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Lou Dobbs This Week

Gonzales Testimony Contradictory; White House Retorts Dems Playing Politics

Aired July 28, 2007 - 18:00   ET


KITTY PILGRIM, GUEST HOST: Tonight, Democrats escalate their confrontation with the Bush White House. Senate Democrats demand a perjury investigation against Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
And a stunning legal decision against a small town trying to limit the effects of illegal immigration. The ruling could affect communities across the entire nation. All that and much more, straight ahead here tonight.

ANNOUNCER: This is LOU DOBBS THIS WEEK. News, debate, and opinion for Saturday, July 28th. Sitting in for Lou Dobbs, Kitty Pilgrim.

PILGRIM: Good evening, everybody. Congressional Democrats and the White House tonight are on a collision course over executive powers. House Democrats are demanding that current and former White House staff give public testimony under oath. At the same time, Senate Democrats are accusing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales of possible perjury. Republicans say Democrats are playing politics.

Dana Bash reports from Capitol Hill.


DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is a very serious charge. Senate Democrats say the attorney general may have committed a crime by lying to them under oath.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: Obfuscation, prevarication and untruths from the leader of this huge and critical department.

BASH: Democrats want a special counsel to investigate whether Alberto Gonzales perjured himself or misled Congress during several combative hearings. For example, Gonzales testified that he did not talk to his aides about an inquiry into fired federal prosecutors.

ALBERTO GONZALES, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: I haven't talked to witnesses, because of the fact that I haven't wanted to interfere with this investigation.

BASH: But one of his top aides later said they did discuss it and it made her uncomfortable.

MONICA GOODLING, FMR. JUSTICE DEPT. COUNSELOR: He laid out his general recollection of... UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Recollection of what, Ms. Goodling?

GOODLING: Of some of the process. And I just thought maybe we shouldn't have that conversation.

BASH: On another controversial issue, warrantless wiretapping, Democrats accused the attorney general of lying about the subject of a 2004 congressional meeting and contradicting himself about whether administration officials had disagreements about the surveillance program.

Gonzales last year.

GONZALES: There has not been any serious disagreement about the program that the president has confirmed.

BASH: Gonzales this week.

GONZALES: Mr. Comey had informed us that he would not approve the continuation of a very important intelligence activity.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Those are not misleading. Those are deceiving. Those are lying.

BASH: Even GOP senators who want Gonzales to resign call a perjury investigation pure politics.

SEN. ARLEN SPECTER (R-PA), RANKING MEMBER, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Senator Schumer is not interested in looking at the record. He's interested in throwing down the gauntlet and making a story in tomorrow's newspapers.

BASH (on camera): And Democrats launched another attack on the White House today, sending a subpoena to the president's political adviser, Karl Rove, to talk about his role in firing federal prosecutors.

Dana Bash, CNN, Capitol Hill.


PILGRIM: FBI Director Robert Mueller apparently contradicted congressional testimony by the attorney general. Mueller indicated the government's terrorist surveillance program was the subject of a controversial meeting some three years ago. Now, last Tuesday Gonzales said the meeting was about other intelligence activities.

The White House is standing by Gonzales and striking back at its critics on Capitol Hill. The White House says Congress is more out of control every day. A White House spokesman said that Congress is failing to pass vital spending bills. Elaine Quijano has our report -- Elaine.

ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Kitty, White House press secretary Tony Snow went round and round with reporters, trying to essentially explain what some say is an outright contradiction in the testimony of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller. Both men went before Congress, talking about intelligence activities earlier in the week.

Ultimately the White House insists that there is no discrepancy and Tony Snow attributed any confusion to Democrats trying to make political hay.


TONY SNOW, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECY.: This is what happens when one turns into a political football highly classified programs knowing that you have free rein to say whatever you want, knowing that the other side can't respond, cannot respond without violating the law.


QUIJANO: But it's important to note here that the attorney general during his hearing did not ask senators to go behind closed doors at any point, as we could have done. It's not clear exactly why he didn't ask for portions of that to be classified.

Also, important to note as well that it's not just Democrats who are expressing additional questions and concerns in the wake of the attorney general's testimony, it's also a Republican, a prominent Republican voice, in fact a ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, Senator Arlen Specter, who has been a vocal critic of the attorney general's in the past.

He says, look, I still have additional questions even after the attorney general's testimony and I'd like to have the White House respond to some of my questions -- Kitty.

PILGRIM: Elaine Quijano reporting from the White House.

Turning to the war in Iraq, the top U.S. general and diplomat in Baghdad are appealing for more time to complete the surge strategy. General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker say the mission will not be complete by September as some lawmakers hoped.

Now, separately General Petraeus is planning for U.S. military operations to continue in Iraq for another two years. The military is not saying how many troops will be required for those operations.

Ambassador Crocker says Iran has increased its military activity in Iraq in the past two months. A top U.S. commander, General David -- Ray Odierno, said Iranians are training insurgents who fire rockets and mortars at the Green Zone. General Odierno said those attacks are becoming more accurate.

Barbara Starr reports from the Pentagon.


BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Seven hours of talks in Baghdad between the U.S. and Iran, all about Tehran's nonstop secret support for attacks against U.S. troops. Tense moments and heated exchanges, according to U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker.

RYAN CROCKER, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO IRAQ: We made very clear in today's talks that over the roughly two months since our last meeting, we have actually seen militia-related activity that can be attributed to Iranian support go up and not down.

STARR: Commanders worry that in the weeks before the September progress report, even more U.S. troops will die at the hands of Iran's deepening involvement inside Iraq, especially from Iran's armor- penetrating bombs, EFPs.

MAJ. GEN. RAYMOND ODIERNO, CMDR., MULTI-NATIONAL CORPS - IRAQ: We are getting reports that in fact they are trying to export more EFPs in here over the next 60 days, as many as they possibly can and get them in the hands of these Shia extremists in order to use specifically against coalition forces.

STARR: The military will not say how many troops have died from Iranian-made bombs, but nearly 80 percent of U.S. troops who are killed are killed by roadside bombs. And now insurgents inside Iraq are trying to replicate sophisticated Iranian technology on their own.

And Odierno says in recent weeks there has also been a sharp increase in more accurate rocket and mortar fire against the highly secured Green Zone by Shia militiamen trained in Iran earlier this year.

ODIERNO: It's clear to me that not only are the rockets and mortars being used but that these individuals who are shooting them were trained in Iran, I believe, with the Quds Force.


STARR: So if U.S. troops in Iraq are at risk from Iranian weapons, what is the Bush administration doing about it? Don't look for any change in strategy. They will continue to pursue the diplomatic angles and go after Iranian weapons and operatives when and where they find them, but only inside Iraq. Don't look for any U.S. troops to cross the border into Iran -- Kitty.

PILGRIM: Still to come, troubling information in the case of imprisoned former Border Patrol agents Ramos and Compean.

Also, new charges that your meat may not be as fresh or as safe as you think it is.

And a long-awaited court ruling about a small town's effort to curtail the effects of illegal immigration.


PILGRIM: Disturbing new developments in the case of imprisoned former Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean. There's more evidence the federal government not only granted the illegal alien smuggler immunity from prosecution to testify against the agents, but it also cleared the way for him to smuggle more drugs into the United States.

Casey Wian has our report.


CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In February 2005, illegal alien Osbaldo Aldrete-Davila was found smuggling 743 pounds of marijuana near Fabens, Texas. He led Border Patrol agents on a high- speed pursuit and fled back to Mexico.

But during the pursuit Davila was wounded by agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who failed to properly report the shooting. They are now serving 11 and 12 years in federal prison, largely because federal prosecutors gave drug smuggler Davila immunity to testify against the agents. They also gave Davila a border-crossing card, so he could receive medical treatment in the United States.

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher obtained documents through a Freedom of Information request proving that visa was in effect at the same time a DEA report shows Davila was involved in smuggling another load of marijuana across the border.

REP. DANA ROHRABACHER (R), CALIFORNIA: These documents verify drug dealer Aldrete-Davila had an unconditional, unescorted access pass to cross into the United States. Free-access passes were issued to him, even after he was identified by the Drug Enforcement Agency in a second drug smuggling incident.

WIAN: The U.S. attorney in Texas, Johnny Sutton, faced harsh questioning at a Senate hearing on the case last week.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: The question is, do you believe it was a mistake to give this kind of humanitarian, ongoing parole visa to a drug dealer?

JOHNNY SUTTON, U.S. ATTORNEY: I guess I would say is, if it turns out he...

FEINSTEIN: The answer is yes or no, Mr. Sutton.

SUTTON: No. If it turns out he ran another load of dope, obviously it's a huge mistake. If he didn't run another load of dope, it's not a mistake. You know, the bottom line is, we don't know yet whether he ran another load of dope. My team is trying to figure that out. And as soon as we get competent, admissible evidence to charge him, we would...

WIAN: Federal prosecutors successfully persuaded a judge to prevent jurors in the Ramos-Compean case from hearing about Davila's second load of drugs.

REP. DUNCAN HUNTER (R-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think he had an obligation at that point to move for dismissal, because the key witness whose testimony was going to send the two Border Patrol agents to jail had proven that he was -- that any bit of reliability or credibility that he had possessed after the first drug deal, he certainly did not possess after the second drug deal.

WIAN: That is expected to be a key part of the agent's appeal. The House will hold hearings into the Ramos-Compean case next week. Prosecutor Johnny Sutton refused to appear, prompting calls for his resignation.

REP. WALTER JONES (R), NORTH CAROLINA: The skunk is in the prosecutor's office in Texas. And when you know you have got a skunk, you better get him out. No longer can the American people stand by and see this injustice of these two border agents who deserve freedom.

WIAN: Lawmakers are demanding that President Bush free Ramos and Compean immediately.


WIAN: Congressman Rohrabacher also received copies of letters between the Mexican government and the Department of Homeland Security about Aldrete-Davila. They failed to provide evidence that Mexico pressured the United States to prosecute the Border Patrol agents.

But they do contain an interesting statement by the consul general of Mexico in El Paso. He called illegal alien drug smuggler Aldrete-Davila a victim -- Kitty.

PILGRIM: That's very disturbing. Thanks very much, Casey Wian.

And we will be in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday for the congressional investigation into the prosecution and sentencing of former Border Patrol agents. Now please join us at 6:00 p.m., that's on Tuesday, for a special edition of "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT."

A federal grand jury this week indicted a Mexican businessman on charges that he aided in the production of methamphetamine destined for the United States. Now this case highlights the thriving global meth trade. Drug enforcement officials now say shutting down small home-grown meth labs in the U.S. has led to rising meth imports from Mexico, meth that's delivered along the same routes already proven successful for drug cartels.

Christine Romans reports.


CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Meth, crystal meth, ice; dangerous, addictive and deadly. As home-grown meth labs in the United States have been shut down, in its place a sophisticated, lucrative global trade has emerged.

Jacqueline Byers surveys sheriffs about meth and its effects in their communities.

JACQUELINE BYERS, NATIONAL ASSOC OF COUNTIES: The users are still out there and they're going to find a way to get their drugs. If they can't manufacture it, they are going to purchase it. And there are always people who are looking to cash in on that kind of addiction. So those streams from Mexico and other places are jumping into place.

ROMANS: Law enforcement has been shutting down American meth labs. The Drug Enforcement Administration reports a 42 percent decline in home-grown labs in just one year. Officials raided labs and lawmakers restricted the chemicals found in cold and allergy medicines, chemicals that can be cooked in a makeshift lab to make meth.

A court complaint this week against an alleged chemical dealer to meth traffickers states "clandestine meth labs over the past three years have increased significantly in Mexico, while decreasing in the United States."

In testimony last year, the DEA administrator, Karen Tandy, said precursor chemicals from India and China are being rerouted through new places, like Cairo and South Africa before going to Mexico.

And "in a more disturbing trend, we began seeing Chinese organized crime groups in Canada selling tens of thousands of pills that looked like and were marketed as ecstasy, but instead were 100 percent methamphetamines. Those meth pills are now turning up in the U.S."

ROMANS (on camera): Now more than four months after that huge stash of money was found, Ye Gon is behind bars. The Mexican government has formally asked for his extradition. His next hearing is Friday.

Christine Romans, CNN, New York.


PILGRIM: Coming up, the meat you buy may not be as fresh as you think. We'll have a special report.

And a stunning legal decision for communities trying to curtail illegal immigration. We'll hear both sides of a landmark lawsuit.

And the war of words between senators Clinton and Obama. We'll tell you all about it, stay with us.


PILGRIM: Congress took action this week as federal regulators were again under fire for failing to protect this nation's food supply. Legislation has been introduced to make the public aware of a common industry practice that makes meat look fresher than it may actually be.


PILGRIM (voice-over): Red, fresh meat, or is it? Congressional hearings pointed to the pitfalls of treating meat with carbon monoxide.

REP. BART STUPAK (D), MICHIGAN: Treating meat with carbon monoxide allows the meat to keep its freshly-ground red color, even though the meat may have spoiled.

I have a picture on the screen, and there's two packages of ground meat that were out at room temperature for 27 hours. You can see the one which was treated with carbon monoxide looks fresh and red, while the other meat has turned brown and quite nasty-looking.

PILGRIM: Congressman Stupak and Congressman Ed Markey have introduced legislation that would require meat treated with carbon monoxide to be labeled, so the consumer would know.

According to the industry, two-thirds of all meat and chicken is no longer cut by a butcher in front of customers or in back of the supermarket case. Now prepackaged, case-ready meat is prepared off- site at large distributors, and then shipped to supermarkets.

The carbon monoxide treatment keeps meat looking fresh in that process. Food experts say a pound of ground beef cut by a butcher goes brown in four to five days. But meat treated with carbon monoxide by a meat packer can stay looking fresh for weeks. It's the same with imported seafood. Congressman Stupak says his subcommittee tested seafood from China and Vietnam treated with carbon monoxide; 20 percent turned out to be bad and was refused.

MARION NESTLE, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY: It's a problem, because consumers aren't informed about how meat is treated. The meat is being treated with chemicals so that it's going to look like it's fresher than it is. I think consumers have a right to know how fresh their meat is.

PILGRIM: Industry representatives of large meat packers say the additive is harmless and it's easy to tell when the product goes bad.


PILGRIM: The FDA has declared meat treated with carbon monoxide is safe, so the use of carbon monoxide is not banned here. But three years ago the European Parliament's Environmental Committee outlawed it because consumers could be misled about the freshness of the meat.

Communist China says it will tighten controls on antibiotics used in fish farms. China's ministry of agriculture said it is focusing on overuse of the drug after traces had been found in seafood samples. Now many of the drugs used in Chinese fish ponds are banned in the United States. Just last month, the Food and Drug Administration banned five species of farm fish from China until importers can prove that the fish are safe to eat.

Coming up, the mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, Lou Barletta, will give us his reaction to a landmark court ruling about his efforts to curb illegal immigration.

A top official of the ACLU will also be here to tell us what this ruling means for other communities.

And the showdown between President Bush and Congress. It's escalating. Three of the best of political analysts and strategists will join us.


ANNOUNCER: This is "LOU DOBBS THIS WEEK," news, debate, and opinion. Here again, Kitty Pilgrim.

PILGRIM: A defeat this week for communities across the country fighting the illegal immigration crisis, now a crisis caused by the federal government's unwillingness to enforce border security and existing immigration laws. A federal court ruled that Hazleton, Pennsylvania's, illegal immigration relief act was unconstitutional. Now the law would have held that landlords and companies responsible if they did business with illegal aliens.

Bill Tucker has our report.


BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The mayor of Hazleton was clearly disappointed.

MAYOR LOU BARLETTA (R), HAZLETON, PENNSYLVANIA: I'm very disappointed in Judge -- that Judge Munley has ruled against all legal residents of the city of Hazleton. This fight is far from over. I have said it many times before that Hazleton is not going to back down.

TUCKER: The court ruled that the city of Hazleton has no right to enact any ordinances dealing with illegal immigration because they conflict with the supremacy clause of the United States Constitution, a clause which says that a state cannot pass laws which interfere with or violate federal law.

Federal District Court Judge Munley wrote: "Whatever frustrations the city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, may feel about the current state of federal immigration enforcement, the nature of the political system in the United States prohibits the city from enacting ordinances that disrupt a carefully drawn federal statutory scheme."

He went on to add: "Even if federal law did not conflict with Hazleton's measures, the city could not enact an ordinance that violates rights the Constitution guarantees to every person in the United States, whether legal resident or not."

The ruling cheered the plaintiffs, who immediately claimed it sends a clear message to other communities across the country.

DR. AGAPITO LOPEZ, HAZLETON LATINO ASSOCIATION: From farmers' rights in Texas to Florida, there's about 120 cities that have been waiting to see if they can enact their own immigration laws. This is something that pertains to the Congress.

GEORGE BARRON, PLAINTIFF'S ATTORNEY: We hope that other municipalities who have enacted similar ordinances will take this as -- will heed this warning and will eliminate those ordinances as soon as possible. TUCKER: But the city of Hazleton is not done yet.

KRIS KOBACH, ATTORNEY FOR HAZLETON: With all due respect to Judge Munley, this 204-page opinion begs for an appeal. This decision is extraordinary. This decision is activist and it is a decision that will not stand up on appeal, nor is it entirely unexpected.

TUCKER: The lawyers pointing out that, among other things, that the judge declares "no one is illegal until an immigration judge finds them illegal."


TUCKER: Now Judge Munley also reasons in his ruling that by passing the regulations cracking down on illegal aliens in their community, Hazleton runs the risk of harming the foreign relations of the United States. Next stop for this case will be the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.

And, Kitty, the lawyers on both sides expect that it will probably be at least eight to nine months before arguments are heard there.

PILGRIM: Bill, you've spent a lot of time in Hazleton. You were there for this ruling. Do you get a sense from the people in the town that they understand what a big deal this is, how nationally the spotlight is on Hazleton?

TUCKER: No, they have a very keen sense of where they are in the importance of what's going on there. A number of the residents I spoke with yesterday were very frustrated. They don't understand why they can't take control of matters in their community because they feel like the federal government has completely, you know, ignored its responsibility there.

So there's some frustration in the community and there is a keen sense of awareness of how important this case is, not only for them but for other communities in the country looking to do the same thing.

PILGRIM: Thanks very much, Bill Tucker, excellent coverage, thank you, Bill.

And after this ruling, Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta vowed to take the fight over this important law all the way to the Supreme Court.


LOU DOBBS, HOST: And the mayor of Hazleton, Lou Barletta, joins me now.

Good to have you with us, Mr. Mayor.

BARLETTA: Hi, Lou. Nice to be here.

DOBBS: You're disappointed at this decision. Are you surprised? BARLETTA: No, I'm not surprised, Lou. We are, obviously, disappointed, but not surprised. The judge has really shown throughout the course of this trial that he was not in favor of what the city of Hazleton was doing.

And I say that just by the fact that some of the illegal aliens who were suing the city of Hazleton who have gone by the name of John and Jane Doe, their identities were protected by the judge.

They did not have to show up for the trial. I never saw the people who were suing us. And, obviously, I feel that this was an injustice not only to the city, but to those around the country.

DOBBS: Right. It's -- that is sort of remarkable but it also is the situation that you've said all along, you're going to appeal. What's your next legal step?

BARLETTA: Well, we're going to appeal to the Third Circuit Court of Philadelphia, where we feel that this will be overturned. And from there, Lou, I'm prepared to fight this all the way to the Supreme Court. Today was a slip and not a fall, and this battle is far from over.

DOBBS: There was this -- we last reported from Hazleton, there was a general belief expressed to us, as we were there in the community, that this district court judge, that there was no way in the world, given his political -- his perceived political viewpoints and ideology, that he could possibly rule in the favor of the city.

The idea that this would be politically based, do you reject that, even though you're disappointed with the decision?

BARLETTA: Well, you know, I would hope that that wouldn't be the case, Lou. But it's almost amusing to me that the judge would say we can't do what the federal government should be doing when, in fact, the federal government is not doing it. And if they were doing their job, obviously, I wouldn't have to take this stand.

But I'm going to continue to fight for the people of this community and other cities around the country.

DOBBS: Mayor Lou Barletta, we thank you very much. And, of course, we'll be following...

BARLETTA: Thank you.

DOBBS: ... the progress of the next legal development, as you pursue your course.

BARLETTA: Thanks, Lou.


PILGRIM: Coming up, the Hazleton decision was a victory for the ACLU. Their legal director will join us.

Also, a war of words erupts between Democratic frontrunners. And we'll have that and more with our panelists, stay with us.


PILGRIM: The fight over illegal immigration and a town's right to enforce immigration law is not over. Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta vows to keep fighting the ruling against his town. But the lead attorney in the case says the decision sends a clear message not only to Hazleton but to other communities seeking to curtail the impact of illegal immigration.


DOBBS: The American Civil Liberties Union, one of the groups suing the city of Hazleton and today winning a legal victory. The legal director of the Pennsylvania ACLU is Vic Walczak. He joins us from Pittsburgh.

Good to have you with us.

VIC WALCZAK, ACLU: Good to be here. Thank you, Lou.

DOBBS: We'll begin with a congratulations. And at this point, what do you think the impact of this decision will be?

WALCZAK: Well, we hope that this decision sends a blaring red light to any local elected officials around the country who may be thinking of passing a similar law. You know, I found it curious both Mayor Barletta and his lawyer were so soundly attacking not just Judge Munley's opinion, but also Judge Munley himself, and suggesting there was politics involved.

You know, this is the first court to rule on one of these ordinances after having had a full trial. We had a two-week trial back in March...

DOBBS: Right. Nationwide, we should point out.

WALCZAK: Right, nationwide. But there have been six or seven other decisions by judges around the country, on a preliminary basis...


WALCZAK: ...and they -- every single one of them has ruled the same...

DOBBS: Right.

WALCZAK: ...and has rejected the arguments...

DOBBS: Right.

WALCZAK: ...that, you know, the mayor thinks are so...

(CROSSTALK) DOBBS: Well, in fairness, not each of those ordinances is the same. There are now some very similar to that and -- as Hazleton's. But you say not political. Mayor Barletta saying that this judge managed, in a 207-page opinion, to include concerns about whether the government of Mexico would get mad and would have an influence on U.S. foreign policy.

I mean, help me out there.


DOBBS: Why he would he do that?

WALCZAK: Well, you know, with -- again, with all due respect to Mayor Barletta, that is testimony that was in the record. And, in fact, it came in to show that immigration requires a careful calibration between lots of interests, including foreign policy, the national economy, individual rights.

DOBBS: Well, Vic, if I may say...

WALCZAK: And those are considerations...

DOBBS: If I may say, balderdash. U.S. immigration law and the U.S. Constitution should not be swamped by that sort of absolute balderdash.

WALCZAK: Well, it...

DOBBS: I mean, that's absurd.

WALCZAK: No, I'm...

DOBBS: Are you saying that there has to be reciprocity and mutuality...


DOBBS: immigration law before it can be enforced? You know better than that.

WALCZAK: No, I'm sorry, Lou. I mean you asked me to come on this show.

DOBBS: Sure.

WALCZAK: You asked me a question and I thought you wanted to hear the answer. So...

DOBBS: Well, I want to hear the answer.


DOBBS: I just want to hear you make some sense on the thing.

WALCZAK: Well, if you'd let me finish... DOBBS: OK, then please.

WALCZAK: ...and not distort what I'm saying...

DOBBS: Please, please.


DOBBS: Please.

WALCZAK: And I'm sorry, you know...

DOBBS: No, no. Please.

WALCZAK: I know I'm a guest...


WALCZAK: I'm a guest on your show. Look, the point is...

DOBBS: Go for it, partner.

WALCZAK: The point is, the reason that it is so important for the federal government to be making decisions about immigration is that it affects a lot of national interests like foreign policy, like how are you going to affect the national economy? How are you going to deal with individual rights?

And Congress has to calibrate those things. And, in fact, it is those considerations that have prevented Congress from coming up with any kind of legislation. The point the judge is making, which was reflecting...

DOBBS: Whoa, whoa, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait...

WALCZAK: ...which is reflecting...

DOBBS: Now you're putting forward a political opinion and I'm asking you for a -- a few legal -- a legal analysis.

WALCZAK: Well, the legal opinion...

DOBBS: So let's go back to your political point now. The ACLU would recommend to those communities -- and I know that the ACLU is every bit as concerned about the impact of illegal immigration, just as concerned as any American in this country about the fact our borders are not secure, that a million illegal aliens, as many as a million illegal aliens are entering this country illegally.

What would be the ACLU's advice and counsel -- legal advice and counsel, to mayors and city councils and small towns all over the country who, as you say, might be contemplating an ordinance like this, what would you have them do?

What's your best counsel to them to deal with the impact of a government that will not enforce existing U.S. immigration laws, the impact of a government and an administration that will not secure the borders, even though we're in a global war on terror?

WALCZAK: Right. First of all, Lou, I'm a trial lawyer. I'm a constitutional lawyer. I'm probably not the kind of immigration expert that you are. And I'm going to talk about a position on the borders. The ACLU has not taken a position on that.

In terms of what...

DOBBS: You could have fooled me.

WALCZAK: Well, no, I mean I think that's accurate, that we have not taken a position on what to do with the borders.

DOBBS: I understand.

WALCZAK: You know, my job in this case was to look at this local ordinance...

DOBBS: Sure.

WALCZAK: ...and try to help the judge determine whether or not it's constitutional or not.

DOBBS: Right.

WALCZAK: We think it's very difficult for municipalities to...

DOBBS: Well, let me ask you this, then, if you want to defer on that. What counsel would you give to Americans...


DOBBS: I'm sorry?

WALCZAK: I thought I was trying to answer that.

DOBBS: Well, I thought you had. If you hadn't, please, go ahead.

WALCZAK: What local municipalities need to do is first put pressure on their congressional representatives to try to come up with some kind of solution. And I know that's partly a dodge.

The second point that's really important is that I think that if we're going to have a discussion about immigration in this country, it's very important...

DOBBS: All right.

WALCZAK: ...that we deal with facts and not myths and propaganda.

DOBBS: Oh, partner, I couldn't agree with you more. So let's term the question just a little differently...

WALCZAK: OK. DOBBS: ...since you have only partially dodged the question. And this I know you won't want to dodge. Is there any legal recourse to the American people, U.S. citizens, against a government and an administration, an administration, executive departments, particularly at Homeland Security, the Justice Department, when they refuse to enforce existing U.S. law, when they refuse to enforce the border?

On this very day we're watching the National Guard be withdrawn by half from our borders, even though illegal immigration is unabated.

WALCZAK: Right. I mean, ultimately, Lou, I'm sorry, I don't know whether there is a legal cause of action. The bottom line is that accountability for the president, for members of Congress, lies at the ballot box and, you know...

DOBBS: Well, that's certainly one of them.


DOBBS: But we don't want to keep you lawyers out of work. We wouldn't want that to...


DOBBS: You to be idle.

WALCZAK: I wouldn't worry too much about that.

DOBBS: How about this? You're a volunteer organization. You're worried about -- the American Civil Liberties Union.


DOBBS: Are our civil liberties being violated by a government that will not enforce border security, that will not enforce existing law, that will not protect local communities and their citizens from the impact of those who have violated the law and from the very need to do so because it is, fundamentally, a failure, a dereliction of duty on the part of the federal government?

WALCZAK: Well, I think, you know, the problem with a legal cause of action there comes from your conservative colleagues on the Supreme Court who have said...

DOBBS: My conservative colleagues? I'm neither a conservative nor a justice.

WALCZAK: Well, they are -- well, there are -- the conservative folks in this country have helped the Supreme Court and other courts rule that the government is not a guarantor of people's safety. So, you know, I think, frankly...

DOBBS: I'm sorry, say that again.


WALCZAK: The government cannot be held accountable as a guarantor of people's safety.


WALCZAK: So in terms of the legal...


DOBBS: I don't think there are many people in this country looking for a guarantee on either the issue of homeland security, border security or illegal immigration. But you know what they would like if they can't get a guarantee or a warranty? They sure would like a best effort. Do you think we're getting that?

WALCZAK: You know, it does not appear that the federal government is -- I mean, I -- you know, I think it's a difficult political situation, Lou.

DOBBS: Yes...

WALCZAK: ...and what's ironic is that some of the...

DOBBS: Well, there should be -- look, can we agree on this as we end?


DOBBS: There should be nothing political about a president and a department head's responsibility to enforce the law. There should be nothing political about a Congress and a president preserving the safety and the security of the American people and enforcing immigration laws.

Can we agree on that?

WALCZAK: Amen, Lou.

DOBBS: Amen, brother.

WALCZAK: How's that? Yes.

DOBBS: Thank you, sir.

WALCZAK: Good. Thank you.

DOBBS: Good to have you with us.

WALCZAK: Thank you.


PILGROM: Up next, Clinton versus Obama, round two -- or is it round three? The presidential candidates step up their war of words.

And the battle between Democrats in the White House intensifies. And neither side appears to be backing down. Three of the nation's best political analysts will join me with that and more. Stay with us.


PILGRIM: The political fight between Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barack Obama has escalated. Senator Obama accused Senator Clinton of being "Bush-Cheney lite." Now Senator Clinton said that's just plain silly.

John King reports.


JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Early morning in New Hampshire, Barack Obama serves notice he isn't about to back down.

SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's no longer sufficient for us to trot out the old formulas, the old tired phrases. If we want fundamental change, then we can't be afraid to talk to our enemies.

KING: Then, he ups the ante in a Democratic campaign turned suddenly raw, comparing Hillary Clinton to the president and vice president Democrats love to hate.

OBAMA: I don't want a continuation of Bush-Cheney. I don't want Bush0Cheney lite. I want a fundamental change.

KING: It was pointed, personal, and guaranteed to draw a return fire.

SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, this is getting kind of silly. You know, I have been called a lot of things in my life, but I have never been called George Bush or Dick Cheney, certainly. You know, you have to ask, what has ever happened to the politics of hope?

KING: Team Clinton suggests Obama is abandoning his promise of a new polite brand of politics, because being nice hasn't sliced into the frontrunner's healthy lead in the polls.

Whatever the reason, this dust-up has turned the Democratic contest caustic: Mrs. Clinton suggesting her challenger is naive about the ways of the world.

CLINTON: But I don't want to see the power and prestige of the United States president put at risk by rushing in to meetings with the likes of Chavez and Castro and Ahmadinejad.

KING: Obama firing back that everyday Americans want to rewrite the way Washington does business.

OBAMA: I'm not afraid of losing the P.R. war to dictators. I'm happy to look them in the eye and say what needs to be said.

KING: It all began at CNN/YouTube debate Monday night. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea?


OBAMA: I would.

COOPER: Senator Clinton?

CLINTON: Well, I will not promise to meet with the leaders of these countries during my first year.

KING: The Clinton camp promoted the exchange as a clear smack down that suggested the 45-year-old Obama did not understand that making such a promise up front would undermine U.S. leverage in any sensitive diplomacy.

But, when asked directly Thursday if Obama lacks the necessary experience to be president, Mrs. Clinton was more careful.

CLINTON: Well, the voters are going to have to draw those conclusions. Where we disagree, I think, it's fair to draw that difference.

KING: It's also fair to say the tensions are mounting, and, at least for now, forget all that water cooler talk of a Clinton/Obama or an Obama/Clinton ticket.

John King, CNN, Washington.


PILGRIM: Joining me now with more on the battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is Errol Louis of The New York Daily News; Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf; and Diana West with The Washington Times.

And thank you all for being here. Hank, let's start with you. What do you make of the sparring match with the Democrats? This is not constructive dialogue, is it?

HANK SHEINKOPF, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, it's strategic dialogue. What has happened here is that Senator Obama is trying to make her look old and part of the past, a less confrontational style of international relations, more of a touchy-feely youth looking for that.

He's building his base and she's saying, look, he doesn't have the experience, he doesn't have the tenor and he doesn't understand how dangerous the world is. So there you have it.

PILGRIM: Mm-hmm, Diana?

DIANA WEST, THE WASHINGTON TIMES: Well, I think it's very constructive because we really are seeing some important differences among the candidates. In this case, the two Democratic frontrunners.

I think that Senator Obama is revealing himself to be dangerously naive in terms of foreign affairs. And I can't believe I'm saying this, but it makes Mrs. Clinton look much more responsible.

PILGRIM: Mm-hmm, Errol, we have to...

ERROL LOUIS, THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Well, you know, Barack Obama made a misstep and he's going to make more of them. And that's really the difference between these candidacies. You don't see Clinton doing that. She's practiced, she's firm, she has got tons of advisers around her who don't let her sort of go and just guess about what her position should be.

Obama should have really taken his time on this one. I think this is going to be one of many lessons that he learns. Unfortunately he sort of goes down a little bit in the polls every time he's learning on the job.

PILGRIM: Diana, you're trying to say something, go ahead.

WEST: Yes, well, I'm not sure it's a misstep. I mean, I think it's a philosophical difference and a different kind of understanding of what it means to be a world leader. I think Senator Obama is showing himself willing to take foreign despots at face value and thinking we can just show them we mean well and get along and find terms of difference -- you know, terms of commonality.

PILGRIM: And then they call him on the institution of the president not being respected.

WEST: Yes.

SHEINKOPF: You're journalists and your business is analysis. My business is politics. And there are very clear things going on. Generational differences, trying to put her back someplace else out of the norm, out of the youth. And he's doing what he's supposed to do as well.

PILGRIM: You know, we seem really in the thick of it. Republican Fred Thompson, not even officially in the race, had a staff shake-up this week. We have the McCain advisers quitting right and left. Then you have this Democratic skirmish going on. It seems like full-blown campaign season already.

SHEINKOPF: Well, yes, it's kind of ridiculous. Blame this on the media. They have nothing else to cover, people in your business, Kitty, and say, let's see what happens next. If you are out there long enough, and you're campaigning long enough, you are going to make mistakes. Shorter campaigns, frankly, better for campaigns.

PILGRIM: Yes, the cameras are rolling all summer, even if it is a slow time in news. Diana?

WEST: Well, again, I'm starting to enjoy the longer season. I mean, we really are seeing some differences, some interesting interplay. Senator Thompson, the undeclared, I don't know. Voters may get tired of this tentativeness.

On the other had, he's responding to every news event as though he were a candidate, most recently supporting the mayor of Hazleton in that issue when the local court -- or the federal court reacted against the mayor of Hazleton. And he came out in support of the mayor. So it's very interesting.

PILGRIM: We are getting to deeper issues, Errol, right?

LOUIS: Yes, I think there's an underlying -- I mean, certainly there is this seasonal question of a slow news week, week after week, but at the same time, you know, the frontrunner in the Republican sweepstakes for president, Rudy Giuliani, 27 percent.

What that means is 73 percent either don't know who they want or they want somebody else. So it's not clear where any of this stuff is going. And I think Thompson trying to position himself is seeing that it's going to be a little harder than maybe he thought to figure out what that 73 percent want.

SHEINKOPF: Call me Jerry McGuire, OK? Show me the money. It's going to cost $20 million to $25 million to compete on Super Tuesday alone. Fred Thompson, where's the dough? And when are you showing up to the gun battle?

PILGRIM: We have not much time in this and we're going to take a break, but what did you make of the very informal debate, the YouTube debate?

SHEINKOPF: YouTube, what did i make of it? Welcome to the 21st Century and modern technology and how scared people are of it.


WEST: I like that assessment.


LOUIS: The questions were more interesting than the answers. But it wasn't fundamentally different from a town hall meeting or a call-in line or having people send in questions on post cards.

PILGRIM: OK. Thanks very much. We'll be right back. Stay with us. We'll have more with our political roundtable.


PILGRIM: We're back with Errol Louis, New York Daily News; Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf; and Diana West with The Washington Times.

You know, this is the week of Gonzales. It has been back ask forth like an excruciating tennis match on the White House versus the opponents on Gonzales. Is this a very critical issue, Hank?

SHEINKOPF: It depends who defines what critical issues are. In fact, what's happening to the Republicans is no different than what they did to the Democrats when they were in power. So it always depends on politics whose ox is being gored.

PILGRIM: Mm-hmm, Diana?

WEST: Well, I wouldn't agree with that in terms of I am not seeing the underlying crime in this Gonzales contretemps. I'm having trouble following it. And given the conditions in the rest of the world, this war everywhere and our borders still not fixed, et cetera, I don't see why the Democratic Party Senate leadership is pushing this.

LOUIS: Well, you know, the problem, I think, and the reason they are pushing it, it's understandable from Tony Snow and the White House's point of view. I understand they'd love to change the subject, but the reality is if Congress feels that it has been misled on important issues of national importance by the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, that's not something you can just let go.

I mean, because when the next question comes up, there will be all of these unresolved issues about, look, does the guy tell us the truth, does he parse the truth, does he shade the truth, and so partisan or not, these questions have got to be fleshed out. And it is the president's loyalty to Gonzales that I think has kept him here this far.

PILGRIM: Well, it has broadened out, now there's now a subpoena to the political adviser to the president, Karl Rove by the Senate Judiciary Committee. This is getting to be a broad, sort of, attack. What do you think, Hank?

SHEINKOPF: If you search deeply enough, you will always find something. Whether there was a crime committed here specifically with respect to the firing of U.S. attorneys is not the issue. That there may have been prejudice in bringing particular indictments, well, welcome to American politics.

PILGRIM: Mm-hmm. Will Gonzales survive? I guess that's the operative question. Diana?

WEST: Well, the fact that he survived this long maybe suggests that he will survive, but it's very difficult to say. It depends how far this thing really goes. I wonder, though, how Americans react to see this kind of expenditure of resources and time on an issue that a lot of people are finding very arcane.

PILGRIM: You know, Diana brings up a great point. I mean, the war in Iraq has really hit a tough, tough phase right now. President Bush is going to the American people again, talking about al Qaeda in a very forceful way. Let's listen to what he has to say.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We've already seen how al Qaeda used a failed state thousands of miles from our shores to bring death and destruction to the streets of our cities. And we must not allow them to do so again. So however difficult the fight is in Iraq, we must win it. And we can win it.


PILGRIM: Now, the connection al Qaeda/Iraq, drawing it very clearly again. What is your assessment...


LOUIS: Well, it is an analogy that has never really made all that such sense fact by fact. It just doesn't follow. The real problem, though, I think, is that he's casting it again in military win or lose absolute terms, and that doesn't account for, for example, 2 million Iraqis who have gone across the border.

There is a huge refugee crisis on top of everything else. These things are not going to get resolved at the point of a bayonet of the barrel of a gun. We have got to broaden the discussion.

And every time he goes back to this kind of simplistic, you know, we must win, this is nothing but 9/11 continued, I think he does himself a disservice and makes it harder to resolve this...



WEST: Well, I would say maybe it depends which way the barrel of a gun is pointing. I find, you know, there is al Qaeda in Iraq, there is also al Qaeda in Pakistan, there is al Qaeda in the Horn of Africa, there is al Qaeda in Gaza, there is al Qaeda everywhere, even Europe.

I mean, we've got cells of this all over the world. Where is the source of the global jihad? At this point it's in Iran, it's in Saudi Arabia. The president's policies and Republican policies don't really address that at this point.

PILGRIM: Mm-hmm. Hank, last thought?

SHEINKOPF: Bad messenger, bad message, not believable. And the problem is, whether he is right or wrong, no one will listen to what he has to say.

PILGRIM: Yes, it is a tough, tough sell for the...


SHEINKOPF: Very difficult for him.

PILGRIM: Thanks very much. Thanks very much for being with us, Diana West, Errol Louis, and Hank Sheinkopf.

And thank you for joining us. Please join us tomorrow. For all of us here, thanks for watching. Enjoy your weekend. Good night from New York. "THIS WEEK AT WAR" starts right now with Tom Foreman. TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT