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Terrorists Targeting School Buses?; Teacher-Student Sex Scandal Results in Murder

Aired March 20, 2007 - 19:00:00   ET


GLENN BECK, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, are Muslim extremists driving your kids to school? The FBI releases a stunning bulletin you won`t believe.

And a student-teacher sex scandal ends in murder. The alleged killer? The teacher`s husband. So where`s the outrage? We`ll look at the double standard for female sex offenders.

Plus, part two of our weeklong series, "Special Ops: Combat Search and Rescue", behind enemy lines with never before seen footage of daring urban rescues.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of Taliban sympathizers, and basically you just have to keep your call.

BECK: All this and more, tonight.


BECK: America, we`re in trouble. Because of political correctness, everybody is afraid to tell you the truth on television. Me? Look, man I`ve got nothing to lose. I`ll tell you the truth. And here it is.

The point tonight: Muslim extremists may be driving your kids to school literally, and you need to pay attention. Here`s how I got there.

Counterterror officials have recently warned that suspected members of Islamic extremist groups have signed up to be school bus drivers in America.

The bulletin, sent to local police officials, cited recent suspicious activity by foreigners who either drive school buses or are licensed to drive them, including some with ties to extremist groups.

In reaction to the memo, an FBI spokesman said, "Parents and children have nothing to fear." Really? Isn`t that kind of like saying, "Your drinking water is now laced with anthrax and Clorox, but don`t worry about it. I`m sure you`re going to be fine"?

I`m going to tell you, people with ties to extremist groups getting bus licenses sounds a little like the Muslims who were taking flying lessons without learning how to land the plane. How can the FBI warn law enforcement about this and then tell us, "Oh, don`t worry about it. Isolated incident. No big deal"?

I think there`s plenty to worry about. Remember 9/11? We were all, "don`t worry about it" beforehand.

The FBI memo goes on to say most attempts by foreign nationals in the United States to acquire school bus license to drive them are legitimate. Oh, well, the FBI says most attempts are legit. That just makes me feel so much better.

You know what? "Most of the time" no longer cuts it, especially when you`re talking about our children getting blown up or beheaded on a school bus.

Now, why would a bunch of Muslim extremists want to drive a school bus for a living? I thought -- I`ve been noodling this all day. Maybe it`s just they want to spend more time with kids. Maybe they want to, you know, wind down after a long way of machete sharpening, you know, kind of that, "Take me away Calgon," kind of moment.

Or maybe they want to make a global statement and throw the world into utter chaos by targeting our children. I have no idea which it is. I pray that it`s the Calgon thing, but come on, you and I know better than that. It`s the latter.

This story came out on Friday, and it was buried. Everything is dumped on Friday the government doesn`t want you to pay attention to. You may have read it in your paper, but I bet you it was on page like, you know, B-86. It begs the question, what led this to get published in the first place?

Well, a viewer who happens to be working in law enforcement sent me some pretty terrifying items that they`re calling suspicious activities. Nobody in the media is talking about it.

For instance, last May two Saudi Arabian men boarded a school bus in Tampa. They shouted in Arabic for 30 minutes before being finally removed from officials. No word on what they were talking about or why they took the bus hostage.

Last August, three men described as being Middle Eastern went onto a bus sales company in New York. They tried to buy a bunch of buses. After they were asked to leave, they staked the company out from a parked car for several minutes.

And in June, a Canadian was arrested on terrorism charges. Guess what his day job was? Yes, school bus driver.

We have to prepare for what`s coming. Good Muslims need to stand side by side with good non-Muslims and prevent the forces of extremism from tearing us apart. We cannot live in denial.

This is not just a possibility. It`s a certainty unless we unite and talk about these things and stop it now.

Here`s what I know tonight. I know that most Muslim bus drivers are not terrorists. The last thing we need in America is a bunch of freaked out soccer moms going postal on innocent bus drivers.

However, in spite of what the FBI says, you should be worried as a parent. You should be vigilant. Know who your kid`s bus driver is.

Muslim extremists want to strike at the heart of us, and in their sick, demented mind, that could mean targeting our children on their school bus.

Now, here`s what I don`t know. How long it will be before a terrorist blows up a bus full of first graders. Side note: I do know their days will be numbered when that happens. America will go out of their mind.

Joining me now, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, counterterrorism expert; and author of "My Year Inside Radical Islam", P.J. Crowley, also from the Center of American Progress.

Daveed, let me start with you. What are the possible ramifications from a notice like this? What could the terrorists be planning?

DAVEED GARTENSTEIN-ROSS, COUNTERTERRORISM EXPERT: Well, you have to look at past terrorist practice. One thing I think is relevant, assuming there`s a terrorist plot afoot, which is a very big assumption.

But if there is something afoot, what you`d look to is what happened in Russia. You had a massacre of school kids in Beslan, Russia, with -- by Chechen extremists.

One thing this demonstrates is that they view a symbolic attack, in which a large number of young people will be killed, as being something that can strike at the heart of the nation`s confidence.

You know, based on getting an extremist as a bus driver or an extremist as someone who`s purchased a bus and would pretend to be a bus driver, you could either kidnap a large group of kids. You could use it to undertake more of a large strike, like they`re putting a bomb on the bus. These are things that could happen.

Like I said, we don`t know what these data point to. But those are what could happen.

BECK: OK. But, you know, I can`t predict America anymore. I used to think we`re not Russia. If they did that, it would just -- it would be a nightmare for them. We would become unhinged on radical Islam, would we not?

GARTENSTEIN-ROSS: Well, I certainly think we`d become unhinged on radical Islam. The thing that I think we`re afraid of more of anything is just becoming unhinged against Muslims as a whole. And when it comes to a strike like this, you don`t know how people will react.


GARTENSTEIN-ROSS: And the lack of substantial hate crimes after 9/11 was at least one thing that was heartening.

BECK: Yes, and this is -- this is frightening. That would -- I`m telling you, that would change. Unfortunately, people would become unhinged if you start killing children.

P.J., talk us down from the tree on this. I mean, you got to pay attention to this stuff in the 9/11 world. But the last thing we want people to do is to target innocent Muslims and say, why are you driving my kid to school?

P.J. CROWLEY, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: Well, as I sit here, I worry about the fact my teenage son wants to get a tattoo. I`m -- you know, I am worried about what happens to school children. There are lots of things that can happen, lots of dangers. A jihadist bus driver is relatively low on my list of possible actions here in the United States.

I think we have to look at the terrorist narrative here a little bit. The other day Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, you know, was guilty -- confessed in Guantanamo Bay to being an enemy of the United States.

He did apologize at the same time for the fact that children were killed on 9/11.

So, here`s the distinction here. If they deliberately target children, as you say, we will become unhinged, and we will respond accordingly, which is why I think they look for targets such as the Pentagon, you know, where they can -- it supports their narrative as being enemies of the United States. Targeting children seems to me -- I`m pretty skeptical of this report.

BECK: You`ve been to Israel. I`ve been to playgrounds in Israel that overlook the hills of Bethlehem. And you can -- you can see the concrete walls that they`ve had to put up to protect the Jewish children from being targeted by sniper fire.

CROWLEY: Again, Glenn, the issue here is narrative. If you`re talking about what`s happening in Israel, that in their narrative is a matter of occupation of sacred lands.

You`re talking about whether a jihadist will come here to the United States. If that person does come here, they`re still going after the subway in New York and still going after critical infrastructure. I don`t think that they`re going to target children on school buses around the United States.

BECK: All right. Then Daveed, can you explain any of these things that we do have, the Saudi Arabian men that have boarded school buses and taken them hostage, the people that are trying to buy these -- the Sudanese men that are trying to buy these school buses? I mean, does it make sense to you?

GARTENSTEIN-ROSS: Yes, you can explain this. I mean, the easiest one to explain is the third piece of evidence that you put forward, which is the bus driver who was involved in the Canadian terror plot.

Now, that plot, in which 17 Canadians were arrested, didn`t involve the use of school buses as any sort of offensive weapon. That just happened to be the man`s day job.

As to the other two piece of evidence, the first one about the two Saudis getting on the school bus for half an hour, that`s pretty suspicious. I imagine there`s something else there.

That doesn`t mean that those men necessarily wanted to kill kids or anything, but to me that doesn`t really pass the smell test. Something funny was going on, in my judgment.

As to the other one, the import-export business, one reason people would want to buy a school bus is to transport things. I mean, they`re relatively large and you can take out the seats. They`re pretty cheap.

BECK: You wonder what you might want to transport. P.J., Daveed, thank you.

Coming up, another female teacher has slept with a male student, only this time had some ramifications, murder. All the shocking details next.

Plus, another border guard goes to prison for doing his job. We`ll find out tonight whether the Mexican government pressured the Bush administration to prosecute this case. You are not going to like the answer.

And we continue our series "Special Ops: Combat Search and Rescue". Tonight, we`re going to show you what it`s like to rescue our soldiers from the most hostile urban environments. You don`t want to miss it.


BECK: Teachers having sexual relationships with their children, wrong 100 percent of the time. But America seems to only get outraged about it maybe 50 percent of the time.

There is an undeniable double standard in play. Male teachers who sleep with female students, oh, they`re leeches, statutory rapists, dirt balls.

Female teachers? Especially the hot ones like Deb LaFave, Mary Kay LeTourneau, oh, well, they`re -- they`re adolescent fantasies come true. Every young boy is getting the education that he really wants, you know what I`m saying?

That perception may finally be changing. The latest student-teacher sex scandal hasn`t ended in a movie of the week but a murder.

Erin McLean, 30-year-old mother of two who had been married for 11 years, who was also a teacher, working as a counselor at a Tennessee high school, she starts having an affair with an 18-year-old high school student named Sean Powell. Getting that education.

Then, Erin`s husband, Eric, finds out about the wife`s affair. Police say he went outside to the car where Powell was sitting, the student was sitting, waiting to pick up his wife, and killed him inside of his car.

No matter how you look at it, this is a tragedy for everybody involved. We have to look at it that way.

Throw away the double standard, America, and realize exactly what`s at stake here. A young boy is dead. A family with children in ruins. Suddenly, not so cool to be hot for teacher now, is it?

Norman McLean, he is the father of Eric, the accused shooter, and Bruce Posten, he is Eric`s attorney.

Bruce, let me start with you. I understand that you and the state actually agree. Your client did kill Sean Powell, correct?

BRUCE POSTEN, ATTORNEY FOR ERIC MCLEAN: Yes, there`s no denying that. The evidence is overwhelming that Eric was the shooter.

BECK: OK. So what`s the defense here? What are you going for?

POSTEN: They`re charging him with first degree murder, and that he`s not guilty of. In Tennessee, there`s a lot of lesser included charges. For instance, voluntary manslaughter is a knowing killing in the heat of passion.

I`d suggest to you, that having a young kid come over and take away your wife of 11 years might send you into a heat of passion.

BECK: How much time -- did he just find this out, grab his gun, go outside? How did that happen?

POSTEN: That`s -- that`s still in dispute. The facts we can talk about without getting in trouble with the court, what are agreed to by the police or in reports, there`s going to be disagreement about when Eric found out, when he knew, how much he knew, and that sound of thing. And in terms of what actually happened that day, we really can`t comment on until the trial.

BECK: Is -- is his wife going to testify?

POSTEN: I doubt it. Her first reaction was to call the -- what`s called the birth mother -- the birth mother of Sean Powell. Her only interaction with Eric`s family was to get the police and take away the kids from Mr. and Mrs. McLean.

BECK: Norman, you -- I mean, here you are sitting here with your two grandsons. How are they?

NORMAN MCLEAN, FATHER OF ACCUSED SHOOTER: Well, I`m not sure at this point. They were fine when they were at our home with our family.

BECK: And where are they now?

MCLEAN: It`s been reported they`re in Nashville with their mother.

BECK: And this is the Mom that was -- the one fooling around with the kid at school?


BECK: That`s got to make you question everything in America, doesn`t it?

MCLEAN: Certainly.

BECK: Best of luck to you. We`ll follow the case.

I want to switch now over to Jayne Weintraub. She is a criminal defense attorney.

Jayne, the double standard, you know, in how America looks at male and female teachers who are charged with having sex with their students, do juries hand down verdicts using the same double standard that, you know, everybody else does?

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think that juries do. Because remember, Glenn, juries are just a reflection of the community that we live in.

In this particular case, you have two things going for the defense. One is it`s not a 14-year-old boy like in Deb LaFave`s case or Mary Kay LeTourneau`s case.

And No. 2, you have an 18-year-old boy who`s having an affair with a 30-year-old woman. And some people might think it`s OK for him to have snapped and just lost it.

BECK: You know...

WEINTRAUB: It`s called jury nullification. It`s not the law, and it`s not the way it should be, but it is a possibility and something to go for. When you`re looking at first degree murder, anything is better than that.

BECK: Let me tell you, I think if this was reversed -- and this kind of goes to the double standard. Let`s reverse this for just a second.

Let`s say the guy was the teacher having sex with an 18-year-old girl. Mom snaps. She goes out to the car and shoots the 18-year-old girl. I can guarantee you the jury would say, "Come on, man, the Mom wasn`t home. She went crazy."

Where the guy`s not going to get that much of a slack in comparison. Am I wrong?

WEINTRAUB: No, I happen to agree with you. But unfortunately, I think that`s a reflection of the society that we live in today. And I`m not condoning it. I`m just trying to explain it.

I think that juries are a reflection of their local communities.

BECK: Yes.

WEINTRAUB: I think that this is going to get a lot of press. Even a change of venue won`t help. And nothing is going to help the bottom line here, Glenn, and that is did he snap? Was she complicit in this murder? We don`t know what the evidence is.

BECK: You know...

WEINTRAUB: Is she going to be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor? Is she going to be charged with a rape because it was a statutory crime when he was 17? I doubt it because they won`t be able to prove it.

BECK: I -- you know, you say you`ve got to boil it down to the bottom line. I`ve got to tell you, I think the bottom line are the kids. You`ve got two kids now. This is such a tragic story.

Dad may be going to prison. Mom was responsible for really, for Dad going to prison. I mean, I`m not excusing Dad. He -- he had the gun. But Mom, it was -- Dad snapped and is going to prison, because Mom was, excuse my French, which I don`t technically believe it`s French, Mom was being a whore with an 18-year-old kid in school. These kids, God bless them what they have to face now.

WEINTRAUB: Well, I`m sure that they`re not going to be living with the mother. I`m sure that the kid also be taken away, which is just -- you know, compounding the tragedy in the personal life.

But it is a shame. I mean, 9/11 had been called seven minutes before the shooting. So I don`t know that there isn`t -- everybody has a hand in the guilt here.

BECK: That`s interesting. We`re going to pick that up, this story up, next time right with that statement.

Jayne, thanks.

WEINTRAUB: Thank you.

BECK: Coming up, high times in Anna Nicole Smith case. One of the judges in this bizarre case now busted for smoking dope in a park. We`ll have the details.

And jumping from helicopters into hostile urban towns to save stranded soldiers, it`s just another day at the office for these guys. Stay tuned as we continue our weeklong series, "Special Ops: Combat Search and Rescue", coming up.


BECK: Well, it could be a big day if you`re an Anna Nicole Smith junkie. Sources tell TMZ that any time now, judges may force all the players, Howard K. Stern, Larry Birkhead, the entire defensive line at the Seattle Seahawks and me to submit to a DNA test. Gentleman, start swabbing.

In a related story, one of the judges who played the role in the Anna Nicole case, Broward County circuit judge Lawrence Korda, is now facing misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession. Police apparently busted him for smoking pot in a Hollywood, Florida, park Sunday afternoon. This story just can`t get any more weird.

Dave Glover from 97.1 FM Talk in St. Louis.

Dave, I mean, what is -- what is the weirdest part of this story?

DAVE GLOVER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Oh, God, I don`t know. And I can`t even believe that we`ve seen the weirdest part of this story yet. It just will not die.

She just got buried, what, earlier today? James Brown -- you know what I thought? I thought the amount of time James Brown was out, he`s going to be shrunken down to such a size they should have buried him with Anna Nicole Smith like a tiny doll, you know, to give her some comfort.

BECK: It`s like those apple dolls that they sell at the Cracker Barrel.

GLOVER: It`s like when someone is buried with their beloved dog. James Brown into the -- I don`t know. We`re going to be very, very old men talking about this case.

And I`ll tell you something else. Howard K. Stern will not submit to anything until it`s under threat of jail. Because have you seen the baby? She looks exactly like Larry Birkhead.

BECK: Yes.

GLOVER: It`s not scientific. Now, had she come out looking like Count Chocula, Howard K. Stern has my vote? Have you noticed the little...

BECK: No, I haven`t. You`re saying that Howard K. Stern looks like Count Chocula?

GLOVER: Like his ne`er-do-well brother. If the count had been unsuccessful, he would have looked a lot like Howard K. Stern.

BECK: Hold on. Hold on just a second. Do we have a photo of Count Chocula? It`s been since I was 8 since I`ve seen him.

GLOVER: Just put Howard K. Stern up on a cereal box. It`s all you need.

BECK: OK. Well, we`ll look for that. What -- what are the odds that it`s Howard`s? I mean...

GLOVER: Zero. There`s not a chance.

BECK: There is no way, I mean, just think of this logically. There`s absolutely no way, if it was your child, that you wouldn`t just swab and move on. You`d be like, shut up.

GLOVER: Yes, I think it`s Zsa Zsa Gabor`s -- it`s Ava Gabor`s husband`s before it`s Howard K. Smith (sic). It`s Eddie Albert`s child before it`s Howard K. Smith (sic).

You`re absolutely right. If you think it`s your child, you swab, you move on. I`m not sure they even had sex. Howard K. Stern may be the only guy in southern Florida not to have sex with Anna Nicole Smith.

BECK: Did -- did the shock of the day, was it for you not that the judge was smoking pot but that it wasn`t the judge that we all know and love, Seidlin?

GLOVER: For me my favorite part was in the park. You know, it`s like if you`re going to smoke pot, fine and well. Do what you`re going to do. If you`re a judge, you want to hide it a little bit. The in the park part was what I love. I pictured him playing a flamenco guitar.

BECK: I -- you know, I`ve seen pictures of George Michael. I don`t - - I mean, it just can`t get any weirder. And Seidlin, I hear, would never do pot. He looks more of a huffing man. I mean...

GLOVER: Check back with me in one week and I guarantee you, it will be weirder.

BECK: OK. Dave, thanks.

We`ll be back with "The Real Story". It`s coming up next.


BECK: All right. Welcome to "The Real Story."

Tonight, I`ve got two stories that will take away the last ounce of respect you have left for our leaders in Washington. I know, not a lot in there, but let`s whittle it away some more.

Let`s start with illegal immigration. Everybody in Washington is talking about these U.S. attorneys that were fired. But the real story is, we should be looking harder at who wasn`t fired, and my list begins and ends with a guy named Johnny Sutton. Remember that name. He`s the U.S. attorney for the western district of Texas. He`s a long-time friend of President George W. Bush. And what`s not in his bio is this is the cretin that has been locking up the very people who are trying to secure our borders and enforce our laws.

You already know the story about the border agents, Compean and Ramos, two guys who are now serving ridiculously long sentences for allegedly shooting an illegal drug smuggler in the butt as he led them on a chase. It was Johnny Sutton who mercilessly prosecuted these agents, even in the face of conflicting testimony and evidence.

Then, we have Sheriff`s Deputy Gilmer Hernandez. In 2005, this guy fired at the tires of a Chevy Suburban packed with illegal aliens, and this Suburban was actually trying to run him over after fleeing from a traffic stop. Now, as he shot at the tires, a piece of one bullet superficially wounded one of the hiding illegal aliens in the back, and Hernandez was convicted of violating this woman`s civil rights.

The government, led by U.S. Attorney -- what a surprise -- Johnny Sutton prosecuted Hernandez and recommended an unbelievable six years in prison. He was sentenced yesterday, year and one day. Of course, none of the illegal aliens were ever charged with anything.

What is it saying when we allow our U.S. attorney to prosecute and lock up three different men who were trying to do their jobs? Are you trying to send some sort of message, Mr. Sutton? If so, congratulations. Message delivered.

Everyone now knows that the western district of Texas, a district that just happens to include the Bush Crawford ranch, cares more about the civil rights of illegal aliens than the rights of people who are just trying to protect us and enforce our laws. I know, it`s an old-fashioned idea that Texans used to understand.

Congressman Ted Poe, he has been outspoken about the Mexican government`s influence in this case. He joins me now.

Congressman, this illegal alien was superficially wounded, right, just in the lip, grazed the lip?

REP. TED POE (R), TEXAS: That`s correct. It was a ricochet that was in the back of the Suburban, and the Suburban was a stolen vehicle, as well, that the illegals had stolen.

BECK: Unbelievable. So how did we get -- what I understand is, the Texas rangers came, they investigated, and this was open and shut, no big deal. In fact, I understand the rangers said, "Congratulations, you did a good job."

POE: That`s right. The Texas rangers, who independently investigated the case, went through the case thoroughly, found that Hernandez acted as any other law enforcement officer should have acted. Then we learned that the Mexican consulate gets involved, and the next thing, the federal government comes in like the cavalry to save the day and prosecute Deputy Hernandez for just doing his job.

BECK: OK, so take me back. How does the Mexican consulate get involved?

POE: The Mexican consulate wrote an arrogant letter to our federal government demanding that Hernandez be prosecuted because of one of the illegals in the van was accidentally wounded while they were fleeing. And once that happened, the federal government, jumping to the scene, decided to prosecute Hernandez rather than prosecute the illegals, even gave the illegals green cards so they could stay in the United States.

BECK: Is it true that they have green cards, they have Social Security cards? I mean, this was in exchange for the testimony, right?

POE: That`s correct. And apparently, the Mexican consulate got all the illegals together, got their stories straight before they were even allowed to talk to our own federal authorities.

BECK: OK. What is the message, sir, that is being sent? And who is sending it?

POE: Well, the message is as you said. The message is, you enforce the security of the Texas-Mexico border, if you`re a law enforcement agent, and you use your weapon, and somebody`s injured, our government is going to go after you and actually reward the illegals that are in the country, whether they be drug smugglers or whether just trying to come in here for some other kind of reason.

BECK: Congressman, I`ve got to tell you, I`m so disgusted by our government. The words of Thomas Jefferson keep coming to mind, where he said the tree of liberty is going to have to be replenished every 25 years with a revolution.

I`ve got to tell you, the people in Washington are so out of touch. They have sold us down the river. What is the average person supposed to do at this point? We care about our country; we care about our security. And the clowns in Washington are doing nothing.

POE: Well, the people in Washington don`t get it. They seem to be more concerned about the Mexican government and what the Mexican government thinks than they are about securing our borders.

BECK: So what do we do? Help us. We want to help you. How do we do it?

POE: I think being very noisy, and making your voice known, not only to just your congressional representatives, but to all members of Congress in both parties, and in the White House, that this country expects the borders to be protected, that we ought to support our border protectors and not be concerned about the invaders, and that has to come from the American public being very vocal about their position to people in Congress.

BECK: Congressman, thanks, brother. You`re not alone. There are a lot of us out here that feel the same way you do. Thank you for your help. You heard him, America. Call and write.

Now, somehow or another, if you`re still not convinced that our leaders are playing us all for fools, then buckle up, brother, because this will make blood shoot out of your eyes. I told you a couple of weeks ago, our soldiers` lives are for sale in Washington. Today, real story, finally found out the price. What does it cost? What do our soldiers cost? What are they worth to us?

Here it is, $9.9 billion. That`s the amount of, quote, "non-military spending" -- translation, pork -- included in the House emergency war appropriations bill. This is a bill that sets an August 31, 2008, deadline for withdrawing the troops from Iraq. Wow, a date that is coincidentally just ten weeks away before the presidential election. Who would have seen that coming?

I want to explain to you why this is such a big deal, and I think the best way to do that is to put you in a position of a politician who`s actually trying to do the right thing.

Let`s say you`re in Washington. Pretend for just a second you`re Republican Congressman Marilyn Musgrave, OK? You`re 100 percent against setting a deadline for withdrawing the troops. Hillary Clinton was against it, you know, two years ago. You`re still against it.

Last week, the emergency spending bill is released, and you notice that it happens to include $3.7 billion in agricultural assistance for ranchers. Well, that`s aid your Colorado farmers have been begging you for. You haven`t been able to get it done. So your choice, your ranchers or the soldiers. You can`t have both. What do you do, Congressman?

Now, let`s say you`re Republican Congressman Charles Boustany. This guy`s been against the troop withdrawal. You`re against it. Got it? Remember? You`ve been lobbying for money to help your Louisiana rice farmers hold the saltwater back from destroying their crops, and for years you`ve been asking, and everybody in Congress says no. Then, last week, out of the blue, $15 million just suddenly falls right into your lap, but only if you vote for the war spending bill. Rice farmers or our soldiers? Can`t have both. What do you do?

Literally dozens of politicians who are caught in this trap, Sam Farr from California being offered $25 million for his hard-hit spinach growers. Bobby Jindal from Louisiana, you can have that $2.9 billion for desperately needed Hurricane Katrina repairs. Georgia Democrats, cash in on that $75 million worth of peanut storage, if they`ll turn against their own conscience.

And just in case, some lawmakers are inadvertently left out of the free-cash-for-votes extravaganza, Nancy Pelosi has done an extra little thing. She`s covered her bases by including the minimum wage hike. So part of this bill is about minimum wage.

So guess what, Democrats? A vote against losing this war is now a vote against low-wage workers, not exactly popular if you`re looking for re-election in a couple of years.

A few weeks ago, during a press conference, President Bush said, quote, "Money trumps peace sometimes." I want you to think about that, because as we sit here on the verge of trading American lives of our soldiers for spinach and peanuts and rice, those words will never ring more true. Money is about to trump peace.

That, unfortunately, is the real story tonight. If you want to read more about what our politicians are being offered for their vote, I want you to visit and click on "The Real Story" button. Coming up, we`re going to show you some of the troops that our politicians are hanging out to dry if they vote for this bill. Part two of our exclusive, behind the scenes look at an elite special operations unit that risk their lives to save the lives of others. No politicians included. That`s next. Don`t miss it.


BECK: I`m struggling to remain positive, and that`s who I am. With everything that I am learning, everything that I`m seeing every day, everything that I am surrounded by, everything that I believe is coming that no one will tell you the truth on, because of fear, because of political correctness, I`m just so concerned about my children and everybody else`s children and my country.

I came to the conclusion: You know what? I`m going to carry as much water as I can. I`m not going to lose myself to the nightmare. I`m not going to lose my optimism.


BECK: You know, one of the things I was talking about earlier on the radio program today is the media coverage on the war in Iraq. I mean, everybody is showing you wall-to-wall bad news. Not us. I`m not going to lose myself to the nightmare. We`re going to give you the truth.

There are good things happening in Iraq, as well. Our troops are doing some incredibly heroic things under horrifying conditions. Case in point: Every time a plane or helicopter goes down in Iraq, a combat search and rescue team has to go into those hostile cities and towns and recover the crew.

Our reporter, Alex Quade, obtained unprecedented access to these elite airmen and convinced them to go on camera for the first time. You`re going to see their stories and see their photos and their amateur video. Now, to protect their identities, because we are in a time of war, we identify them by their call signs only.


LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: U.S. troops in Iraq tonight are searching for a missing Air Force fighter pilot after his F-16 jet crashed near Fallujah.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A U.S. Army Kiowa helicopter hit by ground fire near Samarra.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A U.S. helicopter is down in Baghdad.

ALEX QUADE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Urban rescue. Hostile territory. Nightmare for trapped U.S. troops.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rescue, rescue.

QUADE: Challenge for combat search and rescue men trying to save them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s the scariest thing I`ve ever done in my life.

QUADE: Helicopter pilot TC shares for the first time his urban rescue of special forces.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we got the call to go in, and these guys were pretty busted up bad. Had it not been for the pararescue men, these two Special Forces guys would have lost their lives.

QUADE: Pararescue men, or PJs, like Kyle, who worked the urban recovery of a British aircraft in Afghanistan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were basically the first ones in on the ground. You`ve got the whole town is coming out, you know, to check you out. A lot of Taliban sympathizers, and basically you just have to keep your calm.

QUADE: Calm was key on a different Afghan mission for rescue pilot call sign Skinny.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a SEAL team executing their evasion plan and running a gun battle with the enemy that was out there.

QUADE: Skinny`s crew went in to get an injured Navy SEAL hiding in a village out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They had taken an RPG in the middle of their group, and that`s how he had actually gotten wounded, and then he had gotten separated from them.

QUADE: More on his story later. With ongoing operations in hostile urban terrain, real-world training is crucial. Wizzo, a back-seater in an F-15, will soon deploy. Tonight, he plays survivor, shot down onto a building.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m right in the middle of an urban area where there`s obviously enemy.

QUADE: Injured, stuck, his GPS broken.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have my radio, but I can`t tell them exactly where I`m at, because I don`t really know.

QUADE (on screen): How real is this for you? I mean, you are going to be deployed very shortly after this scenario.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s as real as it can get without being in enemy territory.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just set your goggles up so all you have to do is slide them down off of your helmet.

QUADE (voice-over): Tips from survival evasion resistance and escape, or SERE specialist, Jesse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As far as enemy position, we need to have a fairly decent idea of location of these forces.

QUADE: So the rescue helicopter coming for them doesn`t get shot down. Wizzo reaches Sandy, the A-10 fighter craft looking for him overhead with the helicopters.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you threatened, and are you hurt?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the ejection, my leg was potentially broken.


QUADE (on screen): Does it bring it any closer to home that, hey, you`re going over there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It makes me think long and hard about it.

QUADE (voice-over): The voice on the radio is A-10 pilot Sandy, who`s also about the deploy.

(on screen): You`re up there trying to watch out for these guys, but that could be you on the ground some day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. And it can be on the ground while we`re out there trying to pick somebody else up, too.

QUADE (voice-over): Jolly arrives. That`s the helicopter team and the PJ, like Mark.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it were easy, everybody would be doing it. The potential for disaster there is phenomenal, when you`re looking at a 22,000-pound aircraft hovering within six inches of its position.

QUADE: They could be blown off the roof or, PJ Kyle says, get shot it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s very vulnerable. Everyone and their mom is going to come out and they`re going to want to, you know, take pop shots at you.

QUADE: In the middle of all this, they`re medically assessing the survivor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ve got to be fast, you`ve got to be quick, and you`ve got to know what you`re doing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The best feeling is probably once they get back onboard and you full power to get out of this thing.

QUADE: Which brings us back to the Navy SEAL hiding in a village in Afghanistan, waiting for (INAUDIBLE) combat search and rescue men, after a gun battle killed the rest of his SEAL team.

(on screen): When you were flying into this Afghan village, you never felt at all that this might be a trap?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was always in the back of our minds that it could be.

QUADE (voice-over): Especially when his PJs jumped out and were met by men dressed in traditional clothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, the one Navy SEAL identified himself. And he had been wounded. They grabbed him, and we got out of town.

QUADE: Later, they recovered the bodies of the SEAL`s teammates in a challenging, high-altitude mission.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We came into a hover, and basically this little, small hole in the trees, and hoisted, you know, their two bodies out. I`ll never forget when we landed back at Bagram, the rest of the SEAL team was all out there. And when we opened up the doors and the flags were on, you know, all these special operator guys all kind of stood to attention and saluted.

QUADE: From villagers in Afghanistan to cities in Iraq, from assisting Special Forces get POW Jessica Lynch out of town, to helping recover more than 100 wounded and dead in the 2003 U.N. compound attack.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not only do you have combatants, you also have civilians.

QUADE: This is urban combat search and rescue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I see something like this, a mission this big, hey, that feels great, because I know that they`re coming for me.

QUADE: Alex Quade, for GLENN BECK, Avon Park Air Force Range, Florida.


BECK: Tomorrow, we will have an exclusive inside look at water rescues. This is where things can really go wrong, really fast. "Combat Search and Rescue," you`ll see it only here.


BECK: Well, the Iraqi government has said civilian deaths were down 82 percent in the last month or so. That information reportedly garnering a grand total of one sentence of air time on ABC, CBS and the evening news on NBC, combined.

To most of the media, the war is already lost. Anything that disagrees with it is either downplayed or simply ignored. But to be fair, how would you have time to fit that news in when you have Alberto Gonzales and his internal H.R. issues to discuss?

By the way, those topics to choose from again were an 82 percent decrease in civilian casualties in a major war or the firing of eight people. As far as I`m concerned, on the Gonzales thing, media, pay attention. Nobody west of the Hudson and east of Hollywood gives a flyin` crap. Everybody knows this is about politics, clear and simple.

The Clinton administration fired 93 U.S. attorneys when they came into office, so I guess it`s apparently OK to fire them before you`re seen their work, just not after. It`s always the cover-up inside the Beltway; it`s never the crime, especially in this case, because there is no crime. If you want to fire them, you can fire them if they`re bald. Just say, "Sorry, Bill, you`re gone. You`re a bald freak."

If Washington would spend half the time going after our enemies as they do going after each other, the war on terror would have been over maybe September 15, 2001. You want real controversy that America cares about?

Oh, here`s one, breaking it right here. I would have told you last night that watching a woman with one leg doing the foxtrot on national television would be very interesting. Turns out, no, just as boring as watching a woman with two legs doing the foxtrot on national television. Really nothing there. But there is a scandal brewing with ABC television. I want you to watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One celebrity with the ultimate dancing challenge.

HEATHER MILLS, "DANCING WITH THE STARS": My main concerns are keeping my leg on...


BECK: Oh, OK, so they promote that Heather Mills` leg just might fall off. You never know, watch. Then everybody watches to see if it does, but in another interview she says...


MILLS: It`s impossible, it won`t come off, as much as everyone would love it to go flying, I`m sure...


BECK: A ha! So they knew all along there would be no flying legs. ABC, I was promised a leg falling off. That`s false advertising. How dare you mislead this nation like that. And don`t act all high and mighty, America, like that`s not why you tuned in. Why do you think it was in the promos? Admit it to yourself. Admit it.


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