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Lou Dobbs Tonight
Health Care Defeat; Troops in Afghanistan; New Tactic for Suicide Bombers; Polanski's Release; Olympic Bid
Aired September 29, 2009 - 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: Thanks, Wolf.
The public option voted down in Senate committee today -- actually killed by Democrats -- the one issue that could prevent anything on health care from passing.
Also tonight NATO now considering calls for a troop surge in Afghanistan. And NATO says the United States will not now have to fight the war alone. What do Americans really want? We'll be joined by pollster Frank Lutz (ph) who says he knows. We'll be talking about his new book and new developments in the Roman Polanski case. Now the woman he drugged and raped over 30 years ago is speaking out.
ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS TONIGHT; news, debate and analysis for Tuesday, September 29th. Live from New York, Mr. Independent Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: Good evening, everybody. The public option defeated for now by Democrats. Today, the Senate Finance Committee voted down two amendments proposed by Democrats that included a government run health care option. All the Republicans and five Democrats joined together to vote no, including the committee chairman, Senator Max Baucus, who actually favors the public option but admits it would eventually be a deal breaker and would prevent anything from passing.
But the issue isn't completely dead. Of course, various bills including the public option are still around the House where liberal Democrats may not be willing to let it go at all -- Dana Bash with our report.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Conrad...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Conrad, no. Mrs. Lincoln...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mrs. Lincoln, no. Mr. Nelson...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Nelson, no.
DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What you're seeing and hearing...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Chairman.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Chairman, no.
BASH: ... are Senate Democrats opposing...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Eight ayes, 15 nays.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) fails.
BASH: And defeating a Democratic priority, a government-run insurance option for health care -- the Democratic chairman who helped block a public plan called it simple math.
SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D), MONTANA: No, I can count, and no one has been able to show me how they can count up to 60 votes with a public option in the bill.
BASH: Senate Democrats leadership sources privately tell CNN he's right. There aren't enough votes to pass a public option in the Senate, but don't try to tell that to ardent Democratic supporters of a public plan, determined to fight the fight anyway.
SEN. JAY ROCKEFELLER (D), WEST VIRGINIA: Give people a choice. What is wrong with giving people a choice?
BASH: Arguing the only way to drive down the high cost of health care is to have a nonprofit government run health care option to compete with for-profit insurers.
SEN CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: A public option every day in every way and rules that we haven't thought about will compete and bring those costs down and serve the public as opposed to simply the shareholder.
BASH: The Democratic divide on this issue is so deep, a liberal Democratic group is running this ad against the Democratic chairman.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Baucus, when you take millions of dollars from health and insurance interests that oppose reform and oppose giving families like mine the choice of a public option, I have to ask, whose side are you on?
BASH: With that running back home, it's no wonder Max Baucus and other moderate Democrats against the public option mostly let Republicans do the talking here.
SEN. CHARLES GRASSLEY (R), IOWA: The government is not a fair competitor. It's not even a competitor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you don't want Medicare...
GRASSLEY: It's a predator. (END VIDEOTAPE)
BASH: Now, supporters of a public option said they that thought it was pretty good and they tried to put a positive spin on the fact that they got more Democratic votes than they say they thought they would in this conservative Senate Finance Committee, but Lou there's no getting around the fact that forcing votes and losing is at the very least a symbolic blow to a huge priority in terms of health care for many, many Democrats -- that includes the president.
DOBBS: Well these are the test votes -- the president has been at best, I think it's fair to say based on the statements he's made, ambivalent on the public option. Where does the Senate committee go from here? Where does Baucus, Obama go from here?
BASH: That's a great question. The -- this particular committee will obviously pass this, probably later this week without a public option, and then it's going to be a question for the Senate Democratic leadership. What I'm told by aides is that right now, it doesn't look like there are plans in the works to when they put this on the Senate floor, to have a public option in it because there is at this point still too much opposition among Democrats and of course among those few, maybe one or two Republicans they hope to get. So that is the plan right now, but as you heard from these Democrats, they still plan to fight the fight on the Senate floor...
BASH: ... which means that the public divide among Democrats is just beginning.
DOBBS: The public divide, we'll see how profound, how wide, how deep, but at the same time, Dana, the question remains is this simply a strategy being employed by this White House and the Democratic leadership of the House and Senate to craft a public option in conference if they can get it that far? How much is straightforward and how much is transparent? How much is duplicitous and frankly deceitful?
BASH: Senator Chuck Schumer, who was a very big supporter -- you heard him in the piece -- he is a member of the Democratic leadership. He is very upfront, Lou. He says pointblank he does intend to try to get a public option. If not the first go-round through the Senate the first time they vote on this, at least in the conference. He is very clear, very open, and he is talking to pretty much anybody who will listen to him about that.
DOBBS: And we are listening very carefully and therefore, the public option remains the preferred strategy for the Democratic leadership in the Senate and the House and this president. So how much of this is now just kabuki to provide coverage to those who are straining not to support a public option, which is unpopular as you know with the American public.
BASH: Kabuki finding cover in the Senate -- it's unheard of. Look, look I mean a lot of it is. There's no question that this was in part what we saw today and heard today, a show, frankly, to show that the liberal base that they're fighting the fight. But having said that, you're exactly right, it is a public option is the preferred route for the president for members of the Democratic leadership in the House and the Senate to think that they have tied behind their back is the fact that there are enough conservative Democrats particularly in the Senate that makes it very tough for them to do that.
DOBBS: All right and we will be straightforward about precisely what the strategy is being in both employed by both Republicans and Democrats and those who feign indifference to the public option at least. Dana, thanks as always for terrific reporting.
BASH: Thank you.
DOBBS: Strategy first then resources -- he head NATO today said he agrees with President Obama's plan to re-evaluate the situation in Afghanistan before agreeing to a troop surge. Both men are reviewing the report from the top general in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal. McChrystal warned the eight-year long war could be lost without more troops. Surge or not, NATO pledged that Afghanistan will not be America's burden alone. Dan Lothian has our report.
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Forward in Afghanistan is about more than troop numbers and strategy. At stake are the lives of real people like Jaahid Noori's (ph) family who live in fear of the Taliban and al Qaeda extremists.
JAAHID NOORI, BUSINESS OWNER: My mother, when she went -- about last year, she went to go visit -- she was going to a local grocery store and the Taliban drove by and they shot like five people right in front of her and it was pretty bad...
LOTHIAN: Other family members who live in Kabul full time say while some areas have stabilized, the Taliban is back. That sets the scene for a flurry of meetings at the White House this week. Sitting down with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (ph), President Obama insisted Afghanistan is not an American mission and vowed that NATO would be consulted every step of the way.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We both agree that it is absolutely critical that we are successful in dismantling, disrupting, destroying the al Qaeda network. And that we are effectively working with the Afghan government to provide the security necessary for that country.
LOTHIAN: But the president has not yet said whether the answer lies in sending in more troops as the General McChrystal report makes a case for, or pulling back and focusing instead on targeted strikes by Special Forces or predators, a plan advocated by Vice President Biden.
ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president wants to ensure that we have a well-defined mission, that we all understand that we can't be there forever.
LOTHIAN: But Secretary-general Rasmussen (ph) suggests that winning in Afghanistan may take a long time.
ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: We will stay in Afghanistan as long as it takes to finish our job.
LOTHIAN: Tomorrow, here at the White House, there will be a high level meeting on Afghanistan. It will be inside the situation room, we're told that the vice president, along with the secretaries of state, secretary of defense, also two top generals, General McChrystal and General Petraeus will also be taking part, although we're told that General McChrystal will not be here in person, but will taking part remotely, Lou.
DOBBS: All right, how soon is it expected that the president will make a decision on a strategy and on a troop commitment for Afghanistan?
LOTHIAN: That's the big question and we keep pressing the White House on that. And all they'll give us is a few weeks. They say that the president is really in no rush. He really wants to take his time because it's not about coming up with a quick answer, but doing it right, Lou.
DOBBS: After almost eight years. Dan, thank you very much.
DOBBS: Dan Lothian from the White House.
Terrorist suspect Najibullah Zazi was arraigned in federal court today in Brooklyn. Zazi pled not guilty to plotting to attack New York City with bombs in backpacks.
Disturbing new terrorist tactics that could allow suicide bombers to bypass security -- a terrorist in Saudi Arabia copied a method used by drug smugglers -- the so-called Trojan horse. The terrorist hid explosives inside his body then blew himself up. Brian Todd has the report.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A brazen attack in Saudi Arabia and possibly a new tactic that could prove deadly and difficult to counter. Saudi authorities say a wanted Saudi militant, Abdullah Hassan Thalia Hasiri (ph), was able to get next to Prince Mohammed Bin Naiv (ph), a top security official at his palace in Jeddah (ph) one day last month. According to Saudi officials, Hasiri (ph) had told the prince that he and other militants wanted to turn themselves in.
Prince Naiv (ph) invited Hasiri (ph) to his palace, and when Hasiri (ph) stood next to the prince, he blew himself up. The prince was slightly injured. How was the terrorist able to elude security and get a bomb so close to his target? A U.S. official tells CNN it's the understanding from the Saudis that Hasiri (ph) hid an explosive inside a body cavity. Other guidance from inside the Saudi government is less clear about the motive attack. The group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility. Could this be a new al Qaeda tactic that could be used against other targets that America has to defend against?
STEPHEN MCHALE, FORMER TSA OFFICIAL: I don't think it's going to be a tactic that is going to bring down a building or perhaps even an airplane. This is likely to be a fairly small amount of explosives. It's more likely to be used in this kind of assassination attack.
TODD: Can explosives in the body be detected? So-called back- scatter (ph) technology can scan the entire body and see through clothing. We profiled these devices previously and spoke to the manufacturer about their capability to detect metal and nonmetal objects.
PETER KANT, RAPISCAN SYSTEMS: Regular weapons, guns, knives, box cutters and the like, but also unusual types of weapons, explosives, liquid explosives, gels.
TODD: But experts say this technology is unlikely to detect anything inside a body cavity.
TODD: Other kinds of scans do have that capability. Customs officials have for some years used X-ray technology at airports and border checkpoints to screen people who might be trying to smuggle drugs inside body cavities. But that's in limited use right now. Former TSA official Stephen McHale says it's only used as a layer of security when officials have strong suspicions about people and it is unlikely to be given wider use at airports because of privacy and logistical concerns. Lou?
DOBBS: Brian, thank you -- a troubling report indeed. Thank you, Brian Todd.
Well up next Chicago reeling from the brutal street killing of a 16-year-old honor student and dealing with out of control street crime in Chicago -- perfect timing for the president to be selling Chicago as the next Olympic site.
And she was drugged and raped by Roman Polanski more than 30 years ago. Now she says the director should not go back to prison. We'll find out what she is saying and why.
DOBBS: There is a rising international uproar over director Roman Polanski's arrest and it is escalating as Hollywood rushes to his defense. Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese (ph) are just two of more than 100 top-named actors and filmmakers demanding freedom for the convicted rapist now fighting extradition back to the United States. Casey Wian has the report.
CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Roman Polanski remains behind bars as lawyers in Switzerland, France, and the United States try to secure his release. Los Angeles prosecutors are seeking to extradite Polanski so he can be sentenced for having sex with a 13- year-old girl in 1977 and spending more than 30 years as a fugitive from justice.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I filed an appeal against him being held in custody pending extradition.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): He owns a chalet in Switzerland where he comes on a regular basis and he could -- he would of course accept to be under house arrest during the extradition procedure.
WIAN: More than 130 mostly European film industry directors and actors have signed a petition first circulated in France demanding Polanski's immediate release. "It seems inadmissible to them, it reads in part, that an international cultural event paying homage to one of the greatest contemporary filmmakers is used by the police to apprehend him."
Signatories include directors Martin Scorsese (ph), John Landis (ph), and Woody Allen who himself has faced child abuse allegations, ruled inconclusive stemming from a custody dispute with ex-partner Mia Farrow, as well as public scorn over his relationship with Farrow's adopted daughter, now Allen's wife (INAUDIBLE). Miramax (ph) Studio Chief Harvey Weinstein (ph) said in a statement, "we are calling every filmmaker we can to help fix this terrible situation."
MATT BELLONI, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: I think if Hollywood really starts to look at itself and judge the personal character of a lot of the artists in the community, there would be a lot of empty seats at the Oscars because a lot of people have personal problems. This sort of is at the extreme level of that. It's a criminal conviction for a terrible crime, but it is a -- it is something that the industry is just willing to look the other way on.
WIAN: Polanski also has supporters in the legal community. Criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos who has represented Scott Peterson, Chris Brown, and Winona Ryder (ph) wrote a column for the Web site "The Daily Beast" (ph) calling Polanski a "supposed fugitive" and the 13-year-old girl shown here in the documentary "Wanted and Desired" an alleged victim.
WIAN: Geragos predicts Polanski is more likely to be freed in Europe than jailed in the United States. He also criticized Los Angeles prosecutors' continued pursuit of Polanski in light of California's budget crisis. Lou?
DOBBS: Well that's quite a remarkable reaction. And we're going to examine that here tonight. We'll be talking with leading legal experts, psychologists and psychiatrists about what is happening here and why in both the case of Roman Polanski and those rising to his defense and protesting his apprehension and extradition. Casey Wian, thank you very much for that report.
I'll have a few thoughts about Polanski, his defenders and all of the issues in this case tomorrow on the radio. Join me Monday through Friday for "The Lou Dobbs Show" on the radio 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. each afternoon on WOR 710 Radio in New York. And go to loudobbs.com to get the local listings in your area for "The Lou Dobbs Show" and to subscribe to our daily Podcast -- that's loudobbs.com and please follow me on loudobbsnews on Twitter.com.
A top Democratic fund-raiser today was sentenced to more than 24 years in prison on fraud charges. Norman Hsu (ph) stole more than %$50 million from hundreds of investors. He pled guilty to 10 counts of fraud and campaign finance law violations. Hsu was a major contributor to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Hsu's arrest forced the campaign to return $800,000 in donations linked to HSU. Another top Democratic fundraiser, Assad Nomizee (ph), was charged last week with defrauding major banks of almost $300 million.
Up next, health care workers taking to the streets. They're protesting being ordered to take mandatorily (ph) the swine flu vaccine.
And Chicago caught in a growing wave of deadly violence by young people on its streets; President Bush is rushing to Copenhagen to push for the Olympics. We'll be right back.
DOBBS: Chicago police late today said they're looking for three more suspects in the brutal murder of that 16-year-old honor student who was beaten to death. Four teenagers are already in custody for the murder of the boy. He was killed as he walked home from school. A wave of deadly youth violence has brought national attention to Chicago, and that attention comes as President Obama is making a special push to try to bring the 2016 Olympics to his home town, Chicago.
The president is heading off to Denmark later this week to try to sell Olympic officials on Chicago, but many say the president's focus on Chicago should have more to do with stopping the worsening violence in that city. Bill Tucker has our report.
BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Obama apparently just can't resist the thrill of the Olympics. He flies to Copenhagen later this week to throw his weight and reputation into Chicago's final bid to host the Olympics in 2016.
GIBBS: I think the president, again, sees the opportunity to push strongly, believes that it's important for him to talk directly with voting members of the IOC and make this strong case for the -- for the American side.
TUCKER: But as the president makes his pitch, it's a very different Chicago the world is seeing -- one of stark, raw violence. The beating death of Derrion Albert (ph), 16-year-old honor student, captured on a cell phone video as it happened last week. Albert (ph), the third student killed since school started this year in Chicago.
Thirty-six school aged kids were killed in the Chicago area schools last school year, 510 total murders were committed in 2008, according to the FBI. But some pundits observe that given Chicago's problems and the president's political frustrations over issues like health care, the economy, Afghanistan, his Olympic pitch might be a calculated choice.
RICK PEARSON, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Given the fact that the president really needs some kind of a victory right now, I mean to make this trip where he's actually going to be spending more time in the air than on the ground in Copenhagen, I think they have to have a feeling that this will turn the -- turn the trick.
TUCKER: It's a risk calculated as it may be, if he gets the Olympics for his country in his home town, it could provide an emotional boost and a local stimulus in terms of construction. If he doesn't, it would be just yet another defeat in the face of no big victories in Washington, D.C.
TUCKER: He has a problem, murder isn't inviting to visitors from overseas and among the four finalists for the 2016 Olympics, Chicago's murder rate per 100,000 last year was 18, Rio's was 33 per 100,000. However Madrid had a murder rate of just two per 100,000 and Lou, Tokyo had a one per 100,000 murder rate.
DOBBS: It would be interesting, I realize now that there's great campaigning for these Olympics, but the International Olympic Committee rewarding cities that have the ability to police and make safe their streets and citizens, that cities that respond to environmental considerations, that respond to investment and quality of life, wouldn't that be an interesting -- an interesting part of the equation?
TUCKER: It would be a change in the culture that I don't see.
DOBBS: It looks like a change in culture that both Rio and Chicago should be thinking about. Thanks a lot. Appreciate it Bill Tucker.
Up next, the Obama administration's green agenda is in trouble. The White House however could use a back door to bypass Congress because they can't get it done constitutionally. Why not a little improvisation or improvisation if you prefer? New York health care workers given a choice -- take the flu vaccine or find a job. We'll be right back.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ANNOUNCER: Here again Mr. Independent Lou Dobbs.
DOBBS: Well, tonight, a swine flu shot or a pink slip. That's the choice facing New York doctors and nurses as the flu season has arrived. New York is the first state to mandate vaccines for medical workers, but some critics say it could be a growing trend. Ines Ferre has our report.
INES FERRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Front line medical workers took to the capital steps in Albany, outraged as a rule that required hundreds of thousands of workers to get the seasonal and h1n1 swine flu shots. Otherwise, they could lose their jobs.
PETER MASTI, REGISTERED NURSE: Why am I as a health care giver being denied the choice we give our patients? That doesn't make any sense.
BRENDA DELOZIER, PHYSICAL THERAPIST: We need to be able to keep our rights and mandates need to stop now.
FERRE: The regulation says that health care workers must be vaccinated for influenza by November 30th. That includes hospital, hospice and home care workers unless it would be "detrimental to the recipient's health."
DR. RICHARD DAINES, NY HEALTH COMMISSIONER: Vulnerable, unimmunized people come to hospitals, and they should have an assurance that the hospital workers have done everything they can to protect them and the best protection is to have them immunized.
FERRE: But vaccine watch dog Barbara Loe Fischer worries there's little accountability if a vaccinated person gets sick. Under a federal law, manufacturers are shielded from liability when they create a vaccine for use in a public health emergency.
BARBARA LOE FISCHER, NATL. VACCINE INFORMATION CTR.: You have the right to be fully informed about the benefits and risks of any pharmaceutical product including a vaccine and be allowed to make a voluntary decision. I don't think it's appropriate in this country to force vaccination.
FERRE: New York is the first state to mandate flu vaccinations for health workers. Other states encourage it. While the CDC supports the measure, it says it's not the year to implement it nationally.
DR. THOMAS FRIEDAN, CDC DIRECTOR: Our sense is that this particular season in the midst of a pandemic is not the time at the federal level where we would start a new mandate along those lines.
FERRE: The h1n1 swine flu vaccine is scheduled to come out in October.
(END VIDEOTAPE) FERRE: And health officials say vaccines are safe and shots for measles and other ailments have been required for New York health care workers for years. This would just be an extension of that, but some health care workers are concerned about their rights and they prefer to have a choice. I have heard people say even if I take the flu shot, I want to have a choice about it.
DOBBS: What is really important here is this is the first time this flu shot, this flu vaccine has been available. There's not much experience with it. There's lot of uncertainty about it. These are professionals. They have serving the public interest. They seem to me to be amongst the last people to be denied their rights at American citizens to govern their own lives.
FERRE: When the health care officials don't want to do it, you have questions there.
DOBBS: Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
There are new doubts tonight that an Obama administration climate bill could make it through Congress without drastic, perhaps impossible changes. Many are concerned the white house will dry the back door by having the EPA issue emission rules without Congressional approval. Lisa Sylvester has our report.
LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Senate is preparing its own version of a climate bill to cap green house gases. This version even tougher than the House bill that squeaked by with a mere seven votes. Its fate is uncertain, and that has environmentalists looking to a backup or plan b. Bypass the Congress and have the environmental protection agency issue a new regulation with new caps on green house gas emissions.
DAVE HAMILTON, SIERRA CLUB: If Congress is just going to dither, if Congress is going to sit on its hands or people are going to torpedo the process, then EPA authority is an insurance policy that we will move forward on global warming.
SYLVESTER: Dave Hamilton with the Sierra Club environmental group points to a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that he says gives the EPA under the clean air act, the authority to regulate green house gas emissions, but critics including at least one Democrat, Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, question if the EPA, an executive agency, can issue a rule that by-passes Congress. Nelson saying, "The alphabet agencies are not the fourth branch of government." Representative Marsha Blackburn has produced a bill that would prohibit the EPA from setting emissions levels under the clean air act. Blackburn, like many other Republicans, argues capping emissions will place a heavy tax on consumers.
REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSEE: The bottom line is also that your power generation costs are going to elevate because generating that electricity that you use, looking at home heating oil, all that is going to cost more with the implementation of these cap and trade policies.
SYLVESTER: But the EPA is moving ahead. Last week, it established a new mandatory program that requires large power plants and factories to submit annual reports of levels of emotions. And the agency is finalizing what is known as the endangerment finding, a key step toward regulating gas emissions.
SYLVESTER: The white house says its strong preference is for Congress to pass the bill, but they're calling on the ruling that calls on the EPA to determine if green house gases are harmful to the public. If they try to restrict that, business groups will be challenging it in court.
DOBBS: Thank you very much, Lisa.
Up next, celebrating communism in the United States. While you're going to be seeing red and yellow at the Empire State Building instead of red, white and blue.
And the bizarre case of Roman Polanski. Why Hollywood heavyweights and lightweights alike and even his victim are supporting the convicted rapist of a 13-year-old girl. We'll be right back.
DOBBS: As we reported to you, Hollywood is rallying behind director Roman Polanski who is fighting extradition to the United States for the 1977 rape of a 13-year-old girl. Polanski's guilt in this case is not in question. He admitted the crime more than 30 years ago. Now his victim is even calling for Polanski's release. Joining us tonight to try to understand better what is going on here and why, clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Kuriansky, good to have you with us, CNN senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin, Jeffrey, thanks for being here, criminal defense attorney, Tamara Holder, thank you for being here, and CNN legal analyst, Lisa Bloom.
Lisa, let me start here. This case, there are no facts in dispute, are there?
LISA BLOOM, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: There really aren't. I mean, the fact that the victim decades later made the emotionally healing decision to move on does not change the facts that she never recanted that she said no repeatedly, stop it repeatedly, that she begged him to stop, and nevertheless, Roman Polanski when she was 13 years old, drugged her, raped her, and sodomized her. All these celebrities are rallying around him.
DOBBS: Is there something in the case we're missing?
TAMARA HOLDER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, of course. What we're missing is there was a plea agreement that took place in the judge's chambers. And the judge reneged on the agreement. Roman Polanski pled guilty. He accepted his responsibility, but you know what? Sometimes you say you're going to go in for an evaluation like he did, and then all of a sudden, the facts change. He had no choice but to flee because if he went and was sentenced, he was then going to be deported anyway. Why not just skip town? He had no choice because that judge reneged on that deal.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: First of all, that's not even true. If you read the transcript, it's very clear that he was not promised any sentence and plus the idea. Let me finish. The idea that someone is obligated to flee is frankly illogical and makes -- and is simply not in accordance with any law that any lawyer ought to pay attention to.
HOLDER: But it happens all the time. I have a client right now, the same thing happened to him. The plea agreement was pulled the day he was supposed to take the plea. So he was forced to leave the country because if he did the time here, what else is going to happen? He's going to be deported anyway. It doesn't make change.
BLOOM: Here are the facts that changed just before his sentencing. The facts that changed were Roman Polanski was allowed to go to Europe before he was sentenced supposedly to work on a film. Instead, he was filmed at a beer hall flanked by underaged girls apparently and that photograph angered the judge, as it would any judge facing sentencing a man who was convicted of child rape. The judge is there to make his own independent determination. He never got the chance to sentence Roman Polanski. He never engaged any misconduct. It was only his potential misconduct because ...
DOBBS: Judy, I want to interrupt here because we really need to come to some sort of understanding as to what is going on psychologically and sociologically. People across the country are saying this man pleaded guilty to raping a 13-year-old girl. He is sentenced to jail, hasn't been successfully arrested and brought to justice over three decade decades, and now Hollywood is running to his defense without facts in dispute and his guilty patently certified. What is going on?
DR. JUDITH KURIANSKY, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: What is going on is that the public is in outcry about this, really, Lou, because there are millions of women in this country and around the world who have been sexually, emotionally, or psychologically abused and have not had justice, and they need it. Now, this particular woman who was 13 at the time, has forgiven him, but there are many women who have not healed, and who are still suffering. I have seen many of them over many years, 20, 30, 40 years later, they are still in pain. And they want justice. And they deserve it. So someone who has committed that kind of crime has to pay for it.
TOOBIN: With all respect to the victim here --
KURIANSKY: Can we not use the word victim? I want to stop this for one second to say victim is not the word. It's survivor. When you have gone through the experience, we no longer use victim.
TOOBIN: Let's talk about the survivor. This prosecution was brought in the name of the people of the state of California. Not in her name. It is not up to her whether this case proceeds or not. Rape is a crime against the whole citizenry, not just the victim. So even if she wants it over, that's not the last word here.
DOBBS: And just to be clear, so there's no misunderstanding about the woman who was the 13-year-old, became the survivor of this, who was the victim of this rape, and who survived it. It is a positive thing in her life, a good thing that she has moved to a place of forgiveness and is it not?
KURIANSKY: Yes, for her.
DOBBS: Clearly for her.
KURIANSKY: Yes, and ultimately, we do psychologically want women to move to the point of healing and forgiveness and being a survivor, but they have to go through the emotional pain, and many women still are.
DOBBS: Lisa, you have said --
BLOOM: Let's get this clear legally as to what happened. In 1977, she accepted a civil settlement and then forgave him.
HOLDER: The issues of what happened are not in dispute. He pled guilty. He understands he was guilty of the crime. The issue is what now? What now is the issue?
DOBBS: What now is Woody Allen says he wants to stand up for him. A man with his own past, with his own issues.
HOLDER: A man who got sexually involved with his girlfriend's daughter --
DOBBS: I haven't had to do this very often, but I'm going to do it. I am going to insist I get this question out. You have said this is clearly a case about money and power. How so?
BLOOM: First of all, Woody Allen, a man who got involved with his girlfriend's young daughter is not a resounding vote of approval for this man. The rich and the powerful always think laws don't apply to them and their friends. That's what we're seeing now. The rest of us know better. It doesn't surprise me that all of the celebrities are rallies around this man. He's rich, famous. He's got a lot of rich friends. It doesn't change the fact he's a convicted child rapist who skipped out on his sentence.
DOBBS: Very quickly Tamara, you say that Polanski should come back and look for a pardon, right?
HOLDER: Right. He should come back, face the judge. The judge found misconduct in the case. He has the support of Hollywood, and his governor is a Hollywood star himself. Seek a pardon and Governor Schwarzenegger is going to put an end to all of this right now.
TOOBIN: Don't hold your breath for that pardon, Roman. Just a piece of advice.
DOBBS: OK. Judy, you get the last word. KURIANSKY: I think this is really a way for a lot of women to face what happened with them and for them to heal. That's what can publicly happen here.
DOBBS: Thank you very much, Dr. Judy Kuriansky, Jeffrey Toobin, Tamara Holder, and Lisa Bloom. Thank you, all. Very insightful, very helpful.
Up next, it may be lit red, white, and blue now. Get ready, red, white, and yellow is on the way.
And we'll tell you who lives inside the Empire State Building. The author of a new book tells us what we want, what we really want. Dr. Frank Lutz joins us. We'll talk about his new book. Stay with us.
DOBBS: The American people are angry, not just at government, at Wall Street, many of our nation's institutions. That's the view expressed in the new book "What Americans Really Want, Really." Its author is Frank Lutz. He joins us here now.
Good to have you with us.
FRANK LUTZ, AUTHOR, "WHAT AMERICANS REALLY WANT": It's a pleasure to be here.
DOBBS: Well let's start. You surveyed 6,000 Americans. You discovered 72 percent agree with this statement. I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore. I have heard that before. What are Americans so upset about?
LUTZ: They're mad at government because it's not accountable. They're mad at Wall Street because there's no respect for share holders and employees. They're mad, quite frankly, at Hollywood. I was watching the Roman Polanski segment. That's going to drive people nuts because there's no civility there. They look at the institutions and individuals whom they trusted and they're not delivering for them what they were supposed to.
DOBBS: Each one of those instances I think to myself as you say them, each one of those things say that, you know, each one of those things is in the control of the American public. We don't have to buy the things we do. We don't have to support the institutions we do. We don't have to continue to send back, by a 96 percent the incumbents to office.
LUTZ: But the problem is, you've got elected officials who are canceling town hall meetings because they don't want to get yelled at. It should be exactly the opposite approach. The elected officials should say, Ok, I know you're angry. I'm going to sit for the next two hours, three hours. If a politician wants to get re-elected, they should say I'll stay here until the very last person has had their say. But these elected officials won't do it. They don't want to be challenged, and that's why the American people are so ticked off. DOBBS: They're arrogant and entitled and we're talking about both political parties, not one.
LUTZ: They're angry at both of them because they think that both of them aren't listening. What makes them most angry? Wasteful Washington spending.
DOBBS: Which three problems or issues would you fix first? And we've got it, I'd like to see it so everybody can see it. 31 percent, restoring national economic stability. 31 percent, restoring values and moral morality to society, 29 percent, preventing terrorism, three percent building roads, bridges and highways.
LUTZ: There are a lot in between of course.
DOBBS: There are a lot in between. But I can't help but thinking building roads, bridges and highways could be tied in with national stability as well. What does it really tell us?
LUTZ: It tells us the morality part I thought was fascinating and there's a chanter in this book about the importance of religion and spirituality. And I'll tell you something, more likely you are to pray and to attend church or synagogue, the happier you are, the healthier you are, the closer you are to your family, the more optimistic you are about your future, the more you like your job. There's a direct correlation between spirituality and life satisfaction. And yet you don't see that in day-to-day life.
DOBBS: It's interesting because you're certainly not the only pollster who has revealed that. As a matter of fact, it's validated and corroborated in poll after poll on marriage and on religion and those who are happily married and those involved in their religion far healthier and living more satisfying lives. But those things tend to be ignored at least in the national media.
LUTZ: And that's the issue is that they are ignored. And so the public now says, if I don't speak up and yell, then I'm not heard. And that's the issue. It's not the issue of listening. They want to be heard.
DOBBS: And -- and to be heard, right now, we watch people being heard in those national town hall meetings all across the country. Where does health care rank in your research here?
LUTZ: Health care has risen as an issue. It was not that high, back in January. It's risen as an issue because that's what they are focusing on. And yet the American people are asking two simple questions. How can you vote on legislation that you haven't read, and how can you vote on legislation that we know nothing about? You're affecting my life here. This is not buying a car or a television set. This is my life. My parents' life, my children's life, and you're telling me that you're going to make these radical changes to it, tax policy, budget policy and just policy on health care and you don't even know what's in the bill?
DOBBS: Don't -- well, I mean, let's be very clear. They don't know what's in the bill. They don't know what it will cost. There have not been public hearings, because the public hasn't been heard up to this point and the public wants to hear what the facts are, as you say. Frank Lutz, we appreciate you being here.
LUTZ: And that's what the public is looking for, answers.
DOBBS: And I know what Americans are looking for "what Americans really want, really." Dr. Frank Lutz, thank you for being here.
LUTZ: Thank you.
DOBBS: Up at the top of the hour, "Campbell Brown." Hi, Campbell.
CAMPBELL BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Hey there Lou. Well tonight we are focusing on an international custody battle that is unfolding in Japan where an American dad is in prison tonight charged with abducting his own children. He says he was trying to get them back after his ex- wife defied the law and took them to Japan.
Also, tonight's "Newsmaker" Gloria Estefan. She says the CIA tried to recruit her to be a spy. We've got that.
Plus, of course, our "mash-up" of all the other news at the top of the hour. Back to you, Lou.
DOBBS: Look forward to it. Thank you, Campbell.
Still ahead here, the Empire State Building lit up to celebrate communist China's 60 years.
DOBBS: The Empire State Building, the iconic symbol of New York City, and America, lit up in different colors every night commemorating special occasions. Tomorrow there will be a somewhat unusual celebration at the Empire State Building. The skyscraper will be illuminated in red and yellow, celebrating the 60th anniversary of communist rule in China. Kitty Pilgrim with our report.
KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Empire State Building has long been lit to commemorate holidays, causes, and events. Christmas, breast cancer awareness, the Mets and the Yankees, but a commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the communist revolution? Not one, but two, human rights organizations with offices in the empire state building itself are appalled. Human rights watch didn't know the lighting was scheduled. They have monitored human rights abuses in China for two decades and say the anniversary is no cause for celebration.
MINKY WORDEN, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: You could say that the 60th anniversary inside China has not been a good thing for press freedom, human rights, or the rule of law, and, in fact, has empowered the security apparatus. PILGRIM: Also in the Empire State Building a group, human rights in China. It's been monitoring individual cases of human rights abuse in China for two decades.
SHARON HOM, HUMAN RIGHTS IN CHINA: One of the consequences of it is, it is contributing to the legitimacy of the leader in power now, and it's undermining the importance of the human rights issues.
PILGRIM: The Empire State Building website offers an invitation to fill out an application to become a lighting partner. But the application warns all special lighting requests are considered based on the merit of their cause. It's not clear who approached the owners of the building, but the Chinese consul in New York will attend the ceremony. Michael Gonzalez of the Conservative Heritage Foundation spent years as an editor of the Asian "Wall Street Journal" in Hong Kong.
MICHAEL GONZALEZ, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: To give one of our greatest icons over to a celebration of Chinese communism is very odd indeed. We shouldn't forget that Mao massacred a great number of people. Some say as many as 60 million people. That is three times the number of people that Stalin massacred and ten times the people who Hitler killed in the holocaust.
PILGRIM: Now, the owners of the Empire State Budding, it's a private real estate company, Mall Conn Properties released a statement. And it goes like this, "The Empire State Building celebrates many cultures and causes in the world community with iconic lightings." Now, the company would not answer questions about why the decision was made -- Lou?
DOBBS: Well, there you have it. America 2009. Appreciate it. Kitty Pilgrim.
A reminder to join me on the radio Monday through Fridays for "The Lou Dobbs Show" 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on WOR New York. Please go to loudobbs.com to get the local listings of the show in your area and to subscribe to our free daily podcast on today's show. I talked with former Republican presidential candidate, former Governor Mike Huckabee, about why it is time to send the United Nations out of the United States. To hear my interview and much more, sign up for our podcast at loudobbs.com.
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Thank you for being here tonight. Please join us tomorrow. Coming up next, "CAMPBELL BROWN."