Return to Transcripts main page
Lou Dobbs Tonight
Russia Ignores Newly Signed Cease-Fire; Tough Talk from President Bush; DHS Plan Too Little, too Late?; Mexican Drug Cartels Violence Escalates
Aired August 13, 2008 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you very much.
Tonight, Russia ignoring a cease-fire agreement that it just signed with the nation of Georgia. Moscow bluntly telling the United States it must choose between Russia and Georgia.
And tonight a new threat to our national identity, three Hispanic families filing a lawsuit, claiming English only policy at a Catholic school in Wichita, Kansas, is violating the civil rights of their children.
And the race between Senators Obama and McCain, incredibly tight, still. The liberal national media is completely baffled that it isn't a landslide in the polls. All of that, all the day's news and much more, tonight from an independent perspective, straight ahead, right here.
ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT -- news, debate, and opinion for Wednesday, August 13th. Live from New York, Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: Good evening, everybody. Russia, today, escalating its confrontation with the United States over Russia's invasion of Georgia. Russian troops ignoring a cease-fire agreement that the country had just signed. The Russian foreign minister saying the United States must now choose between supporting the state of Georgia and seeking cooperation with Russia.
President Bush today telling Russia it must end its military operations altogether in Georgia and immediately. President Bush said the U.S. military will send humanitarian aid to Georgia by air and by sea.
We have extensive coverage tonight and we begin with Matthew Chance in central Georgia.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Russia's military advance came without warning. A column of armor heading towards Georgia's capital in an unprecedented show of force.
(on camera): Well, there's been a lot of speculation about where the Russian troops are. Well, here they are. Well inside Georgian territory and outside the main conflict zone of South Ossetia. They're now on the road to Tbilisi. The big question is how far will they go?
I can see there are troop carriers here, there are armored personnel carriers. We haven't seen any Georgian forces up ahead. We don't know whether they're going to encounter any resistance. But these are incredible scenes.
But this wasn't the full-scale invasion many Georgians fear. This column is now turning off the road to Tbilisi. I'll just get out of the way of the armored personnel carrier. And it's heading down this road to a village.
Georgian officials have indicated to us that this is a planned incursion by Russian forces who don't know what they're doing at the moment. In fact, let's try and ask them.
(voice-over): I asked the Russian officer what his men were doing. "No comment," he answered. "But the Georgian people know we're here." A couple of soldiers edgy and smelling of alcohol had fallen behind and approached us.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
CHANCE: "We've not been ordered to take Tbilisi," they told me. "Russia doesn't want a war. We were forced to send our troops here," they said. Georgia officials say Russia is failing to respect its own cease-fire.
(on camera): Well, these are the first Georgian forces that we've come across. After the Russians have moved in, there are about five kilometers, three miles or so, from where the Russians have positioned themselves inside Georgian territory. Now, obviously, they're heavily armed. They've got (INAUDIBLE).
(voice-over): But this Georgian army may be in no position to resist the military might of its giant Russian neighbor.
DOBBS: Matthew Chance reporting from Georgia. The Kremlin today strongly criticized U.S. policy on Georgia in language reminiscent of the Cold War era. Russian Minister -- Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, saying the Bush administration has before it a clear choice now to support Georgia or to continue receiving Russian support on other important international issues.
It is a clear ultimatum and a threat that the Russians may refuse cooperation with the United States on issues ranging from nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea to economic policy. Lavrov even criticizing the White House, saying President Bush needs new speech writers because of his comments on the Georgia crisis.
President Bush today paid no attention to the Kremlin criticism, declaring that Georgia has the United States' unwavering support, as he put it. That support, at least to this point, appears limited to diplomacy and humanitarian aid. The president making no mention of sending Georgia any military assistance. Ed Henry has our report from the White House.
ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More tough talk from President Bush, but without any real ultimatum for Russia.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Begin to repair the damage to its relations with the United States, Europe and other nations, and to begin restoring its place in the world, Russia must keep its word and act to end this crisis.
HENRY: The president declared he's dispatching Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the region, and sending in humanitarian relief. But six days into the crisis, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili charged the West has not done enough to help them deal with Russia's invasion.
PRES. MIKHEIL SAAKASHVILI, GEORGIA: The response has not been adequate and the West has been -- first of all, they failed to analyze Russia's intentions in advance and they failed to react promptly to what has been happening now.
HENRY: On top of that withering criticism from the conservative editorial page of "The Wall Street Journal," charging, "so far the administration has been missing in action, to put it mildly. If Mr. Bush doesn't revisit his Russian failures, the rout of Georgia will stand as the embarrassing coda to his presidency."
Administration officials say they have no regrets, insisting they've taken aggressive action.
DANA PERINO, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We rallied our international partners to help solve, get the cease-fire in place. That was the most important thing to do, so that we could help protect innocent life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the cease-fire's not holding.
PERINO: Well, first of all, you had to get them to agree to it.
HENRY: It was French President Nicolas Sarkozy who took the lead on the cease-fire and Republican Senator John McCain has pushed for specific punishment of Russia, such as knocking it out of the G-8 or yanking the 2014 Winter Olympics from Sochi, Russia. The president only hinted at such action.
BUSH: Russia has sought to integrate into the diplomatic political economic and security structures of the 21st century. Now Russia's putting its aspirations at risk.
HENRY: Now, U.S. officials tonight are refusing to speculate on whether they may take some military action against Russia. Obviously, that's a remote possibility right now, given the fact that the U.S. is already fighting two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
And there's also concern within the Bush administration that if they took military action that would only escalate this conflict even more -- Lou.
DOBBS: All right, Ed Henry, thank you very much, from the White House.
Rising concerns tonight that Russia will become much more aggressive toward its neighbors after its successful invasion of Georgia and the weak response of the West. Russia already using harsh language tonight against Ukraine, a close ally of Georgia.
This, after the Ukrainian government said it will impose restrictions on Russian war ships based in its ports. Brian Todd has our report.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A military rout, throwing an overmatched rival into a state of panic. The push into Georgia, analysts say, has a huge ulterior motive, a signal from the Kremlin to other former Soviet Republics on its border.
JONATHAN ELKIND, FORMER NAT'L SEC. COUN. OFFICIAL: Be careful, because if we don't like what you're doing, in a worst case scenario, you'll get our tanks coming over your border as well.
TODD: Jonathan Elkind spent three years dealing with Russia on Bill Clinton's national security council. An immediate worst case scenario he says is that Russia is doing more than just protecting its sympathizers in the Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
ELKIND: But it's actually trying to come down into Georgia and perhaps even conquer the entire country.
TODD: Conquer and possibly depose Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. Next, he says, Ukraine could be in Russia's sites. Like Georgia, Ukraine has angered the Russians by requesting membership in NATO. Elkind and other Russia experts say Vladimir Putin, Russia's president turned prime minister, has already tried to intimidate Ukraine.
ELKIND: He said, allegedly, as a hypothetical, that if Ukraine entered NATO, then Russia have to talk about having -- targeting its missiles on Ukraine.
TODD: Maybe even more chilling, Elkind says the U.S. couldn't do much in response to help Georgia or Ukraine, beyond heavy diplomatic pressure. The U.S. couldn't defend them military since they're not yet full NATO members. And America's military is already stretched thin in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Russian leaders know that. And some worry they may not stop with Georgia or Ukraine. Former Soviet Republic's Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan, all either planning to pipe oil through Georgia to western markets or doing it already could see their borders destabilized by ethnic Russians, prodded by Moscow.
(on camera): Elkind says in the end it's unlikely Russia will invade all these countries, but it could use economic and other leverage against them. He says Moscow now takes the view, why buy these places when you can use them for free to get what you want?
Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
DOBBS: The first U.S. aid shipments today arrived in Georgia on an Air Force C-17 aircraft. A second C-17 is scheduled to fly into the Georgian capital of Tbilisi tomorrow. Earlier this week, the Air Force flew 2,000 Georgian troops from Iraq back to the capital of Tbilisi. Those Georgian troops were called by their government to fight against the Russian invaders.
In Iraq, insurgents today killed another of our troops. The soldier killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad. Fourteen of our troops have been killed so far in Iraq this month; 4,141 of our troops have been killed since the war began; 30,509 of our troops wounded; 13,453 of them seriously.
Up next here, drug cartel violence and gang warfare in Mexico out of control. Teenagers the latest victims and police. We'll have a special report.
And the Department of Homeland Security now says it will take action against communist China's spying operations in this country. We'll be telling you all about that. Stay with us.
DOBBS: Well, you might ask yourself why you don't hear these numbers on any other broadcast in so-called mainstream media. The numbers are 3,500. That's how many, 3,500, front companies communist China has operating in this country to steal our technology and military secrets.
Until now, the Department of Homeland Security has done virtually nothing to stop that espionage by communist China and other nations. Now the Department of Homeland Security says it's taking action to keep those secrets safe. It may be a case of too little, much too late.
Lisa Sylvester has our report.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A former Pentagon analyst sentenced to five years in prison for handing sensitive military secrets to a Chinese spy, allegations raised by a U.S. senator that China is spying on hotel guests attending the Olympics. And worries that U.S. government officials and legislators are being targeted by spies of foreign governments when they travel abroad.
REP. MIKE ROGERS (R), MICHIGAN: I've had my room gone through and my luggage gone through and things like that when I'm traveling overseas. I've never been personally approached, but we've certainly had indications that some of our activities were closely monitored.
SYLVESTER: One vulnerable target is the Department of Homeland Security.
JAMES LEWIS, CTR. FOR STRATEGIC & INT'L STUDIES: In the case of DHS, they've been kind of a soft target. Countries like Russia, China, some others, have known that breaking into DHS was easier than breaking into to say FBI or CIA.
SYLVESTER: DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff acknowledged that risk in a memo to the department's employees, writing, "DHS is vulnerable to adversaries who seek information about our nation's homeland defense programs, classified or unclassified."
The agency is setting up a new counterintelligence office. Employees will have to report any planned foreign travel and must report contact with anyone who might be a foreign intelligence agent, terrorist or criminal.
But the chair of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cyber Security says setting up a new office is not enough. Representative Zoe Lofgren points out DHS has many vulnerabilities. She says the agency doesn't even have intrusion detection software.
REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D), CALIFORNIA: More needs to be done, whether this will accomplish it, you know, certainly remains to be seen. The department is great at creating task forces and new offices. Meanwhile, things don't change very much. It's deck chairs on the Titanic time once again.
SYLVESTER: Now the Chinese government denies that it conducts espionage in the United States and has said that its security arrangements at the Olympics were all in accordance with international standards -- Lou.
DOBBS: Well, one doesn't care so much what communist China says, it's, rather, what they do and what we know about what they are doing. We also care a great deal about what an element of the Department of Homeland Security is doing as well.
And that is the FBI, which has primary responsibility for security within the homeland, as we have learned referred to our nation since September 11th. What in the world is the FBI doing?
SYLVESTER: Well, the FBI has an office -- in fact, there are different offices in the government that looks at this very issue. What Department of Homeland Security wanted to do was to create its own internal office, essentially to have a set of practices. Because there were people going...
DOBBS: They have the FBI, for crying out loud!
SYLVESTER: They do, indeed, Lou.
DOBBS: Unbelievable. Quite a town you're working in down there. Thank you very much. Lisa Sylvester. We appreciate you keeping an eye on them.
Communist China also poses a rising cyber threat to this nation. Security experts, in fact, now believe China has created an army of hackers to gain access to American military, government and private sector computer networks. The Pentagon reports three million cyber attacks on the Defense Department networks each and every day.
Up next, schools at the center of a culture war tonight. The latest battleground in the fight over language in this country; bilingual, English only or perhaps another three or four options? We'll be talking about that.
And Mexico's worsening drug cartel violence moving closer to our border. We'll have a special report.
DOBBS: Up next, violent Mexican drug cartels and gangs are escalating their bloody war in Mexico. It is a war that's now spilling into this country. Police and even children now targets. We'll have that special report next.
DOBBS: Mexico's deadly drug cartel violence is raging. Six more Mexican police officers were shot and killed over just the past two days. The victims include two top Mexican police commanders killed just south of El Paso. Law enforcement agencies on this side of the border are on heightened alert and deeply concerned. Casey Wian has our report.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The death toll among law enforcement officers has now topped 500 in Mexico's nearly two- year military offensive against drug cartels. A parallel threat is escalating. Kidnapping gangs so brazen, they recently abducted the teenage son of a wealthy businessman in broad daylight on this street.
He was later killed despite the reported payment of a multimillion-dollar ransom. Two police officers are among the suspects. This week, President Felipe Calderon addressed Mexico's growing public outrage over police involvement with drug cartels and kidnapping gangs.
PRES. FELIPE CALDERON, MEXICO (through translator): Society demands that we fulfill our duty to stop police corruption. Because of this, for example, it's fundamental that in our effort to increase security and legality, we purge, modernize and ensure all our police forces are professional, federal, state and local.
WIAN: But through the first four months of this year, kidnappings are up 76 percent compared to last year, when nearly 800 Mexicans were held for ransom.
JUAN FRANCISCO TORRES LANDA, MEXICANS UNITED AGAINST CRIME: Of 100 crimes, about one or two are effectively prosecuted. So the perception out in the streets for both criminals and the society as a whole is that it really pays to, you know, to commit crimes.
WIAN: Mexico plans to open five anti-kidnapping units staffed by 300 federal police officers. In Mexico City, officials are offering $50,000 rewards for information leading to the arrest of kidnappers.
There's mounting evidence that drug and kidnapping violence are spreading across the border. The U.S. director of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms this week praised Mexico's efforts to fight drug cartels but said more cooperation is needed.
MICHAEL SULLIVAN, DIRECTOR, ATF: We have come to understand and appreciate how critically important real-time sharing of human intelligence, investigative leads and collaborative investigations are.
WIAN: Sullivan says expanded weapons tracing in Mexico has helped U.S. investigators pursue American weapons traffickers who are arming Mexico's drug cartels.
WIAN: But neither government is close to breaking the cycle of drugs heading north and weapons and money going south. In fact, experts expect the violence will continue to escalate on both sides of the border -- Lou.
DOBBS: Well, if that is the case, why have experts at all? There are no solutions being offered by either the government of Mexico or the government of the United States.
WIAN: They are -- they're doing a little bit, I would say, Lou. You know, the government of the United States has the Merida Initiative where it's going to help train Mexican law enforcement and military to fight the drug cartels.
The Mexican government is cooperating more with the United States in terms of helping tracking down the arms traffickers and tracking down the drug dealers. But the cooperation is not where both sides would like it to be, Lou.
DOBBS: Yeah, I think we have to take their word for it, they would like it that way, because neither government is securing the border from either the north or the south. It is wide open. And still, about 40 -- 25 to $40 billion drug trafficking corridor from Mexico into the United States each year.
And Mexico remains the principal source of methamphetamines, cocaine, heroin and marijuana and the United States government is doing absolutely nothing to stop it. Thank you very much, Casey Wian.
The raging violence and threats from the drug cartels in Mexico are forcing more Mexicans, including their police officers, to seek asylum in the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials tell us that more than 530 people have asked for political asylum at crossings all along our southern border over just the past eight months.
Customs and Immigration officials say 200 Mexican citizens requesting asylum were found to have quote, "credible fear". Their cases are being considered for asylum. The rest were rejected. They will be returned to Mexico.
An update tonight on Immigration and Customs Enforcement self- deportation program for illegal aliens. It's a sort of a counterintuitive program. And this is day nine of the 18-day program.
And according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the number of illegal aliens who have chosen to voluntarily turn themselves in for deportation has now reached the number six. We will of course continue to update you each night right here with our countdown.
Time now for some of your thoughts. Dan in California said, "Lou, you may be right. Pelosi may cave into public opinion and allow a vote on offshore drilling. I think it's time to drill her out of Congress."
Judith in North Carolina, "The absurdity of airlines charging our military members for a third checked bag completely took my breath away. Maybe the airlines believe the military should leave some of that pesky heavy stuff like body armor behind. I'm writing to my do nothing Congress now."
And Jim in Georgia, "If certain cities or states will not enforce the federal immigration laws, then I say cut their federal funding off. Then they'll see the light. If they don't support the federal government, then the federal government shouldn't support them."
I think that is the essence of the issue. We'll have more of your thoughts here later in the broadcast. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, by the way, have arrested 57 illegal aliens in a raid at a factory that makes parachutes for the military.
Federal agents say the illegal aliens used fake documents to get those jobs at the Mills Manufacturing Corporation in Asheville, North Carolina. Most of the illegal aliens arrested are from Mexico. Immigration and Customs Enforcement say that most of the illegal aliens worked at that plant for as long as five years. Federal officials say the company did not know the workers used fake documents and the company is not the target of any investigation or even the suggestion of any wrongdoing.
Coming up here next, Democrats scramble to do damage control. An explosive new book about Senator Obama has hit the stands and "The New York Times" best-seller list. We'll have that. And a culture war underway in this nation. The latest battle, the skirmish over English only in a Catholic school, a lawsuit in Kansas that could have far reaching impact. That's next.
ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT; news, debate and opinion. Here, again, Mr. Independent, Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: Three Hispanic families tonight are suing the Catholic diocese of Wichita, Kansas over an English only policy; St. Anne's Catholic School requiring that students speak English while in school. Incredibly, three Hispanic families claim that is a violation of their civil rights. As Bill Tucker now reports, that case went to trial today. It could have implications across the entire nation.
BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: St. Anne's Catholic School in Wichita, Kansas wants English and only English spoken at school. It's a policy that resulted in 11-year-old Adam Sylva being expelled from the school. It's also a policy that landed the school and the church in federal court. Three families are suing, alleging that the policy discriminates against those who speak other languages.
CHRISTOPHER MCHUGH, PLAINTIFF'S ATTORNEY: Why would you ban Spanish during lunch and recess? There's no reason for it except you don't like it, you don't want it spoken.
TUCKER: And as such, their lawyer argues it constitutes racial discrimination and therefore, violates their civil rights.
The reason the case is being heard in federal court is that the school receives federal funds. According to the complaint, "St. Anne Catholic School receives federal funds through the national school lunch program. The receipt of federal funds by the school subjects it to the anti-discrimination provisions of federal law." One official at the diocese says the policy was in response to problems in the school environment, plain and simple.
FRED SOLIS, CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF WICHITA: The issue was a behavioral issue. This young man, whose first language is English, he was born in the U.S., but was using Spanish with a small crowd of friends to speak ill of others, make derogatory comments about others in Spanish so that they wouldn't know what they were saying.
TUCKER: The boy was expelled because he refused to sign a pledge honoring the policy. Supporters of the school are troubled by the lawsuit. They point out that the students who attend St. Anne's do so by choice.
JIM BOULE, ENGLISH FIRST: This is one of those lawsuits that gives lawyers a bad name because it's all about, you know, money, for a group of people who didn't have to there be.
TUCKER: All of the families in this case are legal immigrants or American citizens.
TUCKER: Now, the families are requesting unspecified damages for the emotional anguish and distress suffered by the three students and they want the school to drop the English only policy. This case should be concluded by the end of the week. The ramifications are huge, Lou, because what it does is it lays the groundwork for making language the basis of racial discrimination suits.
DOBBS: It's an interesting one. It might work both ways. This is not a prohibition against specifically Spanish, but an absolute enforcement of English only, correct?
DOBBS: Well, you've got to love lawyers and judges in this country right now. It's a society that's seemingly out of control on a host of fronts, but certainly on this one. Thank you very much, Bill Tucker.
Joining me now is William Donohue. He is the president of the Catholic League and a very distinguished scholar and thinker on social issues, as well as representing the Catholic League.
Bill, it's good to have you here.
WILLIAM DONOHUE, PRESIDENT, THE CATHOLIC LEAGUE: Thank you for having me, Lou.
DOBBS: No church, to my knowledge, has been more supportive of Hispanic immigrants into this country, than the Catholic Church. For this tone to be taken between three Hispanic families and the diocese of Wichita, I mean, that's sort of breath-taking, isn't it?
DONOHUE: Well, it's amazing, you know, it shows you how our society's spun out of control. You would understand it if schools were being sued for kids who are graduating who aren't proficient in English. What they're trying to do now is protect kids.
The reason for doing this wasn't to be malicious. The reason they invoked this policy was to protect innocent kids from being bullied by somebody selectively using Spanish.
Now look, a catholic school is a private institution. You know what you're buying. You can't have somebody coming in there and saying, I want you to rid the scriptures because I don't like the way your rules are. You can shop around. You can go down the block to another school, including a public school. Catholic schools have autonomy.
You know what really bothers me about this too, Lou, two nights ago, I witnessed a hit and run on Long Island. A white girl hit a Hispanic girl. I was able to get the license plate of the guilty party, turn her into the cops and over to the ambulance crew that came over to help the Hispanic girl. I was facilitating this process precisely because the Latino girl could speak English. People ought to get their heads straight.
I never met a single person in my whole life -- I spent four years working in Spanish Harlem with Puerto Rican kids. I loved my kids and I loved the parents. They all told me they were opposed to bilingualism. They wanted only English in the school. That's what they were being educated for, so they could get a job at CNN or some other place. For these people to come in now and use the club of the lord and take away the autonomy of the school which works against and handicaps their own kids is amazing to me.
DOBBS: Well, if there's any doubt we're in the midst of a culture war and I have to tell you, I'm one of those people who resist that concept in our society right now. But this is a culture war. I think we've got to, however reluctantly, acknowledge it. Because when we can use the federal court, the federal courts, to force the Catholic Church not to use what is its prerogative, that is, exercise its rights to enforce discipline in its schools and not be permitted to use the same federal court system in the federal legal system to bring a prohibition against sanctuary cities, cities that are actually rogues when it comes to enforcement of U.S. law, we're upside down.
DONOHUE: We're not only in a violation of church and state by the state encroaching on the Catholic Church, but the more important issue is this. If I wanted to handicap Latinos in this country, you know what I would do? I'd say, let's not have English only in the schools. Speak whatever you want. Then when you go for a job kid, you don't get it, that's just too bad, because this country is not going to change when it comes to hiring. I have Latinos working for me at the Catholic League. Every one of them interviewed in English. That's the way it has to be.
DOBBS: It's straightforward, but there's just one problem. In Washington, D.C., the democratic and republican parties are serving masters on either the left or the right, either the rapacious right of the U.S. chamber of commerce or what would you call them?
DONOHUE: The multicultural left.
DOBBS: Yeah, the -- who want really us to change the language of this nation, change our laws, change our rule, and completely forget 200 years of history and ideals and values that have made this liberal society available to them.
DONOHUE: And which hurts the minorities most of all. That's the most disgusting thing about this.
DOBBS: Well, and -- there's so much disgusting it's hard to pick one out. But, Bill, I appreciate you being here. It's going to be interesting to see this one --
DONOHUE: We'll watch it closely.
DOBBS: You got it. Come back soon.
DONOHUE: Thank you.
DOBBS: Bill Donohue, Catholic League.
That brings us to the subject of our poll tonight. As you might suspect, the question is do you think anyone would be offended if we were to declare English to be the official language of the United States? Yes or no. Cast your vote at loudobbs.com. We don't want to know whether you would care, we'd just like to know if you really believe that anyone would sincerely and honestly be offended. We'll have the results for you here later in the broadcast.
Up next, why globalization is threatening our economy and working men and women and our families. Pat Choate is the author of an important new book, "Danger Business." He joins us.
And a controversial new book promising to expose the real Barack Obama. Man, is the liberal left excited about this one. I'll be talking about that and more with three of the best political analysts in the country.
Stay with us.
DOBBS: Turning now to three of the best political analysts in the country, New York bureau chief of the "Washington Post," Keith Richburg; Keith, good to see you; and CNN contributor, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, "New York Daily News," Michael Goodwin; good to see you, Michael; and Hank Sheinkopf is CNN contributor and democratic strategist, as always, Hank great to have you with us.
Well, what do you think? "Obama Nation," Jerome Corsi, best selling book, here we go. What we didn't know about Senator Obama.
HANK SHEINKOPF, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, Lou, not such good news for the Obama campaign. Tell you why, it's not so good to know so much about one guy and not enough about the other. If you look at the poll numbers, the more people are finding out about Obama, the less well he's doing in the polling data, it tends to even up.
DOBBS: To me it's remarkable. This book, only three days of selling -- I've talked with Jerome Corsi, three days of selling, and it's already number one on "The New York Times" best-selling list. And that book, what is it called, "The Real McCain," I think it sold more in three days than that book throughout its entire run. What's going on? Why are the -- what would you, the republican book selling better than the democrat books or the liberal books or the conservative -- whatever you want to call it.
MICHAEL GOODWIN, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: I think all along, Lou, this race whatever you want to call it, is a referendum on Barack Obama. He is something of the incumbent here in the sense that if the democrats should win this election, he is the shiny new thing on the scene. We don't know much about him. He's the front-runner. It's not working out just the way it's supposed to. So I think there's a lot of attention on him. People are looking at him. No doubt, there'll be a lot more written, a lot more revelations. So, that's -- welcome to the major leagues. DOBBS: You really think it will be more revelations? Because I mean my gosh, if we know any more -- this is really kind of crazy to me because you would have thought that this guy would have been quote/unquote, vetted as the expression goes, far better than he was.
GOODWIN: But he wasn't.
DOBBS: Really? You're expecting more blockbusters?
GOODWIN: Sure, sure. I'm not predicting that any one thing will happen. I just think vetting process is now beginning in a new phase, as it generally does in the general election. Things happen in the general election.
KEITH RICHBURG, WASHINGTON POST: I haven't read the book. I've only read the reports about it. From what I know, from what the reports are if they're accurate, there's nothing really new in that. He strings together all the things we've kind of heard out there before. He goes back to Reverend Wright; he goes back to drug use. There are a bunch of blogs that are now kind of attacking the book and finding inaccuracies here and there.
DOBBS: Media Matters attacked it, Media Matters, which is just another liberal, you know, attack organization of its own, attacking it. I think it's funny, don't you?
RICHBURG: Of course, everybody -- of course, they will attack it, as they should, it's parent of the political debate. But this thing yes, it will rise to the best seller list. It's also being promoted by you know you've got the right-wing talk radio and cable television and they're going to put him on and promote this thing. So it doesn't surprise me it's rising up there. I don't know if it's going to change any votes.
DOBBS: Why doesn't the "Real McCain" book rise up there?
RICHBURG: Because the left wing isn't as good as promoting this stuff.
DOBBS: Poor little darlings on the left aren't good at it?
GOODWIN: This is where I think there is a real difference between McCain and Obama. Whether we know McCain or not, we feel we know McCain. He's been around. He's not new. And I think that's -- this is working in his favor.
DOBBS: "The New York Times" stepped out too early and took a really stupid blunder and kind of shot at him --
GOODWIN: Does a day pass that "The New York Times" doesn't take a shot at John McCain?
DOBBS: It's disgusting. Keith I know is just filled with -- SHEINKOPF: Maybe McCain is just plain boring and maybe Obama's captured the imagination of a large number of people who buy books and like to read them. Maybe the difference is he's run a better campaign and people want to pay attention to him but the danger, as I said before, Lou, is the more you know about him, the less you may like him. The polling numbers over the last couple of weeks have kind of indicated that.
DOBBS: The poll numbers show basically they're within the margin of error. But what I love is my colleagues in the national liberal media -- and they just go nuts when I say liberal, I'll say liberal, they spend hatch the time talking not about the fact this race is so close, but, quote/unquote, why is this race so close? Built into that, of course, is the bias premise that the race should be a walk-away for Barack Obama. It has reached an obscene level for our craft, this preference, this bias, for Obama.
RICHBURG: I would put it differently. I wouldn't say it's a bias for Obama. I think looking at this --
DOBBS: Do you think they hate McCain?
RICHBURG: No, I think looking at this, this should be a heavily democratic year. If you look at all -- if you look at the economy, if you look at the unpopular Iraq war --
DOBBS: I'm sorry --
RICHBURG: People are wondering why he's doing better --
DOBBS: Let's look at that premise of yours, why should it be a heavily democratic campaign? The year? The fact is, the democratic leadership of this congress has been an absolute joke on every issue except minimum wage. I will give them that. They have been absolutely obscene in their partisan politics, as are the republicans and the "do nothing" congress that preceded them. Why should there be a democratic year? Democrats and republicans, folks, let's be really honest, there isn't a wit's difference between them of any material nature that I can find.
SHEINKOPF: That's true, when somebody tells the truth, stands up, says, Wall Street, you're all over our business, then tap dance and nothing very much, then we'll learn who the real guys are.
DOBBS: You're one of the country's leading democratic strategists. Do you think Wall Street pays as big and important a part in democrat politics as it does in the republican --
SHEINKOPF: Oh, absolutely, the growth of PACs, the growth of business contributions, the growth of 520 contributions --
DOBBS: Why does the national media pretend that there's this distinction between the two parties?
SHEINKOPF: There is an issue about income and equality. Professor Larry Bartells of Princeton has a new book about it. what he says frankly is the votes should be close. There is a common quality. People tend to respond to social messages, but not with the intensity they think we do. There's something else going on and the election should be close.
DOBBS: Amen, brother. We're going to be back in just one second with much more from our panel. And the threat globalization poses to this nation's working men and women, to this very idea of a nation. I'll be talk with the author of the important new book "Dangerous Business."
Stay with us.
DOBBS: I'm back with Keith Richburg, Michael Goodwin and Hank Sheinkopf.
Hank, let's turn to Russia, the invasion and it looks like enduring occupation at this point of Georgia. What does it mean?
SHEINKOPF: Not good news for the United States. So much of the oil in Europe is now being controlled by the Russians. Putin telling people to stay out of his business. This war bordering on Turkey and a lot of other countries where we have interests. The Ukrainians and the Poles today are saying where is the United States? Because their memories are long. They expect us to protect them from aggression.
DOBBS: I agree with you, but would they not also be asking where is Germany, the United Kingdom, where is France?
SHEINKOPF: Because France, the United Kingdom and Germany have failed those people we just talked about in the past. Their historical memories are longer than ours, Lou.
GOODWIN: NATO was necessary because those countries couldn't and wouldn't stand up to the Soviet Union. I think we're starting the new cold war. I think this is the beginning of something. I do think we're going to have to go back to the containment policy which ultimately worked. But I think fundamentally, this is about energy, this is about oil, as Hank said. Russia is now a petro state and they'll use it as every possible way as a weapon.
DOBBS: The fact is, back in the Reagan administration, the United States warned Europe about its building dependency, which is in some ways ironic, given that we developed our own dependency on OPEC and other oil producers. But, warned them. And, now today, Russia provides Europe 50 percent of its natural gas and 30 percent of its crude oil.
GOODWIN: Well --
DOBBS: And we have seen in the response, particularly from Germany and France -- excuse me, Germany and the United Kingdom, and France, a very tepid response at best.
GOODWIN: Well, the former head of Germany is on one of the Gazprom boards.
DOBBS: The Russian state-owned oil company.
RICHBURG: That's right, I agree with all that. I think ultimately too, it's going to come back to this administration. Condoleezza Rice is the Russian expert. She speaks Russian. She's supposed to have an eye on this. President Bush supposedly had this personal relationship with --
DOBBS: Where has that expert eye been for 7 1/2 years?
RICHBURG: That's a good question.
DOBBS: Where has this administration been for 7 1/2 years and, in fairness, the way the Clinton administration developed a relationship with Russia following Perestroika and I mean this has been a travesty since 1991 in terms of U.S./Russia relations.
SHEINKOPF: We have not done what we should have done. We did not understand our history and their history. We did not understand that Ivan the great or Ivan the terrible is still in the Kremlin. This time his name is Putin, and not much has changed.
GOODWIN: You know Lou, I'm not sure what we could have done differently. What we've done is push democracy towards Russia and this is Russia pushing back. Maybe we didn't anticipate the push back. Maybe we missed all the signals.
DOBBS: Let me give you example what we might have done, one of which was to bring them into G-8 much earlier. Two, invest tens of billions of dollars that went to China, to invest that in Russia and build partnerships and constructive engagements, if you will, as well as at the same time moving tens of millions of dollars into this hemisphere and constructing a new model rather than following and repeating, it looks unfortunately now, kind of like the mistakes of the past, which is --
GOODWIN: Well, certainly in terms of energy.
DOBBS: Seemingly the want of all of us when it comes to all of us when it comes to repeating history. Keith, thank you very much. Michael, thank you. Hank, thank you.
Up at the top of the hour, "THE ELECTION CENTER" with Campbell Brown.
Campbell, what are you working on?
CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Hey Lou.
In a few minutes, we're going to continue CNN's coverage on the breaking news, the continuing violence in Georgia, despite a seas fire, all sides have supposedly agreed to. We're going to hear from eyewitnesses on the ground.
We've also got some new video coming in right now we're going to show you tonight.
We are also, Lou, digging into John McCain's long history of distrust involving the Russians, especially Vladimir Putin.
And then, in campaign news, we're going to look at how a book that we know is full of fabrications can still become a number one bestseller.
See you at the top of the hour.
DOBBS: Imagine that, okay, that's the nonfiction list -- which one?
BROWN: On the nonfiction list, yet it's fiction to a lot of people. So we'll see.
DOBBS: Thank you, Campbell.
BROWN: You bet, Lou.
DOBBS: And a reminder now to join me on the radio Monday through Friday for the Lou Dobbs SHOW. Tomorrow's guests will include Dr. Mark Zandi, author of "Financial Shock," a 360 Degree look at the subprime mortgage implosion and how to avoid the next financial crisis. Also, Chris Stone of "Sports Illustrated" will join me. We'll be talking about the latest on the Olympics, showing us exactly that medal counter, how the U.S. is doing. Yes, I'm really pro- America, even in the Olympics. Go to loudobbsradio.com for your local listings for the Lou Dobbs Show. Join us please.
A new warning tonight about this country's faith-based economy policies, particularly free trade. The author of "Dangerous Business, The Risk of Globalization for America," joins me next, and what American Airlines is now saying about charging our troops for checked baggage. We'll have that and much more next.
DOBBS: We report often here on the Bush administration's trade policies and how American workers have just been devastated by so- called free trade policies. Now, an important new book by one of the nation's leading economists supports everything I've ever said, I can tell you that. But he was the first to say it on the issue of free trade. His name is Pat Choate. He's the author of "Dangerous Business, The Risks of Globalization for America." And he joins us now. Good to have you with us.
PAT CHOATE, AUTHOR, "DANGEROUS BUSINESS": It's good being back.
DOBBS: I have to say, the book is "Dangerous Business," by Pat Choate, as I just said. I can't urge you strongly enough to take a look at what it said. You cover the gamut in here. It's scary -- let's talk about one of the things you wrote, right off the bat.
CHOATE: Yeah. DOBBS: The globalization policies on this issue -- I'd like to put this up so everybody can see it, if you would. "The globalization policies of presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush collectively constitute the worse economic policy mistake in American history." So it doesn't really matter if they're democrat, republicans.
CHOATE: Same thing. This is elite opinion that has been driving our trade policies. We have had, since 1995, $5.8 trillion cumulative trade deficit. This is the largest unilateral transfer of wealth in the world. We're transferring wealth, jobs, transferring our defense industrial --
DOBBS: Where are we transferring that to?
CHOATE: It is going to Mexico, to China, to Japan, to Europe, to the rest of the world.
DOBBS: If anyone wants to see what globalization is, and I don't think any of us need too much instruction if you had the opportunity to watch NBC's presentation of the Olympics from Beijing with that massive production -- and you wondered where all of that came from, all of the technology, the immense construction, the expansiveness of the whole project, where all that money came from, and the fact that not a one of those announcers could find anything communist about China at the same time, because they wanted to remain in Beijing for the duration of the Olympics, that looked a lot like globalization, didn't it?
CHOATE: It sure does. You take a look at the Chinese industry -- and we talk about the privatization and this and that -- but suddenly, what you quickly find is all the major Chinese industries, they're state owned, they're all state controlled. They're run by an elite in China that understand development. They're out to dominate the world's industries. And that's okay. I mean, the question is, what should we be doing about it? And that's where I spend a third of this book -- I'm actually reasonably confident that we can overcome all this.
DOBBS: Well, I think that would be the first -- you know, we probably -- would probably be the first person to ever write with confidence we can overcome a $6.5 trillion trade deficit, $9.5 trillion national debt, expanding unfunded liabilities on the part of Medicaid, Medicare, social security, how do we do it? In less than a minute.
CHOATE: Well, the first thing we've got to recognize is the next president is going to have a unique opportunity unlike -- it's going to be much as FDR was, when he came in running against Hoover economics.
CHOATE: The second thing is Doha trade ground has failed.
DOBBS: Amen. CHOATE: The Chinese and the Indians killed it. We have a blank slate here. The next president can rewrite these trade agreements. If he's just got the courage and just got the wisdom and...
DOBBS: Do you think either of these two men have either the courage, the capacity or, frankly, the insight to do just that?
CHOATE: We can't know. The truth is, the way we run our political campaigns, we really cannot tell whether they're competent. We're buying -- we're buying a leap of faith with both candidates.
The one thing that is certain, when you take a look at the numbers with the American people, economy and jobs is the issue. The candidate that gets right with the American people on economy and jobs will be the next president.
DOBBS: You heard it from Pat Choate. He's the author of "Dangerous Business." Go out and buy that book. It is really a necessary education for everyone. It's terrific. Thank you very much, Pat, for being with us.
CHOATE: Good being with you.
DOBBS: Much success with the book.
DOBBS: We have an update tonight to the outrageous report that we brought you last night. Last night, I challenged American Airlines to eliminate all of those baggage fees for our troops. American Airlines were charging our military personnel as much as $300 for additional baggage the individual service member.
The airline originally had told the troops and the national media that even those troops, by the way, heading off to war, to fill out the paperwork and be reimbursed by the Department of Defense. That's OK, they said.
Well, American says it now realizes that burden that reimbursement process places on our individual troops in war zones, and they're waving the fees. So good for you, American Airlines. That means you can keep the first word in your logo, American Airlines.
Tonight's poll result, 72 percent of you don't believe anyone should be offended if we declared English the official language of this country.
Thanks for being with us tonight. Join us here tomorrow. For all of us, thanks for watching. Good night from New York. "The Election Center" with Campbell Brown begins right now -- Campbell.