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Lou Dobbs Tonight

Obama Praises the Role of Islam; Obama's Nuke Plan; Defense Cuts; California Burden; Making Crime Pay

Aired April 06, 2009 - 19:00   ET


LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening everybody.

President Obama takes his grand tour to Turkey reaching out to Islam while in the United States there's new evidence he is the most polarizing president on record.

Also a new political uproar in this country; Defense Secretary Robert Gates announcing sweeping cuts to Pentagon's programs; Gates even cutting spending on missile defense days after North Korea's test of an ICBM (ph); Secretary Gates says there's nothing the United States can do to stop North Korean missiles.

And new questions tonight about police tactics in two high- profile shootings in the cities of Binghamton, New York and Pittsburgh, many are asking why it took so long for police officers to enter buildings where gunmen shot so many people, 13 in Binghamton and three police officers in Pittsburgh. And we'll have a report on rising concerns that serial killers working as long haul truckers have killed hundreds of people over the past three decades.

We begin tonight in Turkey where the president today made his first visit to a Muslim nation since he took office. President Obama declared that the United States is not and will never be at war with Islam. His visit comes as the Obama administration tries to win over Europe and he now reaches out to Islam. In his efforts to charm our ally, President Obama noted that Islam helped shape the world for the better including the United States. He even declared Iran to be a great civilization while earlier in Europe the president declared the United States to be arrogant, dismissive and even derisive of its allies in the past. Ed Henry reports from Ankara, Turkey.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Barack Hussein Obama...

ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was no accident President Obama chose Muslim majority Turkey for the final stop of his European tour.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The United States has been enriched by Muslim Americans. Many other Americans have Muslims in their families or have lived in a Muslim majority country, I know because I am one of them.

HENRY: Mr. Obama also tried to turn the page on the Bush years, touting his plans to wind down the war in Iraq and close down the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo.

OBAMA: There's an old Turkish proverb, you cannot put out fire with flames. There's some who must be met by force. They will not compromise. But force alone cannot solve our problems. And it is no alternative to extremism.

HENRY: But the outreach also has practical goals. Turkey has the second largest Army in NATO, so its support is crucial in Afghanistan. And since Turkey borders Iraq to the north, its cooperation with moving U.S. military personnel and equipment out of Iraq could be pivotal too.

OBAMA: I know there were differences about whether to go to war, but now we must come together as we end this war responsibly.

HENRY: The court ship included a careful massaging of his previous support for U.S. resolution declaring Turkey committed genocide, of up to 1.5 million Armenians starting in 1915. At a news conference, the president used the word killings instead of genocide and said he wants the Turks and Armenians to work it out.

OBAMA: If they can move forward and deal with a difficult and tragic history, then I think the entire world should encourage that.

HENRY: A far cry from Mr. Obama's campaign promise when he said that genocide is a widely documented fact and America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about it.


HENRY: Now campaign rhetoric can sometimes be difficult to square in this complicated world of diplomacy, the president clearly does not want to offend Turkey, a key ally that could also wind up being a mediator in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Lou.

DOBBS: And the reception for the president there amongst the press at the news conference and generally?

HENRY: The reception in general among the people around Europe has been very positive. Among the media, the president has gotten a mix of questions; he's actually taken far more questions than former President Bush did on the trips I took with President Bush in recent years. Some of those questions may have been a little easier, some of them may have been tougher, but he certainly faced tough questions such as today on the question of the Armenia genocide issue.

Clearly the president had a tough question there and tried to massage the answer, so I think it's been mixed in terms of the questions he's faced. The overall tone, I think of the coverage though has certainly been pretty positive about his travels. There's no denying that, Lou.

DOBBS: All right, Ed, thank you very much. Ed Henry reporting for us live from Ankara, Turkey.

HENRY: Thank you. DOBBS: The president's efforts to court Turkey and its Islamist leaning government now may not be as popular in this country as the president would hope. A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows almost half of all Americans, 48 percent, say the United States should not trust Muslim allies as much as other allies.

Speaking in the Czech Republic yesterday, the president said the United States will lead international efforts to ward nuclear disarmament. In response, Iran today blasted the president for demanding the elimination of all nuclear weapons. Iran declared the United States must give up its nuclear weapons first.

The president's call for nuclear disarmament is also being meant with skepticism here in the United States, many doubting that the president will succeed in convincing any nation to abandon its nuclear ambitions as long as other countries maintain their nuclear arsenals. Brian Todd has our report.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The president himself says he's not naive about his plan to eliminate the world's nuclear weapons.

OBAMA: This goal will not be reached quickly, perhaps not in my lifetime.

TODD: But on the way, what's realistic, we asked experts about the president's goals, one is reducing current stockpiles of nuclear weapons and within that...

OBAMA: We will negotiate a new strategic arms reduction treaty with the Russians this year.

TODD: Experts say that may be the most realistic goal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Russians have already indicated that they are willing to negotiate with the U.S. to reduce their nuclear stockpile.

TODD: But other ways of getting countries to reduce their arsenals will be tougher.

OBAMA: The United States will seek a new treaty that verifiably ends the production of fissile materials intended for use in state nuclear weapons.

PROF. MATTHEW BUNN, HARVARD UNIVERSITY: The states that still are producing material for weapons, which is primarily India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea, are not interested in participating in such an agreement.

TODD: Another goal is to prevent those who don't have nuclear weapons from getting them. To achieve that tougher inspections and penalties and...

OBAMA: An international fuel bank so that countries can access peaceful power without increasing the risk of proliferation.

PROF. JIM WALSH, MASS. INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY: The fuel bank already exists on a pilot scale, that's already been funded and set up.

TODD: The final piece, locking down vulnerable nuclear material so terrorists don't get it. That experts say will also be very hard to achieve.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Almost every country that has this kind of nuclear material regards its specific procedures for how that material is protected and secured from theft as being closely guarded national secrets.

TODD: Still there's a feeling inside this White House that President Obama has to take the lead on these ideas now.

(on camera): As one National Security Council official put it, the U.S. has to commit to shrinking its own arsenal before it can get other countries to help pressure Iran and North Korea to end their nuclear programs.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


DOBBS: The Obama administration failed to stop North Korea's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile despite a warning from President Obama. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the launch a provocative act. The president called on the United Nations Security Council to take firm action against North Korea, but the U.N. Security Council is so divided that it did not issue an initial condemnation.

Instead, China and Russia called for restraint, not on the part of North Korea, but rather in the reaction to the launch from the United States and Japan. The North Korean rocket traveled twice as far as any other missile that North Korea had launched, about 2,000 miles. The range does not mean North Korea can now reach American territory, but it's a clear demonstration that North Korea has moved beyond medium range missiles to intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Later here I'll be joined by two of the country's leading authorities on Asia and North Korea. Gordon Chang (ph) and Richard Fisher (ph) will be here to assess the missile test and what it means for the United States. Despite mounting challenges to American interests by Iran, North Korea, Russia and communist China, Defense Secretary Robert Gates today announced sweeping cuts to Pentagon spending.

Gates recommended halting the F-22 fighter program, abandoning plans for a new family of armored vehicles for the Army. The secretary didn't say how much the spending cuts would save the Pentagon, which is spending more than half a trillion dollars this year. The secretary did say the military must shift its focus from fighting conventional wars to battling insurgents in places such as Afghanistan. Chris Lawrence has our report.


CHRIS LAWRENCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Pentagon has never had a reputation as a frugal spender, but Secretary Robert Gates is redefining how it funds today's fights and tomorrow's.

ROBERT GATES, DEFENSE SECRETARY: An opportunity to truly reform the way we do business.

LAWRENCE: Here's how, that new presidential helicopter that's $6 billion over budget, terminated. An order for more F-22 jets that have never been used in Iraq or Afghanistan, canceled. Eighty-seven billion dollars of the Army's future combat system, finished. Gates says the budget has to cover conflicts that blur the lines between conventional and irregular warfare.

GATES: You may face at the same time an insurgent with an AK-47 and his supporting element with a highly sophisticated ballistic missile.

LAWRENCE: Some analysts applauded Gates for putting a stop to programs like the DDG-1000 (ph), a new Navy destroyer that costs three to $5 billion each.

WILLIAM HARTUNG, NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION: Basically other than having a few guns that can reach the shore there's no we need to spend that kind of money.

LAWRENCE: But those ships get built in New England, the Army system in upstate New York and the F-22 down in Georgia. Democrats and Republicans are lining up against Gates, issuing dozens of statements like, "this fight is not finished." And "I will work to make sure they stay in production." Senator James Inhofe went on YouTube to protest the cuts.


LAWRENCE (on camera): Some Congressmen think Gates is risking national security, For example, cutting more than $1 billion in missile defense so soon after North Korea's launch. Gates says he's adding in other areas like speedy ships, nearly 3,000, more special ops fighters and increasing production on the F-35 jet with plans to build more than 2,000 of them.

Chris Lawrence, CNN, the Pentagon.


DOBBS: Well as Chris just reported, Secretary Gates also announced a sharp cut in the missile defense system. Secretary Gates saying the missile defense budget will be reduced by $1.5 billion to just over $9 billion. Defense Secretary Gates also saying the military will now focus instead on defending our troops against short and medium range missiles. Programs that will benefit from increased funding include the so-called terminal high altitude area defense missile.

In tests that missile has hit six out of six targets, also gaining additional funding, the standard missile three program (ph), which equips ages (ph), cruisers and destroyers. The missile system has been successful in 17 out of 21 tests, according to the Pentagon.

Turning to political news, there's hard evidence tonight that President Obama is a more polarizing president than any other over the past four decades. Polling data compiled by Pew Research shows a 61 percent gap between Democratic and Republican support for the president. The president has 88-percent support among Democrats, only 27 percent support among Republicans. And our latest CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows an even larger spread, 65 percent between Democratic and Republican support.

The poll shows 95 percent of Democrats support the president, 30 percent of Republicans support him. In our poll tonight, far more scientific, do you agree with President Obama that Islam has shaped the world for the better, including the United States? We would like to hear from you, yes or no, cast your vote at We'll have the results here later.

Up next the unemployment rate in California is in double digits and rising. Those who still have jobs are paying a heavy price.

And the death toll in the Italian earthquake continues to rise, we'll have the very latest on the search for survivors and why a warning of this earthquake was ended. We'll be right back.


DOBBS: One hundred and fifty people are confirmed dead following a massive earthquake in central Italy. A desperate search for survivors is now underway. The town of L'Aquila (ph) rocked by the earthquake, a magnitude of 6.3, entire city blocks of buildings collapsed including a local hospital. In a disturbing twist, a local scientist who last month predicted that a devastating earthquake would soon strike the region, he had been denounced by local authorities. They called him an imbecile for spreading fear. And incredibly he was forced by the mayor and others to remove his findings and his forecast of an imminent earthquake from his Web site.

In Alaska another spectacular eruption of Mount Redoubt, ash spewing 50,000 feet into the sky, one of the largest eruptions since the volcano became active two weeks ago. Chevron was forced to suspend its oil production in the Cooke Inlet (ph) because of this latest eruption.

Alaskans of course are worrying about spewing ash, but workers in California are worried about losing money. The unemployment rate is in the double digits and climbing. Those who have jobs in California are bearing an increasingly heavy burden and their tax rates are rising as well. Casey Wian has our report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): California's unemployment rate in February was 10.5 percent. The governor says help for the jobless is on the way.

GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (R), CALIFORNIA: There's this $8 billion that is coming from the federal government is very welcome, it's specifically designed for the unemployed and for those most in need.

WIAN: But working Californians are suffering as well, from an increasingly heavy tax burden. During the past decade, California's per capita state and local tax burden has averaged about 10.5 percent. However, California workers are paying a bigger share as unemployment has soared for more than 5.5 percent a decade ago to double digits today.

LOU DOBBS TONIGHT calculates the average California worker paid just under $7,000 in state and local taxes in 1998. Now it's more than $11,000. And that doesn't account for $7.5 billion in new state sales and income taxes to close California's budget deficit.

JEAN ROSS, CALIFORNIA BUDGET PROJECT: The taxes that were part of the recent budget agreement will fall disproportionately on low to middle income Californians.

WIAN: California has resorted to tax hikes and spending cuts because according to the state's own auditor, revenue grew by just one percent last year, while state government spending swelled more than eight percent.

KRIS VOSBURGH, HOWARD JARVIS TAXPAYERS ASSN.: They're bankrupting working Californians with this constant spending and taxing.

WIAN: While California's private sector has lost all the new jobs created since 2005, state government has gained 124,000 jobs since then.

(on camera): California ranks sixth in per capita tax burden. According to the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, it's likely to jump to first this year because of the recently enacted tax increases.

Casey Wian, CNN, Los Angeles.


DOBBS: Straight ahead here, a disturbing report on serial killers, the FBI making a shocking connection between hundreds of murders and long haul truckers. We'll have that story.

Also a surprising way to cut costs in a recession, a plan to have inmates pay their debt to society with more than just time, we'll continue in one moment. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) DOBBS: Convicts paying their debt to society is taking on new meaning tonight. Jails all across the country are under massive pressure to find ways to cut costs or to raise money, no matter how unusual the method. In fact one jailhouse in Salt Lake City has implemented a so-called "Pay to Stay" rule, charging inmates for their time behind bars. Ines Ferre has our report.


INES FERRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Salt Lake County jail holds an average of 2,000 inmates daily. Strapped for cash the county is charging inmates who can afford to pay $40 a day for their time behind bars.

SHERIFF JIM WINDER, SALT LAKE COUNTY, UTAH: We don't want to attempt to extract revenues again only to aggravate what is, you know, people's propensity for criminality. But at the end of the day, people expect us to look for creative ways to offset what is a very expensive necessary public service.

FERRE: The "Pay to Stay" program doesn't include state or federal prisoners at the jail. Sheriff Winder says he won't send out a collection agency if inmates don't pay, but hopes the program will raise several hundred thousand dollars a year. Cache County Jail, which has been charging for four years, just hired a private company to go after some of the $2 million it's owed. Critics say "Pay to Stay" projects are more about appeasing taxpayers at the expense of those who can't afford it.

PAT NOLAN, JUSTICE FELLOWSHIP: They're in prison. They don't have a job. If they have a job inside they're paid maybe 10 or 12 cents an hour. On the outside their families are the ones that are getting dinged for this.

FERRE: Four years ago the National Institute of Corrections found hundreds of jails charged inmates for things like medical services and work release programs. Most "Pay to Stay" programs like the one in Utah reduce inmates' bills if they pay early or take part in rehabilitation programs.

(on camera): The program in Salt Lake County will be reviewed in six months. Meanwhile counties in several other states want to put in place similar measures.

Ines Ferre CNN, New York.


DOBBS: A former judge accused on a multimillion dollar kickback scheme wants immunity from lawsuits filed against him. Former Pennsylvania Judges Mark Shiverella (ph) and Michael Conahan (ph) pleading guilty to taking millions of dollars in kickbacks from private detention centers that in exchange for sentencing children, youngsters to those centers. Civil action lawsuits have been filed against those two men on behalf of hundreds of young people. Now Shiverella (ph) claims he should get judicial immunity for his decisions on the bench, even if those decisions, and they were, were corrupt.

Time now for some of your thoughts; Mark in West Virginia said "Lou, I voted for change, but it was supposed to be change that I can believe in. Unfortunately, so far I can't."

And Tom in Wyoming said "Perhaps Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae could save the millions of retention bonuses by getting rid of those who helped them fail. The industry I work in rewards those who produce and fires those who fail, not the other way around."

George in California "The statements that these corporations need retention bonuses are showing total contempt and disdain for the American people. Retain them from going where, the end of the millions-long unemployment line? I'd love to see them there."

We'd like to hear from you, send us your thoughts to And a reminder to join me on the radio Monday through Fridays for "The Lou Dobbs Show" 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. each afternoon on WOR 710 Radio in New York City, go to to get the local listings in your area for the show.

Up next here, strong words from Mexico's president on corruption in the United States and its effects on the war against the drug cartels and Pentagon spending slashed a new defense budget. Missile defense among the programs cut. We'll have that story next.


ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT; news, debate and opinion. Here again, America's most powerful independent voice, Lou Dobbs.

DOBBS: Welcome back. Defense Secretary Gates today outlined new priorities in the defense budget. Several weapons systems will be cut. The changes will almost certainly cost American jobs in the defense industry at a time when domestic spending is expanding -- Louise Schiavone with our report.


LOUISE SCHIAVONE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A stark recasting of the nation's defense spending from Defense Secretary Robert Gates slated for major cuts, missile defense programs, Navy shipbuilding operations and the Army's $160 billion future combat systems program. Lawmakers and analysts agree the timing couldn't be worse for the aerospace industry.

MACKENZIE EAGLEN, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Which supports about 830,000 direct middle class American jobs, highly skilled, highly professional workforce that include things like designers and engineers that the nation actually needs to maintain this capability for the future.

SCHIAVONE: There's already an outcry against the cuts. This letter to the president comes from senators across the nation and across the political spectrum. Stating in part, quote, "these proposals would amount to almost a 15 percent cut in the missile defense budget and a major reduction in our missile defense portfolio", end quote.

In the face of sharp criticism of the program, the defense secretary wants to pull the plug on plans for a new Marine One helicopter fleet well before its projected costs doubled to $13 billion. Mr. Gates said that his choices were not affected by fiscal pressures, even though he's decided to cut proposed military outlays amid an explosion of new domestic spending from bailouts to health care reform with Congress already saying yes to a $3.5 trillion budget.

TOM SCHATZ, CITIZENS AGAINST GOVT. WASTE: At the same time that we're supposed to be defending our freedom through national security spending there's a different threat to our freedom by a takeover of various segments of the economy including health care. And there are real questions about which will make the country more secure and which will really protect our freedoms under the under the constitution.

SCHIAVONE: The pentagon chief's budget has to pass muster with Congress.

Louise Schiavone for CNN, Washington.

DOBBS: In the midst of all of this, the defense secretary doesn't seem bothered by North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile test. The secretary saying if the test had been successful, he would not have -- more on the missile tests and it's implications, Richard Fisher, senior fellow at the international assessment and strategy center and Gordon Chang, author of "Authority Korea Takes On The World."

Gentlemen good to have you with us. This missile test, it appears to have been successful at least within certain reasonable measures, what does it mean for North Korea? How much does it improve North Korea's standing and what does it mean for the United States and what reflection does it have upon this country's standing?

GORDON CHANG, AUTHOR, "NUCLEAR SHOWDOWN": Well, at the most basic level, North Korea needs to sell ballistic missiles, it has a very small GDP, about $20 billion to $25 billion so it's missile sales to places like Iran and Pakistan are a very substantial part and they need to show a successful test because customers don't buy duds.

DOBBS: Your thoughts, Rick.

RICHARD FISHER, INTL. ASSESSMENT & STRATEGY CTR.: Even if this test was unsuccessful, it did prove that the North Koreans could build three stage missiles and intercontinental ballistic missile and as Gordon says, this will increase their range to Iran. We have to defend ourselves from these new ICBM threats from other states.

DOBBS: When we talk about this interrelationship among various states t intricate partnership includes North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Communist China and Russia. How, Rick, are these countries link and what is the relationship, gentlemen, to the North Korean missile program? Go ahead, Rick. FISHER: Well, the North Korean missiles are based on both Russian and Chinese technology. But this technology has also been sold in parts to Iran, in parts to Pakistan, and what the three rogue countries have done for a long time now, North Korea, Iran and Pakistan, is that they have exchanged this technology to help each other develop full operational and increasingly capable missiles.

DOBBS: And a response on the part of the United States has been, I would think it would be fair to characterize Secretary Gate's responses, tepid to the point of almost a whisper.

CHANG: Well, it's been anemic. The Obama administration went to the Security Council, and guess what, China blocked sanctions on North Korea. So we learned that we don't have a Korea problem, we have a China problem. And to our misguided trade policies, we have created not only an economic giant, but also a geo political adversary. And if I could say one other thing, we found out that everybody now knows what you have been saying and that is that China's communist, because communist China stood behind communist North Korea on yesterday at the Security Council. And it's as simple as that.

DOBBS: Why is there the seeming reluctance or refusal on the part of this administration to say China is the only country that has that kind of significant influence over North Korea, they have played the United States along, it seems at least for some years now rather than acting in the interests of the United States, but entire civilization, certainly western civilization when it comes to this missile test and North Korea's ambitions.

CHANG: I think a half trillion dollars of dollar denominated debt so that has a lot to do with it. There it's this view that if we're nice to China, they'll be nice to us. They see our expressions as sort of being indulgent. They're ruthlessly pragmatic and they see us as weak. And so we have created this wrong dynamic.

DOBBS: As we look at the ICBM test, argue it's either successful or partially so, certainly. What is the United States' response to be? Because we look so impotent here, what implications does that have for the future?

FISHER: Well, the weak response to the missile test is now passed. And it's appalling. But what the Obama administration has done in the last two days, offering an expansive arms control agenda that really depends on the goodwill of all these countries that basically hate us and now dove cut backs that in many significant areas are going to allow our adversaries, especially China and Russia to begin to catch up with American capabilities far more rapidly over the next decade.

DOBBS: Thank you very much, Gordon Chang, very you very much.

Felipe Caldron says the United States is hindering Mexico's fight against its deadly drug cartel.

FELIPE CALDERON, MEXICAN PRESIDENT: It is impossible to pass drugs or cocaine to the U.S. without some complicity with at least some American authorities.

DOBBS: And I'll have a few thoughts about President Calderon and his provocative accusations. And a hearing on the partnership between local and federal law enforcement to fight illegal immigration. We'll have that story next.


DOBBS: Two eighty-seven G is the federal program that allows state and local law enforcement to investigate and arrest illegal aliens. In Washington a hearing on the 287-G program turned into a debate over saving lives and being politically correct. At that hearing, Professor Ray Tranchent told of haze daughter's death in Virginia, she was killed by a drunk driver in 2007. The driver was an illegal alien with prior arrests. But the illegal alien had never been deported because 287-G isn't enforced in Virginia. This response to the professor's testimony.

REP. LUIS GUTIERREZ (D), ILLINOIS: What I have seen unfortunately is the will to target and to victimize and to scapegoat a community of people. I have seen that readily here in the Congress of the United States. And it makes for great political points, but it doesn't resolve the problem and will not -- would not have saved your daughter's life.

DOBBS: A remarkable statement for the Congressman. He is among those who claim 287-G leads to racial profiling. Supporters of the 287-G program say the problems of checking an immigrant's status versus saving lives is incomparable.

Strong words from Felipe Caldron of Mexico in response to mounting violence in the war with drug cartels. President Caldron made his position on drug trafficking crystal clear. He said that the United States is just as guilty of corruption as Mexico.

CALDERON: It is impossible to pass guns and drugs or cocaine to the U.S. without some grade of complicity between some American authorities. There is traffic in Mexico because there is corruption in Mexico. And that is true. But with the same argument, if there is traffic in the United States, it is because there is some corruption in the United States.

DOBBS: I don't often agree with President Caldron on any issue. This time I have to. There is no other explain night. It goes well beyond indifference and apathy to the fact that this country has tolerated that border being violated by drug traffickers who bring in from Mexico, methamphetamines, cocaine and marijuana. In fact Mexico is the largest source. And for the U.S. to have tolerated the immense loss of life to addiction and drugs, most of which again originate in Mexico, can only be explained by corruption.

New legislation tonight could provide amnesty for illegal alien students across the country. It's the so-called dream act. It would also provide lower tuition rates to those students even though many American students wouldn't be eligible for the same break. Lisa Sylvester has our report. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Student who is qualify for instate college tuition rates get a deep discount, paying two or three times less than out of state residents. By partisan legislation known as the dream act would allow states to often that lower tuition rate to illegal aliens living in their state. The legislation also puts students here legally on a path to citizenship. If they attend college and serve in the military and have a good moral character. Many of these students went to high school and lived in the United States most of their lives.

BOBBIE WARMACK, LATINOS FOR JUSTICE & EDUCATION: It was not their choice, their parents brought them here, and here they are in a country that doesn't consider them Americans, but they don't know their own country either.

SYLVESTER: The dream act was introduced in previous Congresses, but always rejected. Critics blast it as out right amnesty, saying it rewards people who ignore the law. U.S. unemployment is at the highest level in 25 years and amnesty may be a tough sell says one vocal opponent.

KRIS KOBACH, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY: American citizens are mad about a lot of things right now, they're mad about the economy, they're mad about the government is growing out of control and then if they see Congress at the same time trying to give an amnesty to all of these illegal aliens when U.S. citizens can't get a job, what kind of message is that going to send?

SYLVESTER: Four states, Georgia, South Carolina, Colorado and Arizona have made illegal aliens for ineligible instate tuition rates while ten other states allow it.


SYLVESTER: It will not only put illegal aliens on a path to citizenship, but they can later petition for legal status for their parents and others.

Lisa Sylvester, CNN, Washington.

DOBBS: They don't always say it, that happens to be in fact true.

It is also interesting that all of this time is being consumed in the United States Congress and in various state legislatures concerning in-state tuition for illegal aliens when there isn't a single measure that we're aware of that would provide the same benefit to students in surrounding states in any state in the union.

A reminder to vote on our poll tonight, do you agree with President Obama that Islam has shaped the world for the better, including the United States? Cast your vote at We'll have the results upcoming.

"The New York Times" the newspaper of record for the liberal establishment in the country tonight finds itself wrapped in economic and ideology turmoil. The times which owns the Boston Glove is now threatening to shut down the globe. Union leaders say they have been told to agree to $20 million in concessions by the end of this month, or the "Boston Globe" could be shut down. Newspapers all across the country are failing, some faces bankruptcy and the times company is currently about a billion dollars in debt. The Times recently raised $225 million through a sale and lease deal on its new headquarters, it cut newsroom salaries by 5 percent and arrogance is never in short supply. Executive editor Bill Keller last week said, quote, saving the "New York Times," now ranks with saving Darfur. Even one noted liberal columnist wrote in today's "Washington Post." If the "New York Times" disappears, there will still be news.

Up next, new questions about the timing of the police response in deadly shootings in Binghamton New York and Pittsburgh. I'll be joined by two leading law enforcement authorities.

And the FBI says there's a link between long haul truckers and serial killers. That report is next. Stay with us.


DOBBS: A disturbing trend along our highways which may involve long haul truckers. The FBI says truckers may be responsible for the murders of literally hundreds of prostitutes, hitchhikers and others over the past three decades. Ted Rowlands has the story.


TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Five years ago after investigating a string of murders along I-40 in Oklahoma and Texas, the FBI established a connection between long haul truck drivers and serial killers.

KEITH BOLCAR, FBI SPECIAL AGENT: They may be 1,000 miles a way in a day, so you never get to the point where we can put that together. There's nobody, there's no witnesses and there's no evidence to go by.

ROWLANDS: In an effort to help local law enforcement with unsolved cases, the FBI has established the highway serial killings initiative which includes a database of murder victims and suspected killers. Many of the victims which total more than 500, are like Casey Jo, a prostitute last seen at this Oklahoma City truck stop in 2004. Body found in Texas thrown over a bridge into a creek.

One of the most notorious cases was in California. Wayne Adam Ford walked into a sheriff's office in Humboldt County in 1998 with a human breast in his pocket. Ford, who hauled lumber up and down the state, admitted to four murders. He's now on death row. The FBI highway serial killings' database opened up to local law enforcement last year. The agency believes that as more information is added more killers will be brought to justice.

The FBI is going public with this in an attempt to encourage local law enforcement to enter information on unsolved murders into this database. They say they are talking about a minuscule amount of potential truck driving suspects, however, the information they have in the database dates back 30 years and they say they have as many as 200 truck driving suspects in the system.

Ted Rowlands, CNN, Los Angeles.


DOBBS: New questions tonight about police tactics and the deadly shootings in Binghamton, New York and Pittsburgh, 13 people killed in Binghamton on Friday. Three police officers in Pittsburgh killed Saturday. Officials in Binghamton defended their decision to wait more than 40 minutes before entering the building where the shootings occurred. Joining me is Chris Voss, former FBI agent and hostage negotiator, once assigned to the Pittsburgh office. He is also the CEO of the Black Swan Group. Frank Shea, former New York City police detective.

Good to have you both with us. Let me start if I may in Binghamton where it took police only couple of minutes, Frank, to get to the scene but took them over 40 minutes to actually enter that building.

FRANK SHEA, FORMER NYC DETECTIVE: Yes, from news accounts that I've read, Lou, it took about three minutes for the first responding officers to get to the scene. And then it was approximately 40 minutes later that the S.W.A.T. teams or as we call them in New York City, emergency service teams, entered the building.

DOBBS: You called them emergency service teams?

SHEA: In New York City they are emergency service.

DOBBS: I love that expression. In an emergency, I want their services, I assure you. Does it seem to you that's an egregiously long time for something to happen when you've got hostages, people that building and you know there are shots being fired?

SHEA: Not really, Lou. The reason why I say that, I've been on many emergency situations where we had lives in danger. This case here, a three-minute response for the initial units to respond. The first thing you want to do is contain the building. Make sure the shooters do not es say. You don't know how many shooters are in the building.

DOBBS: Chris, your thoughts?

CHRIS VOSS, FORMER FBI HOSTAGE NEGOTIATOR: I agree. I think they realized early on there was something, they were seeing the car at the back of the building barricading it. That indicates a shooter prepared for a response by law enforcement. They can't go charging in until they have a better deal of what is happening. On top of that, when they first responded there weren't anymore shots being fired. They didn't believe they didn't have evidence of an active shooter at that moment.

DOBBS: Which is the opposite in Pittsburgh, where police officers arrived there at 7:05 after Margaret Poplawski, the mother of the suspect, had called in, 7:05, officers respond. An officer was shot in the head as he entered the residence. Officer Mahyle tried to help. Officer Kelly, respond as an off duty police officer, he was shot. We can't have the time. Police department in Pittsburgh is not releasing the time. We know it was an hour and a half later before an Army S.W.A.T. speak could be put into position to respond to the wounded officer. That seems like a horribly long time.

SHEA: Well, you had the initial response with the two officers who appeared to have been ambushed and taken down. Then you had the third officer who was off duty and responded and was taken down. For an hour and a half for an emergency service S.W.A.T. team to arrive, first class it does seem to be a long time especially the city the size of Pittsburgh.

DOBBS: Chris, your thoughts?

VOSS: We wish we had S.W.A.T. teams positioned close in every neighborhood, sort of like fire trucks, but unfortunately that's not the case. The additional problem they were dealing with as far as getting the armored vehicle there, that's not an easy thing to move. You can't move a vehicle like that at a high rate of speed in a city. If they would have crashed it on the way it would have looked foolish.

DOBBS: At the same time, looking foolish versus doing nothing. One is, in both instances the neighbors and family knew these gunmen were mentally unstable. One was discharged dishonorably from the Marine Corps in the case of Poplawski in Pittsburgh. Voong in Binghamton, his family, friends knew he was unstable and yet there's no intervention in part of the social workers or police departments. They had been called to the house in Pittsburgh previously. It just seems as though there wasn't a response by either of these communities to what was happening.

SHEA: Well, I think in the case of in law enforcement I don't think they were aware of the amount of weaponry this gentleman had.

DOBBS: I was talking more about his mental condition than the weaponry.

SHEA: The medical condition would not be made available to the police department unless he was involved in a prior incident.

DOBBS: Apparently they had been call a number of times to the residence. Is there a possibility, I was to ask this quickly, a possibility we're relying too much on S.W.A.T. teams when you have an officer wounded lying on the ground next to his patrol car and you can't respond until the S.W.A.T. team gets there, is there perhaps another way to look at this the police department should be considering?

SHEA: I don't think there is, Lou. When you a man firing 100 shots it's a tough situation for anybody to try to approach that. DOBBS: Absolutely. OK. Yes, Chris?

VOSS: You've got a man with a shoulder weapon which is more dangerous than a handgun as well.

DOBBS: Thank you very much, Chris, we appreciate it, frank, thank you, gentlemen.

Coming up at the top of the hour, "NO BIAS, NO BULL," Roland Martin in for Campbell Brown -- Roland?

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN ANCHOR: Lou, a letter apparently from the man who opened fire in an immigrant station in Binghamton, New York, sent to a TV station, including photos and a message.

Also, President Obama is in Turkey reaching out to Muslims trying to find common ground. What does this mean for politicians around the world? We begin our special series "Test Of Faith," we'll dig deeper into how Americans see Islam and followers.

What the U.S. military kept hidden from us for two decades.

DOBBS: Up next, the results of our poll. Stay with us. We'll be right back.


DOBBS: Poll results, 89 percent of you don't agree with the president Islam shaped the world for the better including the United States. We thank you for being with us.

"NO BIAS, NO BULL" starts right now.