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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Iraq: Reality Check; War over Iraq; Burying the "N" Word; U.K. Terror Plot; Cameras Watching You
Aired July 9, 2007 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: This is to be expected, given the report is a preliminary snapshot of what -- the early stages of the full surge.
Now, talking with people inside and outside of the White House, Anderson, the discussions that are taking place are really centered around figuring out what this alternative policy would be if this so- called U.S. troop surge does not work.
While Secretaries Rice and Gates have put on the table this idea of redeploying or withdrawing U.S. troops in the future, no time soon, aides say that, while President Bush is being pragmatic, he also still believes that withdrawal would look like defeat.
Now, there are some senior administration officials who insist that they are going to take as much time as they possibly can, which means until that September assessment General Petraeus is supposed to make, before they can consider any change in U.S. strategy.
There are a couple things they are worried about, however, Anderson. The big concern, many are telling me, is that this White House fears it's going to lose its ability to manage the war. As one official put it, nobody wants to lose control to Congress.
The other thing that they are concerned about inside of the White House is that, while nobody has figured out what this alternative policy would be to the present one, the administration is now faced with huge expectations about September. The president thought he had until after Congress returned from its August recess to present some sort of progress there, but now what we're seeing, Anderson, a timetable that's been dramatically accelerated.
COOPER: So, they are, behind the scenes, discussing some sort of plan B?
MALVEAUX: They are trying to come up with a plan B.
What people are saying is that they don't have a plan B at this time. And what they are doing is they are desperately trying to buy time here. Today, we saw Republican Senator Jon Kyl, very loyal to this administration. He was summoned to the White House, where he met with Bush aides. And he came away from this meeting essentially saying what the White House wants here, that he's confident that these Republicans in the Senate are going to prevent the Democratic majority from what he says is undercutting this U.S. effort in Iraq, and what he's trying to do is rally other lawmakers not to allow any cuts in funding or deadlines for the troops to come home.
And that is really what the White House push is right now -- Anderson.
COOPER: Suzanne Malveaux, appreciate the reporting.
Respected Republican leaders, however -- not just Democrats, respected Republican leaders -- are calling for a change in strategy. And behind the scenes, as Suzanne just said, it seems a lot is happening at the White House.
In public, however, White House spokesman Tony Snow seems to be putting out a very different message.
Listen to this exchange today with CNN's Ed Henry.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: ... have said that the president can't wait until September, and they're saying you need to go faster.
So, putting aside a timetable, is there a debate right now, going on inside the White House, for a gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops, as "The New York Times" said, a gradual withdrawal?
TONY SNOW, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: No, no, there's no -- again, ultimately, the president wants to withdraw troops based on the facts on the ground, not on the matter of politics.
HENRY: Senator Lugar said, quote, "The prospects of the current surge strategy will succeed in the way originally envisioned by the president are very limited."
SNOW: By September -- he also talked about having it done by September. And the fact is, we don't think that everything is going to be accomplished by September, and we never said that.
HENRY: ... that the course you're taking is not succeeding in those endeavors.
SNOW: No. Again, we have just started the course. The course...
HENRY: But he's saying time is running out.
SNOW: I'm just...
HENRY: But he's not a Democrat. He's a Republican.
SNOW: I understand that.
HENRY: ... time's running out.
SNOW: I understand that.
HENRY: But is the White House in denial about that, then, that...
SNOW: No, the White House is not in denial about the fact. But I think you're in denial about the fact that, in the overall contours, there's just not that much disagreement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: White House spokesman Tony Snow giving the administration's take on what's happening on Iraq.
Beyond the politics, let's look at the facts on the ground, as they are now.
In Baghdad tonight, "Keeping them Honest" for us is CNN's Michael Ware.
Michael, thanks for joining us.
Some of the benchmarks the Iraqi government was supposed to meet -- we're talking about revising the constitution to encourage more Sunni political participation, guaranteeing all groups a share of oil revenue, lessening restrictions on Baath Party members, local elections -- none of these have been met, according to this new Pentagon report, according to the A.P.
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Because, to be honest, it's not really in the interests of the main power players here in Iraq to meet them.
These are American agendas, American benchmarks. These aren't the benchmarks that the factions within the Iraqi government really care about. What they care about is getting their hands on their own security forces and setting them loose as they see fit.
And, don't forget, a lot of these benchmarks strike at the deepest, most heartfelt divisions politically and in terms of the sectarian divide that exist in this country. None of them are easy fixes. And in none of them is it really in the interests of those who hold power to meet them. They just want to keep their power -- Anderson.
COOPER: So, essentially, you're saying they don't see themselves as part of a larger Iraq. They don't see themselves as a ruling of -- all the people of Iraq, as we think about a democracy. They still see themselves as factions, and they are trying to hold on to turf and power.
WARE: Yes, absolutely. I mean, the concept of a national unity government, as the Bush administration calls this thing that they describe as the Iraqi government, is laughed at, even by some of the senior members of this government itself. And, speaking to a few of them on the weekend, it was very clear that their interests were to protect their population. The other populations, well, they can look after themselves. But I can tell you, they say, we're ready. We're ready if U.S. troops pull out. We're not worried about al Qaeda. That's going to be somebody else's problem. Just get America out of the way, and let us loose.
COOPER: Well, the so-called surge, or troop escalation, was supposed to provide time and security for political changes. Politically, it may not be working, according to this report. How is it working militarily on the ground?
WARE: Well, General David Petraeus, the American war commander here in Iraq, is keeping the figures close to his chest. Obviously, he doesn't want to detail what numbers he's looking at to gauge his assessment, because he doesn't want the insurgents and he doesn't want the Iranian-backed militia skewing these figures, which, clearly, they are.
But, to be honest, it's having limited impact here on the ground. I mean, almost 600 tortured and executed bodies were found on the streets of Baghdad last month alone. This year, 605 U.S. soldiers have been killed already. This month, we have already seen 30 U.S. troops killed from one cause or another.
That's just over three U.S. soldiers dying every day here in Iraq. So, is the surge dampening violence? No. It's pushing it here. It's pushing it there. Is it buying the time that the government was supposed to need politically to breathe? No, not at all.
COOPER: And, very briefly, there was this operation in Baquba, U.S. forces in the lead. They -- they called up some 11,000 Iraqi troops for backup to prevent terrorists from escaping, and insurgents from escaping. Only 1,500 or so Iraqi troops showed up. What is -- what is the problem with the Iraqi forces?
WARE: Look, Anderson, this is an age-old problem that's plagued the U.S. effort here since it began, having not only capable Iraqi forces, but getting them to actually show up when and where you need them.
From the Battle of Fallujah, to all sorts of major incidents, we have seen so many just abandon their posts or fail to appear. One of the big reasons for that is that most of these forces are essentially militias in uniform. They are interested in their own interests and their own areas. These troops don't like to go somewhere else to fight. And that's what we're seeing. They are just not interested in it.
COOPER: Well, "Keeping them Honest" in Baghdad, Michael Ware -- thanks, Michael.
Meantime, more breaking news tonight -- we're learning that another Republican lawmaker may split with the administration on Iraq. This may happen as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democratic, of course, gets ready to launch debate on a series of amendments to the 2008 defense budget dealing with Iraq.
The first of those amendments is sponsored by Virginia Democrat James Webb, calling for troops to spend at least as much time at home as they do on deployment. Some G.I.s are now being called up for their fifth tour of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
More on the Democratic political strategy shortly with David Gergen.
But, first, CNN's Dana Bash on the Republican defectors.
DANA BASH, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Moderate Republican Olympia Snowe has never been a fan of the president's Iraq policy, but she has never voted to pull troops out either. Now she likely will. It's the latest sign of mounting GOP opposition to the war.
SEN. HARRY REID (D), MAJORITY LEADER: I think we will find, in the next couple of weeks, whether the Republicans who have said publicly they think the president's course should change are willing to vote with us. We invite them to come with us. We put our arms around them.
BASH: In recent weeks, several prominent Republicans have stunned the White House by publicly rebuking the president on the war.
SEN. PETE DOMENICI (R), NEW MEXICO: I'm unwilling to continue our current strategy.
BASH: Well-respected Republicans for the first time calling for a change in Iraq policy now.
SEN. RICHARD LUGAR (R), INDIANA: I would think a majority of our forces could redeploy by the midpoint of next year.
BASH: But, while Democrats are feverishly trying to capitalize on the GOP defections, the reality is, many Republicans who now oppose the president's Iraq strategy still have no intention of supporting the Democrats' ideas.
DOMENICI: I'm not calling for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq or a reduction in funding for our troops.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What many of us are looking for is a new strategy that would not be a precipitous pullout, with all the problems that that would cause.
BASH (on camera): The point is, just because more and more Republicans agree with Democrats that the Bush Iraq strategy is a failure, it doesn't mean they agree on how to fix it, though there are several groups of senators working here behind the scenes trying to find a new consensus plan.
(voice-over): Republican Lamar Alexander supports an idea with the most bipartisan support, adopting recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, including stepped-up diplomacy and troop withdrawal starting next spring.
SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R), TENNESSEE: I think people are right to expect to us to act like grownups. And that means, sure, say what we really prefer, what we're really for, but -- but we have -- but also to recognize that we're supposed to come to a result.
BASH: But even Alexander acknowledges, his measure probably won't pass.
ALEXANDER: It's going to be hard, because there's strong feelings here.
BASH: In fact, despite the rising tide of opposition, Democratic and Republican sources concede, political pressures on the right and the left may once again prevent Congress from finding consensus on a new Iraq plan.
Dana Bash, CNN, Capitol Hill.
COOPER: More now on what the Democrats aim to do in the next two weeks, with or without Republican help, as well as what President Bush is now up against.
Earlier tonight, I spoke with former presidential adviser David Gergen.
COOPER: David, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid came out today in support of this plan by Jim Webb to give troops extended leave, as much time at home as they would be having overseas.
Is that at this point all the Democrats can do? I mean, can't -- can they try to achieve more, in terms of getting troops out of Iraq?
DAVID GERGEN, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: They can try. I think they are going to fail, because the Republicans, at this point, haven't -- while they have broken with the president on his policies, a number of them, they haven't -- they have said, basically, we're not going to vote with the Democrats yet. So...
COOPER: Right. They are saying they want a change of strategy, not necessarily a troop withdrawal.
GERGEN: Exactly. And they -- and John Warner, very importantly, gave the president some help today, by saying, let's slow this down. Let's wait for the interim report in a few days, but, very importantly, let's wait for General Petraeus in September.
You know, there was a sense of almost panic setting in, in the White House about, oh, my God, we're going to get stampeded here if we're not careful. I think John Warner helped them to head off the stampede. It doesn't get them out of their central dilemma.
COOPER: And that central dilemma being that there is no plan B?
GERGEN: There is no plan B. And, when you have people like Senator Lugar telling, you know, you really ought to figure it out now, where you want to go long term, that has led to a conversation in the White House.
They refuse to talk about troop withdrawal, but they are having a debate in there about whether they should have some sort of bargain with the Democrats and with the Republicans that would hold for the long haul.
COOPER: Politically, though, how tenable is a plan B, short of -- that does not involve some level of troop withdrawal?
GERGEN: Oh, I think plan B will involve a significant level of troop withdrawal, but -- and probably cutting the troops by about half, and then taking the ones you have left and moving them -- and moving them out of Baghdad, moving them into both the north and the south, and trying to salvage as much as you can of the country, and trying to head off a civil war.
What is, I think, mystifying is that most presidents, under these circumstances, when a Dick Lugar breaks with you and Pete Domenici, and you have got so much unrest up there, they would start calling in the Republican leadership, and having quiet talks to some -- come up with some sort of united position between the White House and their own rank-and-file. And, instead, they are sending up people like Steve Hadley, the NSC adviser, to go on scouting missions up there. That doesn't make any sense to me. The president himself ought to be personally engaged with the leadership of the Republicans, and then work -- also, work with Harry Reid to see what he can work out. This ought to be done really quietly.
COOPER: Why do you think they are not doing that? I mean, is that something that this president has resisted doing on other subjects as well throughout these -- the last several years?
GERGEN: It's a remarkably removed White House, in that sense.
This president has spent -- I know he sees members of Congress, but he does not spend the time. He has not invested the time in -- into these relationships that one would have expected, especially a president in trouble.
And now there's -- you know, there are many numbers of the Republican side up there who have been shaking their heads for some weeks, saying, these guys don't get it. What world are they living in? Don't they understand how bad this is? Don't they understand what we're facing when we go back home?
COOPER: David Gergen, appreciate it. Thanks, David.
GERGEN: Thank you, Anderson.
COOPER: Well, as the war rages, fewer men and women are enlisting. The Army missed its active-duty recruitment goals in May and June. That hasn't happened in nearly two years. Here's the "Raw Data."
Last month, a target number was 8,400, but fell short by about 1,300. In May, recruitment also fell by about 400. However, the Army says recruiters are still about 2,000 people ahead of their target for the year so far.
Straight ahead, another battle in Washington over billions of your tax dollars. We will have details in "Raw Politics."
Also, the fight over a word, an explosive ugly word that you're about to here.
COOPER (voice-over): It hurts when he says it.
MICHAEL RICHARDS, COMEDIAN: He's a nigger! He's a nigger!
COOPER: But how harmful is it when others say it? Burying the "N" word and the fiery debate over words that just don't die.
Also, it works in Britain. It's turning up here -- cameras wherever you go, watching whatever you do. Still think it's a good idea? And do they even stop crime? Authorities are watching. We're "Keeping them Honest," tonight on 360.
COOPER: That, of course, is Grammy-winning rapper Ludacris.
Like many hip-hop artists, he's come under attack for the lyrics in his songs. His lyrics include words that can't be used on this broadcast, not that we would ever want to, words that start with B and H and F, and perhaps the most controversial of all, the word that starts with N.
Who, if anyone, should be allowed to use the "N" word continues to be fiercely debated. Today, the story took another turn, when a civil rights group held a mock burial for the word.
We want to warn you, some viewers may find language in this story offensive.
Here's CNN's Jason Carroll.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The pallbearers carried the casket, but the weight they were carrying could not be measured. The NAACP held this symbolic funeral for the "N" word.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nigger has terrorized us, but he has not beaten us. We have overcome him, and we celebrate the end of his existence in our community. We officially declare him dead.
CARROLL: Many still consider the word deeply offensive, but it's been used often, some say far too often, by some of hip-hop's biggest- selling artists.
Rappers like 50 Cent make no apologies for using it.
50 CENT, RAPPER: Sure, the music is a mirror, and hip-hop's a reflection of the environment that we grew up in. It's the harsh realities.
T.I., RAPPER: But there are bitches, niggers, and hos that live in America. And, as long as that fact exists, I think rappers deserve the right to talk about it.
CARROLL: The "N" word has become so common on the streets, it's used to mean friend.
(on camera): Do you use the word?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I try not to.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a professional business setting...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... you don't use the word nigger. But, like, if you are with your friends, you are going to, oh, what up, my nigger?
CARROLL (voice-over): Most people we spoke to in Harlem don't believe a funeral will change anything.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The way people use it today in the streets, like, they are still going to use it. And I don't think a funeral is going to have any impact on -- on doing -- on the word itself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We must just use the funeral as a stepping stone to provide an outlet for the music to -- music industry to stop making the artists say that.
CARROLL: The backlash against Michael Richards' use of the word during an onstage rant wasn't enough to stop its use on the streets or on hip-hop C.D.s. So, would a funeral be any more effective?
JULIAN BOND, CHAIRMAN, NAACP: It doesn't mean we think that, automatically, people are going to stop using this offensive word. But we want the world to know that it is offensive, and it doesn't matter who says it, whether it comes out of black lips or white lips. CARROLL: Cultural critic Michaela Angela Davis says, the NAACP is well-intentioned, but too out of touch to have an impact.
MICHAELA ANGELA DAVIS, CULTURAL CRITIC: I think that a symbolic burial of the "N" word is -- is misdirected energy, particularly from a trusted organization like the NAACP today. I think that energy spent should be more resurrecting their image with young people than burying words.
CARROLL (on camera): NAACP leaders say, that's exactly what they are trying to do, to get young people and others to change the way they think and what they say.
Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.
COOPER: There are certainly many voices in the debate over the power of the "N" word.
Joining me now is Jason Whitlock, a columnist for "The Kansas City Star," and James Peterson, an Assistant Professor of English at Bucknell University and founder of Hip-Hop Scholars.
Gentlemen, thanks for being on the program.
COOPER: Jason, the mock funeral today, important?
JASON WHITLOCK, COLUMNIST, "KANSAS CITY STAR": Yes, I think it's very important.
I think it's the beginning of a revolution of a mindset that has engulfed the black community and engulfed black people. We have fallen in love with the "N" word, and we have fallen in love with a very negative culture. And I think this is a small step. It's a beginning step of changing the mindset. We have to examine our own self-destructive behavior, if we're going to demand that other cultures, other people respect us.
It all begins with us respecting ourselves. So, I think this is a great first small step.
COOPER: James, should a word be buried?
JAMES PETERSON, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH, BUCKNELL UNIVERSITY: I think this is a pretty insignificant gesture.
I mean, you -- they can bury the word, and I certainly understand the desire of the NAACP to sort of raise awareness of their organization with younger people. But we need to really stay focused on the issues at hand in our community. And this particular word is not really indicative of some of the most serious challenges that we're facing. COOPER: James, can the word be used appropriately? Can it be -- should it be used by African-Americans, one to another, by white people?
PETERSON: I can't speak for white folk.
What I can speak for is that the word can be used within private context amongst folk in certain speech communities, and it can take on a different meaning that's divorced from its very, very negative history.
Now, once it's in the public eye, it takes on sort of the historical meanings, and all the racism and white supremacy that goes along with that.
But how can we control what people say in private anyway?
COOPER: Jason, do you buy that, that there -- there can be a way to use the word that's not offensive?
WHITLOCK: No, not really, not when you truly understand what the intention of the word when it was invented. It was invented to dehumanize us. And if you look at our behavior towards each other, if you look at black-on-black crime, black-on-black crime, the "N" word is winning. We are treating ourselves like the "N" words we so happily call ourselves.
PETERSON: That's completely preposterous. The "N" word is not responsible for the violence in our communities. We have -- there are structural issues that are responsible for the violence in our communities.
WHITLOCK: It's a mindset.
PETERSON: Poverty. Hello? Poverty...
WHITLOCK: It's a mindset.
PETERSON: ... violence, the access to guns, drug abuse, those are the things that we should be focusing on.
In fact, the NAACP should show some real leadership and address issues like homicide in Philadelphia or the erosion of our educational system. I mean, this is...
WHITLOCK: Anderson, I'm going to tell you what this is like. I'm going to tell you what this is like.
In the '50s and '40s, black people were getting lynched from trees. But we started demanding respect wherever we felt we were being disrespected.
Rosa Parks, in '55, refused to get up out of a seat, and that basically started a civil rights movement. People like this guy would come on and criticize -- what's she arguing about a bus seat for, when we're getting lynched by -- on trees, when we can't get jobs, when all these other horrible things are going on?
WHITLOCK: It starts somewhere. In '55, she wouldn't give up a bus seat. In '65, we had the right to vote. They had the Voting Rights Act.
PETERSON: This is apples and oranges, though.
COOPER: James, James...
WHITLOCK: It's a process. It's a process of changing...
WHITLOCK: ... black culture and our mindset, this negative mindset that we're in towards each other.
COOPER: James, you talk about use -- the proper use of the word amongst African-Americans who are friends, almost a term of endearment in some ways.
The majority, though, of, I mean, how most of the country hears that word is probably, nowadays, through rap music and rap videos. Is it appropriate for 50 Cent to be using that word, and then a whole bunch of white kids in the suburbs start using that word because they see 50 Cent doing it?
PETERSON: Again, it's private/public.
I mean, I don't have to sort of be a baby-sitter for white folk. I think white folk understand when and how to use the word and when not to use the word.
And I can't really speak on 50 Cent, because I don't think he really represents the people That I'm talking about, in terms of this particular issue.
We have to stay focused on the issue.
The boycott for the civil rights movement, the bus boycott, was addressing a structural issue, a structural challenge of Jim Crowism in the South.
WHITLOCK: It's about respect.
PETERSON: If we were doing that with this particular issue, for instance, if we went into the school system and said, let's end self- hatred, let's end negativity in the school system, I would be -- I would march right with them.
But to focus on the "N" word is misdirected.
WHITLOCK: What do you think the next step is?
COOPER: But you don't think the "N" word is that?
WHITLOCK: That's the next step. It's the first step in the process.
PETERSON: I don't think burying the "N" word is that.
And, to be honest with you, I'm not sure if the NAACP has the juice to really bring this kind movement to young people.
Like Michaela said earlier, the NAACP has to check sort of its own house and make sure it's connecting with young people before it tries to decide whether or not using the "N" word is bad in certain private contexts.
WHITLOCK: The NAACP had the juice to get you on this TV show, talking about this very issue, and starting a conversation all over the country about self-respect and ending this culture of disrespect.
PETERSON: Well, actually, I have commented on the "N" word for years now, based upon other organizations attempting to do the same thing, and based upon other conversations.
We have had this dialogue about the "N" word for the last 20, 30 years, as least.
But, listen, it's not just that it's used positively or it can be used positively in private context. I also don't want to ban its use for politicized ways, like the ways in which The Last Poets used it, or the ways in which Richard Pryor used it, before he reformed himself, and the ways in certain rappers do use it.
There is a way in which the term can be politicized, and actually challenge us to think more critically about the...
COOPER: Jason, I want to give you the final thought.
WHITLOCK: Well, I -- anybody trying to defend the use of this word needs to check their own sanity. It's an indefensible word. It has no useful purpose. It's time for us to leave it alone and start and begin a process of respecting ourselves. And, so, I applaud the NAACP. Really, I do. I have criticized the organization in the past.
This is a great first step of black people examining the things that we do to ourselves that are preventing us from enjoying the freedoms and taking advantage of the freedoms that Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, other civil rights leaders, fought and won for us.
WHITLOCK: We haven't taken advantage of that. And I'm glad we're starting the process.
COOPER: Jason Whitlock, James Peterson, appreciate both of your perspectives. Guys, thanks very much.
PETERSON: Thank you.
WHITLOCK: Thank you.
COOPER: Interesting discussion.
Here's Kiran Chetry with what's coming up tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KIRAN CHETRY, CO-HOST, "AMERICAN MORNING": Thanks, Anderson.
Tomorrow, we will bring the most news in the morning, including one family's unique challenge -- a year without anything made in China. So much of what we wear, eat and use every day is made in China. So, how hard would it be to shop and live without them?
Wake up to the most news in the morning, beginning at 6:00 a.m., Eastern, right here on CNN -- Anderson, back to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Kiran, thanks.
Also in the morning, Senator Olympia Snowe and White House Press Secretary Tony Snow.
Just ahead tonight, war protester Cindy Sheehan's demand and threat to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. You will hear it in "Raw Politics."
And tools to battle terror and crime -- cameras on the street. Find out if they could be coming to a corner near you, when 360 continues.
COOPER: Bob Marley's "Get Up, Stand Up," one of the thousands of song suggestions we've received in our contest for 360's political theme coverage. We're going to narrow the field down to the final three tomorrow night and let you pick the winner.
If you haven't sent us a song, there's still time. Just tell us at CNN.com/360.
From the Capitol to the campaign trail tonight, it is not music that is getting our attention, however. It is the money and the muscle.
CNN's Tom Foreman has tonight's "Raw Politics."
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, amid the crackling summer heat here in Washington, what's that noise? Well, it's the president unwrapping a brand new veto pen.
(voice-over): A massive budget battle may be shaping up. Democrats want more than $20 billion to improve schools and expand social services, and the president is threatening to stop the extra money. It's a tiny fraction of federal spending, which has soared in recent years into the trillions, but now Republicans want to bring it under control.
The "Raw Politics" read -- Democrats are desperate to show they can outmuscle this White House. Republicans, desperate to show they're not the biggest spenders in town. Both sides are playing politics, and an all-out budget war may follow.
War protester Cindy Sheehan says she will challenge Nancy Pelosi for her Congressional seat unless the speaker of the House calls for impeachment.
CINDY SHEEHAN, ANTI-WAR ACTIVIST: I want Congress to impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney. I want them to do the job that we elected them for.
FOREMAN: But Pelosi took 81 percent of the vote in her San Francisco district. Sheehan is unlikely to get what she wants or get elected.
Road trips. Rudy Giuliani in Daytona for his first ever NASCAR race. His assessment -- A, it's like hailing a New York cab? B, crazy New Jersey drivers? No, C...
RUDY GIULIANI (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: NASCAR is great. It's terrific. I'm having a wonderful time.
FOREMAN: Mitt Romney's tractor pull. The Iowa caucuses are a half year away, but he's established the most extensive network of campaign supporters in the Hawkeye state.
Meanwhile, John Edwards will launch a three-day, eight state tour to call attention to poverty, a key issue for his campaign.
And the United States Department of Agriculture says the historic home of Ernest Hemingway needs a special license for dozens of six- toed cats, descendants of Hemingway's own pet.
Key West officials, however, say leave the cats alone. They're just part of the home's history, and that's "paw" politics -- Anderson.
Later this month, Democratic presidential candidates are going to be answering your questions at the CNN/YouTube debates. This is going to be the first time this has ever been tried.
It all depends on you. Just make a 30-second video clip. We'll show you how to do it in a moment.
First, we've got a question from a viewer we'd like to share. It's about fat cat presidential contenders.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every one of you presidential frontrunners is a millionaire. Almost half of the U.S. Senate is composed of millionaires. You raise most of your campaign funds from or through millionaires.
Do we still have a democracy when a cop, nurse or school teacher has virtually no chance of ever becoming president?
Would you support a total ban on private campaign funding in order to restore power to the common people? Or do you believe it's acceptable to have a government by the rich, for the rich and of the rich?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That's just one of the questions we've received. We've gotten hundreds. We want a lot more, though. Keep sending us your questions. We'll play some of them here on 360.
And the presidential candidates are going to have to answer many of them at the CNN/YouTube debates starting July 23. You can learn all about the debates and how to make your questions, how to submit the, at YouTube.com/debate. Just go to the YouTube.com home page, and they'll have all the information right there.
Coming up, remember the chill you got when you learned just how much the government knew before 9/11 about al Qaeda's intention to attack America? Well, they're now feeling that same chill tonight in Great Britain. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER (voice-over): Early warning.
CANON ANDREW WHITE, ANGLICAN PRIEST: He said to me, those who cure you will kill you.
COOPER: Doctors and the terror plot against Britain. New revelations about what the government knew and when.
Also, it works in Britain. Now it's turning up here. Cameras wherever you go, watching whatever you do. Still think it's a good idea? Does it even stop crime? Authorities are watching. Tonight we're "Keeping Them Honest," ahead on 360.
COOPER (on camera): A burning Jeep, a very close call. A few weeks ago, of course, they were practicing medicine. Now they are under arrest for allegedly trying to commit mass murder.
Tonight we have new details and developments in the attempted terror attacks in Britain and Scotland, including a possible U.S. connection.
The latest reports reveal how the newest threat in the war on terror may come from educated extremists.
CNN Senior International Correspondent Nic Robertson investigates.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The plot to set off car bombs in the heart of London and Glasgow airport may have been badly executed, but the effort had global reach. Of the eight people arrested so far in the U.K. and Australia, six are doctors from India, Iraq and Jordan.
It's the arrest of doctors that gives chilling meaning to an encounter described by the Church of England's top vicar in Baghdad. In April, he says, he met an al Qaeda leader who hinted al Qaeda had operatives inside the medical profession.
CANON ANDREW WHITE, ANGLICAN PRIEST: I experienced a long litany of how he was going to kill British and American people. It was really quite terrible. And it was during that meeting that he said to me, those who cure you will kill you.
ROBERTSON: White says he was told plans were nearing execution and the United States was also a target.
In fact, an FBI investigation showed two doctors held in connection with the U.K. bomb plots, including 26-year-old Dr. Mohammed Asha, a neurologist from Jordan, tried unsuccessfully to get a U.S. work permit. As police in the U.K. pieced together the alleged bombers' past, at least four of them, including the pair who attacked Glasgow Airport, apparently met while working at the U.K.'s prestigious Ivy League equivalent Cambridge University.
Some British newspapers claim a number of the plotters were known to MI-5, Britain's internal intelligence force.
Iraqi Dr. Bilal Abdullah (ph), one of the two burning men subdued by police and bystanders after he drove the Jeep packed with camping gas and gasoline into the Glasgow Airport terminal, has been charged with conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life.
Dr. Abdullah (ph), although born in Britain, was raised in Iraq.
Aeronautical Engineer Khalid Ahmed, who was also pulled from the burning Jeep, is still under police guard in a critical condition in a Scottish hospital, with burns over 90 percent of his body.
In Australia, another doctor arrested in connection with the bombing, Indian national Mohammed Haneef (ph), must soon be charged by authorities or be set free.
Britain's National Health Service has increasingly relied on doctors from overseas to meet patient demand. About a third of U.K. doctors were trained elsewhere, and doctors wanting to come to Britain get fast-tracked for visas.
(on camera): Terrorism officials have long worried that terror plotters in Iraq would try and attack the coalition on their home territory. As the investigation continues, even though this attack was bungled, that fear appears even more real.
Nic Robertson, CNN, London.
COOPER: Well, some of the suspects in the latest U.K. terror plot were caught with the help of surveillance cameras. Britain has some 200,000 cameras on its streets, far, far more than any force is using in America.
So the question is, if they're working so well, why aren't there more in America? We're "Keeping them Honest," next on 360.
COOPER: You're looking at some of the men who plotted to blow up London's transit system back on July 21, 2005. The attack would have been carried out just two weeks after suicide bombings killed 52 commuters. Today, the four men were convicted.
Surveillance pictures played a role in bringing them to justice. It is also part of life in the U.K. In London, it's estimated the same person is taped about 300 times a day. Here in America, more and more cities are also using police cameras, and we wanted to know how effective they really are. To find out, we went to Baltimore, where the issue of Big Brother and privacy unfolded before our eyes.
CNN's Joe Johns investigates.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If London hadn't blazed the trail on security cameras, they may never have come to Baltimore, and this terrifying scene may have had an even worse ending.
Let's back it up.
Here, caught on camera, you see a young man ambling in the shadows. Next, a young woman walks into camera range. She's smoking, talking on a cell phone. Suddenly, the man grabs her and drags her out of view.
In scarcely two minutes, with an apparent crime in progress, the cops arrive at the scene.
LEONARD HAMM, BALTIMORE POLICE COMMISSIONER: We got there in seconds because we'd been watching this guy walking around in a suspicious manner.
JOHNS: Bad guys on candid camera. Baltimore now uses about 500 cameras. In Chicago, there are as many as 2,000 and now a plan to mount them in Manhattan.
These plans are inspired by London's so-called Ring of Steel, first created to combat terrorist acts by the Irish Republican Army. Now a weapon in the war against new terrorist threats like the bungled car bomb attacks in the U.K.
But in Britain, the number of surveillance cameras is huge, 200,000 or more, and far more advanced than in the United States. But Baltimore's police commissioner says it's almost inevitable that the U.S. will catch up.
HAMM: That's the way of the world, Joe. This is what we've come to. And the genie is out of the bottle. It's not going to go back. The threat of terrorism, the threat of gangs, the threat of violence on the street. It's not going to go back.
JOHNS: Baltimore claims a 17 percent reduction in violent crime in neighborhoods with the cameras. Though criminals are seldom caught in the act, evidence, witnesses, license plates, still help investigations.
MAJ. DAVE ENGEL, POLICE INTELLIGENCE COMMANDER: The feedback from the community has been fantastic, and, as a matter of fact, most people want cameras in their neighborhoods. JOHNS: But try to tell that to this woman, who has a beauty shop on a corner where the cameras have been up for more than a year. She asked us not to show her face on TV.
(on camera): Has the crime changed at all since the camera came?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely not. No. I have been a victim of crime since I've been here several times.
JOHNS (voice-over): Some of the people we talked to on the street didn't even believe the cameras work at all.
(on camera): Do they do anything?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
JOHNS: Do you -- do people believe they work?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some people probably do. I don't.
JOHNS: He should. While we were shooting that interview, police surveillance cameras could see us with him. While we were taping the neighbors, the police were taping us taping the neighbors.
As for privacy issues, don't these people have a right not to be on camera? Not really, says the commish.
HAMM: There's no expectation of privacy when you have common areas, no.
JOHNS: The street, of course, qualifies as a common area.
ENGEL: The only thing these cameras monitor are things that an officer on the street could see with their eyes.
JOHNS: But there is this issue -- who gets to see the video and control how it's used? Local public defenders wonder whether police preserve so-called exculpatory videos, the kind of tapes that could get a client off the hook.
JOHN MARKUS, BALTIMORE PUBLIC DEFENDER: They get to pick when they want to save them. And then we may find out after the fact that there's something that we want to subpoena. It may or may not be available at that point.
JOHNS (on camera): Now, a defense lawyer, obviously, would ask you, are you as willing to give up exculpatory evidence that may be caught on...
HAMM: If the law says we have to do that, we'll do that.
JOHNS: But you don't freely give it up?
HAMM: If, in fact, we have to do that legally, we will give that up. JOHNS (voice-over): So if they work, why aren't there more of these cameras? There are lots of small reasons, but some of the biggest impediments have been concerns about privacy and whether cameras will ever be a suitable replacement for cops on the beat.
Joe Johns, CNN, Baltimore.
COOPER: Just ahead, we give you a voice. Hear what people are saying on our blog.
Plus, the Rockies get rocked. Wind, rain and a tarp gone out of control. Check that out. It's the "Shot of the Day," when 360 continues.
COOPER: The "Shot of the Day" is coming up. A rainy mess at a ballpark giving new meaning to the seventh inning stretch.
First, Tom Foreman joins us again, this time with the "360 Bulletin" -- Tom.
FOREMAN: Hi, Anderson.
Some breaking news first. Embarrassing to some, red meat to others here in Washington. A good old-fashioned sex scandal.
The Associated Press is reporting that Republican Senator David Vitter of Louisiana has issued a statement apologizing for, quote, "a very serious sin in my past." This, after his phone number appeared alongside those associated with the alleged D.C. madam.
The Senator says the sin in question, whatever it was, happened several years ago.
To wildfires in the west. They've already destroyed thousands of acres in at least eight states. Many of the blazes were started by lightning and fueled by extremely dry conditions.
In South Dakota, the Black Hills, rain and cooler temperatures helped slow a fire that earlier destroyed 27 houses and killed a homeowner.
The director of the National Hurricane Center has stepped down just six months after replacing his predecessor. Bill Proenza had criticized the agency publicly for cutting funding and research for satellite equipment.
He'll continue to work at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, as it's called, which oversees the hurricane center. Ed Rappaport will serve as interim director.
An update now on a story we've been following on 360. In China the body of a U.S. climber has been found. We told you back in November about the search for Christine Boskoff of Seattle and another climber from Colorado.
It turns out they were killed by an avalanche on a remote mountain. The Colorado climber's body was found a few weeks later. Boskoff was buried in the snow and wasn't found until it thawed.
A police interview of ex-astronaut Lisa Nowak was made public today. She's accused of attacking a romantic rival with pepper spray. After her arrest, Nowak told a detective she just wanted to talk to Navy Captain Colleen Shipman to find out where she stood in the love triangle. She also told police she had no intention of killing Shipman.
So that's the latest from way down south -- Anderson.
COOPER: There you go. Tom, thanks.
Tom, check out the "Shot of the Day." You know, we don't typically cover sports here at 360. What happened at the Colorado Rockies/Phillies game yesterday caught our eye. A lot of rain. Winds stopped the game in Denver. The grounds crew tried to get the tarp out. Didn't really go very well. One guy got a wild wide, courtesy of the wild wind.
Most of the Phillies bench, the away team, rushed the field to help get the tarp in place. Just one of the Rockies players gave an assist. The others were already in the club house.
After the rain delay, the Phillies went on to win the game, eight to four. Quite an image there.
We want you to send us your shot ideas. If you see some amazing video, tell us about it at CNN.com/360. We'll put some of your best clips on the air.
A lot of you have been visiting our blog, telling us what you think about the news and our reports. We'll read some of your comments when 360 continues.
COOPER: On the radar tonight, the power of a car bomb. Last week CNN's David Mattingly showed us just how much damage those London car bombs could have made if they went off. Here's what you had to say.
Mio in Oita, Japan, writes: I admire your effort to conduct this experiment. To see how much damage a car bomb can cause is really shocking. I was also shocked to know how easy it is and what little money they need to make this kind of bomb.
Suzanne in Knoxville, Tennessee, writes: Nothing like seeing a live simulation to bring the gravity of the situation home is there? Easy to make, hard to detonate, but just their presence does the job intended -- to spread terror and fear. And that is all that is needed perhaps for the folks responsible for these things. And on a lighter note, Lilibeth in Edmonds, Washington, writes: David...first the giant carp, now this? Do you volunteer for these assignments or does CNN have something against you?
Lilibeth, we have no comment on that. But for those of you who don't know what she means by the giant carp, here it is.
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DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Whoa! Whoa! Oh! Ouch!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: You never really can get tired of watching that. I have it on a loop. I play it at home.
Thanks for your e-mails. As always, we welcome your comments. Logon to CNN.com/360blog.
For our international viewers, "CNN TODAY" is next. Here in America, "LARRY KING" is coming up.
I'll see you tomorrow night.
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