Return to Transcripts main page

Lou Dobbs Tonight

Clinton Continues Striving for the Nomination; Bold Challenge by Drug Cartels: Top Mexican Federal Police Official Assassinated; Are Michigan and Florida Votes Still up For Debate?

Aired May 08, 2008 - 19:00   ET


LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, Senator Hillary Clinton ignores her critics, defies political pundits and says she will fight to the finish. We'll have complete coverage.
Also tonight, a bold new challenge by violent drug cartels to the authority of the Mexican government and a new threat to this country. Gunmen assassinate the top federal police official in Mexico. We'll have that story.

And an important new developments in a gun rights case in Wisconsin being watched by gun owners across the entire country. We'll have a live report for you from Wisconsin. The national spokesman for the law enforcement alliance joins us here. All of that, all the day's news and much more, straight ahead.

Good evening, everybody.

Senator Clinton today declared she will press on with her campaign. Senator Clinton told supporters in West Virginia to ignore political pundits who say she can't defeat Obama. Clinton is delivering the same message in South Dakota and Oregon. Senator Obama spent the day in Washington. They're trying to win the support of undecided superdelegates. In an interview with CNN, Obama acknowledged Senator Clinton is a very formidable candidate.

We have extensive coverage on the presidential campaign, beginning with Jessica Yellin in Washington -- Jessica.

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Lou, Senator Clinton certainly is defying the pundits who say that this race is over, campaigning already today in three states holding upcoming primaries. But Lou, it does seem she has toned down her anti-Obama rhetoric.


YELLIN (voice-over): Don't tell her it's over. Clinton, in West Virginia today.

SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is a little bit like deja vu all over again. Some in Washington wanted us to end our campaign and then I won New Hampshire.

YELLIN: She said of Tuesday's primary. H. CLINTON: It's a test for me and it's a test for Senator Obama, because for too long, we've let places like West Virginia slip out of the Democratic column.

YELLIN: But it was her only mention of her opponent. No more direct attacks. Meanwhile, Barack Obama made what appeared to be a victory lap around the Capitol, adoring fans and all.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That's why I'm running for president, sweetie.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You'll win it too.

YELLIN: He conceded the next primaries to Clinton.

OBAMA: She's very likely to take West Virginia and Kentucky. I mean, those are two states where she's got insurmountable leads.

YELLIN: But he never pressured her to get out of the race. Clinton's strongest supporter insists she can beat the odds.

WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: She can still win this thing if you vote for her big enough. They're going to have to resolve Michigan and Florida and when they do, she can win the popular vote.

YELLIN: And her campaign sent Obama this letter, calling on him to work with Michigan and Florida and honor their votes, which Clinton won. But with talk of heavy campaign debt and diminishing odds, there's a sense among Clinton's top supporters that it's just a matter of time and about doing this right, making history for women.

H. CLINTON: I believe that I would be the best president and that I am the stronger candidate against John McCain. Do you know how difficult it is for women to stand up and say we are the best at anything?


YELLIN: Now, Lou, there are all sorts of scenarios flying among her supporters tonight. Some say that Clinton will get out after a big win in West Virginia so she can in a sense go out on top. Others say that she'll wait to see what happens with the votes from Michigan and Florida. Bottom line, it really all depends on first how much money she has to continue and secondly, her mind set. And you know, she's sharing her thoughts with very few people these days, Lou.

DOBBS: Jessica, thank you very much. '

Jessica Yellin.

Senator Obama today blasted Senator McCain in an interview with Wolf Blitzer. Senator Obama strongly criticized Senator McCain, saying that the terrorist group Hamas wants him to become the next president.


OBAMA: This is offensive and I think it's disappointing because John McCain always says, "Well, I'm not going to run that kind of politics." Then to engage in that kind of smear I think is unfortunate, particularly since my policy towards Hamas has been no different than his.


DOBBS: Senator Obama said Senator McCain's assertion on Hamas suggests that McCain is losing his bearings, as he put it, in this campaign.

If Senator Obama faces Senator McCain in November, Obama could have a very tough fight on his hands, particularly the fight for undecided Independent voters. Both Obama and McCain say they can win the support of those Independent voters. And that could force both parties to adopt new tactics and new strategies.

Bill Schneider with our report.


WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): John McCain is a conservative Republican. But he has a streak of independence that gives him more than usual appeal to independent voters.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We will be going to places where no Republican -- not only no Republican candidate has ever appeared, but no presidential candidate has ever appeared.

SCHNEIDER: Barack Obama is a liberal Democrat, but he's campaigning to end the partisan divide.

OBAMA: The Democratic Party is attracting new people. But we have got to open up our arms and say, we want everybody.

SCHNEIDER: We have never had a presidential race between an African-American and a white candidate or between two candidates 25 years apart in age. Obama should do well in places with a lot of African-Americans and young affluent white voters, some in the South.

MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Virginia has certainly got to be on the table. The Northern Virginia suburbs are very liberal, very active. North Carolina is another state that could be in play.

SCHNEIDER: ... some in the West.

PRESTON: Colorado, certainly on the table. Nevada would be on the table and New Mexico could be on the table as well. These are three states that Obama could do very well if he's the nominee.

SCHNEIDER: But Obama may be weaker in some historically Democratic states.

PRESTON: They would have to be concerned about New Jersey. They would have to be concerned about Pennsylvania. They would have to be concerned about Michigan. These are all states that are known for having Reagan Democrats.

SCHNEIDER: McCain may have to work a lot harder than George W. Bush to get an enthusiastic turnout of Southern conservatives. But he may have the advantage in states with a lot of older voters and military voters, like Florida. McCain may also be more competitive in some core Democratic states.

PRESTON: John McCain's brand of moderate conservatism is going to play well in the Northeast. It's going to play well in some Mid- Atlantic states such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania. He'll probably do well in Michigan. Out west, he's from Arizona, he's clearly going to do well there. He could even do well in California.

SCHNEIDER: California? Well, yes. McCain is from neighboring Arizona. And he has an influential California supporter.


SCHNEIDER: It's not just the candidates that can put states into play. It's also the times. And the times look good for the Democrats this year. That could put a lot of ordinarily Republican states in play. Lou?

DOBBS: Bill, thanks.

Bill Schneider reporting from Washington.

A new proposal today to end the deadlock over the disputed primary in Michigan. Michigan's Democrats have again agreed on a new proposal. This proposal would seat all the state's delegate at the Democratic convention in August and it would give Clinton 69 pledged delegates, Senator Obama 59. That plan now goes to the Democratic National Committee rules panel, meeting at the end of this month for approval.

The DNC stripped Michigan and Florida of all their delegates because the states moved up the dates of their primaries. Tonight, Florida Democrats say they are close to an agreement now, that would seat their delegates the convention. I wonder what Howard Dean is thinking.

Well CNN has learned about a remarkable showdown over the Michigan and Florida primaries between two of the most powerful figures in Hollywood and Washington. Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and demanded a revote in Michigan and Florida. The confrontation illustrating Hollywood's repeated efforts to influence this election and Congress. Ed Henry has our exclusive report from Washington.

Ed, tell us about it.

ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Lou, it's rare for such a raw display of hardball application to spill out in the open. And it shows that at least one big ally of Hillary Clinton is not going quietly into the night.



HENRY (voice-over): CNN has learned Speaker Nancy Pelosi had an explosive phone call with movie mogul Harvey Weinstein late last month, according to three officials briefed on it. Weinstein, a key backer of Senator Hillary Clinton, threatened to cut off campaign money to congressional Democrats unless Pelosi embraces his new plan to finance a revote in Florida and Michigan.

The three officials told CNN Weinstein appeared determined to buy Clinton more time by pushing for the revote, which might be her last chance of catching Barack Obama. One official said Pelosi refused to give in, telling Weinstein "don't ever threaten me again," though she would not discuss the matter after CNN broke the story.

PELOSI: You know, I think enough has been said about that phone conversation.

HENRY: Weinstein vehemently denied any threats to cut off an campaign funds, telling CNN, "I told her people felt there would be a disenfranchisement of voters unless leaders came up with a remedy for Florida and Michigan." Another person familiar with the call said Weinstein also warned that powerful Democrats may turn to Republican John McCain if the problem is not fixed.

Pelosi however, insists the long primary battle is not dividing the party.

PELOSI: Me, I like combat, you know? I think the best training for campaigning is campaigning. So I think that as they have campaigned, the support in our country has grown for our Democratic message. So this is all very healthy.


HENRY: But the heated phone call between Pelosi and Weinstein is raising concerns among some Democrats that regardless of who secures the nomination, it's going be difficult to heal the party's wounds this summer -- Lou.

DOBBS: Ed Henry reporting.

And that brings us to our poll tonight. The question is: Do you agree with Harvey Weinstein that the Democratic voters in both Michigan and Florida should have the chance to vote again?

Yes or no? Cast your vote at We'll have the results here upcoming.

Senator McCain stepping up his efforts to raise money. Last night, McCain raised $7 million at a fundraiser in New York. That's a record for a single event in his entire campaign. Today, Senator McCain campaigned in New York City, visiting a firehouse in Manhattan and delivering pizzas for the firefighters' lunch in fact.

Coming up next, a disturbing new example of our government's failure to understand what's happening in Mexico. And Mexico's failure to end that nation's violent drug wars.

Casey Wian will have our report.

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, another Mexican police official was assassinated this morning. All signs point to a retaliatory strike by drug cartels. We'll have details coming up.

DOBBS: Casey, thank you.

And that came only hours after Governor Bill Richardson in New Mexico said the United States should withdraw its warnings on violence in Mexico. Casey, we look forward to your report.

And you won't believe what one superdelegate is trying to do in the Democratic Party. He's trying to sell his vote and he's insulting just about everybody he can by doing so. Good to be an Independent these days. We'll have the very latest for you on a court case that could challenge your Second Amendment right to own a gun. We'll have the story, and we'll continue with our exclusive coverage here tonight.

Stay with us.


DOBBS: New evidence tonight there's a full-scale war raging in Mexico, as we've been reporting here between the Mexican government and drug cartels. It's a war that frequently spills across the border into the Unites States. Gunmen today assassinated the head of Mexico's federal police just outside his home in Mexico City. His murder apparently retaliation for the Mexican government's crackdown on those drug cartels.

Casey Wian has our report.


WIAN (voice-over): Less than 10 weeks after taking over as acting chief of Mexico's federal police force, Edgar Millan Gomez was shot and killed Thursday outside his Mexico City home. Millan was at least eight times. Police have one suspect in custody. Millan was in charge of coordinating federal police operations with the Mexican military in a joint crackdown on the drug cartels operating with impunity through much of Mexico. In January, Millan announced the arrest of 11 alleged cartel hitmen and a huge weapons cache.

EDGAR MILLAN GOMEZ, MEXICO FEDERAL POLICE (through translator): We are sure they are the commands of the cartel structure, operating in Mexico City. They have high-powered weapons like grenades, missile guns and jackets. WIAN: In a statement, Mexican President Felipe Calderon's government called the killing "a cowardly murder of a model civil servant and vowed to step up its crime fighting. The example set by coordinator Millan Gomez will encourage us to continue fighting against those that jeopardize Mexican's health and tranquility."

Millan is the tenth Mexican federal police offer killed in just the past three weeks from Mexico City to Tijuana on the U.S. border.

REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL (R), TEXAS: These drug cartels are not only threats to Mexico, but to the national security interests of the United States directly. We're at war with the drug cartels. They're part of the war on terror. We need an effective military strategy to deal with them. They represent the head of the snake. The head of the snake needs to be cut off.

WIAN: McCaul says the assassination is another reason Congress should approve the Merida initiative, which seeks $1.4 billion in military aid for Mexico's war on drug cartels.


WIAN: That war's death toll in less than a year and a half, about 3,300 civilians and 200 police officers. More than 3,000 suspected drug cartel members have been arrested, Lou.

DOBBS: Casey, it's time for us to get very straightforward. On this broadcast, we report week in and week out on what is happening with those drugs crossing the border from Mexico into the United States. The Merida request for funds is $1.4 billion for the Mexican government. The fact is it's a drop in the bucket. The fact is that we have a situation in which Mexico is still providing most, most of the country's methamphetamines, cocaine, heroin and marijuana.

And our government, our president, our Congress does not have the guts to secure that border. And they are spending $1.4 billion on the Merida proposal and at the same time permitting as much as $50 billion in illegal narcotics to cross our border. This is a lie. It's a sham by every law enforcement agency in the country trying to get something done on that border and being held back by politicians such as the president of the United States and the Democratic leadership of this Congress.

WIAN: It certainly is a curious and seemingly disjointed strategy, Lou. That $1.4 billion is not a lot of money when you consider, as you mention, how many drugs are coming across the border every single day. And the involvement of these drug cartels in American life. As we reported yesterday, this drug cartel connection in San Diego State University. You've got direct connections between campus drug leaders and Mexican drug cartels. It's very scary, Lou.

DOBBS: Casey, thank you very much.

Casey Wian from Los Angeles.

Well, it gets scary when you think of an elected official, a man who wanted to run for president, point of fact, New Mexico's Governor, failed Democratic presidential candidate Governor Bill Richardson. He is completely out of touch with the reality of violence in Mexico and absolutely unrestrained in his pandering.

Governor Richardson says the U.S./Mexican border is now more secure. He said that just hours before the top federal police officer of Mexico was assassinated. Governor Richardson also said he wants a State Department travel alert issued by the U.S. ambassador to Mexico re-evaluated, as he put it. Governor Richardson was in Mexico yesterday making those remarks. One of the officials that Richardson met with is the mayor of the border city of Siedad Lorez (ph), where more than 200 people have been killed in drug cartel violence just so far this year.

Another Democratic superdelegate, I don't know what he's in touch with. He's certainly out of touch with reality, it seems, trying to sell his vote now. He says it's worth exactly $20 million. Steven Ybarra told us that the candidate, whether it be Clinton or Obama, who makes a $20 million commitment to help eligible Mexican-Americans register to vote will get his vote.

Ybarra says his party is ignoring that group, that is, Mexican- Americans. And Ybarra also told us that if neither candidate ponies up the money, he'll abstain and won't vote for either of them. Both the Clinton and Obama campaigns tell us they're not going to be responding to his offer.

Immigration officials today processing 33 illegal aliens arrested in Richmond, Virginia. They were working on a construction site and Immigration and Customs Enforcement tells us most of this group of illegal aliens working on a U.S. courthouse in Richmond will be deported. Two are being held on other criminal charges. The company that hired the workers is owned by Turner Construction of New York. A statement from the company says it is cooperating in the investigation.

Well that's ducky. I'd sure like to know for example will happen to the illegal employer of those illegal aliens because without sanctions against the employers, the Department of Homeland Security continues a sham.

Up next, the author of the new book, "Crush the Cell" says the key to preventing terrorism is to secure our borders and to protect our ports of entry among other things. Michael Sheehan joins me here.

And are U.S. companies breaking a law that bars them from sending crime control equipment to Communist China? We'll have that story for you and a lot more. It gets better and better.

Stay with us. We're coming right back.


DOBBS: After the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, the United States passed a law that is supposed to ban the sale of American crime fighting technology to Communist China. But advances in that technology have rendered the law out of date. Now U.S. companies are exploiting that loophole to market sensitive technology to police forces in Communist China.

Carrie Lee has our report.


CARRIE LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cars and trucks, surveillance equipment, computer copy kits like these, all made in the U.S., all being marketed to Chinese police. Following the Tiananmen Square killings in 1989, the U.S. banned the sale of licensed crime control or detection equipment to China. These pictures were found on a Chinese Web site by a U.S. security think tank. They show products on display at Beijing's 2006 police equipment trade show.

The same convention with similar products was held about a month ago. These products on display don't even require a U.S. export license, a point not lost on this expert on Asian military affairs.

RICHARD FISHER, INTL. ASSESSMENT & STRATEGY CENTER: These is a basically a large and troubling gray zone when it comes to dual use technology sales to China. I would hope that our government would essentially look at any potential technology's ability to kill or to aid in the suppression of legitimate dissent.

LEE: Disk drive copy kids like this one from California tech company Intelligent Computer Solutions can allow Chinese law enforcement to copy computer data without the user's knowledge. ICS sells similar kits to the FBI, Secret Service and the U.S. military.

Motorola's surveillance equipment doesn't require an export license either. In Washington, the Bureau of Industry and Security says it "aggressively enforces and evaluates U.S. regulations on crime control equipment to make sure they are effectively protecting human rights and advancing U.S. foreign policy objectives."


LEE: Now the bureau is a unit of the Commerce Department. And these officials are now taking public comments on the crime control exports through mid June. And so Lou, the bureau is being so far very being tight lipped about whether they see these products as a problem.

DOBBS: They're tight lipped, they're allowing the export to go on. And indeed they work harder to loosen the export controls than they do to tighten them on any set of sensitive equipment such as that you reported on.

Carrie, thanks a lot -- Carrie Lee.

Time now for some of your thoughts.

Robin in Wisconsin said: "Lou, I think you're terrific. I've been watching you for about two years now. And all I can say is I wish the nincompoops in Washington had half the common sense that you have." Well, thank you.

And Kerry in Indiana: "Lou, I'm sick of hearing the Democrats say we don't want to disenfranchise any voters, we just don't want to count their votes. Monday an Independent, Tuesday a Democrat, Wednesday an Independent. Lou, it's good to be clean again."

Deborah in Kentucky: "Senator Clinton has every right to continue her campaign. Every citizen has the right to vote. The media has all but ruined her chances of a good campaign."

Well, in all fairness, we've had a little help. And Kenneth in Florida: "With Moe, Larry and Curly running for office and Larry losing to Moe, who do we vote for?"

We'll have more of your thoughts here later. And please, a reminder to join me on the radio Monday through Friday in the afternoon for the Lou Dobbs Show.

Tomorrow my guests include Pulitzer-Price winning columnist Tom Edsall, Jonathan Martin,, Edward Lucas, author of the "New Cold War" and Gordon Chang, a leading international expert on Communist China. Join us for that, Monday through Friday, the Lou Dobbs Show on the radio. Go to for your local listings.

Up next, gaping holes in our defenses against radical Islamist terrorists. The author of an important, provocative new book "Crush the Cell" joins me. And Senator Clinton defying the pundits, savants and gurus refusing to abandon her quest for the presidency. Three of my favorite radio talk show hosts join me.

And the constitutional rights of gun owners are at risk in this country, and particularly in Wisconsin. For one man who deserves, it appears, far better. We'll have his story next.

Stay with us. We're coming right back.


DOBBS: A gun owner, tonight, is awaiting sentencing from a federal judge. David Olofson was convicted of, "transferring a machine gun," end quote, after he loaned a neighbor his 20-year-old AR-15. The semiautomatic rifle malfunctioned on the firing range, firing two bursts of rounds of three shots. It jammed each time.

Olofson's sentencing has now been delayed because the court is now considering a new motion from the defense.

Bill Tucker has the very important story on the Second Amendment and truth in justice in America from Berlin, Wisconsin.


BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The government has a letter that the defense wants it to share with the court. The letter is from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to the manufacturer of Olofson's rifle. It could be the bombshell that he needs to gain himself a trial.

According to those who say they've read the letter, it acknowledges that the AR-15-style rifle made by Olympic Arms SGW and owned by Olofson occasionally is prone to a malfunction that results in multiple burst fires.

LEN SAVAGE, HISTORIC ARMS, LLC: It shows us that the firearm can accidentally go full auto without the user being aware and that the parts needed to be replaced under recall. A government-mandated recall on Mr. Olofson's rifle.

TUCKER: The only copy of the letter is in ATF files. The company's document was lost in a fire. The ATF successfully kept it out of Olofson's trial, arguing that it contained privileged tax information.

But a separate internal ATF memo written in the '80s from the then-general counsel's office that was obtained by Olofson's attorneys appears to show that the letter is not and should not be considered a tax document.

Olofson's lawyers and Olofson himself are hopeful of a judge- reversed decision.

DAVID OLOFSON, GUN OWNER: I'm glad he announced the delay. It shows that he's taking the information that we brought forward to him in a very serious light.

TUCKER: The prosecution remains silent, as they have throughout the trial, saying they will have no comment until the trial ends with Olofson's sentencing.


TUCKER: Now it was here at the Berlin Conservation Club, Lou, that the rifle owned by Olofson misfired the couple of rounds, jamming as it did. The club has a strict anti-automatic weapon policy, so when that malfunction happened, it drew attention and the police were notified. That's how this case came to the attention of the ATF.

Now, there are three motions currently pending before this judge, Lou. The first one by the defense is for an outright acquittal. The second is for the disclosure of this letter. And the third is for a new trial.

It's not likely, Lou, I'm told by lawyers, that this judge will throw the case out, because they don't like to do that in jury trials. But they do say it's possible that this judge takes a good look at this letter might decide that a new trial is in order -- Lou.

DOBBS: How did this new letter surface?

TUCKER: This was done through discovery. A number of the sources in this case, Lou, talked about the fact that this letter existed. And in fact, some time back I spoke with the owner of Sheetz (ph) and Gunworks who told me he had read the letter. He had a copy at one point. He remembered the general...

DOBBS: We're talking about a man facing a felony conviction here and sentencing...

TUCKER: Right.

DOBBS: ... for years of his life. And these attorneys, this judge, are playing games over the content of that letter, which absolutely absolves him?

TUCKER: The U.S. attorney told the judge they could not share the memo with him or with the court because it contains privileged tax information. This new internal memo that Olofson's attorneys have found indicate, Lou, that's just not a fact, that he should have seen that letter and it apparently should have been introduced into trial. But the judge did not allow it the first time around.

DOBBS: Well, the judge didn't allow it. At this point, it was like there's reason for a very wide-ranging investigation into why a man who has served in the United States Army reserves, served his country, and done so with an honorable discharge.

I mean, the treatment by ATF and this judge and these prosecutors and, frankly, the absolute lack of energy and vigor on the part of the defense attorneys. And where in the world has been the National Rifle Association?

TUCKER: The National Rifle Association, Lou, has been watching the case from a distance. They've been waiting to be invited in. They have at this point been invited into the case, and they're waiting for the sentencing phase. If there's a new trial or if there's an appeal, there are indications that they could become actively involved in the case. They don't like to thrust themselves into cases unless asked.

DOBBS: Why in the world -- why in the world would anybody be waiting here when a man's freedom and his rights hang in the balance? This is absurd.

TUCKER: It is a terrific question, Lou. It's great. Remember, this is not a man with any prior criminal convictions. It's not a man with a history of violence. This is, as you point out, an honorably discharged man of the U.S. Army.

DOBBS: And a man with a family sitting there in a small town in Wisconsin, being treated like an international gun runner. Somebody -- somebody had better get their heads on straight. But at least -- at least appears this judge may be awakening to the need to serve justice in his case.

We thank you very much, Bill Tucker, from Berlin, Wisconsin. Appreciate it.

The Law Enforcement Alliance of America says now that any sentence for Olofson would be too severe. The Law Enforcement Alliance said Olofson did, in fact, not commit a crime.

Ted Deeds is the national spokesman for the alliance. And the alliance, by the way, is normally on the side of law enforcement and the prosecutors. So his statements, the alliance's statements here on behalf of Mr. Olofson are significant.

Joining us from Washington, we appreciate it. Tell them. I mean, I -- as I hear what is going on in this case, I'm getting furious. I don't know about you.

TED DEEDS, LAW ENFORCEMENT ALLIANCE OF AMERICA: Lou, you should be getting mad. And just a moment to give kudos to you. Your programming is the only program that's covering this story. And the reporting you've done with Bill Tucker deserves to be held out, highlighted. And good job. Thankfully, I hope other people in the media follow your lead.

DOBBS: Well, I appreciate that. We're used to being alone here. Sometimes it just takes a while for folks who are away from them.

The reality is the Second Amendment in this country is precious. All of our constitutional rights are.

But this case with Olofson, I mean, this is a man who served his country. He has a family and is being treated like some sort of sinister a thug. And we could not find any evidence that this man has ever bent a blade of grass in the wrong direction.

DEEDS: Normally, Lou, as you know, people in law enforcement look at either the actor or the act. And if the actor is a clean person who's not a gang-banger, rapist, pedophile, and the act that he is alleged to do. You look at it and try to balance it.

Prosecution decisions are based on, usually, bad actors or bad acts or both, such that the public policy, the public safety concern is addressed by the prosecution.

What it seems to me, that when you look at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, they've had a long history, 30 years plus, of having problems, it seems, with agents that can't kind of keep it between the lines.

In this case, you had an agent who was supervised by two levels of supervisors. So the agent didn't apparently use their discretion, didn't apparently use common sense and didn't have, it seems from our perspective, decent supervision. Two supervisors within that chain of command let this case go forward.

And then, as you know, the ultimate check and balance is the independent United States attorney's office. They're supposed to review the case, see if it merits prosecution, see if the public interest is served by spending the time and energy to bring the full weight of the U.S. government down on the individual.

Normally, you know, we cheer when they bring it down on a drug dealer or rapist or what have you. In this case, none of those facts are present. And I think there needs to be some grown-up leadership at the BATF. You know, there is no leader currently. As I understand it, the nomination is before Congress.

Congress has bills before it that they could pass to send a message. They could change the law. They could also cut funding or do other things. The leadership needs to step up to the plate here and there needs to be a grown-up in charge.

DOBBS: Has your organization suggested to any of the law enforcement agencies, the prosecutors that, for crying out loud, somebody assert adult, responsible leadership here?

DEEDS: Lou, police in America cannot police effectively without the trust and support of the communities they serve. Most of the police departments and agencies in this country are relatively small.

Here you have a national agency that's had a reputation of spotty performance over three decades. And they come in, and they get the local cops to kind of do their dirty work, do the SWAT service, do the dynamic entry when, from all reports, this gentlemen voluntarily presented himself to a local chief of police.

I mean, what's going on? The locals are going to follow the federal agency's lead, because they trust them and they should. But if that federal agency demonstrates that they can't be trusted, they're undermining all of the public support.

Anybody out there in this country that supports the Second Amendment that has one of these guns has to be sitting at home saying, "This isn't the first case." There's another case that came out of the Ninth Circuit. And so they've proven that they...

DOBBS: And reversed. And reversed.

DEEDS: And reversed on appeal. But Lou, just like you've been saying, they took the time to bring the full weight of the federal government down on innocent people. And people should be concerned. They should be up in arms, and they should be demanding some reforms.

DOBBS: Ted Deeds of Law Enforcement Alliance, we thank you for being with us. We appreciate it.

DEEDS: Thanks for having us on, Lou.

DOBBS: Up next here, a Democratic standoff. Senators Clinton and Obama vowing to fight on. We'll find out how you think about that. We'll be talking with three of the most popular radio talk show hosts.

And I'll be talking with the author of an important new book, "Crush the Cell," saying we underestimated and overestimated al Qaeda. Michael Sheehan joins me here next. Stay with us. We're coming right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) DOBBS: Joining me now, three of the best radio talk show hosts in the country. In Raleigh, North Carolina, Warren Ballentine, syndication one. Good to have you with us.


DOBBS: In Washington, D.C., Chris Plante, WMAL. Chris, it is great to see you again.


DOBBS: And here in New York, Steve Malzberg, WOR Radio. Steve, good to have you with us.


DOBBS: What do you think? Is it going to be Clinton or is it going to be Obama?

MALZBERG: It's definitely going to be Obama, unless -- the only possibility is that she has some October surprise that she's going to use in May or June. That's the only possibility. But otherwise, it's impossible. She won't quit. She won't go away, but it's impossible for her to do anything.

DOBBS: Warren, should she quit?

BALLENTINE: Man, she should -- not only should she quit, I mean, I'm blaming not just her. I'm blaming the super delegates now, Lou. I mean, the Democratic Party doesn't understand what's happening here. If this thing goes to convention, they're going have literally eight weeks. They're not going to be able to repair this.

And these people are so naive. They really believe that everybody's going to come back to the base and everything is going to be fine. It's not going to happen like that.

The super delegates can end this today. And they're playing chicken with the American people, but they're going to get what they deserve if they keep doing this. They're going to lose the White House, the House and the Senate if they keep this up.

DOBBS: Man, that's tough, Warren.

BALLENTINE: They're playing chicken with the American people, Lou.

DOBBS: All right. What do you think, Chris?

PLANTE: This ain't over until the harsh lady sings, and she hasn't even warmed up yet. They're going to drag this thing out. They're going to do everything they can to steal it from Obama. Obama could rightfully call it his.

But you know, they've creating this Byzantine, Rube Goldberg sort of political system that should be an embarrassment to all of us. And in fact, it is with the super delegates which are positively elitist and anti-Democratic.

It's the -- the mullahs of the Democratic Party pulling the rug out from America at the last minute. And if the Clintons can pull it off, they will.

DOBBS: Well, let me ask you. Rush Limbaugh, Operation Chaos, people are saying nothing is happening. And yet, you start looking at those numbers, and there's a lot of Republican crossover here supporting Clinton. And I don't hear anybody. I hear people saying, "Well, he talks about it. They always couch it maybe."

Is Rush Limbaugh having an impact on the Democratic primary?

MALZBERG: Well, according to Rush Limbaugh and according to, maybe more importantly, the Obama camp, who said that Hillary got about 7 percent of the vote in Indiana from crossover voting, probably at the direction of Rush Limbaugh.

But the interesting thing here is for Republicans and conservatives like me, the good news is Obama cannot win the general election.

DOBBS: OK. What do you think?

MALZBERG: I think -- I think that they have the Operation Chaos is having an impact, yes.

DOBBS: So somebody should give Rush Limbaugh credit, right?

MALZBERG: He gives himself credit every day.

DOBBS: Warren, I get the feeling you want to say something.

BALLENTINE: Lou, it's not just Rush Limbaugh. It's Glenn Beck; it's Sean Hannity. I mean, Lou, we're going to talk about being fair and balanced across the board, you know, thank God you're on the air. We have somebody who is fair and balanced, because we don't have any minorities with shows like this on any television network to bring a different spin.

Thank God that you at least allow people to come on and actually give a fair and prosperous view about what's going on. And Obama is going to be the president of the United States.

PLANTE: We give -- we give a fair and honest view every day. The callers call in and combat me, and we take all views. All sides. And I've got to tell you.


BALLENTINE: I do that, too. I'm talking about television.

DOBBS: Warren is giving me props here and you're stepping all over him.

BALLENTINE: I'm talking about television here. I'm not talking about just radio. What you've got to realize is that the Bill O'Reillys, the Sean Hannitys, the Glenn Becks, they all have radio shows. I have a syndicated show. I have 500 people that listen to me every day. I do fair and balanced. But television reaches so much more of a mass media, and it's not a balance there.

PLANTE: If you want to talk that game, let's talk about the impact that Bill Maher on the election or Jon Stewart has on the election. That MSNBC has of the election. Singling out Rush Limbaugh and Operation Chaos, with the Democrats, since the time of -- since the 1930s and Will Rogers, they've been staging Operation Pandemonium. Rush Limbaugh...

BALLENTINE: You sound like -- you sound like...

DOBBS: Just a second. This is starting to sound a little bit like talk radio.

PLANTE: You sound like Hillary and Obama, for crying out loud. Donna Brazile even.

DOBBS: Chris -- Chris...

BALLENTINE: They don't even like the candidate. Now they're trying to get the Republicans to vote for the Democrats. Come on, oh, God, please.

PLANTE: Look, the Democrats need no help trying to create pandemonium. They're very good at it all by themselves. To the extent that crossover voting is taking place, this is not a new term.

DOBBS: All right.

PLANTE: Crossover voting has always taken place.

DOBBS: OK. So no one wants to give props to Rush Limbaugh.

PLANTE: I did. Rush Limbaugh is a great entertainer, and he's got an enormous audience. And sure, some people have crossed over on the recommendation of Rush Limbaugh. But a lot of went out and voted, crossover Republicans have voted for Barack Obama. So how do you explain that?


DOBBS: OK, I'm going to ask the question this time. All right. Warren, please. I know you do, but I'm going to assert control here. All right. What do you want to say?

BALLENTINE: All I want to say is this, I agree with one thing. It's a disgrace what the Democratic Party is doing to the super delegates. It is elitist. This guy -- early in your show, $20 million for his vote? That's a disgrace.

DOBBS: He's been a disgrace for a long time. No, wait a minute. I'm speaking now. I'm going to start talking. Four years ago, you know, this is the guy who's referring to the treasurer of the United States as the house Mexican. This is what is going on in this -- in the Democratic Party.

And I've got to tell you, somebody better step up right now and say to the super delegates, the delegates, and these candidates, it's time to start acting like decent, civil people. Because this party is really embarrassing the entire nation.

I'm an independent, and I've got -- I've got no use for either party. But I've got to tell you, the Democrats now are really showing themselves, and I don't think it's very fair to those who take the Democratic Party tenets seriously. And I think that these candidates really need to become -- you know, to get stuck from unstuck.

PLANTE: Trying to blame Rush for all of this is just shifting the blame, trying to -- look, he's a one man...


BALLENTINE: It's no different -- it's no different than what the Republicans did with Reverend Wright.

DOBBS: I've got to tell you one thing. Chris Plante, just understand where I'm coming from. I was -- I was not in any way detracting from what Rush Limbaugh was doing. I was giving him absolute kudos.

So Chris, it's great to see you. Appreciate it.


BALLENTINE: I love you, Lou.

DOBBS: I love you back. But man! Man! Come on back, soon, Warren.

All right, Steve. Thanks for being with us, Steve Malzberg.

Up next at the top of the hour, "THE ELECTION CENTER" with Campbell Brown.

It's a far more civil show you put on, isn't it, Campbell?

CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Not always, Lou. But thank you anyway.

Tonight, the McCain campaign is furious over something Barack Obama told CNN. We're going to have that, plus all the latest news from the campaign, including a look at the Clinton campaign, what she's thinking about now that so many Democrats are saying this race is over.

We're going to also check in on the aid effort in Myanmar. Christiane Amanpour will be with us, as well, to talk about that.

All that and more, just ahead, Lou.

DOBBS: Look forward to it, Campbell. Thank you.

Up next here, counterterrorism expert Michael Sheehan on the real threat to the United States. Stay with us. We're coming right back.


DOBBS: Some experts say the biggest terrorist threat to this country originates with terror cells within the United States. Counterterrorism expert Michael Sheehan is the author of an important, provocative new book, "Crush the Cell." You should buy it, but you should also hope that every elected official in this country buys it.

Michael, as former ambassador at large for counterterrorism, deputy commissioner of counterterrorism, the New York City Police Department, a distinguished military career. So I could say Colonel Sheehan, couldn't I?

You could, Lou.

DOBBS: Well, it's great to have you on.

MICHAEL SHEEHAN, AUTHOR, "CRUSH THE CELL": It's great to be here, Lou.

DOBBS: It's a terrific book, an important subject. And what in the world -- where does the title originate?

SHEEHAN: It comes from my time in terrorism, which dates back some 20 or 30 years now. And what I wanted to convey was that, really, to understand terrorism, what it is and what it isn't, what works and what doesn't work, and if they do slip through, not to fall into the trap of self-terrorizing ourselves and aggrandizing this threat and giving them the victory the don't deserve.

DOBBS: You straightforwardly say it's what we have done, in point of fact.

SHEEHAN: We have. And some of my favorite counterterrorism colleagues in this business do that. They hype this threat. They overblow the threat that al Qaeda is to us. And it plays right into their hands. We'll paralyze ourselves if they attack us again.

DOBBS: I was talking with -- with a man for whom I have great respect, a friend who's got two, a beautiful brilliant wife, two great kids, talking about fear for those kids. And they're afraid. And they're afraid because of what they're watching on television. They're afraid from what they're hearing from the elected officials.

And I have to tell you, it made me nauseous to even hear, to think that this great country has such -- such irresponsible leaders that would create that kind of environment in our society in any quarter.

SHEEHAN: That's unfortunate. And this book, by the way, does not underestimate al Qaeda. They're out there. They're the threat. They need to be crushed as the main title is. When we overestimate them, their capabilities, not being tough. It's not being strong enough terrorism. You're actually setting yourself up for the paralysis that may come in another attack.

We should look at the British and the Israelis and how they respond to terrorism attacks. They clean up. They go after the cells. They crush them. But then they get back the business and send the message to terrorists, you're not going to disrupt their way of life.

DOBBS: And this government has chosen to spending $150 to $200 billion dollars, minimum, to carry out a fight, not just in Iraq and Afghanistan, but in other ways, another $35 billion in homeland security, which is not directly related to the threat that you identify in your book.

SHEEHAN: Lou, I think it's a colossal waste of money. The intelligence budget is almost double the last years. And I think it's -- it's ridiculous. Quite, frankly, al Qaeda, the central apparatus, was defeated dramatically between 2001 and 2003-2004 with the resources we had prior to 9/11. CIA operatives, with FBI agents, NYPD. We didn't need to spend those billions.

DOBBS: You know, and every time I walk into an airport in this country, and I watch American citizens putting up with two hours of delays, at least half of that for TSA, and the way they treat American citizens, and then the way airline carriers treat American citizens, as cattle rather than citizens of this great country, I want somebody -- I just want to slap somebody. And it's a ridiculous approach to what we're doing.

SHEEHAN: Well, it's over the top. And particularly, I believe that some of these threats that came out of the Heathrow threat with these liquids is a bit ridiculous, as well.

I quite frankly -- I don't know how you build a bomb mixing two liquids together in a bathroom. I've made lots of bombs in my career in the special forces and NYPD. And I think that one was another one that was misguided.

DOBBS: And we still watch a security agent to ask a 70-year-old women to step out of her wheelchair and take off her shoes.

SHEEHAN: We need a little bit more common sense.

BECK: And a little more of Michael Sheehan's direction and insight. We appreciate you providing the book, "Crush the Cell." It's an important read. We couldn't recommend it highly enough.

SHEEHAN: Thanks, Lou, for having me.

BECK: Michael Sheehan. Colonel Sheehan, I like that.


BECK: You need to go by "Colonel." I like -- why don't we go back to Colonel Sheehan? Good to see you, thank you.

Buy the book, it's important.

Still ahead, the results of our poll. More of your thoughts.

Stay with us. We're coming right back.


DOBBS: The results of our poll tonight. Fifty-five percent of you agree with Harvey Weinstein that the Democratic voters in Michigan and Florida should have the chance to vote again. And I think that we know how this one breaks. But there it is, 55-45.

Time now for some of your thoughts.

Stephen in New York: "Remember when we used to call people who lent money and charged 30 percent interest loan sharks? Well, now we just call them credit card companies."

I -- that's exactly right.

Shirley in Michigan: "Keep up the good work, Lou. Someone has to look out for the middle class because our government isn't and it shows every day."

Xavier in Oklahoma said: "Lou, I'm an 18-year-old first-time voter. I am African-American, affluent, Protestant, registered independent -- yes -- and my parents are well educated. But I am not backing Obama. Why can't people stop making this a race about identity politics? I'd much rather it be about substantive issues."

You are joined by millions of us, I assure you. Congratulations on being registered and being registered as an independent, if I may say.

Robert in Maryland: "Hello, Lou. I'm a new watcher of your show and I'm glad there are people like you who aren't afraid to talk about the tough issues that are really hurting this country. Keep up the good work."

We're sure going to try.

And Loretta in Arizona: "Since John McCain is one of the featured speakers at the La Raza convention this summer, I find his promise to secure the border inconceivable. I think he speaks out of both sides of his mouth."

Let's hope not. Let's hope instead he's doing the intelligent thing, and that's talking to all Americans and speaking straightforwardly.

We love hearing from you. Send us your thoughts at

We thank you for being with us tonight. And we ask you to join us here tomorrow. For all of us, thanks for watching. Good night from New York City.

"THE ELECTION CENTER" with Campbell Brown is about to begin. In fact, it begins right now -- Campbell.