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THE SITUATION ROOM
New Immigration Reform. Wolfowitz Resigning. Searching in the "Triangle of Death". Iraqi Girl Stoned to Death. Iraq reality Show on the Internet
Aired May 17, 2007 - 1900 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much, Lou.
Happening now, the hard sell begins for the Senate's new immigration reform deal. Will it fly in the face of amnesty opponents in the House of Representatives? I'll ask the homeland security secretary, Michael Chertoff and the commerce secretary, Carlos Gutierrez here in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Also this hour, it's called an honor killing, but where is the honor in stoning to death a young girl accused of shaming her family. We have shocking video coming into THE SITUATION ROOM from Iraq.
And one of the nation's most influential Christian conservatives sends a strong message to Rudy Giuliani, and I'm quoting now, "the jig is up".
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Tonight, Senate deal makers say they've come up with the best compromise possible to bring millions of illegal immigrants out of the shadows. They have President Bush in their corner. But they may have a hard time convincing critics who say this is just another plan to offer amnesty.
Our congressional correspondent Dana Bash is standing by. Dana, for some this is going to be a very, very tough sell.
DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It sure will. You know it certainly was an impressive show of bipartisanship today, but immigration politics, Wolf, as you know are about as volatile as they come and already this deal is facing blistering criticism.
BASH (voice-over): Brokering the deal was hard enough. Months of intense closed-door talks. But selling it will be a whole lot harder, so even in the victory lap, the sales pitch. To the skeptical left...
SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: There's broad consensus that 12 million undocumented workers who are here should be offered the chance to earn their legalization.
BASH: And even more skeptical right. SEN. ARLEN SPECTER (R-PA), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: It is not amnesty. This will restore the rule of law. Without legislation, we will have anarchy.
BASH: Under the complex bipartisan plan the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. would be granted a visa to stay legally. They would also have to pay $5,000 in fines. Qualifying for citizenship would take at least eight years. The proposal also allows at least 400,000 temporary workers each year to fill jobs in the service and agriculture industries.
SEN. JON KYL (R), ARIZONA: To my constituents who said do something about this problem, I can say I've tried my best to craft a bill that won't repeat the mistakes of the past.
BASH: In the hopes of placating angry conservatives, GOP negotiators insisted no temporary workers can enter the U.S. and no illegal immigrant can become a citizen until the border is fortified, including 18,000 border patrol agents and 370 miles of fencing along the U.S./Mexico border. Senator and presidential candidate John McCain has enormous stakes in the volatile politics of immigration.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: We must meet certain enforcement and security triggers that will let everyone know that we are serious about enforcing our laws and that we're not going to repeat the 1986 amnesty.
BASH: As he played a better border security, a host of conservative critics labeled it amnesty, vowed to block it and said McCain and other supporters would pay a price.
REP. BRIAN BILBRAY (R), CALIFORNIA: Mr. McCain has hurt himself terribly with that. He was distancing himself from Kennedy, trying not to be too tied to it, but frankly, this is a very, very big blow.
BASH: The question is, can this become law? First, next week starts a bruising Senate debate. And then the big question is what happens in the House, because there are going to be huge hurdles there. Wolf, the speaker there, Nancy Pelosi, remembers all too well how Democrats got pummeled on immigration in the last election. And she has told the White House that she is not going to bring immigration for debate in the House unless the president can deliver at least 70 Republican votes, and that may not be easy -- Wolf.
BLITZER: We'll see what the president can do on that front -- Dana, thanks very much.
Tonight Congress and President Bush may be heading for a new confrontation amidst all of this. Both chambers of Congress gave final approval today to a $2.9 trillion budget blueprint. The nonbinding measure promises big spending increases for education, healthcare and a federal surplus they promise in five years. It could also set the stage for a veto by President Bush down the road over spending hikes and the fate of expiring tax cuts. There's breaking news we're following tonight as well. The Board of the World Bank announcing within the last hour alone that its embattled president, Paul Wolfowitz, a leading architect of the war in Iraq will resign at the end of next month. His controversial tenure derailed by a scandal over a promotion and a large pay raise he helped arrange for his girlfriend.
Let's go straight to our Zain Verjee. She's standing by to tell us more about what has just happened -- Zain.
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, as you said, Paul Wolfowitz is out. The scandal of the promotion and pay raise of his girlfriend brought him down. After two days of secret negotiations among the U.S. and the World Bank, he won a compromise, but he lost his job deciding in the end to resign.
Now in a statement, Wolfowitz says this -- I have concluded that it is in the best interests of those whom this institution serves for that mission to be carried forward under new leadership. Wolf, he wanted to resign on his own terms, and he did that. He wanted the bank to acknowledge responsibility in how the matter was handled, and the bank did that.
Here's part of the World Bank statement. They said quote, "He assured us that he acted ethically and in good faith in what he believed were the best interest of the institution and we accept that. We also accept that others involved acted ethically and in good faith. It is clear that a number of mistakes were made by a number of individuals."
Wolf, Paul Wolfowitz will leave at the end of next month, the 30th of June. This week saw really the near mutiny by bank staff and enormous international pressure for him to leave -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Was it just Wolfowitz and his leadership at the World Bank because you know and a lot of our viewers know, Zain, there are a lot of people in Western Europe and elsewhere who never liked this guy to begin with because he was considered one of the principle architects of the war in Iraq.
VERJEE: No, he was very unpopular. There was a huge amount of resentment when he came to the World Bank in 2005. This really seemed bigger than just a scandal. This was about the past and the present coming together in this moment. Some of this goes back to his role as being one of the key architects of the war in Iraq, as well as the kind of anti American sentiment that have fueled -- Wolf.
BLITZER: So what happens next, Zain?
VERJEE: Well the bank says that the search for replacement is under way. It's still unresolved though whether there is going to be any change in the age-old tradition that actually dates back since World War II that the U.S. gets to pick the president of the World Bank -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Zain Verjee reporting for us. The White House, by the way, is reacting to the Wolfowitz resignation. A spokesman tonight saying President Bush would have preferred that Wolfowitz would stay at the bank but he reluctantly accepts his decision to step down. He also says Mr. Bush will announce a candidate to replace Paul Wolfowitz soon.
Other news we're following -- the U.S. military holding out hope that it can find those three American soldiers missing since an ambush last weekend that killed four other American soldiers and one Iraqi interpreter. But searchers are up against some very, very tough odds.
CNN's Arwa Damon is with the U.S. troops near the scene of the ambush in the "Triangle of Death" -- Arwa?
ARWA DAMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, we're within about a half- mile radius of where Saturday's attack took place and as you can see, the vegetation here gets so thick in some places that you can barely see through it, and it provides the insurgents perfect cover to carry out their attacks, plant roadside bombs, and it makes it even harder for the Americans to try to find their missing men.
Now we've been speaking with soldiers who knew those that were killed and kidnapped in Saturday's incident. They are saying that the attack has only strengthened their resolve to try to defeat the insurgency here -- their number one priority, of course, to find those that were kidnapped. One young soldier who I spoke to said that he was right now in "go" mode, trying not to think about the consequences of Saturday's attack, but he did say that he was concerned that the demons would haunt him when he went back home -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Arwa Damon on the scene for us. She's embedded with U.S. troops searching for these missing American soldiers. We hope they're found alive soon.
Jack Cafferty is joining us from New York with "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Here's something you might not know. The country with the world's biggest economy, that would be us or the U.S., does not guarantee workers one single day of vacation. Although most companies do give employees time off, there are about 28 million Americans who don't get any paid vacation or paid holidays. That's according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
Compare that to places like Finland where workers get 30 days of paid vacation, plus nine paid holidays. Or France, where workers get 30 days paid vacation, plus one paid holiday. On the whole, most of Europe gets at least 20 vacation days. In some countries, they also get as many as 13 paid holidays.
Our neighbors up north in Canada, guaranteed 10 days of vacation, plus another eight paid holidays, while the Japanese get only 10 days off every year. Researchers found that workers in the United States get an average of nine days of paid vacation and six paid holidays. That's a total of 15.
So here's the question. Do you think Americans get enough vacation time? E-mail your thoughts to CaffertyFile@CNN.com or go to CNN.com/CaffertyFile. I don't know about you, Wolf, but I don't get enough.
BLITZER: Nobody gets enough. Everybody wants a little bit more vacation, but you know what. When you're young like you and I, Jack, we work. When we're old we'll have plenty of time to take vacations.
CAFFERTY: That'll be for me in about six more months.
BLITZER: Not true. You're not going anywhere.
Coming up, a gruesome so-called honor killing in Iraq -- a teenaged girl stoned to death because of whom she fell in love with. This is a shocking story.
Plus, New York City police spying on leading hip-hop artists -- we're going to tell you who was being watched and why.
And Al Gore's new book, "The Assault on Reason", P.R. push for his new book renewing some speculation -- is it time for him to jump into the presidential race?
Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: They're called honor killings, but there's nothing honorable about members of a family or a clan killing a young woman accused of bringing shame to those families. It still happens, unfortunately, all too often in the Middle East. We're going to show you one such incident, but we want to warn our viewers, some of the images you're about to see will be very, very disturbing. I've seen them. I can testify to that.
Let's go to CNN's Brian Todd. He's watching all of this grim material for us -- Brian.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is, indeed, grim, Wolf. And we have new details on the investigation into this killing, which an official in that Iraqi province told me has shocked everyone there.
TODD (voice-over): You're about to witness an honor killing. A 17-year-old girl dragged into a crowd in a headlock.
TODD: Uniformed men, apparently security forces, look on and do nothing. Plenty of other men around to stop it, instead many capture it on cell phone video. Partially clothed, Du'a Khalil (ph) is kicked and stoned to death. A top official in northern Iraq's (UNINTELLIGIBLE) province where this occurred last month tells CNN Du'a (ph) had been seen with a Sunni Muslim man. She had not married him or converted this official said, but her attackers believed she had. Du'a's (ph) family belongs to the Yezidi (ph) sect. It draws on the beliefs of religions like Christianity, Islam, and Judaism and does not approve of mixing with people outside the faith.
HOUZAN MAHMOUD, ORG. OF WOMEN'S FREEDOM IN IRAQ: The climate -- the political and social climate is such that people can do that in daylight and the authorities do not intervene.
TODD: The province official tells CNN four people have been arrested, including two members of Du'a Khalil's (ph) family. They're looking for four other men, including a cousin. The U.N. and Human Rights Group say there are thousands of honor killings worldwide each year. Dozens have been committed in Iraq this year. And Amnesty International says there are frequent reports of them in the northern Kurdish region. Du'a Khalil (ph) was Kurdish, but the killing occurred outside Kurdistan. Still, Kurdish officials condemn the attack and tell us what they're doing to prevent more of them.
QUBAD TALABANI, KURDISTAN REGIONAL GOVT.: One of the things we're doing is trying to bring more female officers into the police and security organizations. This will give anyone that is a victim of these crimes or feels threatened by these kinds of crimes can feel more comfortable in speaking to a lady officer.
TODD: As for those police officers in that video, the province official says he doesn't believe they could have done much to stop Du'a's (ph) killing. Still, at least three officers are being investigated. He says they could be fired and the top police official in that town, Bashika, is being replaced -- Wolf.
BLITZER: What are you hearing, Brian, about retaliation for Du'a's (ph) murder?
TODD: Apparently there has been some retaliation, Wolf. The official we spoke to in the province says about two weeks later in Mosul, attackers who he says were affiliated with al Qaeda -- al Qaeda is Sunni -- pulled 24 Yezidi (ph) men out of a bus and slaughtered them.
BLITZER: Have authorities spoken with her parents, Brian?
TODD: This official tells me they have interviewed both parents. He says these parents were against her killing. He says some other members of her family turned on her. He names cousins there, along with other local people. He says the broader Yezidi (ph) community has condemned her killing, but you have to remember this is a sect that does forbid mixing with others.
BLITZER: Brian Todd reporting for us on one story -- unfortunately happens all too often in that part of the world.
Some young people are now sharing the hardships and the horror of everyday life in Iraq in a new reality series. It's a far cry from the standard fare on American TV.
Let's go to CNN's Mary Snow. She's watching all of this unfold in New York. Mary, what's going on?
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, this is a one-of-a-kind series shown not on TV, but the Internet. And I spoke to two Iraqis today involved with the project. They say they want to show the world what goes on in Baghdad every day aside from the bloodshed.
SNOW (voice-over): Meet Saif (ph).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is my traditional uniform. I wear this 24/7.
SNOW: Saif (ph) is one of three characters in hometown Baghdad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)
SNOW: A new show on the Internet, described as part MTV, part documentary.
SNOW: Adel (ph) is a student and rock and roller.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to Baghdad.
SNOW: In this episode, Adel (ph) talks to his young brother and cousin who witness a murder on their way home from school and then go out to play.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They play those kinds of games all day long.
SNOW: Last names are not used for security reasons. Osama is a medical student.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I remember that me and my friends used to hang out until 1:00 a.m. and those places now are destroyed.
SNOW: From dating to going to school to playing music. They roll cameras on their everyday lives, then send the footage to producers and editors in New York. Here it's being compiled into a series.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're trying to not be political. We're trying to just show what life is like in Baghdad when you're, you know, in your early 20's, I don't think that you see that much.
SNOW: The team in New York works with their Iraqi producer Fady who spoke to us by Web cam from his home in Baghdad. He says he wants the world to see that Iraqis are not just insurgents or terrorists.
FADY, PRODUCER, "HOMETOWN BAGHDAD": I believe in the work that I'm doing and I believe in the message that we're trying to send here, so I think it's worth it to put ourselves in danger to make it -- to finish this project.
SNOW: Three times a week the episodes air on the Web. Producers originally wanted to get it on television but were turned down.
LAURIE MEADOFF, EXEC. PRODUCER, "HOMETOWN BAGHDAD": They would say it's really too scary or one person even said, you know, that's over.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got this gun...
SNOW: Executive producer Laurie Meadoff says more than two million people have watched the episode so far on the Web and she says TV producers are now calling her.
SNOW: Now the show is virtually unknown in Iraq because not many people have high-speed Internet connections. And since the footage was filmed last summer, two of the three main characters have now left Baghdad -- Wolf.
BLITZER: How dangerous is it for these filmmakers, Mary?
SNOW: They say they fear for their lives every day and that sometimes it's more dangerous to carry a camera on the streets than it is a gun. One of the people who left for Jordan said that shortly after he left, a letter showed up at his house with a death threat and he said he didn't know if it was real or not but it was enough for him to stay out of Iraq.
BLITZER: Mary Snow reporting for us -- a very I guess sad story as well.
Up ahead tonight here in THE SITUATION ROOM, it offers a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants. Critics say, however, it offers amnesty for illegal behavior. I'll ask two members of the Bush cabinet about a new immigration deal.
Also, allies to the end and best friends forever -- President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair in one last bonding session over at the White House. Our Jeanne Moos will take a look.
Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: A story just coming into CNN. Let's go to Fredricka Whitfield. She's sitting in for Carol Costello. What's going on, Fred?
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Well, Wolf, happening right now, a domestic call near Payne Spring (ph), Texas, southeast of Dallas leads to two sheriff's deputies shot and killed. This is about 50 miles outside of Dallas. Another deputy at the scene was wounded, along with a suspected gunman. A woman at the home was not hurt, but still unclear exactly what the circumstances were for this domestic dispute call.
Meantime, three funeral directors and four employees of a tissue- harvesting firm are in serious legal trouble. They were indicted in New York State on suspicion of harvesting body parts for medical procedures without permission. The funeral directors are accused of allowing the four employees to remove parts from 36 cadavers in exchange for $1,000 for each corpse. If convicted, the defendants could each face up to 20 years in prison.
And Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has some reassuring news. He says he doesn't believe that the growing number of mortgage defaults will seriously harm the economy. At a Fed financial conference in Chicago today, he said the Fed will do everything possible to crack down on abuses that have put so many homeowners in jeopardy.
And biologists are trying to lure two wayward whales out of California's Sacramento River and back into the Pacific Ocean 90 miles away. The wildlife experts are using recorded whale sounds as an incentive for the mammals to return. The mother and calf both have injuries that may have been caused by a boat propeller, but the injuries don't appear to be life threatening, so that's part of the good news, Wolf.
BLITZER: Let's hope so. Thanks very much.
It was a 17-mile trip that took more than half a century. A pair of passenger trains today crossed the heavily armed border between North and South Korea. The trains moved in opposite directions, each carrying 150 people on a short but symbolic journey of reconciliation. After a brief visit, the trains returned home. The last time a train tried to make the crossing was way back in 1950 when Koreans fleeing the Chinese advance in the north were halted by American troops.
Just ahead, search in this "Triangle of Death". We're going to take you on a rescue mission to try to save those three missing U.S. soldiers. This is a CNN exclusive.
Also, find out why an influential religious leader now says and I'm quoting, "the jig is up" for Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.
Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: To our viewers, you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Happening now, Gaza exploding with violence and death (UNINTELLIGIBLE) air strikes now adding to the volatile situation. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Hamas targets in retaliation for rocket attacks coming into Israel from Gaza even as Hamas and Fatah militias engage in bloody battles that have killed more than 40 people since Sunday.
Also, damaging new Republican pressure on the attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, to resign -- Minnesota's Norm Coleman becoming the sixth Republican member to call for Gonzales to go as Senate Democrats call for a no-confidence vote on the embattled Justice Department chief.
And Britain's Prince Harry, could he still have a future in Iraq? One day after announcing the prince would not be deployed because of specific threats, a defense ministry spokesman in London says the decision does not mean Harry couldn't be sent some time in the future.
I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
As we reported, the search goes on for those three American soldiers in Iraq's so-called "Triangle of Death". Conditions are very, very tough for these searchers, especially those who reached the scene right after that bloody weekend ambush.
Let's turn, again, to CNN's Arwa Damon. She has an exclusive. She's embedded with U.S. Army forces near Yusufiya.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn't imagine that this would happen, no. When it first came up all I saw was -- I saw bits of equipment and uniforms and I saw a truck on fire and it just progressively got worse you know as you get closer.
DAMON: Sergeant Shane Sanders (ph) is a medic, one of the first at the scene.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's definitely one of those instances where I wish I was but I also wish I wasn't there because, you know, the night before I was watching TV with these guys, you know, joking with them. Now to see them like that.
DAMON: The killed and missing from Saturday's ambush lived here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you get out of the trucks today, got to make sure that once we clear a path for pressure plate bombs, you get off of the road as quickly as possible and link up with us because there's also command wire IDs so if they see you lingering on the side of the road, they're going to blow it up.
DAMON: This area less than a mile from where the attack took place is not friendly to U.S. forces.
UNIDNETIFIED MALE: They may not have known when or where it was going to happen, but they knew something was going to happen.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've got to treat them humanely. They'll put the IED right on one side of it so when you get lazy and don't want to go through the nasty canal, you go across that and step.
DAMON: The vegetation is so thick in some of these places, you can barely see through it, providing the insurgents with perfect cover to carry out their attacks or plant roadside bombs and making it even more difficult for the Americans to find their missing men.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're very angry, of course, over the recent incident, but we've dealt with losses of our soldiers before, and I tend to find that these soldiers are not ready to quit. They're ready to just keep going.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a platoon, you -- you wind up growing together. You wind up loving each other because it's all you got out here is each other. It's them that will help you through some of the trials and you'll be there for them to help them through some of their trials.
DAMON: But the trials have ended for four of private first class Samuel Rhodes' (ph) platoon, and three are still out there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's twice as hard every day. It's one of those, we depend a lot on each other right now. Our heart was broken, but it's our will and our strength that drives us to keep going for our guys. I'm sorry for their loss. I'm sorry that their kids aren't coming home in the way that they want them to. They're all heroes. They all did their job.
DAMON: Arwa Damon, CNN, near Yusufiya, Iraq.
BLITZER: Just hope we find those guys and we find them safely very, very soon.
Let's get to more now on our top story. A path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants, that's at the core of a compromise immigration bill hashed out by a bipartisan group of U.S. senators. If it makes it through the Congress, it could be a major victory for President Bush. But critics say it rewards illegal behavior.
BLITZER: Joining us now from the White House, two guests, the homeland security secretary, Michael Chertoff, and the commerce secretary, Carlos Gutierrez.
Gentlemen, thanks very much for coming in.
Secretary Chertoff, let me start with you. What do you say to those people -- a lot of critics, especially Republicans, a lot of conservatives, say you may deny this is amnesty, but in effect you are granting amnesty to millions of people who snuck into the United States.
MICHAEL CHERTOFF, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: You know, Wolf, first, I understand there's some people who expect anything other than capital punishment is an amnesty. The reality is the proposal here requires people who came in illegally who want to stay to pay a penalty. Like a fine. That's a punishment. That's not an amnesty. It requires them to register. It gives us background checks. It requires them to work. It requires them to pay taxes.
There's a punishment. There's an acknowledgment of wrongdoing. And then there's a probationary period under which they have to continue to do the right thing.
Now, some people may want a harsher punishment. But the reality is, right now, we have 12 million people who aren't going to be deported. They aren't going anywhere.
And it's whistling in the dark to say that there's some other solution than one which acknowledges wrongdoing and tightens up the system and corrects it for good, which is what this bill would do.
BLITZER: Secretary Gutierrez, what do you say to those other critics who say you're rewarding illegal activity?
CARLOS GUTIERREZ, COMMERCE SECRETARY: Well, what we're doing is putting an order to a very dysfunctional system. We have a system in place that is just -- it's broken. It's not working. It's not working for anyone. And what we're doing is putting some order to it.
What we need is an orderly legal immigration system. We need an employee verification system. We need security borders.
That's what we need for our national security. And that's what we need for our economy. And this goes a long way towards doing that.
BLITZER: Duncan Hunter, the Republican congressman, Secretary Chertoff, the other night in that Republican presidential debate, he had some strong words, because he's very concerned about what this could result in terms of homeland security.
Listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. DUNCAN HUNTER (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As long as you've got a revolving door, and you have no border -- and this 2,000- mile porous border, incidentally, is our biggest homeland security problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: All right. And what do you say to Congressman Hunter?
CHERTOFF: Here's what I say. Right now, I've got my Border Patrol agents and my immigration agents chasing maids and landscapers. I want them to focus on drug dealers and terrorists. It seems to me if I can get the maids and the landscapers into a regulated system, and focus my law enforcement on the terrorists and the drug dealers, that's how I get a safe border.
BLITZER: Michael Chertoff and Carlos Gutierrez speaking with me earlier.
Still ahead tonight, we're going to show you why New York City police were spying on some leading hip-hop stars. We have details of some secret documents that now have been made public.
Plus, the Bush/Blair lovefest. CNN's Jeanne Moos takes a most unusual look. Stay with us, you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: Secret files unsealed and showing who New York City police were spying on in the days before the 2004 Republican presidential convention. That list includes some prominent hip-hop artists. CNN's Tom Foreman is joining us with details of these newly released documents - Tom?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, when the Republicans had their convention in New York in 2004, there was a lot of concerns of the tactics that protesters might use to disrupt the convention. The police looked into it, the convention came off without a hitch, but now there are questions about the tactics police themselves used.
FOREMAN (voice over): Attention protesters and peaceniks, anarchists and Alicia Keys, and all those other artists who came out in 2004 to protest the Grand Old Party's big national convention. These private eyes were watching you. That's right, the New York Police Department was secretly monitoring these artist-protesters, and not just at public events.
DONNA LIEBERMAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ACLU: To participate in meetings, to monitor e-mails, and to act as not police officers, but undercover agents in dealing with organizations that are exercising their right to protest, raises serious concerns.
FOREMAN: Six hundred pages of secret police files were released to the public as the result of a lawsuit filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union. They reveal that New York's finest began spying on performers like Jay-Z, LL Cool J and others, months before they were to perform at a protest rally during the GOP convention.
They monitored Web sites and a guy known for throwing pies. They spied on meetings of billionaires for Bush who were not for Bush at all. New York police say the surveillance was justified.
COMMISSIONER RAY KELLY, NEW YORK POLICE: People wanted to come here to shut down the city, to replicate what happened in Seattle and Montreal and Genoa. We simply didn't let that happen.
FOREMAN: New York has refused to release the documents for three years. The New York Civil Liberties Union went to court to get access to them as part of a lawsuit on behalf of people who were arrested while protesting the GOP convention.
While some protesters were self-declared anarchists, most planned performances or marches or theater. One group planned to sing about the war.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (SINGING): Stop the war, stop the war.
FOREMAN: Lawyers for the protesters said all the spying discourages regular people from exercising their right to free speech.
LIEBERMAN: If the government is monitoring lawful, political dissent, then people who -- people are intimidated.
FOREMAN: The police had some legitimate concerns here. There have been instances where protesters have organized big movements to try to shut down large areas of downtown. They didn't want that to happen. They thought that would be bad for New York, bad for the Republicans, bad for everyone there.
But nonetheless, the people who wanted to have protests of the Republican Party are very put off by the fact that feel they were treated and spied upon as if they were criminals. Wolf?
BLITZER: All right Tom, thank you - Tom Foreman reporting.
The former vice president Al Gore is out with a new book entitled "The Assault on Reason". The book is raising questions about whether he may be planning to run for president once again. CNN's Kathleen Koch has the latest - Kathleen?
KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, Al Gore insists he's dedicating himself to a larger cause than politics. The former vice president says he's doing everything in his power to sound the alarm about the climate crisis. Still, it seems every few weeks he's back in the political spotlight.
KOCH (voice-over): It's a field of eight, but is there room for one more Democratic presidential candidate?
Al Gore has said over...
AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am not planning to be a candidate again.
KOCH: ... and over...
GORE: I don't really have plans to run for office again.
KOCH: ... and over.
GORE: Have no plans to run.
KOCH: But the former vice president has never completely ruled out another run for the White House. And plenty of Democrats hope he will give it another shot.
REP. STEVE COHEN (D), TENNESSEE: I really think that the country -- Al Gore is the type of person the country needs.
KOCH: A new book out next week and a cover story in the new issue of "TIME" magazine are sparking new speculation. The man who won the popular vote in the 2000 presidential election tells "TIME" -- quote -- "I haven't ruled it out."
But Gore does go on to say that he doesn't think it's likely to happen. In his new book, "The Assault on Reason," Gore, among other things, takes aim at President Bush, but says the book is not about politics.
"The reason I wrote the book," he tells "TIME," is that I have tried for years to tell the story of the climate crisis. And it's taken far too long to get through. Speculation of a presidential bid could do just that.
MARK PRESTON, CNN POLITICAL EDITOR: Leaving the door open might be Al Gore's shrewdest political move of his career. It keeps the light shining brightly on him and his issue, global warming.
KOCH: And keeping in the spotlight also keeps Al Gore in the polls. He is in the teens in most national polls, which is not bad for a man who, for now at least, is not even a candidate -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Thanks Kathleen, Kathleen Koch reporting.
And by the way, Al Gore will be sitting down with our own Larry King Tuesday night. I'm sure Larry is going to press him on whether he plans on running once again for the White House. Tuesday night, 9:00 p.m. Eastern.
Up ahead, hear these two world leaders tell it, parting is such sweet sorrow. Jeanne Moos takes a closer look at the Bush/Blair farewell.
And an influential Christian conservative says no way to Rudy Giuliani. Will others in the religious right follow his lead?
John King is standing by with that, we'll be right back.
BLITZER: Focus on the Family founder James Dobson is taking new aim today at the candidate Rudy Giuliani.
Dobson is responding to the Republican's recent statements reaffirming his support for abortion rights. In a posting online, Dobson tells Giuliani -- quote -- "The jig is up."
And he adds this: "My conclusion from this closer look at the current GOP front-runner comes down to this. Speaking as a private citizen, and not on behalf of any organization or party, I cannot and will not vote for Rudy Giuliani in 2008. It is an irrevocable decision."
BLITZER: Let's bring in our chief national correspondent, John King.
John, how big of a deal is this?
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is a big deal, because James Dobson is very influential, Wolf, and not necessarily what you think in traditional political circles.
If you join a group like Concerned Women of America or some of the other Christian coalition, those are known to be religious right political organizations. Focus on the Family is not political by nature. But millions of parents listen to his radio program, buy his "Focus on the Family" magazine, his "Citizen" magazine, which is about public events.
So, it's like the "Good Housekeeping" stamp of -- stamp of approval when he says things in the political realm. So, people who would not say that they were members of the religious right, if you asked them, but are Christian conservative voters who listen to him on values issues, will listen to him on something like this.
BLITZER: Has there been any reaction yet from the Giuliani campaign?
KING: They say they do not want to respond. And that is smart politically, in that they do not want to get into a fight with Dr. Dobson.
BLITZER: It's smart because in the sense that -- you and I covered Bill Clinton's campaign for a long time. Their theory was, if somebody attacks you, silence, in effect, lets that stand, as opposed to reacting firmly and -- going on the offensive.
KING: But the Giuliani campaign is well aware of what's going on right now. It's -- it's an unofficial network of these social conservative leaders, Dr. Dobson from Focus on the Family. You have the known groups. You have had Tony Perkins on the program here, from Concerned Women of America, Phyllis Schlafly's organization.
They are all unofficially working for the same goal. They aren't working together at the moment, for the same goal: block Rudy Giuliani. They are reaching out to former Senator Fred Thompson. Many of these leaders are prepared to rally around him if he gets into the race. And, if he does not get into the race, many of them, despite some past differences, say they will help try to encourage former Speaker Newt Gingrich in.
BLITZER: And the reason they don't like John McCain so much is because McCain/Feingold, the campaign finance reform? Is that what their big concern about him...
KING: It is...
BLITZER: ... about him is?
KING: It is fascinating. They don't like Rudy Giuliani, obviously, because of his positions on the issues.
They don't like Mitt Romney, or they're not warming to Mitt Romney, because they don't trust him, because he was formally pro- rights. They thought he was too liberal on gay rights. And now, even though he is preaching their message, they don't trust him.
And that's the same thing. They do not trust John McCain. Even though his voting record is quite good, they don't like McCain/Feingold, because it made it many of -- made it much harder for many of their organizations to raise and spend money in politics.
But it's even more than that. There is just -- John McCain does not lead with talking about these issues. He doesn't like to talk about the social issues. Even though he votes with them on the issues, they simply do not trust him.
BLITZER: John King talking with me a little while ago. Let's check in with Jack Cafferty. He's in New York. Hi, Jack.
CAFFERTY: Wasn't it Newt Gingrich a while back who said it might be necessary to do away with parts of the First Amendment in order to win the way on terror?
BLITZER: I don't remember that.
CAFFERTY: Words to that effect, I think he did.
The question is, do Americans get enough vacation time?
George in Pensacola, Florida: "As a small business owner for whom incidentally more than 70 percent of U.S. citizens work, I'd love to give my employees more paid time off. As soon as the government gives me a day off from paying tax after tax after tax after tax and fee after fee after fee, I will surely do just that."
Jason in Bloomington, Illinois: "Regarding vacation time, the real workers in America, the ones who actually break a sweat every day or barely enough to survive don't get enough or any at all. Corporate Americans, like myself, get more than they need. I rarely work a full week, it doesn't seem fair. By the way, I've decided to take tomorrow off and go play golf."
Bill in Southfield, Michigan: "Jack, what in the world are you smoking? This is the last thing I think people are thinking about these days. Between outsourcing and the contracting of jobs within the companies, I would be happy just to have a job. Even when you have one, like in my field, your nights and weekends can be a part of your work schedule as well. Stop worrying about enough days off, start worrying about enough jobs."
Dave in Smithville, Missouri says: "I've been mulling this over, jack. As a small business owner, I don't get any vacation. And with gasoline looming at $4 a gallon, I doubt I'll be in business much longer. Suffice it to say, I'm looking for a career change. I'm a failed businessman who doesn't get enough vacation time, therefore, I'd like to announce my candidacy for president of the United States."
And Fluffy in Lovelock, Nevada: "Why, Jack, are you trying to justify your next getaway? I suppose like most overworked, underpaid Americans, you probably consider your vacation to be a sacred respite from the seemingly endless and meaningless slavery you're subjected to. Not that I'm keeping score, but you've had eight vacations since I had one. And every time you're gone, it makes for long afternoons. So if you're looking for a blessing Jack, here's two bags of peanuts. You're now free to move about the country."
If you didn't see your e-mail here, you can go to CNN.com/CaffertyFile. We post more of them online, along with video clips of "The Cafferty File." Wolf?
BLITZER: Our viewers never want you to go on vacation, Jack.
CAFFERTY: Well, that's too bad.
Let's check in with Paula to see what's coming up right at the top of the hour. Hi, Paula.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: He earns that vacation, Wolf, thanks.
BLITZER: Yes, he does.
ZAHN: Opposition to today's immigration reform deal is already out in the open. I'll talk with congressman and Republican presidential candidate Tom Tancredo, who calls it a slap in the face to legal immigrants.
And because of the Virginia Tech massacre, South Carolina may let college students carry guns. Can that really end up saving lives? We'll debate that coming up at the top of the hour. And we've got a whole lot more, Wolf.
BLITZER: We'll be there, Paula. Thank you very much.
Still ahead, President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair are singing each other's praises in their swan song. Jeanne Moos takes a most unusual look. You're going to want to stick around for this. Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: Here's a look at some of the hotshots coming from our friends at the "Associated Press."
Outside the Gaza Strip, a boy looks out the window of a bus as he waits to be evacuated from his town.
In Paris, French President Nicolas Sarkozy steps into his new resident,
In China, monks use fire extinguishers to put out flames during a fire safety training session.
And at the Cannes Film Festival in France, comedian Jerry Seinfeld, dressed as a bee, flies through the air during a publicity stunt for his new film "Bee Movie".
That's spelled B-E-E. Some of this hour's hot shots, pictures often worth a thousand words.
It may not have been necessarily love in the air at the White House Rose Garden today, but there was definitely some mutual admiration as President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair held what are likely to be their final news conferences here in Washington. CNN's Jeanne Moos takes this most unusual look.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRSEPONDENT (voice-over): The birds were tweeting in the Rose Garden as the two beleaguered allies emerged.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president of the United States and the prime minister of the United Kingdom.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's been a joy having you back here.
TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I'm proud of the relationship we have had.
BUSH: I have enjoyed working with Tony Blair more than I could have possibly imagined.
BLAIR: You have been a strong leader at a time when the world needed strong leadership.
BUSH: I honor Tony Blair.
MOOS: Love, honor and obey.
MOOS: It's been a heck of a political marriage. Over the past six years, these two have grown grey together.
MOOS: To the point that the president sometimes finishes the prime minister's sentence.
BLAIR: If you want to get the easiest round of applause, to get up and attack America, you could get a round on applause, you could get a round of applause, you attack the president, you get a...
BUSH: ... Standing ovation.
MOOS: Now that Tony Blair has announced he's leaving office in less than two months, the relationships isn't just ducky, it's lame ducky.
BLAIR: Is this really still the right man to be talking to?
BUSH: Is this the right guy? Well, he happens to be your prime minister. Will I miss working with Tony Blair? You bet I will. Am I to blame for his leaving? I don't know.
MOOS: Critics called him Bush's poodle. There's no doubt he was this man's best friend among allies and even cynical mocking reporters had to admire their mutual admiration.
BLAIR: I've admired him as a president and I regard him as a friend.
BUSH: The world needs courage. And what I know is this good man is a courageous man.
MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BLITZER: Let's go to Paula in New York - Paula?
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