Return to Transcripts main page

Lou Dobbs Tonight

New Evidence Emerges of Iran's Attempts to Destabilize Iraq; Report: U.S. Troops Abandoned Civilian Convoy During Attack

Aired September 28, 2006 - 18:00   ET


LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR, LOU DOBBS TONIGHT: Tonight, disturbing new evidence that Iran is trying to destabilize Iraq. Is the United States fighting a proxy war with Iran in Iraq? We'll have that special report, tonight, from Baghdad.
And the United States military, strongly defending itself against a report that American troops in Iraq abandoned a civilian convoy during an attack. We'll have a live report from the Pentagon and a great deal more. Straight ahead, here tonight.

ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT, news, debate and opinion for Thursday, September 28. Live in New York, Lou Dobbs.

DOBBS: Good evening, everybody.

Tonight, the clearest evidence, so far, that the government of Iran is fueling the insurgency in Iraq. A senior U.S. military official says Iran has given insurgents some of Iran's most sophisticated military technology. The officials said those weapons include the same type of missiles and rockets that Iran has supplied Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military is firmly rejecting a report by a former Halliburton employee that American soldiers abandon a civilian convoy while under fire in Iraq. The military says the troops did not leave that scene. The soldiers actually helped save the lives of civilian contractors.

Michael Ware, tonight, reports from Baghdad on Iran's increasing efforts to destabilize Iraq. Jamie McIntyre reports from the Pentagon on the military's strong defense of its conduct during that convoy attack. And Bill Schneider reports from Washington, on a new opinion poll showing a rising number of Americans that now believe the war in Iraq is going badly. We turn first to Michael Ware -- Michael.

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT, LOU DOBBS TONIGHT: Lou, while much attention focuses on Al Qaeda here in Iraq, U.S. military intelligence officials have also pointed to the rising influence -- and interference, they say -- of Iran in Iraq. This is the other great dynamic behind the war.

Many people believe while Al Qaeda maybe the front line, it is the U.S. contest behind the scenes with Iran, which will really decide the ultimate fate of Iraq and the U.S. mission. A senior coalition military intelligence official has disclosed further evidence of what he says is Iranian interference with the provision of weapons.

For example, the U.S. military intelligence officials says packages of C-4 explosives, that have appeared and been seized here in Iraq, can be traced to a fishing vessel that was picked up by the Israeli defense force, en route to Lebanon, delivering what he says was Iranian provided explosives to Hezbollah, some of the same batch showing up here.

Also, again, we hear that Iran has been providing the special requirements for the most lethal roadside bomb here in Iraq. This is all part of an Iranian policy, U.S. intelligence officials say, to increasingly dominate and influence Iraq through the use of surrogate political forces and military forces -- Lou.

DOBBS: Michael Ware reporting tonight from Baghdad.

The new leader of Al Qaeda and Iraq today said U.S. and coalition troops have killed more than 4,000 foreign terrorists in Iraq. It was Al Qaeda's first public admission of the scale of its losses in this war. The information came in a long audio message posted on the Internet. A message attributed to Al Qaeda's leader in Iraq. The message also called for explosives experts and nuclear scientists to join the Al Qaeda offensive in Iraq.

In Iraq, insurgents have killed two more of our troops. A U.S. Marine was killed in Al Anbar Province, and a soldier killed in Balad north of Baghdad; 68 of our troops have been killed in Iraq so far this month, more than in any other month since May. And 2,711 of our troops have been killed in Iraq since the beginning of the war.

The U.S. Army tonight is rebutting claims that American soldiers in Iraq abandoned a civilian convoy in Iraq that was under attack. A former truck driver for Halliburton said the American troops left the contractors to face the enemy alone.

But the U.S. military says to the contrary, the troops actually helped save contractors' lives. Jamie McIntyre reports from the Pentagon -- Jamie.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT, LOU DOBBS TONIGHT: Lou, not everything went as the U.S. military wanted that day. It was back in September of last year, a supply convoy was on the road, going down to a location, when it came under attack from local Iraqis, who were throwing rocks at the supply trucks that were under escort by U.S. military vehicles.

A civilian contractor, Preston Wheeler, was driving with one hand, holding his hand-held video camera with the other. Things got really ugly. At one point you see a bullet come through the front windshield, you can see the hole there, and as the convoy turned down a dead end road.

A subsequent military investigation blamed faulty maps for that wrong turn. But the result was the trucks had to backtrack into a deadly ambush. Wheeler's truck was disabled by a rocket propelled grenade and three truckers, all employed by Halliburton subsidiary, KBR, were killed that day.

Wheeler witnessed one cold-blooded shooting, right through his windshield while he was hiding in the cab of his truck. He's alone in the truck, with no weapons, he was eventually rescued by the military, after a quick reaction force arrived.

But it was described by the military as a textbook way to operate. But Wheeler told CNN that he felt abandoned by the soldiers who were supposed to protect him.

PRESTON WHEELER, FMR. CIVILIAN TRUCKER DRIVER IN Iraq : Well, if they was doing it in a textbook fashion, they must have been writing it down, because they wasn't securing my area where I was at.

MCINTYRE: Imagery of the attack scene from an overhead -- taken overhead from a spy plane shows the savagery of the attacks. Some of the victims on the ground being pelted again by rocks, even after they had been shot dead. But the U.S. military says the soldiers there followed their training.

They pushed ahead through the kill zone, established a security perimeter, rescued some of the truck drivers, and laid down thousands of rounds of suppressive fire until help could arrive.

And again, as we said, Preston Wheeler, that truck driver, who shot the original video, was rescued that day. He feels that the soldiers should have stayed with him. But that would have gone against their training and tactics, Lou.

DOBBS: Jamie, if I may, just a couple of questions. For how long was the Halliburton driver alone in that disabled vehicle?

MCINTYRE: It's not clear. It was about 20 minutes after the attack started that U.S. attack helicopters arrived on the scene, again, to put down suppressive fire. He did the smart thing, he stayed inside the truck. It was about 10 minutes later the quick reaction force arrived. So, he could have been in that precarious position for up to a half hour. But he was smart enough not to get out of the truck and run. He knew that would be suicide.

DOBBS: And his thoughts about being rescued within 20 to 30 minutes by American forces, he doesn't seem particularly grateful?

MCINTYRE: What he saw -- you have to remember, it's your perception, your perspective. He saw the HUMVEE drive away and he felt like he was all alone. What he couldn't see, because the truck in front of him had overturned, was that HUMVEE turned around and was laying down suppressive fire.

It's unlikely he would have been safe in that truck for 30 minutes, until help arrived, had it not been for the actions of those soldiers.

DOBBS: Jamie, thank you very much. Jamie McIntyre, from the Pentagon. A new CNN opinion poll says that more than 60 percent of Americans now believe the war in Iraq is going badly. The poll, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation, comes as a new book by "Washington Post" editor Robert Woodward, blasts the Bush administration's entire conduct of the war. Bill Schneider has the report.


WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): In his new book author Bob Woodward charges the situation in Iraq is getting worse and the Bush administration is keeping it secret. That, on top of findings from an intelligence report, that the war in Iraq is hurting the war on terrorism.

The American public is already disillusioned over Iraq. More and more Americans believe the war in Iraq is going badly for the United States; 53 percent in January, 61 percent now.

The new revelations could make things worse for Republicans for several reasons. The stories are putting the White House on the defensive.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Isn't that interesting? Somebody has taken upon themselves to leak classified information for political purposes.

SCHNEIDER: Democrats are raising questions about whether the White House is being honest with the American people.

NANCY PELOSI, (D) MINORITY LEADER: It's long overdue for President Bush to speak truth to the American people.

SCHNEIDER: For weeks, Republicans have been trying to frame the campaign around terrorism. The White House is hoping people will see the stories in that context.

BUSH: Everybody can draw their own conclusions about what the report says.

SCHNEIDER: Republicans are doing that.

SEN. BILL FRIST, (R) MAJORITY LEADER: Going back to the intelligence assessment, it said that, first of all, we have no choice but to be victorious because, if not, this will spread and continue to spread.

SCHNEIDER: These stories shift the focus of the campaign back to Iraq. That doesn't help Republicans. Among the nearly half of voters who say Iraq is an extremely important issue, Democrats have a better than two to one lead.


SCHNEIDER: The implication is if Iraq is the central issue in this campaign, it's not likely to be good for Republicans. Lou? DOBBS: Bill Schneider reporting from Washington.

President Bush today used some of his strongest language yet to defend his record in the war against terrorism and radical Islamist terrorists. The president told a political fundraiser in Birmingham, Alabama, that the Democrats offer, quote, "nothing but criticism, destruction, and endless second guessing," end quote.

President Bush said, "The party FDR and Harry Truman has become the party of cut and run", as he put it.

Earlier President Bush went to Capitol Hill to meet with Republican lawmakers before they leave the nation's capitol, to begin their campaigns for the upcoming midterm election.

The Senate tonight is expect to vote on a bill that would give the Bush administration new power to interrogate foreign terror suspects and put them on trial. No word yet on any legislation on border security.

Still ahead, does the Bush administration have a secret agenda to form a North American union with Mexico and Canada? And just where did they get the authority to do so?

We'll have that and a great deal more in our upcoming special report.

Also, tonight, outrage after the ACLU blasts state police in Rhode Island for enforcing our laws and protecting this country from illegal immigration.

And NASA says our planet is hotter now than it's been for 12,000 years. How serious is the threat to life on earth? What can we do about it? One of the nation's leading climatologists, a top NASA scientist, joins us here. Stay with us for that and a great deal more straight ahead.



DOBBS: The Mexican government tonight is blasting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for having the audacity to comment on the Mexican political system. This is the same Mexican government that never misses an opportunity to meddle and comment on the political affairs of the United States, or demand rights for its citizens who are in the United States illegally.

Secretary Rice said, this week, that Mexico's democracy is only now beginning to mature into a two-party political system. A spokesman for Mexican President Vicente Fox says, quote, "We don't agree with the declaration of the Secretary of State because, in accordance with the construction of Mexico's political system it's only up to the Mexican's themselves to voice these opinions."

President Fox's spokesman is leaving open the possibility that Mexico might lodge an official complaint with Washington, D.C.

Also tonight, the political crisis in the Mexican city and state of Oaxaca is deepening and worsening. Business owners outraged (AUDIO GAP)

DOBBS: ...testimony today about the dangers of electronic voting machines and that danger to this nation's democracy has less than just about five weeks left to go before election day. We'll see what happens.

Communist China stealing our nation's most vital military secrets, but don't worry, they're also using laser to blast our satellites. The nation's politicians, well, they don't want to disturb our growing trade relationship with China. Bill Gertz is the author of an important new book on foreign espionage in the United States.

And alarming new report tonight, showing America is losing it's competitive edge, America once in first place in global competitiveness. And after destroying American jobs, cutting wages and forcing real productivity to increase in this country, well, apparently America's CEOs can't figure out the magic formula.

Stay with us. We'll have that and more straight ahead.


DOBBS: Congress today heard alarming testimony on the threat of electronic voting machines and experts at the hearing testified that e-voting machines are vulnerable to tampering, outright fraud, and political manipulation. They also testified it's uncertain whether the votes of millions of Americans will count on election day. Kitty Pilgrim has the story.


KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT, LOU DOBBS TONIGHT (voice over): The hearing is focused on how insecure the technology is, featuring a demonstration of how quickly a machine could be hacked.

PROF. EDWARD FELTEN, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: It takes about one minute of access to the machine. And I can show you roughly what would be involved. It would involve opening the door on the side of the machine, which would require getting a key, as I said, those are for sale on the Internet. There may be some security tape that would need to be removed and might be missing already.

Opening up this door, putting in a memory card like this, into the side of the machine. The memory card would have been prepared in advance with the computer virus on it. Then pressing the red power button and waiting about 30 seconds.

PILGRIM: The committee clearly need no additional evidence that the computer could be effectively hacked.

BARBARA SIMONS, U.S. PUBLIC POLICY COMMITTEE: Because of the risks of software bugs, malicious code, or computer failure, we cannot trust that the results in a paperless voting machine accurately reflect the will of the voters. That is why voter verified paper ballots or audit trials, or VPATs, as we refer to them, are needed.

PILGRIM: In many primaries the deficiency of the machines and the inadequate preparation of the poll workers who run them was evident. Testimony about review of the recent Ohio primary was chilling.

KEITH CUNNINGHAM, ELECTION DIR., ALLEN COUNTY, OHIO: Nearly 17 percent of those tapes showed a vote discrepancy of one to five votes from the electronic machine. And nearly 10 percent of those tapes were either destroyed, blank, missing, taped together, or in some other way compromised.

PILGRIM: Some say the machines can be made secure and flaws repaired in time for the November election. But experts caution just jerryrigging a paper trail attachment is dangerous.

PROF. MICHAEL SHAMOS, CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY: It should be obvious that adding a new device with moving mechanical parts to an existing electronic machine cannot improve its reliability.


PILGRIM: Now, the legislation considered by the House committee calls for a voter verified paper trail on every electronic voting machine. Another bill, by Senator Boxer, provides financial reimbursement for the states to help pay for backup paper ballots.

DOBBS: I think, we're at the point, it looks to me, Kitty, that this country is, as Senator Dorgan, or Congressman Holt have suggested, I mean, we've got to start thinking about going to paper ballots because these machines -- it's obvious. The training is not there. The backup, the lack of a paper trail. If there is a close election anywhere in this country, we're in deep, deep trouble.

PILGRIM: It's very clear. And the technology's just been put in too fast. It's not understood and it's definitely not understood at the local level, which is the most important level when you have an election.

DOBBS: And unfortunately, nearly all of the knowledge on these machines is held by the companies that manufacture them. And that does not make me, for one, and I'm sure millions of others very comfortable.

Kitty, thank you. Keep up this terrific reporting on this very scary proposition. Kitty Pilgrim.

Time now for some of your thoughts.

Sue in Texas wrote in to say, "Hey, Lou, with the Democratic Party saying boldly that putting up more border fence is not a good idea, just how do they expect to get re-elected? America wake up!"

Ellen in New York -- "I'm confused, Lou. The Republicans are supposed to represent big business. Hillary Clinton thinks the Democrats represent the rights of illegals. So who represents my rights?"

And Michael in Tennessee -- "If Senator Clinton believes that there are enough illegal voters for her to become president, then good luck. As a veteran, I will not vote for anyone who believes that people who are in this country illegally have just as much right to vote as I do."

Send us your thoughts at We'll have many more of your thoughts coming up here later in the broadcast.

Up next, our planet in peril. A new report by NASA's highly respected Goddard Institute shows the Earth's temperature is spiking higher. The head of the Goddard Institute will be here. We'll be talking about global warming and those who want to make an argument against it. I wonder why.

And America's competitive edge with the rest of the world plunging. The economic future of the nation at risk. What happened to all those jobs? Why aren't we more competitive? We're cutting wages. We'll find out.

And we'll have the latest on a developing story this hour, the search for a Florida gunman who has shot two sheriff's deputies, a large manhunt under way. We'll have the latest for you. Stay with us.


DOBBS: A massive manhunt is now under way in Polk County, Florida. The manhunt started after two sheriff's deputies were shot. One of them has been killed. The suspect was stopped in what is described as a routine stop. The motorist had been speeding. But then fled the officers into a wooded area nearby, shots were fired, and the two deputies, along with a police dog, were hit. The other deputy was shot in the leg and is expected to make a full recovery. That manhunt intensifying, and the search widening for the suspect in this fatal shooting.

The town of Bailey, Colorado today mourned the death of 16-year- old Emily Keyes. Keyes was shot yesterday by 53-year-old Duane Morrison, who took six girls hostages in their high school. Morrison fatally shot Keyes, then killed himself as police closed in.

Tropical Storm Isaac today formed in the Atlantic, but it's not expected to become a hurricane or directly threaten land. The storm has top sustained winds of 40 miles an hour, we're told, with its center located now 650 miles east, southeast of Bermuda. Isaac is the ninth named storm of this Atlantic hurricane season.

Firefighters battling a massive wildfire in Southern California now have a new threat from Mother Nature. Dry weather along with erratic winds are now complicating efforts to bring this fire under control. And the wildfire, which has been burning since Labor Day, has destroyed more than 150,000 acres of wilderness in the Los Padres National Forest.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average today came very close to an all- time record. The Dow finished the day up 29 points, 5 points short of a record. The last time the Dow Jones Industrials finished in record territory, back in January of 2000.

A sobering report out today on this country's economic performance and its competitiveness. The United States is no longer the most competitive economy in the world. In fact, the United States doesn't even rank in the top five. Lisa Sylvester reports.


LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Congress is spending beyond its means. The federal budget deficit is expected to reach $423 billion this year. The United States is borrowing record amounts from foreign investors, creating a growing current account deficit. And manufacturing jobs are taking a one-way trip out of the United States, fueling a record trade deficit.

REP. CHARLIE RANGEL (D), NEW YORK: We don't defend our own, and we don't really provide for any incentives for the jobs to remain in the United States, indeed we tax incentives to encourage people to put their resources overseas.

SYLVESTER: The deficits and rising defense and health care costs are pushing down U.S. competitiveness. According to a new report by the World Economic Forum, the United States has dropped from first to sixth place in global competitiveness in the last year, behind Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Singapore.

The report warns, quote, "With a low savings rate, record-high current account deficits and a worsening of the U.S. net debtor position, there is a non-negligible risk to the country's overall competitiveness."

DAVID WALKER, U.S. COMPTROLLER: We need to stop the bleeding. We need to restructure entitlement programs, constrain spending, and in the end, we're going to need more revenues in order to close the gap as well.

SYLVESTER: Senator Max Baucus recently unveiled a competitiveness plan. He's proposed a long-term fix that focuses on the classroom, including full college tuition for all math and science majors who commit to work in that field at least four years.

SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D), MONTANA: We have to invest. We have to invest for the future. The good-paying jobs in the future are going to be either directly related or indirectly related to the science and mathematics and engineering.

SYLVESTER: In the short term, Democrats like Charlie Rangel say it will take more, developing a national strategy to reign in spending and to promote U.S. job growth.

(END VIDEOTAPE) SYLVESTER: Representative Charlie Rangel says boosting U.S. competitiveness cannot be left to U.S. corporations that are looking for cheap labor. That's why Congress has to step in to make sure someone is looking after Americans' interests in the face of increased global competition -- Lou.

DOBBS: Imagine that. A role for public policy in the governance of the United States. Lisa, thank you very much. Lisa Sylvester from Washington.

The old saying, "don't know much about history," certainly applies to more than a few of this country's college students, and some of them from the finest colleges in the country. A new study shows that seniors at some of the nation's top schools fail in their basic knowledge of American history and politics. In other words, they don't know civics. The study also found that prestige doesn't pay off. Seniors at Brown, Cornell and Yale actually scored lower than freshmen, a term the researchers call negative learning. Among the test questions, which of the following are the inalienable rights referred to in the Declaration of Independence? Shockingly, 10 percent of the students chose "life, liberty and property." The correct answer, of course, is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What in the world are we teaching in those so-called elite universities?

Still ahead, disturbing new evidence that communist China is stealing our most sensitive secrets. I'll be talking with an author of an important new book, "Enemies: How America's Foes Steal Our Secrets and How We Let It Happen." Bill Gertz joins me.

And Iran helping radical Islamist terrorists in Iraq. General David Grange will join us to discuss the troubling development, and a lot more. Stay with us.


DOBBS: Communist China has developed a ground-based laser system to blind our spy satellites. Some of that technology may have been stolen from this country. It's just one example of how foreign governments and terrorist groups are spying on this country consistently and frequently, and often stealing some of our most sensitive secrets.

Bill Gertz is the author of an important new book, "Enemies: How America's Foes Steal Our Secrets and How We Let It Happen." Bill Gertz is the highly respected defense and national security correspondent of "The Washington Times." Bill, good to have you here.

BILL GERTZ, WASHINGTON TIMES: Good to be with you.

DOBBS: You say that the communist Chinese -- you know, a lot of our people talk about them as if they have a junk yard army. What's the reality?

GERTZ: The reality is, laser weapons are just one of the niche or boutique weapons the Chinese military is developing as part of what they call assassins' mace. That is a weaker power like China militarily can take on a stronger power like the United States. They've obtained large amounts of our weapons technology by sending students to study, by sending businesspeople, and of course by sending large numbers of spies.

DOBBS: And what do you say to those who are concerned? And some are saying it straight out, that the Bush administration, through any executive department of the government, is not responding to the fact that communist China has fired these lasers on U.S. spy satellites, effectively blinding them, because they don't want to disturb trade relations, they want to maintain what they see as communist Chinese help in dealing with North Korea or Iran.

GERTZ: Well, the U.S. government is really divided over how to deal with China. On one hand, you have one faction that is very pro- China. They want to help China at all costs. There's another faction, primarily within the Pentagon and national security community, that says wait a minute, we've got a major problem here, we're vulnerable, and we've got to be careful about what's going on, what happens with China. We've got to watch it closely.

DOBBS: Let's turn to Iran quickly, and the fact is that the Iranian president, Ahmadinejad, has said they're going to continue their uranium enrichment. At the same time, it's clear, since the United States government has given them a few weeks, that there's some hope remaining, at least on the part perhaps of the European if not the Americans, that there could be some agreement. What is your judgment?

GERTZ: Well, I've talked to some senior Bush administration officials within the past few days, and they said that there's some movement there on the part of Javier Solana, the EU negotiator, in that they're trying to arrange some kind of diplomatic dance whereby Iran would agree to suspend its uranium enrichment but call it something else, or perhaps keep it in secret.

A lot of conservatives in the administration are saying, no, look, we've given the Iranians enough of an incentive to halt enrichment, and the time is to move to sanctions. It looks like they've reached a compromise and they're going to wait a couple more weeks before really pushing hard to impose some tougher economic sanctions.

DOBBS: And then today's intelligence development in which it is clear that Iran is providing considerable, significant, if not the majority of materiel support as well as financial support to the insurgency in Iraq. What do you think will be the reaction of the U.S. government?

GERTZ: Well, they've recognized it for quite a while now, that the Iranians, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and the Ministry of Intelligence Security, those are the main agencies that are working to get all kinds of expertise, explosives, weapons and to fuel the insurgency. The Iranians recognize that a democratic Iraq is a threat to them more than just from an ideological standpoint. DOBBS: Bill, thanks. It's good to have you here. Good to talk with you. Bill Gertz, he is the author of "Enemies: How America's Foes Steal Our Vital Secrets and How We Let It Happen," to our everlasting shame. Bill Gertz, thank you very much.

GERTZ: Sure.

DOBBS: Joining me now for more on Iran's role in Iraq is General David Grange. General, good to have you here.


DOBBS: This is -- this is becoming, I think, befuddling to most Americans. The idea that we have known -- and it is again confirmed, just as you've heard Bill Gertz talk about it, I mean, we've known for sometime, we continue to get the intelligence report -- this is an open secret, if you will, that Iran is supporting the insurgency in Iraq. In doing so, with significant materiel, significant monies, and yet there is no response on the part of the United States Army, the United States military or this administration to that fact.

GRANGE: Well, there is in fact some response. Most of it's covert. However, the pressure has to be picked up. There's no doubt about it. Everybody's focused on a nuclear development in Iran. And in fact, their strategy calls for something very similar to what they did with the Hezbollah in Lebanon, and they're doing the same thing in Iraq. And that has to be denied to Iran. They have to be discredited, they have to be disrupted. And these actions, because they are supporting, with advisers and equipment and explosives, that are killing American GIs and keeping this country from helping to accomplish this mission.

DOBBS: In Iraq itself, great discussion about whether Baghdad should be the appropriate priority over Al Anbar province, which has been responsible for so many American casualties. Those casualties continue to mount. In fact, we're already beyond the month of May in terms of casualties just so far this month in Iraq. What -- when are we going to see some sign that the U.S. general staff, that Centcom and the men leading that organization, the general staff, know what they're doing and know how to succeed in Iraq?

GRANGE: Well, as they should, they're relooking at strategy, because things have changed from the initial plan, obviously. And this calls for adaptation of what's happening on the ground right now. Anbar province, of course, is more on the insurgency side. And you get into Baghdad, you're tied into the militia issues and the influence of Iran. And so, the strategy has to be to -- you can't ignore Anbar province. At the same time, Baghdad, the city of Baghdad is the center of gravity for all of Iraq. So pressure has to be put on Iran and put on the militias. And you have to reinforce, if necessary, in Anbar province to keep a lid on that until the Iraqis can actually do something themselves in that area, which may be sometime off.

DOBBS: Dave Grange, as always, good to have you with us.

GRANGE: My pleasure.

DOBBS: A reminder now to vote in our poll. I understand that we've had some technical problems on our Web site with that vote, but I'm told reliably now that it is working appropriately. So if you would please cast your vote again if you have not been able to get your vote recorded.

The question is -- are you outraged that the Bush administration is considering combining -- and working toward, by the way, this goal -- of combining the United States, Mexico and Canada in a so-called Security and Prosperity Partnership, creating what effectively would be what they like to call the North American Union? Cast your vote at We'll have the results here coming up in just a few moments.

Up next, "THE SITUATION ROOM" with Wolf Blitzer -- Wolf.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much, Lou. Bob Woodward's bombshell book. He is accusing the White House of not telling the truth about Iraq, and he says the president is relying on Henry Kissinger for advice. We're going to have a first look.

Plus, on the frontlines, the war through the eyes of Marines facing a fierce battle on the streets of Ramadi in Iraq.

Also, dog eat dog ads. Politicians turning to puppies for clout with voters.

And politically incorrect. A scathing comedy about Kazakhstan ruffles some diplomatic feathers on the eve of a White House visit. All that, Lou, coming up right here in "THE SITUATION ROOM."

DOBBS: Wolf, thank you very much. Looking forward to it.

Up next here, is our planet in danger of overheating? Global warming has this planet in its grip. A top NASA scientist, one of the country's leading climatologists, joins me. We'll be talking about those findings, and we're going to be talking about a very specific example of what most scientists would call junk science as well. Stay with us.


DOBBS: An important new study shows the temperature of our planet has climbed to levels not seen in more than 10,000 years. This study, connected by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, shows there could be no doubt that man-made pollutants are to blame for global warming.

Joining me tonight is James Hansen. He's the director of NASA's Goddard Institute. It's good to have you here.


DOBBS: These are -- the findings continue to mount, building one upon the other. How did you predict this increase in the planet's climate?

HANSEN: Well, we had predicted this way back in the 1980s, that there would be warming at a rate of a few tenths of a degree Fahrenheit per decade. And what we've found is that over the last 30 years, there's been warming of about one degree Fahrenheit on global average, which is small compared to weather fluctuations.

But on global average, it's important. And it means that we're within two degrees Fahrenheit of the warmest that the planet has been in a million years.

DOBBS: A million years, within one to two degrees.

HANSEN: Right. And that's an important point.

DOBBS: You'd think.

HANSEN: If we can keep the temperature within one or two degrees of today's temperature, then it will be basically the same planet that we inherited from our parents. But if we go beyond that, if we go to five degrees Fahrenheit, which is where we're headed if we keep using fossil fuels at the rate we are, then we will create a different planet this century.

DOBBS: Let's take a look at this graphic on the global land ocean temperature anomaly. If we can see that. And if you would, James Hansen, explain what we're looking at here.

HANSEN: Well, that's the global temperature increase in the first half decade of this century, 2001 to 2005, relative to the period of climatology, 1950 to 1980. And it shows that the planet has warmed about one degree on the average, but more in the polar regions and more over land than over ocean. And of course, that's what we predicted decades ago.

DOBBS: It's what you predicted. But to see that in the red and deep browns there, in the northern hemisphere, is amazing.

HANSEN: Well, it's not amazing in the sense that it's understandable. But it's a concern because -- for two especial reasons. There are things we can change which are irreversible. And one of those is sea level rise, which we talked about earlier. And another one is the extinction of species. Temperature lines are now moving 30 miles a decade forward, and plants and animals have to try to move to keep up with the climate that they are used to.

DOBBS: That's what I was alluding to in taking a look at where we're seeing this, those large gradations or increases in temperatures as you move north into the further north into the Northern Hemisphere. What can we do about this? I mean, it's one thing to say we're at that range, the million-year range...

HANSEN: You know, there are some basic facts which scientists now understand very well. But there's a gap between scientific understanding and what is known by the public and policy makers. And one thing is that over a quarter of the carbon dioxide that we put into the atmosphere stays there forever. That means more than 500 years.

DOBBS: Let's go to...

HANSEN: So we need to reduce the emissions of those gases if we're going to slow down the warming.

DOBBS: Straight up. Michael Creighton, we learn, has been advising the president on climatology. What's your reaction as a scientist to that?

HANSEN: Well, it's -- obviously it's very disturbing. Abraham Lincoln created the National Academy of Sciences to advise the government on important scientific and technical topics, and I would hope that our government would make use of the best scientists and not science fiction writers, even though he's a great science fiction...

DOBBS: He's brilliant. I have to tell you, Michael Creighton is one of my favorite science fiction writers. I think he's a brilliant writer. I don't think I would go to him; I think I would go first to James Hansen. So let me ask -- as a matter of fact, I know I would go first to James Hansen in just about anything to do with climatology. How many times has the president called you in to talk?

HANSEN: Of course, I don't know of any climate scientists that's gone to speak to him about this topic.

DOBBS: But not you?

HANSEN: Not me.

DOBBS: Tony Snow, White House, listen up. James is brilliant. Get him in there. Please! James Hansen, thanks for being here. We appreciate you taking time to talk with us.


DOBBS: Still ahead, we'll have more of your thoughts, the results of tonight's poll. Stay with us.


DOBBS: The results of our poll tonight: 96 percent of you responded that you are outraged that the Bush administration is considering combining the United States, Mexico and Canada, and working diligently, often in secret, to do exactly that, without any legitimacy whatsoever or authorization.

Let's take a look at some of your thoughts. Diane in Texas: I'm a nursing student at the University of Texas. I'm doing OBGYN clinicals where the birthrate is 87 percent to illegal aliens and their many anchor babies. American taxpayers foot the bill. They all get automatic Medicaid under Title V, and they don't even have to apply."

Bo in Arizona -- "Lou, it's time to eliminate immigration, immigrant and migrant. Instead, let's start using illegal foreigner, illegal entrant or just plain old illegal."

Language is important. We couldn't agree with you more.

Send us your thoughts at, and we appreciate you being with us here tonight. Thanks for watching. Good night from New York. "THE SITUATION ROOM" begins now with Wolf Blitzer -- Wolf.