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Lou Dobbs, Jerry Brown on Immigration Debate; Yankees Pitcher Plane Crash: Probe Blames Pilot Error

Aired May 01, 2007 - 17:00   ET


JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: ... moderate Democratic governors of Southern states that traditionally Republicans controlled. Only a Southern Democrat can win. Clinton, Carter and LBJ are three examples."
Mark in New York: "I think the only one of the seven dwarves not in this race currently is Bashful."

And Martha in Rew, Pennsylvania: "Well, we've got a woman, an African-American, a Latter-Day Saint, an Italian-American lapsed Catholic, an Hispanic and a Southern WASP. How about a Native American gay atheist?"


BLITZER: Thank you, Jack.

And to our viewers, you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Happening now, the president preparing to veto Democrats' demands for an Iraqi timetable, saying early withdrawal would create, in his words, "a caldron of chaos." But will Democrats take no for an answer? The veto expected within this hour. We're watching the White House.

Hugo Chavez takes control of the last private oil fields in Venezuela. He had the oil companies seeing red. Could he cut the flow to America?

And angry immigrants taking to the streets across the country, demanding reform. We'll have a border battle discussion between CNN's own Lou Dobbs and the California attorney general Jerry Brown.

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Both sides say they know what the outcome will be. Anytime now, President Bush will pick up his veto pen and kill the war spending bill that contains a timetable for an Iraq pullout, a timetable that he suggests could lead to "chaos."

But Democrats are seizing their chance, painting this as a symbol of presidential failure and a mission not accomplished. Let's go straight to our congressional correspondent, Andrea Koppel. She's watching this debate unfold -- Andrea?

ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, it was sort of the political equivalent of watching the movie when you've already read the book.


KOPPEL (voice-over): It was as if scripted from beginning to end. First, the formal signing ceremony in the speaker's office.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Mindful of our responsibility to the Constitution and to the American people, I'm pleased to join in signing on this Iraq legislation, which is so important to our national security.

KOPPEL: Then, there was the timing of the ceremony itself.

SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: Four years after the president declared "Mission Accomplished," four years and over 3,000 American lives later...

KOPPEL: The bill to fund the war with a timeline to bring U.S. troops home may have just been hours away from a presidential veto, but Democrats on the campaign trail and on Capitol Hill still worked every angle to get the most political mileage they could.

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: A veto means denying our troops the resources and the strategy that they need. After more than four years of a failed policy, it's time for Iraq to take responsibility for its own future.

SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: Doesn't this president understand it's time for a change? Doesn't he listen to the voters? Doesn't he read these articles? "Send me the bill. I'm going to veto it," very macho-like. I don't think it's macho-like; I think it's just wrong.

KOPPEL: But Republicans defended the president's expected veto and accused Democrats of wasting valuable time to play politics.

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R), TEXAS: I think it's an embarrassment, when our troops are waiting on emergency -- emergency spending bill, to provide them essential equipment, that we are staging signing ceremonies and going through political kabuki theater, just to demonstrate, on the part of some, their disagreement with the president's strategy in Baghdad and in Iraq.


KOPPEL: And the finger-pointing and name-calling are expected to continue, at least until tomorrow, after the president issues his veto later today. The Senate Democratic leader's going to come to the cameras here on Capitol Hill. And then tomorrow, the House is supposed to have a vote to try to override the president's veto, a vote which is sure to fail -- Wolf?

BLITZER: Andrea, thanks very much.

The veto of the Iraq spending bill would be only the second of George W. Bush's presidency. President Clinton used his veto power 37 times, was overridden twice. The first President Bush exercised 44 vetoes, was overridden once. President Reagan flexed his veto muscle 78 times, suffering nine setbacks. The most vetoes ever? That would be FDR. Franklin Roosevelt used his veto power 635 times.

As of right now, you'd have to go all the way back to John Quincy Adams in the 1820s to find a full-term president who pulled the trigger fewer times than George W. Bush: He never used his veto power.

President Bush, meanwhile, says U.S. troops are making progress in Iraq, arguing that an early pullout would turn Iraq into a "caldron of chaos." Joining us now from New York, CNN's Michael Ware. He's been on the ground in Baghdad from the start. He's spending some time back here in the United States for the time being.

What would be the impact in the short term, Michael, of this debate here in Washington, this veto the president's going to undertake, the continuing struggle to come up with a war funding bill?

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the reality on the ground, Wolf, is that nothing will change. Everyone knows that this is just pure political theater. I'm sure even those pushing for an immediate withdrawal must know rationally that that's simply impossible.

Whether you were for this war or against it, whether you've supported the way that this war has been executed or not no longer matters. Iraq is broken. Iran is stronger. Al Qaeda is stronger. America's enemies have benefited from this U.S. intervention in Iraq. It's backfired miserably. Democracy has taken a slide, rather than a lurch forward, as was the grand design.

So there's absolutely no chance in the world that, in real terms, U.S. forces can withdraw. So all that this politicking does is send a message to America's enemies, advertising America's domestic weakness.

BLITZER: Well, having said all that, how worried are Iraqis that, when the dust settles, the U.S. is simply going to pull out?

WARE: Well, ordinary Iraqis don't want the U.S. to leave. They don't like the U.S. forces. They don't like the occupation, but they know that it's the devil or the deep blue sea. At least the U.S. forces, as limited as their powers are, are at least some kind of a hedge against the multitude of warring factions. And they know that, should America pack up tonight and leave tomorrow morning and be gone with empty bases, the blood would flow. And, obviously, the ordinary people, the men and women with their families don't want that.

However, there's many parties in Iraq, particularly the major power blocs, the factions within this government, would be more than happy to see America leave, no matter what they say publicly, because they know that, once the U.S. forces leave, there's no one to keep them in check. And as it stands, all the cards are in their hands and their backers in Tehran.

BLITZER: Michael Ware, thanks very much. Michael Ware joining us from New York.

In cities across America, demonstrators took the day off to demand rights for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants. They marched through downtown Chicago, paraded to Arizona's state capital, calling for reform. Coming up later this hour, we'll have our own immigration debate. CNN's Lou Dobbs and the California attorney general, Jerry Brown, they're standing by live to join us here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

And joining us right now in THE SITUATION ROOM, our own Jack Cafferty with "The Cafferty File" -- Jack?

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Is that the same Jerry Brown who used to be mayor of Oakland and governor of the state?

BLITZER: Yes, that's the same former governor of California.

CAFFERTY: My money's on Dobbs in that deal.

Four years ago today, President Bush stood on an aircraft carrier, declared major combat operations in Iraq had ended. And behind him was that stupid banner that read, "Mission Accomplished."

Fast-forward four years. The U.S. has now lost 3,350 young men and women. We continue to pour billions of dollars a week into Iraq. Major combat goes on 24/7. Democracy is nowhere in sight. Neither are weapons of mass destruction.

What is very visible, though, is an all-out civil war. And the American military is caught right in the middle. The insurgents attack and kill our troops and slaughter innocent Iraqi civilians every day. According to a State Department report, 65 percent of all deaths from terrorism worldwide occur in Iraq.

We have spent billions more on reconstruction. Most of the projects are worthless. An inspector general report says a lot of them are crumbling. They're unusable, due to things like poor construction, substandard materials, and lack of maintenance. But you can bet your bottom dollar the clowns that built this garbage got paid out of my pocket and yours.

And President Bush doesn't want to hear anything about any sort of timetable for leaving there. Iraq is a failure, and it keeps getting bigger every single day. And President Bush's name is tattooed all over it. This colossal failure will be President Bush's legacy.

Here's the question: "Four years ago today, President Bush declared major combat operations in Iraq over in front of a banner that read, 'Mission Accomplished.' What should that banner have read?" E-mail or go to -- Wolf?

BLITZER: Jack Cafferty in New York.

Up ahead, what's the price of a timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq?


TONY SNOW, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Wolf, you've got to ask yourself, if you start making threats and say, "We're going to walk out," who do you make strong?


BLITZER: The White House press secretary, Tony Snow, back after a bout with cancer, defending the president's veto. He's standing by to join us in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Also, a dramatic move by the Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, that could have far-reaching impact, possibly all the way to your wallet.

Plus, the newly revealed tape that could rewrite history and one of the darkest days from the Vietnam War era. Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.


BLITZER: Let's get some more now on our top story. President Bush, he just landed at Andrews Air Force Base, outside of Washington. He's aboard Marine One that will carry him to the White House, where, within moments after that, he will sit down in the Oval Office and veto the Democrats' funding of the war in Iraq, because it sets a timeline for U.S. troops to come home.

And joining us now from the North Lawn of the White House, the White House press secretary, Tony Snow. Good to see you back to work, Tony. We're going to talk about your health later.

But let's talk about four years ago today. All of us remember that "Mission Accomplished" banner on board the Abraham Lincoln, the air craft carrier. I want to play this little clip from another part of the president's speech, because it's coming in under a lot of question right now, the whole justification for going to war against Saddam Hussein.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The liberation of Iraq is a crucial advance in the campaign against terror. We've removed an ally of Al Qaeda and cut off -- cut off a source of terrorist funding. And this much is certain: No terrorist network will gain weapons of mass destruction from the Iraqi regime, because the regime is no more.


BLITZER: All right. In recent days, George Tenet in his new book says there was never any real serious evidence that Saddam Hussein was an ally of Al Qaeda, and now we all know they've never found any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, two basic points justifying the war that clearly did not materialize.

TONY SNOW, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, let's take a look at both of them. Number one, it's interesting, people have done a number of things to try to parse Al Qaeda and the relationship with Saddam Hussein. You did have Abu Musab al-Zarqawi on Iraqi soil. And apparently al-Masri, the man that everybody is trying to get right now as the head of Al Qaeda in Iraq, was there also, at least in 2002.

But having said that, one of the things the president never argued -- a lot of people have attributed to him -- is that somehow Saddam was involved in September 11th. He wasn't. We've never made that argument.

But let's face it. Saddam was part of the terror network. He was paying bounties to people who were killing Israelis. He was somebody who made it absolutely clear that he was going to try to do what he could to contribute to the terror network. That part remains unquestioned.

The second thing is, as far as weapons of mass destruction, one thing George Tenet does not argue is that intelligence at that time didn't show that there were weapons of mass destruction. Everybody agreed. Democrats went to the floor of the Senate and said, "There are weapons of mass destruction. We must not wait for the threat to be imminent. We must strike."

We had Democrats in the House of Representatives do it. We had members of both parties. So what's happening now is that people are somehow trying to attribute bad motives to an intelligence community, which worldwide had come to the conclusion that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. He didn't, and that's one of the reasons why we've reformed the intelligence community.

BLITZER: The State Department, in its annual report yesterday, said that terrorism worldwide is up 25 percent this year as opposed to the previous year. It looks like the situation is not going in the right direction.

SNOW: Well, actually, it's during the reporting period, which does not include some of the most recent months. The fact is, terrorism has been encouraged throughout the world, and it is going to be a problem.

The fact that it increases doesn't mean that you don't fight it, and it certainly doesn't mean that you don't walk away. As a matter of fact, what it says is, you continue -- you need to marshal sources and resources.

And the other thing you don't want to do is to lend aid and encouragement to terrorists by giving the impression that somehow they're going to be able to bully you or frighten you away from the fight. So, yes, terrorism is a problem, but, on the other hand, you have seen, for instance, Anbar province. U.S. forces supporting Sunnis. They've gone after Al Qaeda, and they've made some real inroads. There has been some progress in the streets of Baghdad, but there have also been increasing casualties. Why? Because you're clashing with the bad guys. You're going to have to do it.

BLITZER: There's a lot of frustration, as you know, here in Washington with the Iraqi government, of Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki, that they're not distributing the oil wealth the way they're supposed to do it. They're not disarming the various Sunni and Shia militias the way they're supposed to do it. They're not getting involved in the political process and trying to come to some sort of equal deal with the Sunnis especially, and they're about to take a two-month vacation, the Iraqi parliament.

Listen to the Republican leader, the Republican leader in the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell, because his frustration is evident, and he seems to be suggesting to the White House now, accept what the Democrats are saying as far as benchmarks are concerned.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: There are a number of Republicans who do think that some kind of benchmarks, properly crafted, would actually be helpful. So I think that is an area that we can talk about beginning tomorrow.


BLITZER: Is the president ready to accept benchmarks as part of a follow-up after his veto?

SNOW: The president accepted benchmarks when he talked with Nouri al-Maliki last year in Amman, Jordan. As a matter of fact, Maliki was the guy who talked about benchmarks. You've got to have benchmarks, in the sense of saying, "These are the things that you want to achieve and you have to"...


BLITZER: And if they don't achieve them, the U.S. will start pulling out? Is that the kind of benchmarks you're talking about?

SNOW: Look, Wolf, you've got to ask yourself. If you start making threats or saying, "We're going to walk out," who do you make stronger? Do you make stronger a government or do you make stronger the enemies of that government?

And so I think, when people start thinking about how they're going to sort of craft these things, again, the Iraqis accept benchmarks. They're working toward an oil law. It's interesting. There's impatience about their inability to pass an oil law, and yet Democrats haven't been able to pass their agenda.

You know what? The legislative process is sloppy, but, on the other hand, they are working on it. The council of ministers has passed a draft oil law. Now it's being negotiated among Sunni, Kurds and Shia. And, yes, we think it's an important priority.

Let's face it: What you want to do is to have a situation where you support a government, and you do not create a sense of doubt that the Americans are not going to be there, and you do not encourage people to break into sectarian groups, saying, "Uh-oh, well, the Americans are going to go away. I guess we have to fend for ourselves." And, furthermore, to have regional powers saying the Americans are going to go away, "I guess we'll have to go our own way, as well." It's important to regain engaged and effective.

BLITZER: Tony, I know you're going to start chemotherapy in the coming days. We obviously wish you only the best. How are you feeling? How are you going? What's your mindset going into this major phase?

SNOW: I'm feeling great, actually. You know, I was working out a lot before I went in for surgery. I've been through surgery. And as you can tell, I'm tanned, rested and ready, literally.

As far as chemo, I actually don't expect a lot in the way of bad side effects. I've been through it before. I had 12 sessions in 2005, worked through all of that. And it appears that the kind of combination we're going to have this time is going to be a little less toxic and taxing on my system.

Believe it or not, I'm eager to get going here. We've got some cancer. I want to fight it. I want to drive it into remission. I've got wonderful doctors. So my frame of mind is, I'm feeling great. You know, I've been blessed in a lot of ways. I've got a great job. I've got people who -- I love working in the White House. I love working with your colleagues in the White House press corps, a wonderful job, and a life that every minute I consider a blessing and I enjoy.

So I'm looking forward to a lot more years, but you know what? I've got to take some of this on my shoulders, as well, but I'll tell you, Wolf, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people have tried to reach out to me, and riding on their shoulders is a pretty glorious thing. And so I hope to be around for a very long time.

BLITZER: And we hope so, as well. We wish you only, only the best. Good luck, and we'll hopefully speak during this process. You'll be working during the chemo?

SNOW: Oh, yes, you can talk to me anytime.

BLITZER: Tony Snow at the White House, thanks for joining us.

SNOW: Thanks, Wolf.

BLITZER: And coming up, the immigration debate brings tens of thousands of people across the country pouring into the streets, calling for immigration rights. Our own Lou Dobbs, along with the attorney general of California, Jerry Brown, they're both standing by live. We'll talk about all of this.

Plus, new developments in the shocking plane crash that killed New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle. What caused the plane to fly into a Manhattan high-rise? Our own Miles O'Brien has been investigating. Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Our Carol Costello is monitoring some other stories incoming into THE SITUATION ROOM. What's going on, Carol?

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Let's start in Iraq, Wolf. There are conflicting reports tonight about the fate of Al Qaeda leader in Iraq Abu Ayyub al-Masri. An Iraqi tribal coalition is backing up reports that Al-Masri has been killed in fighting. But an insurgent umbrella group denies that and says al-Masri is safe. Neither the Iraqi government nor the U.S. military can confirm the reports.

A cheating scandal at the Air Force Academy ending the budding careers of 18 cadets. They either confessed to or were found guilty of cheating on a test about the Air Force itself. Thirteen other cadets are now on probation because of the scandal. Nine were cleared.

He straddled both worlds, and today friends from Hollywood and Washington attended the funeral of Jack Valenti. It was held in the nation's capital, where Valenti died last week at 85 of complications from a stroke. Valenti spent more than three decades as head of the Motion Picture Association of America. And before that, he was special assistant to President Johnson.

Back to you, Wolf.

BLITZER: He was a great guy. Our deepest condolences to his family. Carol, thanks for that.

Coming up, a passionate debate on immigration. Our own Lou Dobbs and the California attorney general, the former governor, Jerry Brown, we'll see what they have to say about these demonstrations going on right now.

Also, details of the socialist seizure that could impact you at the gas pump. Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.


BLITZER: To our viewers, you're in THE SITUATION ROOM. Happening now, the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, warning North Korea -- and I'm quoting now -- "We don't have endless patience." She's urging the Pyongyang government to make good on its promise to dismantle its nuclear program in exchange for aid.

Also, the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, a no-show at May Day celebrations in Havana for only the third time in almost 50 years. Questions about his health have swirled since surgery nine months ago.

And the governor of New Jersey, Jon Corzine's, apology accepted by one New Jersey man, who was filing a complaint against Corzine for not wearing his seat belt in the accident that almost killed him. State police are conducting their own investigation right now.

I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM. Anger and frustration across America today, as thousands take to the streets, demanding more rights for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants. At the core of the protest: calls to put them on a path towards citizenship. And that's very controversial. It's a very controversial path.

Joining us now, from Sacramento, California, the attorney general of that state, Jerry Brown. And from New York, our own Lou Dobbs.

Guys, thanks very much for coming in.

You have any problems, Attorney General, with this notion of finding a way, as President Bush says, to create this path towards citizenship for at least some of those 12 million illegal immigrants?

JERRY BROWN, CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: No, not at all. I mean, let's be clear of the context. We're involved in a market system that recognizes three factors in production: labor, capital and land.

We're creating the free trade between Mexico and the United States. We've already done that. We've got trucks coming over now. We've got goods. We've got mutual investments. And it's natural that people push across that border when they make 10 times the money.

So, I think you're got to get practical. There's not a perfect solution. But I think Bush -- you know, he's moving in the right direction.

You've got to find a way to regularize people. You can't just leave the borders open. And ultimately, instead of throwing a $500 billion down a rat hole in Iraq, we have to spend a significant investment to bring up wages in Mexico.

BLITZER: All right.

BROWN: Because until they come close to our country, you're not going to stop the flow completely.

BLITZER: You want to discuss that, Lou? What do you think?

LOU DOBBS, HOST, "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT": Well, I must say, the attorney general sounds like a Reagan supply-sider.

I didn't know, Jerry Brown, that you had converted to an enthusiast of Mr. Market, and don't see a proper role for government. I don't recall when either Congress or the American people decided to give up our borders and to substitute democracy and have in its place a free market that is determinant of our national values, our laws.

I mean, that's mind-boggling, Jerry, coming from you.

BROWN: Well, Lou, I thought you were the free marketer. Look, I understand interposing our political values to control economic impact.

DOBBS: Sure.

BROWN: But I'm just saying, as a manner of group reality, you have one-tenth of the wages in Mexico and you have this huge border. You're not -- and then you see the same thing happening in Europe. You see it happening in Asia.

We have an issue here. And it's not going to fit some theoretically nice formula.

We've got to get practical. We've got two parties. And I think we ought to do something about the millions that are here.

I think we've got to do something about keeping people in Mexico, because, after all, that's where their ties are. But this gap of 10-1 and 15-1 is so attractive, that it's almost irresistible.

BLITZER: And Lou, I want you to listen to what President Bush says -- he spoke over the weekend on this issue -- because he sounds very much like Jerry Brown.

Listen to this.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And we need a system that treats people with dignity and help newcomers assimilate into our society.


BLITZER: All right. Go ahead, Lou. I know you want to respond to what Jerry Brown just said.

DOBBS: Well, to both of them. And it's -- you're right, Wolf.

I mean, Jerry Brown, I know you must be proud that you and George W. Bush see eye to eye on this. The fact of the matter is, I don't see eye to eye with either of you. But then I look upon both the Democratic and the Republican parties in this country as just two wings of the same bird.

When you look at what is happening in this country, we are the principal employers of illegal labor in this country, illegal aliens -- are first hospitality and leisure, hotels, restaurants, landscaping and construction. In those primary industries that are the primary employers, illegal employers of illegal aliens, wages have been declining for the past five years.

That represents a clear statement, as you would refer to, you know, your enthusiasm for markets. It's a clear demonstration that we have a surplus of labor, not a deficit.

Now, the president calls for guest worker programs. We already have plenty of guest worker programs. We have a group of people that, because of the proximity to this country, have chosen to break our laws, cross our sovereign border, and today demonstrate as if they had a right to do that, they had a right to be forgiven for it.

A right to be forgiven and to receive amnesty for using fraudulent documents? I mean, this is breathtaking arrogance on the part of both the illegal aliens themselves, but most of all, their supporters, their advocates, which are really, as you talked about, regularizing. We're really trying -- we're watching the elites in this country, particularly this administration, try to end the nation's state as we know it.

BLITZER: All right.

Jerry Brown, I want you to respond. But also to the notion that the illegal immigrants who are here already should be deported.

BROWN: Well, I mean, that's part of a compromise to come up with a program that will put people on a path to citizenship. And it certainly is part of some compromise. That's an element that you can't take off the table.

I just want to say this: there may be increasing supply, because how else do you explain the falling wages? But at the same time, we can't recruit enough nurses, we can't recruit enough policemen, we can't recruit enough scientists and engineers.

The truth of it is that the western countries are somewhat exhausted from a fertility point of view, and are very dependent on flows of people from other countries not so psychologically situated or inclined.

DOBBS: But Jerry, may I ask...

BROWN: And if we're going to be -- if we're going to be a competitive country, we have to tap into the best that we can find. And I think instead of saying no to immigration, we need to regularize it. This illegal stuff is very bad because it does undermine respect for the law.

DOBBS: Absolutely.

BROWN: And that's intolerable. I agree with that. But I just think that when you have 12 million here, if you want to raise the wages and block all immigration, California agriculture is going to have to move to Mexico.

BLITZER: All right.

BROWN: That's really what you're advocating. And maybe that's going to be inevitable. But I think we have to just be realistic about what's possible and what isn't.

DOBBS: I could -- I think "realism" is a word that's always interesting, particularly involved in politics and public policy. But Jerry, I agree with you. We have to stop illegal immigration.

But at the same time, I think it becomes dangerous for you to -- you know, for us to confuse things. There's a lot of obfuscation going on in the mainstream media in both political parties, and the enthusiasts and advocates for illegal immigration and open borders.

I would like to see more immigration, lawful immigration, if that is indeed what this country requires. But I would also like to see the United States government make a determination through public policy decisions and choices about who those people will be who enter this country.

Sixty percent of the people entering this country illegally are uneducated. They are not the best and the brightest of the world. And that is a sham.

The fact is, we are marginalizing through permitting illegal immigration the segment of our society that can at least can afford to be marginalized. And we cannot continue to take on this burden.

BLITZER: All right. We've got to -- we're almost out of time.

I'll let Jerry Brown have the last word.

BROWN: Lou...


BROWN: ... if you're that compassionate for low-income workers, you might support Card-Check and other labor law reform so they can organize the work force in a way that will push up wages. But I do want to tell you...

DOBBS: Well, let me tell you, I absolutely support the role of labor unions, which is the foundation of every worker's right in this country. But at the same time, I do not support those labor unions who are calling for greater illegal immigration because -- and embracing illegal immigration, marginalizing their own members.

BROWN: Well, I want to say two things. First of all, the fact that people don't go to college doesn't mean they're good people. There are a lot of these immigrants..

DOBBS: Hey, my father went through the eighth grade. You don't have to tell me, partner.

BROWN: They're working real hard. They're great human beings.

But secondly...

DOBBS: Absolutely.

BROWN: ... if we want to interview people at the border and really step up legal immigration, and then make the employers only work with that legal system, I think there's where we can find some common ground.

DOBBS: OK. I agree with you. Let me say two things to that.

One, we have to stop this nonsense that we're going to regularize our borders. We're in a war on terror. For the million illegal aliens or so, whatever estimate you want to use, who cross that border, any one of which can be a terrorist.

Secondly, the reason that Mexico is not incentivized to control its border and cooperate with the United States is because it brings in $25 billion a year in remittances from those Mexican nationals who are in this country illegally. And $25 billion to $50 billion in U.S. dollars from the expert of marijuana, heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines. Mexico's a principal source of the traffic of those drugs in the United States.

BROWN: Exactly, and that's why we would be better to start focusing some serious investment ideas on Mexico...

DOBBS: I couldn't agree with...

BROWN: ... because those two sources you just mentioned, if you take them away, you'll have a revolution down there.

BLITZER: All right, guys.

DOBBS: I couldn't agree with you more.

BROWN: And that's not going to be very helpful, either.

DOBBS: I agree with you.

Can I say one thing, Wolf?

BLITZER: On that...

DOBBS: .Because the attorney general and I have to say this, because I know, Mr. Attorney General, you know what day -- what we should be celebrating on this May 1st day. This is national...


DOBBS: I'm sorry?

BROWN: The ghost (ph) of the worker is May 1st.

DOBBS: Well, that is in other countries. In this country, this is law day in which we celebrate the rule of law and the enforcement of law as the foundation of our democracy.

And I know, Wolf, you wouldn't want us or the attorney general wouldn't want us to fail to bring that up as the principal reasons we celebrate May 1st.

BROWN: I mentioned the other...

BLITZER: All right, guys.


BROWN: ... the worker, that recognize the hard work that people who do physical labor. We have to honor them, too.

BLITZER: We've got to leave it there.

DOBBS: Yes. Absolutely.

BLITZER: Lou Dobbs and Jerry Brown, a good discussion. Thanks very much for joining us, to both of you.

Lou, by the way, as you know, is going to be back at the top of the hour with his own show. He has a big hour coming up. Much more on today's immigration rallies across the United States.

Also, during the next hour, Lou's going to have live coverage of President Bush's statement to the nation on his vetoing of that legislation in Congress to fund the war but have a troop deadline.

Coming up next here in THE SITUATION ROOM, were they deliberately targeted? Thirty-seven years ago this week, four students were shot to death by Ohio National Guardsmen at Kent State University. It's coming up in our 7:00 p.m. Eastern hour.

Also, there's a new front in the war in Iraq. It's on YouTube. Stick around to see video from the field you might not have seen anywhere else.

Stay with us. We'll be right back.


BLITZER: As promised, only moments ago the president has now vetoed that legislation, the spending bill that includes a timeline for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq. The president set to address the nation in the next hour. We're going to have live coverage of that coming up.

Let's move on now.

Federal authorities today blamed New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and his flight instructor for flying their small plane into a Manhattan high-rise. Both men died in the October crash.

Let's turn to our chief technology correspondent, Miles O'Brien. He's here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Do we now know, Miles, what caused this crash?

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN CHIEF TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we do, Wolf. And the National Transportation Safety Board did not mince words on this. Poor planning, poor judgement, poor airsmanship.

I'll tell you what. Before we hear from them, let's take a look at this flight.

October 11, 2006. We'll zoom in on New York City and give you a sense of what Cory Lidle and his flight instructor, Tyler Stanger, were trying to do as they left New York City on their way ultimately to California. The first leg was going to be to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They began at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, headed southeast pretty quickly to the Hudson River. Went south down the Hudson River, as a lot of planes do. I see them go by my window all the time.

Did a left turn around the Statue of Liberty. They call it flying to see The Lady.

Up to the Brooklyn bridge they went, up the much more narrow East River, flying pretty much right up the middle of the East River, past the Williamsburg Bridge, to Roosevelt Island. And then, as they aproached at the end there, the controlled air space that is controlled by LaGuardia airport, they began a very steep left turn.

The wind was blowing them toward Manhattan. And as they turned, they didn't have enough space. It turned out to be, in fact, a dead end.

They flew right into the 32nd and 33rd floor of an apartment building. They both died instantly. Three people were hurt in the building, one of them seriously hurt.


MARK ROSENKER, NTSB CHAIRMAN: What we'll talk about here is the issue of poor execution of plan and poor execution of maneuver.

O'BRIEN (on camera): So it's pilot error?

ROSENKER: It can be characterized as pilot error.

O'BRIEN (voice over): Penned in by busy air space ahead, to the left, right, and above, they banked hard to turn around but ran out of room, plowing into an apartment building. Both men died instantly. Three others inside the building were hurt. One seriously.

LORENDA WARD, NTSB INVESTIGATOR IN CHARGE: With the proper planning, judgment and airmanship, the 180-degree turn was possible.

O'BRIEN: Lidle and Stanger were not required to speak with air traffic controllers, so long as they flew below 1,100 feet and stayed over the river. Straying into Manhattan would have meant an FAA violation. Were they simply struggling to avoid breaking a rule?

THANE STANGER, FATHER OF TYLER STANGER: I've seen my son fly for years. He's been flying since he's 17 years old. To consider that possibility really sounds outside the bounds of logic.


O'BRIEN: Now, Wolf, I was probably the last civilian pilot to fly up the East River either after -- as a matter of fact, the FAA made that a no-fly zone, except for helicopters and sea planes which use that particular area.

And Wolf, we'll never really know, because there's no black box on that little Cirrus SR20, who was at the controls. And so, today, federal investigators blame both pilots.

BLITZER: A sad story, indeed. All right, Miles. Thanks very much for that.

Up ahead, that banner behind President Bush read "Mission Accomplished". Four years later, Jack Cafferty is asking, what should the banner have read?

We'll be right back.


BLITZER: Let's go to Jack in New York -- Jack.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: The question we asked is: What should have been written on that banner that read "Mission Accomplished" behind President Bush four years ago?

Anthony (ph), Auburn, Maine, "Mission Indefinitely."

Dwight in Florida, "Mission? Who needs a mission? Let's just go get the oil."

Brett in Los Angeles, "Missing Competence."

Chris in Houston, "From a military perspective, the mission was accomplished. People forget we wan the won the war twice. Policing an undisciplined group of radicals is a different matter entirely and is something we should not have asked the U.S. military to do."

Pat in California, "The banner should have read, 'What? Me Worry?'"

Richie (ph) in Florida, "It should have read, "Now what?"

Thomas in Minneapolis, "We'll never give up. We'll never give in. That's the only thing terrorists understand."

Larry in Queens, New York. "Get used to it."

Dan in Vancouver, "Mission FUBAR".

B., "The banner should have read, 'Hotel California. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.'"

And Lisa writes, "It shouldn't have read anything. We shouldn't have been at war with a country that didn't attack us, much less have a shameful and arrogant display of boastfulness staged by a president who is apparently only good at dressing up as GI Joe. The whole thing was farcical."

If you didn't see your e-mail here -- we got a ton of response to this -- you can go to There's a bunch more of them online. There are also video clips of "The Cafferty File" -- Wolf.

BLITZER: See you back here in an hour, Jack, in THE SITUATION ROOM.

I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington.

Let's go to Lou Dobbs. He's in New York.