTER: Agricultural groups like the National Milk Producers Foundation wants a steady stream of cheap labor and (INAUDIBLE) verifying legal status on the government, not employers. The AFL-CIO sees amnesty as a way to expand their membership rolls. High-tech companies like Microsoft, Cisco and Oracle are lobbying for increasing H1-B visas to bring in more skilled workers.
JOHN KEELEY, CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES: Well-organized, you know, with this big mega phones, and they have the ears of the members of Congress. And they've just -- they're on the inside in a way that the American people can't possibly be.
SYLVESTER: Immigration reform groups fighting amnesty are outnumbered and outspent, but they do have a few things going for them.
ROSEMARY JENKS, NUMBERSUSA: When you've got the facts and 70 to 80 percent of the American people on your side, it's hard to see yourself as, you know, the underdog.
SYLVESTER: For Congress, that's the balancing act, money and power on one side, (INAUDIBLE).
SYLVESTER: Money spent on immigration lobbying has been pouring in, but because lobbying records are only updated twice a year, this issue could be voted on before the American public finds out just how much big business is spending on lobbying for amnesty -- Lou.
DOBBS: Well, we know, thanks to your reporting, that it is a lot. And again, the middle class, working men and women in this country and their families, are, without question, the least represented group, although the largest group in this entire country.
Lisa, thank you very much.
Lisa Sylvester from Washington.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and President Bush are locked in an increasingly bitter battle over illegal immigration legislation. President Bush today personally blamed Senator Reid for the collapse of a Senate compromise that included guest worker amnesty.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He refused to allow senators to move forward and vote for amendments to the bill. It was a procedural gimmick that meant he was single-handedly thwarting the will of the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: "Thwarting the will of the American people."
Senator Reid shot back with a statement saying, "President Bush has as much credibility on immigration as he does on Iraq."
The statement by the president that the compromise going down to defeat of the Senate was to thwart the will of the American people is interesting, since the majority polled oppose the president on the issue of illegal immigration.
So in our poll tonight, we wanted to ask you, is it your will to give illegal aliens amnesty? Yes or no?
Cast your vote, please, at loudobbs.com. We'll have the results here later in the broadcast.
The Arizona state legislature has passed legislation that would make illegal immigration a criminal offense in that state. Under that bill, illegal aliens can be prosecuted under the state's criminal trespassing law.
Arizona's governor, Janet Napolitano, won't say whether she will sign that bill. It is now on her desk, awaiting her signature. She is under pressure to veto it. The Arizona legislature's move comes as the Congress appears to be backing off their strict criminal penalties for illegal immigrants in proposed immigration reform legislation.
Of all those advocating a guest worker amnesty program, few are as outspoken as Senator John McCain. We have reported here how the senator told leering construction workers that there are plenty of jobs that Americans won't and can't do.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: My friends, I'll offer anybody here $50 an hour if you'll go pick lettuce in Yuma this season and pick for whole season. So -- OK?
Sign up. OK. When you sign up -- you sign up, and you'll be there for the whole season. The whole season, OK? Not just one day. Because you can't do it, my friend. Sign up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: Can't do it, eh? Well, Project USA has made it possible for to you apply for one of those $50 an hour McCain and company lettuce picking jobs. In response to the question, "Are you qualified?" You can check, "Yes, I am an American," "Yes, I am an illegal alien," or, "Yes, I'm a qualified engineer interested in automating lettuce picking, and thanks to the H1-B cheap human import program you support, I'm unemployed, too."
You can also fill out your application online at projectusa.org. Project USA will deliver those personally to Senator McCain, I'm told.
Coming up next here, the White House says our economy is strong, unemployment is low. So why are middle class working wages falling?
We'll have that special report next.
And I'm joined by Spanish language radio host Paul Crespo, who calls the pro-illegal immigration protests and demonstrations insulting, and La Raza president Janet Murguia, who says those protests are a proud day for America.
Stay with us.
DOBBS: The abundance of cheap foreign labor in this country right now is pushing wages lower for millions of middle class working Americans. Despite President Bush's insistence that our economy is robust, wages for highly-skilled middle class workers are falling across the country as the White House, big business and assorted special interests pursue cheap labor agendas.
Bill Tucker reports.
BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The stories are many, willing employers in need of willing employees. But if labor is tight, shouldn't wages rise? They're not.
A recently completed technical study, in fact, found just the opposite in high-tech fields. Starting salaries adjusted for inflation of computer engineers with masters led the fall, down 14 percent over the last five years. Electrical engineers and computer scientists fared only slightly better.
JOHN MIANO, PROGRAMMERS GUILD: We have a huge influx of low-wage workers coming into the technology fields which are holding back wages and which are causing employment problems for U.S. workers.
TUCKER: The impact goes beyond wages. On online job sites, employers are very direct in specifying that they have jobs only for H1-B workers, going so far in some cases as to require that they be from a specific location.
If misery loves company, the engineers need look no further than the construction industry. Overall, construction wages last year were actually one penny lower than hourly wages in 1965, when the wages are compared using constant dollars. It was a finding that surprised even the researcher.
ALAN TONELSON, U.S. BUSINESS & INDUSTRY COUNCIL: I was struck by the fact that after this enormous housing boom that we've had, certainly since the late 1990s, that wages in the -- in the construction industry, which, as we keep hearing is a major user of illegal immigrants, are no higher than they were 40 years ago.
TUCKER: A study done last year by the University of North Carolina found that the use of illegal aliens in the construction industry cut labor costs by a billion dollars in 2004. And wages in the hospitality industry have been similarly flat during the last five years.
TUCKER: It's very simple. A large labor pool, available labor pool is what keeps wages down. And it is worth remembering in this debate on immigration reform, what is of the keenest interest to corporate lobbyist is not your paycheck, but getting legislation that expands that available pool of labor -- Lou.
DOBBS: If these numbers aren't -- is just straightforward evidence to everyone in the United States Senate and the United States Congress about the direction of appropriate legislation, I can't imagine what would be. It is utterly unbelievable to me that these senators stood up Thursday last, a week ago, and said, you know, we're going to have great reform legislation here, and even said they had voter security. And yet not a dime was put into appropriations, into the budget process, asked for by this administration, which was talking about border security, not a dime for border security of any kind, not for the Border Patrol, not for Citizenship and Immigration Services, not for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
This is a sham I do not believe that the American people will tolerate.
Bill Tucker, thank you. Appreciate it. That's remarkable stuff.
Time now to take a look at your thoughts.
Shavonda in Oklahoma said, "Lou, since my job has been outsourced, I've learned to take the good with the bad. For instance, I get to watch you every day. And I know that the American dream still exists, just not for Americans."
Yes, it still exists, but it's definitely under assault.
Gerry in North Carolina, "Lou, I actually feel relieved that Congress has taken an Easter break. At least they can't give anything away sitting at home."
Gary in Florida, "There are so many illegal aliens coming into the United States, we might have to open an American embassy so that Americans will have a place to seek political asylum."
And Dennis in California, "If illegal immigrants are given amnesty, guess who is going to pay for all of the social services? The middle class. That's who."
Cliff in Louisiana, "The only way to resolve this problem is to take the debate to its source. If we make it illegal for any company to hire illegal aliens, the traffic coming across the border would stop on its own."
Please send us your thoughts at loudobbs.com. We'll have more of your thoughts later here in the broadcast.
Coming up next, illegal aliens from one of the most volatile corners of the world are being smuggled into the United States. We'll have a special report on our "Broken Borders" tonight, including the northern one. And La Raza leader Janet Murguia and Univision's popular radio host Paul Crespo join us tonight. They have differing views on the illegal immigration protests and demonstrations and amnesty for those millions of illegal aliens.
And as the chaos in Iraq grows, so do calls for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. General David Grange joins us here tonight as well.
Stay with us.
DOBBS: Another stark reminder that all of our borders are broken. This week, U.S. and Canadian officials broke up a major smuggling ring operating on our northern border with Canada. And the Department of Homeland Security says terrorism is a mounting concern because illegal aliens being smuggled were not from Canada, but from Pakistan and India.
Casey Wian reports.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The United States' border with Canada is often overlooked in the national debate about border security and illegal immigration, but it also represents a major threat, as evidenced by this week's bust of a human smuggling ring by U.S. and Canadian officials. They showed night vision footage of illegal aliens from Pakistan and India being smuggled through remote sections of the United States northern border.
LEIGH WINCHELL, ICE SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE: While we have no current information that this has any terrorist ties, the obvious fact that individuals are being smuggled into the United States brings forward the security issues for both countries. The security issues are immense at this point in time.
WIAN: Officials allege the ring smuggled dozens of illegal aliens into the United States since their investigation began in January 2005. Incredibly, many paid up to $35,000 to be brought across the border illegally, about 10 times what smugglers charge to bring illegal aliens in from Mexico.
Last year the U.S. border patrol apprehended 7,342 illegal aliens sneaking across the Canadian border. That's less than one-half of one percent of the more than one million caught crossing the Mexican border. Another difference is the level of cooperation between U.S. and Canadian law enforcement officials. Each side says the bust wouldn't have happen without the other.
BUD MERCER, CHIEF SUPT., RCMP: This collaboration demonstrates our shared resolve to keep our borders secure, while respecting each other's sovereignty.
WIAN: Contrast that to the Mexican government, which allows drug and alien smugglers to operate with impunity along the U.S. border, often refuses to cooperate with U.S. border law enforcement officials and even stands by while paramilitary groups violate U.S. sovereignty.
Back on the northern border, 12 alleged smugglers and 60 Pakistani and Indian illegal aliens are now in custody.
WIAN: Only the smugglers will be prosecuted. U.S. and Canadian officials say they haven't decided which nation will handle that job, Lou.
DOBBS: Casey, thank you very much -- Casey Wian.
Illegal aliens and their supporters are planning new demonstrations on May 1st. Those demonstrations intended to shut down parts of our economy. The groups also want to disrupt this nation's schools. Nativo Lopez of the Mexican American Political Association tonight is urging parents to keep their students home from school on the 1st of May.
His organization is sending out thousands of school absentee slips to parents in California. He says parents have every right to keep their children home May 1st, during these new protests, demonstrations and boycotts.
Joining me now is Janet Murguia, the president and chief executive officer of the National Council of La Raza. La Raza is the largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the country, strongly supporting this week's illegal immigration demonstrations all across America. Janet, good to have you with us.
JANET MURGUIA, PRESIDENT, NAT'L COUNCIL OF LA RAZA: Hi, Lou, how are do doing?
DOBBS: I'm doing well. You have said that the rallies Monday were a great day for America. We now know that there are going to be, what are at least planned to be, even larger demonstrations on the 1st of May.
Are you fully in support of those demonstrations, protests, and boycotts that have been called for?
MURGUIA: Well, I think the march that you saw that occurred on April 10th really were a grassroots movement, and are continuing to, I think, create spontaneous demonstrations.
And I think that's what you're seeing all over the country, is efforts by different local and grassroots community efforts to weigh in on this and show their support in some way or another.
So I think that's really what you're seeing, is that it has, this issue has struck a chord with so many in the immigrant and Hispanic communities and I think that's what you're seeing, is a spontaneous grassroots local-driven ways that people are trying to show support. DOBBS: Well, let's examine a couple things you said, Janet. When you said spontaneous, we know that they were organized. Did your organization have any coordinating or support role in these demonstrations?
MURGUIA: I think we support the April 10th march and believed that it was a real opportunity for people to galvanize around the message of creating comprehensive immigration reform.
And I think that's really the focus of what people are trying to demonstrate and to commit and to communicate in this whole effort. People want comprehensive, balanced immigration reform that's just and humane and that means it has to include enforcement, but also it has to include a way where we're dealing with those folks who have been here and the future flow of immigrants.
DOBBS: You said Hispanic groups, putting forward the Hispanic population of this country, which is, you know very well not monolithic, it is extraordinarily diverse and certainly is not represented by a view that illegal aliens should be given amnesty.
That is a divided view, if we could come up with proportions, it would be helpful. But it's certainly not monolithic and the idea that this is about immigration. This is about illegal immigration, Janet. Why can't we just say those words?
MURGUIA: I'll tell you, what I think is, I think not a fair characterization is we're supporting the McCain-Kennedy bill as a solution to this. And you keep saying, Lou, that this is about amnesty. This is where we have an honest disagreement.
MURGUIA: We do not believe that it is amnesty, when you have to basically, if you look it up in the dictionary, basically amnesty means blanket forgiveness.
What we're talking about here is people coming forth, basically saying they committed a wrong, paying a significant fine, considering the incomes that they're making, basically saying that they have to go to the back of the line, commit to earn their legalization in this country, learn English, and make sure that they cross every security, background check and then basically wait 11-to-12 years before they can apply to become citizens.
That's not amnesty, Lou. And we just have an honest disagreement, but yet you characterize it as amnesty and I don't think that's a fair characterization.
DOBBS: Well you may not think it's fair, but as you say, it's an honest disagreement.
DOBBS: And that's my view and I accept yours.
DOBBS: One of my concerns among many with that, aside from the fact that I think that frankly, the senators who stood up last Thursday and told the American people that this was a great compromise, it would provide border security, provide a number of things which I can't find in any part of the legislation.
And then Friday say that politics had trumped -- bad politics had trumped good policy. I find that extraordinary. One of the questions that I have, and concerns, is there is nothing in that compromise or any part of that legislation that would stop another, whether we take the number 11 million, 12 million or 20 million illegal aliens from entering this country.
MURGUIA: Well I think we disagree on this as well but in the McCain-Kennedy compromise, which has been put forward, there are very specific steps about how to deal with the future flow of immigrants, and it basically creates a guest worker program that would be regulated, safe, orderly, and fair.
And it creates all the enforcement mechanisms that are related to technology, the biometric card, every piece of modern technology will applied, including enhanced border patrol.
There's a lot of security efforts and measures in that bill, but it does say that we have to deal with the future flow of immigrants. And we ought to do so in a just and humane way and make sure it's orderly, and safe and fair.
DOBBS: As you know I personally believe that you cannot reform immigration in any way unless you can control it. You can't control it unless you're in control of secure borders and ports in this country.
Let me ask you one question that I think that will lead us to the reason I think that that compromise is a sham. What budget provisions has the Bush administration put forward for enforcement, for administration of this program, that would lead to -- I'll accept your word -- earned legalization? And what has the appropriations committee put forward and marked to support the border patrol, immigration, and customs enforcement, or citizenship, and immigration services, which would all be involved?
MURGUIA: There have been millions and millions of dollars that we've put into enforcement since...
DOBBS: No, no, no that's not what I asked you.
MURGUIA: I'm sorry.
DOBBS: What has the United States Congress, these senators standing up there slapping themselves on the back and talking about meaningful reform -- what, how many dimes have they put into enforcement providing for an effective administration of the program that they think is, told themselves at least, if not convincingly the American people was such a great compromise? MURGUIA: Well..
DOBBS: ... The answer is, I'll just, we'll get to the end of it. The answer is not a dime.
DOBBS: This is a fraud. This is a sham. And you and I both know it and so do the American people.
MURGUIA: Well let's agree on this.
MURGUIA: I agree that the senators and the leadership on both sides failed the American public by not coming to an agreement on this before they left and I put the blame squarely responsible on both sides of the aisle.
DOBBS: You and me both, you and my both.
MURGUIA: And I think we're going to continue to...
DOBBS: See, you and I agree again.
MURGUIA: ... Well not entirely, but on this point I think it's important for both leaders in the Senate to step up and to make sure that they come back and deal with this issue first thing from recess.
DOBBS: And if we could, Janet, I just noticed something new in your attire. You're always elegantly dressed, but I see something that compels me to ask. That's an American flag on your right lapel, isn't it?
MURGUIA: Well, Lou, I'm an American citizen. I believe in this country. I'm fighting for the best interest.
DOBBS: I know. I know that but I love the fact you're -- I know that you're a great patriotic American.
DOBBS: But what I love is you're wearing that flag.
MURGUIA: Well, I notice you're wearing one, too. We're both...
DOBBS: ... I've been wearing mine for four and a half years now.
MURGUIA: Well I don't think you have to wear your flag to show your patriotism.
DOBBS: No. I don't wear it actually to show my patriotism. We have other ways, I think, far better ways to show our patriotism.
MURGUIA: That's right.
DOBBS: I wear this in respect to those people who lost their lives on September 11th...
MURGUIA: Well, I think it's fair to say that we've got a lot of folks in the Hispanic community who have dedicated their life to military service, and quite frankly, many of the folks who were in the march held up pictures of their sons and daughters. Even though many of their parents are not here with documents, or legally, their children are serving in Iraq, and I think...
DOBBS: And God bless them for doing so.
MURGUIA: ... it's fair for us to recognize all of those who serve in our nation's military.
DOBBS: As you know, Janet, each week we -- we may be the only broadcast on television that every week honors our men and women serving this nation around the world, all Americans. Janet, as always, it's good to have you here. We thank you very much. It's good to see you.
MURGUIA: Thank you, Lou.
DOBBS: Thank you.
The American Civil Liberties Union is finally taking a strong stance in support of American school students who have been punished for carrying or wearing the American flag. The American Civil Liberties Union has taken up the case of Malia Fontana.
She is a student at Fallbrook High School near San Diego, California. She was stopped by school security. They sent her to the principal's office last week, because she had a small American flag tucked into her pants pocket. She calls that a complete violation of her rights of free speech.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MALIA FONTANA, PUNISHED FOR CARRYING FLAG: I know I didn't do anything wrong, but I felt my personal rights were violated at a place where I'm supposed to feel safe. As long as I'm not causing a problem, I'm entitled to the same rights as the teachers, the principal, the assistant principals or (INAUDIBLE) guidance counselors. The only difference is that I'm not an adult.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: The ACLU says it may consider filing charges if the school district does not change its policy and allow students to exercise their First Amendment rights. And in my opinion, the parent of every child in that school should walk into that school and demand, demand that that school administration understand what country it's in, and what the rights are of their students, and what their privileges are as American citizens. And certainly one of them when this nation is at war should be respect for the American flag.
Coming up next, I'll be talking with Univision's popular radio host, Paul Crespo. He says Hispanic Americans should be insulted by illegal alien amnesty demonstrations. We'll be talking about that and a great deal more.
And now six retired generals are calling for the defense secretary to resign. Retired General David Grange gives us his thoughts on Rumsfeld's future, and the prospects for the American military to defeat the Iraqi insurgency. Stay with us.
DOBBS: My next guest says the debate over illegal immigration has nothing to do with race, and he finds it insulting to see people who have come here illegally start demanding rights and privileges. Paul Crespo shares his views each day on his popular Univision Spanish-language radio show. Paul Crespo joins us tonight from Miami, Florida. Paul, good to have you here.
PAUL CRESPO, TALK SHOW HOST, UNIVISION RADIO: Thank you, Lou. How are you?
DOBBS: Outstanding. I hope you're doing well.
Janet Murguia, the head of La Raza, as you know, said that she thought Monday was a great day for America. You disagree.
CRESPO: Well, one of the things that offends a lot of people, including a lot of Hispanic Americans, is using the race card, calling anyone who is in favor of controlling the borders and having a sensible policy to get immigration reform is somehow racist. And I think that that's insulting to a lot of people, including a lot of Hispanic Americans like myself, who don't agree with that characterization. We think that we need to control the borders.
We have to have a regular flow, and that people -- no other country in Latin America would tolerate foreigners going to their country and protesting for rights if they entered illegally. No other country does. If you have -- Mexico, for example, you're not allowed to participate in a protest or any kind of political manifestation unless you're an actual citizen of Mexico. Even legal residents aren't allowed to protest against the government.
So I find it sometimes a little bit hypocritical of things that we will demand of the United States government that no other country in the world would tolerate.
DOBBS: And not only -- not only that, Paul, and I agree with you, the idea of race being injected into this discussion -- because most of the illegal aliens come from Mexico, for example, I've been criticized for singling out Mexican illegal aliens.
I've singled out the government of Mexico, in point of fact -- I think it's criminal what the government of Vicente Fox is doing to his people in Mexico, creating -- doing nothing to solve the conditions of poverty, that naturally, people want a better life, and they want to work. But that is being rationalized as a basis for the United States to simply turn over its immigration policy to Vicente Fox. Does that boggle your mind as well as mine, and millions of others? CRESPO: Well, I wouldn't single out Vicente Fox personally. I just think the Mexican government traditionally has sort of been complicit in this illegal alien problem, and they have accentuated it and they encouraged it, even if indirectly. So I think the Mexican government in general is a problem.
I think Vicente Fox is probably better than most previous presidents, but I think the government in general in Mexico is part of the problem, because they consider this part of their foreign policy, and it definitely helps the Mexican government to relieve the pressure off of them, transfer the problem to here, and then also receive remittances.
And we don't focus on that. A lot of people that come from South America, Latin America and Mexico, very well-intentioned, they come here to work, they are very productive. I'm very respectful of that and I appreciate that. I think it's great. But they also send, you know, tens of billions of dollars back to their home countries, which helps those governments, and they also encourage it for that reason.
So they get a two-fold benefit. They're getting rid of a problem that may be putting pressure on them to better their systems, and they are also receiving a lot of money into their system from the people working here illegally.
DOBBS: In the case of Mexico, more than $20 billion, more revenue for Mexico than produced even by its oil and energy sector.
How are your listeners reacting to these protests, and to your views about these demonstrations?
CRESPO: Well, my show's in Miami. It's a specific kind of group in Miami. There is a lot of Cuban-Americans, but there are also Central Americans and other people who have come here. A lot of them fled communism. And also people try to make the distinctions and show differences between, for example, Cuban-Americans or other Hispanic Americans, and say that while Cuban-Americans have a special privilege, because they're allowed a certain status that other Latin Americans don't.
But then you have to point out that Cuba is also the only totalitarian communist dictatorship in the entire hemisphere, so that maybe it deserves a special category. The rest of Latin America is democratic. And even in the case of Haiti, the United States invaded in 1994 to bring back a democratic government. So those other countries don't -- are not in the same category at Cuba.
But because of these reasons, there's a mixed bag. But a lot of the people in Miami are just very patriotic and they are very supportive of the United States, and they find it a little bit hard to swallow sometimes when people break into the country, in a sense, for the best of intentions, for the best of reasons, and then simply demand that the United States government give them certain things. And that's a little hard to swallow for some people.
DOBBS: Based on the reaction of the audience of this broadcast, it's very hard to swallow, and it doesn't look like it's going to be, frankly, tolerated, and I suspect congressmen and senators back in their home districts for these two weeks, Paul, are learning that very real response. Paul Crespo, I hope you'll come back, as we continue focusing on this issue.
CRESPO: I would love to.
DOBBS: Thank you very much, Paul Crespo of Univision.
CRESPO: Thank you, Lou.
DOBBS: A reminder now to vote in our poll. President Bush today said the will of the American people was thwarted when a full Senate vote on the compromise immigration legislation was put on hold.
In our poll tonight, tell us, is it your will to give illegal aliens amnesty? Yes or no? Cast your vote at loudobbs.com and we'll send the results of this poll off to the White House and especially to the president's speech writers. Stay with us.
Coming up next here, six retired generals are now calling for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. General David Grange says it appears Rumsfeld has a bit of a communications problem with the General Staff. He'll be here, please stay with us.
DOBBS: Six retired generals have now publicly called for the resignation of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld for his handling of the war in Iraq. The latest, Major General Charles Swannack, who commanded the 82nd Airborne Division in Iraq. That criticism reflects deep concern among many active duty and retired General Officers about Rumsfeld's conduct of the war and whether the United States has the correct strategy with which to defeat the insurgents.
Joining me now with his analysis is General David Grange. Dave, let me start with the fact that six generals, in close order, as you in the military would say, have called for his resignation. This is something of a building firestorm, isn't it?
BRIG. GEN. DAVID GRANGE (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, it appears to be. And the thing is, you have some General Officers who have a lot of credibility, at least to me, and so I do take heed of what they say.
I'm a little concerned about why they're saying it now, instead of right when the day they retired. That's interesting, but there appears to be truly a communication gap between the secretary and the General Officer Corps, at least a segment thereof.
DOBBS: And general Swannack made the point today that some of those generals are keeping their mouths shut -- one might expect them to speak up -- out of loyalty to their young officers and their young troops. Do you accept that?
GRANGE: Well, there is a concern about the morale of the troops, because the younger troopers, the soldiers, the sergeants, are looking at what's happening on the top. And what you have here maybe is a communications challenge, where without good communications between the top ranks and let's say the next layer of General Officers, you don't have trust and if you don't have trust, you don't have loyalty, you don't have commitment. And that's a failure in any organization. So there is something that needs to be fixed.
DOBBS: And the fact is, that President Bush is the commander in chief. Does this really change circumstances, if a new defense secretary were to step in for a resigned Rumsfeld?
GRANGE: Well, the commander in chief, the president, has responsibility over his chain of command, in this case the secretary of defense. And if there is a morale issue, if there is a communication failure, then the president should correct that.
DOBBS: Let's go to the issue of insurgencies at all. I asked General Zinni last night here on the broadcast, when the last time the American military had succeeded against a modern insurgency, and he said never. And you and I have discussed about the difficulty of fighting an insurgency, and you mentioned the importance of trust.
We have now lost more than 2,300 of our troops in Iraq. We have more than 17,000 wounded. We have a very, very oblique messages as to what the strategy and predicted outcome is in Iraq.
How much trust should we have in the General Staff, in the Pentagon, in their ability to carry out a successful campaign against the insurgency in Iraq, compounded now with the possibility of military action against Iran?
GRANGE: Right now the key thing to winning this war is trust, and if you don't have trust within the corps itself, you're never going to have it from the American people so that's the linchpin. This has to be there and the people have to see this is a well- communicated, trusting, committed force that's going to take on this mission. It's critical to success.
DOBBS: I think nearly every American would say that he or she has absolute faith in our men and women in uniform, but there is also, with this rising cry from the generals, intensifying criticism.
It is beginning to appear as if that trust is fraying as between the General Officers, at least some of them, and the secretary of defense. General Dave Grange, as always, we thank you for your insight. We appreciate you being here.
GRANGE: My pleasure, Lou.
DOBBS: Still ahead, the results of our poll tonight. We've had a huge response. Stay with us.
We're going to send that response, by the way, on to some folks in Washington. Stay with us.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) DOBBS: President Bush today said the will of the American people had been thwarted when a full Senate vote on immigration reform was put on hold. In our poll tonight, we wanted to know if your will was thwarted. So we asked, is it your will to give illegal aliens amnesty?
And tonight we've had a huge response, and 94 percent of you say no, it is not your will. We'll be passing that on to the White House.
Now more of your thoughts.
Charles in Indiana: "Lou, the president said sympathetically in his speech that illegal immigrants were just trying to provide for their families. I'm an American citizen. Would he say the same thing about me if I broke the law to provide for my family?"
And Robert in California: "Lou, the sad fact is that the only question is more H1B visas or send the jobs overseas? Talk about importing or exporting.
Send us your thoughts at loudobbs.com. We thank you for being here tonight. "THE SITUATION ROOM" is starting right now with Heidi Collins. Good night from New York.
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