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Lou Dobbs Tonight
Senate Votes to Withdraw Combat Troops From Iraq; U.S. Military Commander in Iraq's Sober View of War; Salvation Army: English Only; What Do Wall Street Gains Mean for Middle Class?; Increasing Amounts of Food Imported from Overseas; Secretary of State Subpoenaed to Discuss WMD Claims Before Congress; Prosecution Rests Case in Spy Trial; Iranian Engineer Charged with Spying
Aired April 26, 2007 - 18:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU DOBBS, HOST: Tonight, an historic showdown between the Congress and White House over the conduct of the war in Iraq. The Senate and the House demanding withdrawal of our combat troops.
We'll have complete coverage.
Also tonight, an Army officer facing charges he helped the enemy in Iraq. And he had, it is charged, an improper relationship with a suspected insurgent's daughter.
We'll have that report.
And outrage after the federal government sues the Salvation Army because the Salvation Army requires its employees to speak English at work. What in the world is our federal government thinking?
We'll have that report, all the day's news, much more straight ahead here tonight.
ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT, news, debate and opinion for Thursday, April 26th.
Live from New York, Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: Good evening, everybody.
The U.S. Senate today joined the House of Representatives in passing legislation demanding the withdrawal of our combat troops from Iraq. The Senate voted 51-46 to begin troop withdrawals by October 1st at the latest, and complete withdrawal by next April.
The White House said President Bush would veto that bill as soon as it reaches his desk. Republicans said the bill would simply hand victory to al Qaeda.
Dana Bash tonight reports from Capitol Hill on the Democrats' determination to defy the president.
Elaine Quijano reports from the White House on the president's refusal to concede anything.
And Jamie McIntyre reporting tonight from the Pentagon on the military's view of this war in Iraq and whether it can be won.
We turn first to Dana Bash -- Dana.
DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lou, Democrats argue that poll after poll shows Americans want U.S. troops out of Iraq, and that today, for the first time, Democrats gave the president an exit strategy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: By a vote of 51-46, the conference report is adopted.
BASH (voice-over): With that Senate vote, the stage is set for a dramatic wartime showdown between Congress and the White House, the likes of which not seen since Vietnam.
SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D-IL), DEMOCRATIC WHIP: When the president receives this bill early next week, I hope he'll ask himself some basic questions -- how many lives, how many wounds, how many soldiers must America sacrifice waiting for the Iraqis to accept their responsibility?
BASH: It is a confrontation with the president the Democratic majority says they were elected to have, by voters who've soured on the war.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: In the last election, the American people called for a new direction. Nowhere were they more firm in that new direction being necessary than in the war in Iraq.
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: We have carried forth the wishes of the American people.
BASH: The $124 billion emergency spending bill would fund the war, but order U.S. troops to start coming home October 1st, with a goal of withdrawing all combat forces by this time next year.
BROWNBACK: And if he would sign it, it would be the day that al Qaeda would declare victory. It would be the day that the deadline is set. It would be the day they would declare victory, much of the world would agree.
BASH: Republicans say it's a surrender date and call Democrats irresponsible for sending the president an Iraq funding bill they know he won't sign.
SEN. TRENT LOTT (R-MS), MINORITY WHIP: By this political theater that we're fixed to embark upon, a vote that we know will not become law, one that will surely be vetoed by the president, this legislation is dead before arrival.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
BASH: Democrats know that they don't have the votes to override a veto. But they also note if they don't pass a spending bill that the president will sign fast, that they're going to get hammered by Republicans for endangering troops in combat. But finding a way to do that is not going to be easy for Democrats, Lou, because there are still a number of lawmakers on the left who want to still use this spending bill to push for an end to the war -- Lou.
DOBBS: Dana, thank you very much.
Three senators didn't take part in today's vote. Among them, Senator John McCain, Republican presidential candidate. Senator McCain a strong supporter, of course, of the troop buildup in Iraq. Senator McCain was campaigning today in South Carolina.
The other senators who did not vote, Lindsey Graham and Senator Tim Johnson. Senator Graham was in his home state of South Carolina, of course, with Senator McCain, in fact. Senator Johnson remains in convalescence from a brain hemorrhage that he suffered in December.
The White House today acknowledged the American people are frustrated by the progress or lack of it in this war. But the White House said President Bush will not give our troops a surrender date, as they put it, and the president will veto the funding bill.
Elaine Quijano reports from the White House -- Elaine.
ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Lou, far from backing down from their position, officials here at the White House are digging in and saying that any kind of timeline for troop withdrawal in Iraq amounts to a surrender date.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino today reiterated President Bush's veto threat. And just as Democrats are preparing to note next week the fourth anniversary of President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech, Perino calls the Democrats' legislation mission defeated.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANA PERINO, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: This is very serious. We are deluding ourselves if we think that we walk away, that everything is going to be OK, and that we can just let that region fester and not have any consequences for it, and not have to suffer the consequences of our actions here in Washington.
And that is why the president has the principled stand that he does. And he is the commander in chief with the long-term national security interest of this country in mind every step of the way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUIJANO: Now, the White House also notes that it has been 80 days since President Bush submitted his funding request to Congress. And as Americans watch this play out, officials here continue to make the case that even though it is President Bush who plans to wield his veto power, they believe that the American people will ultimately hold Democrats responsible for this impasse -- Lou.
DOBBS: Elaine Quijano, thank you.
Elaine Quijano from the White House.
The U.S. commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, today declared sectarian violence will rise if American troops leave Iraq. General Petraeus said sectarian violence has declined by two-thirds since the so-called surge began. But the general acknowledged the overall level of violence in Iraq has remained the same, and the number of American casualties has increased.
Jamie McIntyre reports from the Pentagon.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: (voice over): The problem General David Petraeus is trying to fix in Iraq is, in his words, the most challenging he's ever seen.
GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS, COMMANDER, MULTINATIONAL FORCE, IRAQ: The situation in Iraq is, in sum, exceedingly complex and very tough.
MCINTYRE: At the Pentagon briefing he laid out the key problem.
PETRAEUS: This effort may get harder before it gets easier. Success in the end will depend on Iraqi action.
MCINTYRE: And right now, the government of Nuri al-Maliki is dysfunctional.
PETRAEUS: He's not the Prime Minister Tony Blair of Iraq. He does not have a parliamentary majority.
MCINTYRE: And while some violence is waning, such as so-called sectarian murders, down two-thirds since the first of the year, that's buried under the rubble of spectacular bombings that inflict mass casualties.
PETRAEUS: The sense of gradual progress and achievement we feel on the ground in many areas in Iraq is often eclipsed by the sensational attacks that overshadow our daily accomplishments.
MCINTYRE: The surge is only in the early stages, but U.S. casualties are already up and will likely go higher over the summer. And the enemy is everywhere. First of all, al Qaeda.
PETRAEUS: It is a very significant enemy. I think it is probably public enemy number one.
MCINTYRE: Then the Sunni insurgents, and the increasingly troublesome Iranian network with training, funding and even direction from Iran's Quds force.
PETRAEUS: They were provided substantial funding, training on Iranian soil, advanced explosive munitions and technologies, as well as run-of-the-mill arms and ammunition. In some cases, advice and in some cases even a degree of direction.
MCINTYRE: General Petraeus is working on four benchmarks he will use in September to decide if the surge is a success: security, economics, politics and governance, and rule of law.
MCINTYRE: And what if U.S. troops were just to leave? How much worse could it be? Well, General Petraeus says it could be much worse. And he insists even though it doesn't look like it, he insists things are actually, in his words, quite a bit better now than they were just a few months ago -- Lou.
DOBBS: The four, if you will, benchmarks, criteria by which the general will judge progress, if not the rest of us, only one of those seems to be a matter of military control and initiative. And that is, of course, security.
Who is responsible for the other three?
MCINTYRE: Well, that's a very good question. And, of course, the big obstacle to peace in Iraq is not the -- all of those things that we talked about. But it is the political. It is the government.
And it's the U.S. government then. General Petraeus is overseeing that effort, along with Ambassador Ryan Crocker, to try to put that pressure on the government.
But again, the big problem is, that government is not working. It doesn't have a governing majority. It's full of political infighting. And if they can't make the political reforms to bring reconciliation to the country, this plan is not going to work.
DOBBS: Jamie McIntyre from the Pentagon.
Thank you, Jamie.
Joining us now, General David Grange, one of the country's most decorated former military commanders.
General Grange, at what point are we going to hear a general, the highly respected, highly regarded General David Petraeus, talking about the prospect of higher American casualties, asking for further patience, putting out benchmarks, three of which the military has no apparent control over? At what point are we going to hear a military commander in the United States Army, in this case, tell us what exactly what's going to be done to achieve a specific, specific military goal?
BRIG. GEN. DAVID GRANGE (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, the specific military goal, Lou, the way I understand them, and from what I heard from General Petraeus' testimony, is to establish a safe and secure environment to some level, and obviously to train some type of Iraqi capability with the military and the police forces. And he painted a bleak picture. And that's probably as complex and as tough as it is. And it's just going to be determined whether we stick with this or not. What do we want to do?
DOBBS: Indeed, what do we want to do? And what are capable of doing what we might want to do? We don't even have, frankly, in my opinion, General, a clear statement of what we do want to accomplish, a military strategy position and exit strategy.
But moving to the other news of this week, General, the idea that a full colonel can be accused of speaking about the family of Pat Tillman, a -- the family of a fallen service member, talking as he did from Afghanistan, what in the world is going on with senior officers, this command in which things like this can happen?
GRANGE: Well, it's inexcusable if those charges are in fact true. It's embarrassing.
I'm personally ashamed. Obviously, there's going to be court- martial charges. And if guilty, I'm sure that justice will prevail.
DOBBS: And the idea that, again, a colonel could be brought up on charges of aiding and abetting the enemy in Iraq? You and I have talked often about the warrior code, the national values and the extraordinary high standard of the United States military, and in particular the United States Army. We are being rocked by these kinds of news developments and these kinds of charges against our senior officers in uniform whom we all want to respect mightily.
Again, what is going on?
GRANGE: I'd say please continue to respect the uniform, the majority, the 99 percent of those officers that don't display this type of behavior. And this is an exception, not the norm.
Again, inexcusable. And I'm sure that, again, justice will be taken by the Department of Defense.
DOBBS: General David Grange, as always, good to have you here, Dave. Thank you.
GRANGE: Thank you, Lou.
DOBBS: Coming up next, more on the U.S. Army officer who is facing those charges that he helped the enemy in Iraq. We'll have that special report upcoming.
Also, the federal government sues the Salvation Army for, of all things, enforcing an English-only policy for its employees. Is this an example of political correctness gone completely out of control? Or it is a federal government that is absolutely out of its mind?
We'll have the story.
And a new "Wall Street Journal" opinion poll shows a majority of American voters oppose any amnesty for illegal aliens. So why are these poll numbers missing from the news organizations conducting the polls?
We'll have that special report and a great deal more coming right up.
I'll also be talking were with the heads of the House Oversight Committee.
Stay with us.
DOBBS: Here we go. The federal government is suing the Salvation Army. The charity wants its employees to speak English at work, but the federal government says it can't do that because to require English to be spoken at work is discrimination.
Lisa Sylvester has the report.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The Salvation Army is a Christian evangelical group best known for delivering aid in the time of emergencies and helping out during the Christmas season. But the organization is now a target of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The EEOC has filed a five-page complaint accusing the Salvation Army of discrimination on the basis of national origin. At issue is a Salvation Army policy that requires its workers to speak English in the workplace. Two employees from Latin America were fired from this store after they were given a year to learn English but failed to do so. The Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund insists speaking English was not a necessary component of their job.
CESAR PERALES, PUERTO RICAN LEGAL DEF. FUND: These workers were on the job for about five years, did their job. They were sorting clothes. And apparently, a rule was passed, a rule that said you had to be proficient in English. And whatever standards were set by the Salvation Army, these people did not meet, and they were fired.
SYLVESTER: Both the EEOC and the Salvation Army declined interview requests because of the ongoing litigation. In a statement, the Salvation Army said, "We greatly respect the EEOC and its mission, but we vigorously dispute the allegation that the Salvation Army engaged in any illegal conduct in this case."
Representative Tom Tancredo is among those applauding the Salvation Army for its policy, saying it's helping workers.
REP. TOM TANCREDO (R), COLORADO: This is America. We speak English. It's better for the people who are here to learn English and actually have the ability to get ahead in life. That's what we should be encouraging.
SYLVESTER: In 2003, a federal judge upheld the Salvation Army's English-only policy, ruling that it served a legitimate business purpose, promoting effective communication and helping improve productivity and efficiency.
SYLVESTER: But a lawyer for the EEOC contends that the Salvation Army store in Massachusetts has not shown a legitimate business justification for the English-only policy. The agency is now seeking back pay for the workers, compensation for losses that resulted from their unemployment, and an unspecified amount of punitive damages -- Lou.
DOBBS: Well, the EEOC, frankly, they're a bunch of yellow bellies. I mean, we asked them to come on here. You requested some explanation from them.
The idea that they don't even return our phone calls, this is an arrogant agency, out of control, and completely out of tune with either the meaning of the law, or common sense or plain decency. What in the world are they talking about?
SYLVESTER: Well, this is all going to go, and it's going to all be settled in the courts. But you're absolutely right, we did try to contact them. They did send us a press release that basically summarized that they didn't think there was a business justification here.
But you can go back to that 2003 case, and a federal judge said that the Salvation Army was in the right.
DOBBS: This is just incredible.
We're going to continue to offer, you know, just a -- if I may just say it this way, to the director of the EEOC, kind person, show us that at least you've got the guts to communicate with the people who pay your salary, American citizens, this audience, the American people. Because you really got a lot to explain.
And to intimidate the Salvation Army to the point that they can't put a spokesman forward to defend themselves, that's unconscionable. And you're way, way out of line here.
Lisa Sylvester, thank you very much.
We'd like to hear what you think about this issue. Tonight's poll question is simply: Do you believe it is discriminatory for the Salvation Army for require its employees to speak English in the workplace? Yes or no?
Cast your vote at loudobbs.com. We'll have the results later here in the broadcast.
A new NBC-"Wall Street Journal" poll shows a majority of voters in this country opposes President Bush's plan to give citizenship to millions of illegal aliens in this country. Or comprehensive immigration reform, as he likes to put it -- and the Senate and Democratic leadership in the House as well like to put it. One group with strong views on this issue is African-Americans. Sixty percent of them oppose the idea. The poll also showing illegal immigration ranks among the top three issues for all voters. The war in Iraq and the health care the top two issues.
Even though this poll, by the way, was conducted by "The Wall Street Journal" and released today, we couldn't find it in today's editions of "The Wall Street Journal". We called "The Journal" to find out why.
You know, the editors didn't -- didn't want to talk to us for some reason. "The Wall Street Journal's" editorial pages, of course, are strong proponents of President Bush's comprehensive immigration reform plan, or as it's more simply put, amnesty plan.
Oakland, California, joining its good neighbor, San Francisco, in openly defying federal law. Resolutions by the mayor and the council president directing Oakland city agencies not to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement efforts, and they condemn recent immigration raids in that city. Oakland, long known as a city of refuge for those fleeing oppressive regimes abroad, has expanded the definition to include, you guessed it, illegal aliens.
Time now for some of your thoughts.
Jimie in Texas said, 'It seems our elected representatives are more concerned with pandering to the illegal populace for the potential voting power rather than addressing the many pressing issues facing American citizens who vote and pay exorbitant taxes. Do we need to orchestrate another Boston Tea Party to get our government to focus on our country and its citizens?"
And Ben in Oklahoma said, "We need to start importing politicians. Illegal aliens have more rights than U.S. citizens. Just ask the men and women serving the Border Patrol."
And Victor in Illinois, "Thank you, Lou Dobbs, for your program. No one seems to be listening to the citizens of this country. Being in law enforcement, I see every day how great the illegal immigration problem is in this country. The media presents law enforcement as the bad guy and the law breakers as the victim."
Send us your thoughts at loudobbs.com. More of your thoughts coming up here later in the broadcast.
Up next, a U.S. Army officer accused of aiding the enemy. We'll have the latest.
And imports of food and food products from communist China are soaring. But is anyone paying attention to China's record on food safety for their own people, let alone us poor Americans?
We'll have that report.
And Wall Street may be celebrating, but let us guarantee the joy isn't trickling down to America's embattled middle class. That story, a great deal more still ahead.
Stay with us. We're coming right back.
DOBBS: The Army has charged the former commander of a military detention center in Iraq with aiding the enemy. Lieutenant Colonel William Steele (ph) is now being held in custody himself in Kuwait.
Barbara Starr reports from the Pentagon -- Barbara.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lou, this is a tremendous embarrassment for the U.S. military. In fact, as you say, the man who commanded a prison facility in Iraq, holding hundreds of insurgents at a facility that was Saddam Hussein's last home, he now is in prison, a military prison himself in Kuwait.
Innocent until proven guilty, but Lieutenant Colonel William Steele (ph), the former commander at Camp Cropper in Baghdad, is now facing a number of very series charges, Lou. Let's just read off some of them.
One, aiding the enemy by providing an unmonitored cell phone to detainees. Fraternizing with the daughter of a detainee. Having an inappropriate relationship with an interpreter. Unauthorized possession of classified information, and possession of a pornographic video.
All of this allegedly taking place between October 2005 and early 2007.
Lieutenant Colonel Steele (ph) will now undergo an Article 32 hearing, the equivalent of a grand jury proceeding. That hearing will come to a decision about whether he is taken to a fuel courts-martial proceeding -- Lou.
DOBBS: Just astonishing charges to be leveled against a colonel in the United States Army.
Barbara, thank you very much.
Barbara Starr from the Pentagon.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today indicating she will not comply with a congressional subpoena to testify on prewar intelligence. Secretary Rice said she's already answered questions on that issue. She also said she's protected by executive privilege from being required to give testimony about her service as national security adviser.
The House Oversight Committee demanding that she give testimony about assertions by the White House that Iraq tried to obtain nuclear material from Africa.
We'll have more on the subpoena battle on Capitol Hill here next. Two congressmen on opposite sides of the battle, the chairman of the Oversight Committee, Henry Waxman, ranking Republican Congressman Tom Davis join me.
And we're importing more and more of our food from communist China. But China's food is the most contaminated in the entire world.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No amount of inspection is going to be sufficient if we don't have confidence in the conditions under which food is produced, wherever it's produced in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: But don't worry, the FDA isn't inspecting the food. And they're not paying much attention to reality either.
The Dow Jones Industrials soaring, corporate America posting record profits. So why in the world are middle class Americans suffering from declining pay and standards of living?
That special report coming up next.
Stay with us. We'll be right back.
DOBBS: A record week on Wall Street. So far, the Dow Jones Industrials closing above 13,000 for the first time ever.
Corporate profits are the driving force. But middle class Americans are not sharing, certainly not proportionately, in the benefits and the rewards of prosperity. And our middle class families continue to struggle to make ends meet. Christine Romans has the report.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dow, 13,000. Record profits, incredible for American companies. In part because...
CHRISTINE WELLER, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: They're not hiring. They're cutting back on benefits. Wage growth is falling behind inflation. There's certainly a disconnect here that translates directly from lower benefits, lower compensation, lower wages into higher profits.
ROMANS: The savings rate has been negative for seven quarters. Household debt is at record levels. Drivers are paying 20 percent more for gas than at the beginning of the year, $2.88 a gallon in the first week of April.
The college board says tuition has jumped 35 percent over the past five years. And housing, America's most valuable asset, is in a sharp slowdown.
But it's never been better for the multinationals, earnings exploding because of the overseas investments and a weaker dollar.
ANDREW BUSCH, BMO CAPITAL MARKETS: International growth has been exceptionally strong, and it's really been such a stalwart of the worldwide economy, because the U.S. has faltered, quite frankly.
ROMANS: But he says, of course, higher stock prices, for whatever reason, are good news for American 401(k)s, pensions and mutual funds. And as the Dow soared, the president pushed financial literacy.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It is a system that means people can come to America and live in America with nothing and end up with a lot.
ROMANS: And certainly, statistics show, a system where those with a lot get a whole lot more.
ROMANS: The biggest winners of Dow 13,000 might just be the top 1 percent, who now control more of the nation's wealth than ever before, almost 20 percent, Lou.
DOBBS: Thank you very much. I appreciate it, Christine Romans. Those are dramatic numbers.
Congressman Brian Baird tonight, trying to close a loophole that allows critical components of this nation's infrastructure to be built with steel imported from countries such as China.
The congressman wants to strengthen enforcement of the Buy America Act, put in place to create American jobs, to improve national security and try to save our steel industry.
Congressman Baird said federal officials have been circumventing that law and representing the purchase of cheap foreign steel. And among the projects being built with foreign steel, well, among them, that little old fence along the border with Mexico. The steel comes from China.
And perhaps a sign of the times for our steel industry. Most of the historic Bethlehem steel plant in Pennsylvania that produced the beams for Rockefeller Center and the Golden Gate Bridge being demolished. It's making way for a casino. It is a service economy after all.
Our food supply, also a serious threat. The United States is increasingly relying on other nations for its food supply, including communist China. China's food and agricultural injury has an absolutely appalling track record for safety and quality. But that hasn't inspired any American oversight or concern.
In fact, as Kitty Pilgrim reports, that track record could have a devastating impact on Americans.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The United States is importing tons of food and food additives from China. Imports of Chinese food and agricultural products have soared 400 percent in the last 15 years. Nobody knows how much of it is safe.
MICHAEL DOYLE, CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY: In China, a lot of small farmers that use lots of antibiotics and pesticides that in some instances are not approved for use in the United States. So there's lots of possibilities where things can go wrong.
PILGRIM: The Chinese themselves suffer from contaminated food and water. The U.N. estimates 300 million Chinese every year suffer food poisoning.
Sometimes, it's substandard sanitation, such as the 100 restaurant goers hospitalized after eating bad snails. Sometimes deliberate fraud. A Chinese company was caught making lard from sewage. Farmers were caught adding cancer-causing dye to duck feed to enhance the eggs.
Pollution from industrial production or toxic accidents find their way into the water and subsequently into the food chain in China. Some of that food may be shipped to the United States. Almost all of it, untested and uninspected.
MICHAEL TAYLOR, FORMER FDA OFFICIAL: No amount of inspection is going to be sufficient if we don't have confidence in the conditions under which food is proud, wherever it's produced in the world.
PILGRIM: A look at the FDA violation code lists sanitary citations on imports from China. One entry reads, "A cosmetic product may have been prepared or packed under unsanitary conditions whereby it may have been contaminated with filth."
A food import reads, "The article consists, in whole or in part, of a filthy, putrid or decomposed substance, unfit for food."
Or another, "The article appears to contain hepatitis A virus."
PILGRIM: A congressional hearing this week on the pet food poisoning revealed U.S. importers often don't test the products they import from China. And 99 percent of them go unscreened by the U.S. government and authorities until a consumer gets sick. No one is aware of the problem, Lou.
DOBBS: I just have to stay astonishing. The idea that the federal government continues to -- as our food imports now are rising to just about a little over 20 percent of our total food supply.
The FDA doing almost nothing -- I think 1 percent would be almost nothing -- to inspect the safety of what people are consuming in this country. And there's a great -- you know, hullabaloo about pet food as there should be. But the idea no one is examining this issue. PILGRIM: You know, to read down the list of what they caught is almost scarier, because 99 percent of it wasn't inspected. So you wonder what they didn't catch.
DOBBS: Exactly. And I'm certainly glad -- it's very reassuring after you point that out, Kitty. Thanks very much. Kitty Pilgrim.
Somebody in Washington, wake up, please!
In a country that's increasingly dependent on prescription and illegal drugs, a major drug company has developed, appropriately enough in these times, puppy Prozac to deal with pet separation anxiety.
The drug company, Eli Lilly, says the pill, called Reconcile, will help dogs deal with the most common symptoms of pet anxiety. Those symptoms include destructive chewing, excessive barking or whining. Some veterinarians say as many as 10 million of our dogs suffer from separation anxiety.
What dependent nation?
Coming up next, the secretary of state subpoenaed by Congress. We'll be talking with the Congress and the ranking Republican member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
And renowned astrophysicist Steven Hawking, one step closer to space flight tonight. We'll have that story, a great deal more, straight ahead. We'll be right back.
DOBBS: The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has subpoenaed the secretary of state, wanting Condoleezza Rice to testify about the Bush administration's claims that Saddam Hussein's regime tried to buy uranium from Niger.
The secretary of state today responded, saying, "I addressed those questions, almost the same questions, during my confirmation hearing. This is an issue that has been answered and answered and answered."
Earlier, I talked with the ranking Republican on the House Oversight Committee, Congressman Tom Davis, and the chairman of that committee, Congressman Henry Waxman. This is the chairmen's response to the secretary's statement today.
REP. HENRY WAXMAN (D-CA), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: I think it's a routine request to have the secretary of state or any cabinet official come before a committee of Congress to answer questions.
I think it's important that she come. I wish we didn't have to issue a subpoena. But she -- she refused to be responsive. Sand so now we've insisted that she come with a subpoena. And I expect her to comply with that subpoena.
DOBBS: Congressman Davis?
REP. TOM DAVIS (R-VA), HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: Well, it's not routine for her to come before an oversight committee. It's routine for her to come before the committees on foreign affairs. Or possibly the intelligence committee.
These questions have been not only asked and answered under oath. They've been over investigated. Three different investigations: one by the intelligence committee in the Senate, one by the British House of Commons, and one by Senator Robb's committee, the Rob Silverman committee, as well.
DOBBS: Mr. Chairman, your reaction?
WAXMAN: These different commissions that Tom Davis referred to looked at the intelligence activities. Not with what on the way the intelligence was presented to the American people, particularly the way the president presented it, which was so forceful, his State of the Union address, that it brought home that what we thought was the reason for war was to stop Saddam Hussein from having a nuclear bomb.
And the reason we're asking her now to come forward is because these questions have not been asked and answered so that we know what she understood the situation to be. Because the CIA claims they knew it was all false. Yet, this was at the same time that she was saying let's don't let a smoking gun be a nuclear cloud.
Did the CIA not tell her that information? Or did she decide to use that to scare the country into war?
DAVIS: Lou, let me address that.
DAVIS: The questions on the uranium were asked to her under oath before the Senate committee at her confirmation.
More importantly, I think George Tenet would be appropriate to come before them. He's the one that deleted from one of President Bush's speech and allowed it to stay in for the State of the Union.
And this wide-ranging thing looks to me more like a witch hunt to bring the secretary of state up under camera when I think she has more important things to do. We can get at these answers, and I'll work with the chairman to do this with some interrogatories where you can ask written questions and ask to answer. But to ask her to take two days out for an investigative committee where she really has nothing to add is, I just think, unprecedented.
DOBBS: The subpoena of Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan, seeking answers to those missing e-mails accounts, RNC e- mail accounts apparently used by numerous administration officials. The purpose of that subpoena, Chairman Waxman? WAXMAN: The Presidential Records Act insists that there be a record, official record of actions taken by the executive branch. Yet some employees, maybe as many as 50, were using a Republican National Committee web site.
And what we're trying to find out is what were they doing there? Should it have been on the official records, part of the compilation of the official duties?
And secondly, if there was politics goes on, as we found out with the General Services Agency, where they were doing political rallies and briefings to get the Republicans to get support from government civil servants, well, we want to know if that was one of the strategies.
DOBBS: Do you concur, Congressman Davis?
DAVIS: Well, not exactly. Look, this is going to drain the coffers of the Republican National Committee, because they have to hire people to get at all of these. If there were communications with these servers that were not government servers by these, this is precedented. This happened under the Clinton administration, because you don't want them using government computers to send these things around.
This is once again, I think, more of casting a wide net and seeing what you get.
We do, I think, have a public purpose in trying to get at some of this information, but I think the scope has to be narrowed. Whenever you have a Democratic majority going into a Republican National Committee e-mails, we think it's too broadly construed. We'd like to work to narrow it.
DOBBS: And let me ask you this, just in conclusion. All of the profound issues that face this country, that there is the concern, if not the criticism, that the Congress could be sidetracked from profound work by these widening investigations. How do you respond to that?
WAXMAN: Well, I don't think that will happen. It shouldn't -- shouldn't happen. The investigations should be routine but not completely out of hand.
Oversight should be handled responsibly, hopefully, in a bipartisan way, and not in any manner that would stop the Congress from trying to get legislation passed.
That's going to mean we're going have to work together, because we have a Democratic Congress and a Republican president. And the only way for anything to get done is for us to actually sit down and negotiate solutions that we can agree on.
DAVIS: And a lot of these issues, Henry and I are going to work together, because it's in the country's interest. But I think bringing Condoleezza Rice up there, with everything she has on her plate, to ask her questions that have already been asked and answered that, in my opinion, have been over investigated, is over the top at this point. We want to try to narrow the scope.
DOBBS: Gentlemen, we thank you very much for being with us.
DOBBS: And Chairman Waxman says that he and his committee have not decided whether to seek the testimony of former secretary of state, Colin Powell, or former CIA director, George Tenet.
A reminder now to vote in tonight's poll. Do you believe it's discriminatory for the Salvation Army to require its employees to speak English in the workplace? Yes or no? Cast your vote at LouDobbs.com. Those results coming up here in just a few minutes.
British astrophysicist Steven Hawking one step closer to his goal of flying in space. The world-renowned astrophysicist experienced weightlessness on a zero gravity flight today. Hawking took off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The 65-year-old professor has ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease. He's been confined to a wheelchair most of his life.
Hawking experienced weightlessness for 25 seconds today as the jet traveled over the Atlantic Ocean. He is the first person with a disability to experience zero gravity.
Steven Hawking, of course, best known for his ground-breaking cosmological work, including the studies of black holes and the origins of the universe.
Up next, the prosecution rests its case in the trial of a former engineer accused of being a Chinese spy. Will he take the stand in his own defense?
And another former engineer accused of passing sensitive U.S. secrets to Iran. Those stories are next. Stay with us. We'll be right back.
DOBBS: And now, from our "don't worry your government is doing fine" file, the prosecution has rested its case in the trial of accused spy Chi Mak. Defense attorneys trying to convince a jury that Mak did not pass sensitive U.S. military secrets to communist China.
Casey Wian has the report.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Attorneys for accused spy Chi Mak began his defense with character witnesses, who described Mak as hard working and always willing to help. Prosecutors contend that willingness included helping the People's Republic of China steal technical information about a wide range of U.S. military programs.
Mak's attorneys also called two officials of his former employer's parent company to explain why Mak's attempted document transfers did violate U.S. export control laws.
MARILYN BEDNARSKI, MAK DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It is, of course, our view that Mr. Mak did not intend to send something that he believed was controlled. The information that he had and that he was sending, he had obtained in public conferences that had international attendees, that were already distributed. They're hand-out materials that many people took home with them.
WIAN: But prosecutors have introduced evidence Mak knew he needed State Department permission before sending the documents to China. And they also suggested that company officials were trying to avoid millions of dollars in potential fines or even being prohibited from doing business with the military because of Chi Mak's actions.
RICHARD FISHER, INTERNATIONAL ASSESSMENT AND STRATEGY CENTER: Information that, whether it's classified or not, can directly contribute to an enemy's understanding of our current or future military capabilities.
It appears that Mr. Mak had a very fine understanding of what was and what wasn't classified. And we really don't know what he has given in total to the Chinese over his 20-plus-year career of espionage.
WIAN: Judge Cormack Carney appeared to give the prosecution a victory, saying he would instruct the jury that at least one of the documents involved was restricted under laws governing international arms trafficking.
WIAN: Jurors are still waiting to hear from Chi Mak himself. Defense attorneys say they expect him to stake the stand next week, but they say that the ultimate decision as to whether he'll take the stand in his own defense remains up to Chi Mak, Lou.
DOBBS: Casey, thank you very much. Casey Wian.
Another former engineer facing charges of stealing U.S. classified information. Federal officials say Mohammed Alavi, a naturalize citizen of Iranian descent, sharing nuclear plant software with Iran.
Bill Tucker has our report.
BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mohammed Alavi worked at the Palo Verde nuclear power plant in Arizona for 17 years as a naturalized citizen. He resigned his position as an engineer at the plant last August, and two days later, flew to Iran, where he owns a home where his wife and extended family live.
On October 10th, using the alias Charlie Oliver, the U.S. attorney's office in Phoenix charges that Alavi accessed the nuclear software network and downloaded a three-key master software registration key from Iran.
The software contains detailed information on reactor control rooms, as well as maps, drawings, schematics and designs. It also requires federal regulation to do so where Iran is concerned. Alavi had none.
The company which operates Palo Verde says the software company has now fixed the security breach that allowed the transfer, while also saying that at no point was security of the plant compromised.
The FBI says, quote, 'This does not appear to be terrorist- related thus far."
Alavi denies any wrongdoing.
FRANK GAFFNEY, CENTER FOR SECURITY POLICY: I would be very alarmed about this. And I frankly think that the sort of low-balling of the dangers that you're hearing from those responsible for the plant and so on is pretty much of a piece with the general response that we're hearing to a lot of these kinds of dangers: Don't worry about it. We got it under control.
It may well take a terrible manifestation of the mistake before everybody realizes that it wasn't so.
TUCKER: Alavi was arrested in April 9 at the Los Angeles Airport, where he was meeting his wife, who was flying into the country to have a baby and promptly return to Iran.
TUCKER: Now, Alavi is currently being held in Los Angeles without bail after being deemed a flight risk. He will be returned to Phoenix, and his arraignment is tentatively scheduled for next Wednesday in Phoenix, Lou.
DOBBS: Just the spirit of sharing, it's overcoming so many people in this country.
TUCKER: It seems to be everywhere.
DOBBS: Unbelievable. Thank you very much. Bill Tucker.
Coming up at the top of the hour, "THE SITUATION ROOM" and Wolf Blitzer -- Wolf.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Lou.
Stinging words from the former CIA director, George Tenet, accusing the But White House of ruining his career by making him the scapegoat for the decision to invade Iraq. He's using words like dishonorable and disingenuous. I'll talk about it with the former acting director of the CIA, CNN national security advisor John McLaughlin.
Also, Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean, he has some strong words for critics of his party's demand for a timeline to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq.
Also, this. Republican presidential candidate John McCain's humor is no laughing matter for a leading war critic. Congressman John Murtha blasting McCain on the House floor. Find out what both of them had to say.
All of that, Lou, coming up, right here in "THE SITUATION ROOM".
DOBBS: Wolf, thank you very much.
Well, it turns out that Australian has considerably stronger immigration laws than the United States, and the Australian government actually enforces those laws. I know it will come as a shock to many of you.
The Australian government, in fact, banning the rapper Snoop Dogg from entering Australia because he failed a character test. That's right. Australia has character tests for immigration.
Snoop was going to Australia to host an MTV awards show on Sunday. But the Australian government revoked his visa after he had recently pleaded no contest to gun and drug charges in this country.
The immigration minister, Kevin Andrews, said of Snoop Dogg, quote, "He doesn't seem the kind of bloke we want in this country."
We find it kind of ironic that Australia wouldn't let someone in because of his rap sheet. After all, the country was started by people with very long rap sheets, indeed.
Coming up next, the results of our poll. Do you believe it's discriminatory for the Salvation Army to require its employees to speak English? Stay with us. We'll be right back.
DOBBS: Now the results of our poll: 95 percent of you say it is not discriminatory for the Salvation Army to require its employees to speak English in the workplace.
And let's take a look at some of your thoughts here.
Albert in Florida: "While the Dow climbs to record highs, the war against the middle class just got another punch in the gut, gas prices at almost $4 a gallon!"
Mark in Florida: "Maybe the deaths of our dogs and cats at the hands of the communist Chinese government's lack of regulations should be a wakeup call when Americans select the food they put in their children's mouth." And Fred in Florida: "Not only do I believe federal aid should be cut off to sanctuary cities that protect illegal aliens in America, I think those funds should be turned over to cities like Hazleton, Pennsylvania, who are directly fighting illegal immigration."
And Lisa in Colorado: "Sanctuary cities should be refused federal aid and Mayor Newsom should be jailed for obstruction of justice. The people he's protecting are here because they committed a crime."
And Merrel in Kentucky: "Hats off to Ron Paul! He said more in two minutes than any other candidate I've heard talk for years. If Ron Paul runs for president he is more than likely to get my vote. At the rate we're going we won't have a country to govern."
And Gerald in Florida: "Amazing! Ron Paul, a Republican from Texas, no less is saying the things that we need leaders to say."
Send us your thoughts at LouDobbs.com.
Thanks for being with us tonight. Please join us here tomorrow. For all of us, thank you for watching. Good night from New York. "THE SITUATION ROOM" begins now with Wolf Blitzer -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Thanks very much, Lou.
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