Skip to main content
U.S. Edition
Search
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 

Return to Transcripts main page

THE SITUATION ROOM

Why Good People Turn Evil; Controversial Aircraft to Iraq; Wanted: More Military Recruits

Aired April 13, 2007 - 17:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


WOLF BLITZER, HOST: And to our viewers, you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Happening now, the search is on for those responsible for the bombing of Iraq's tightly guarded parliament, but Baghdad is shaken to its core as Iraqis wonder if anyone is really safe. We're going to take you to the scene.

As the troops serve overtime in the war zones, a tightly stretched Army spends heavily on advertising, bonuses, even video games, to try to find new volunteers.

Is it enough?

And he's taken heat as an architect of the Iraq War. Now he's accused of unethical behavior over at the World Bank.

I'm Wolf Blitzer.

You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

In Iraq, the hunt is on for those behind the attack on the parliament inside Baghdad's tightly guarded green zone. Claims of responsibility have been made by an insurgent umbrella group, and the top U.S. military commander in Iraq says al Qaeda, and I'm quoting now, "probably somewhat involved."

The shockwaves are still being felt. One lawmaker was killed, 22 people were wounded.

Authorities have picked up several people for questioning, trying to figure out how the bomber gained access to that secure area.

CNN's Arwa Damon takes us to the scene -- Arwa.

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, the attack actually took place just behind this wall. This is the convention center at the heart of the heavily fortified green zone, where parliament convenes on a regular basis. And a day later, the devastation still remains.

There are pieces of flesh and dried blood embedded in the carpet. Shards of glass littered all over the place, everything covered with a thick layer of dust.

The area has now been sealed off as a crime scene. Parliament did convene today in an emergency session to commemorate the parliament member who died, Mohammed Hassan Awad. They placed a wreath of flowers on the chair that he will no longer be occupying. They said that his death would continue to symbolize the government's ongoing effort and determination to stand up against terror.

The most emotional testimony, though, came from a woman who barely escaped with her life, Nada Mohammed. She said that for her, the experience really brought home what the Iraqi people are going through out on the streets of the capital and throughout the entire nation on a regular basis.

We heard calls for true national unity, true national reconciliation, from just about everybody who spoke today.

The Iraqi people, though, are looking at the attack as being an example of the Iraqi government's powerlessness to keep itself safe and, therefore, keep them safe. And they will be waiting to see if the rhetoric we heard today will actually be turned into action -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Arwa Damon on the scene in Baghdad.

What a situation there.

By the way, it got much less notice than the attack on the parliament, but another daring and deadly bombing is causing huge outrage in Iraq today. At least 11 people were killed when a suicide truck bomber blew up a Baghdad bridge with a lot of history there, sending cars plunging into the Tigris River.

CNN's Tom Foreman is here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

How significant of an attack was this -- Tom?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Like the parliament's attack, it's most significant because of the symbolism of it. Take a look at the what we're talking about. This is the green zone in Baghdad, as we move into it. It is not a perfect place, but it is an area of much higher security.

That's where parliament was hit.

Let's widen out and look at the river here. On the river there are 13 bridges and not that far away from this one is where that other bridge was hit. We can zoom in and take a look at that.

This is right in the heart of much of the conflict that has been happening in this city. If you look at this bridge, you can see that it's a major artery with several lanes, lots of activity on it. And when you widen out, look where it is -- right alongside Haifa Street, where there's been a lot of fighting recently. And not terribly far away, it leads to Sadr City, where there has been so much concern about the Mahdi Army.

Symbolic damage and real damage.

BLITZER: Real damage. And there's a lot of worry about those other dozen or so bridges in the Iraqi capital, as well, Tom.

Thank you very, very much.

He took heat for helping steer the United States into the war in Iraq as the deputy defense secretary. Now Paul Wolfowitz is at the helm over at the World Bank and he's in very hot water right now.

Let's turn to CNN's Zain Verjee -- Zain, tell our viewers what's going on.

ZAIN VERJEE, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, he's got plenty of critics that want to take him down. They may have found a reason to say gotcha.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

VERJEE (voice-over): Paul Wolfowitz has given his enemies a gift they've been waiting for.

PAUL WOLFOWITZ, PRESIDENT, WORLD BANK: I made a mistake for which I am sorry.

VERJEE: The controversial World Bank president has confessed to promoting his girlfriend, Shaha Riza, to the State Department and then onto a U.S.-funded foundation. She's been kept on the World Bank payroll at a tax-free salary of about $194,000. That's more than the secretary of state makes.

BEA EDWARDS, GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT: It is simply embarrassing and inappropriate for the president of the bank to use the resources of the bank to fund the lavish lifestyle of his girlfriend.

VERJEE: He was already unpopular when he arrived to lead the World Bank. He was the number two at the Pentagon, a hawkish architect of the Iraq War. And now, World Bank employees say Wolfowitz has destroyed the staff's trust in his leadership. He must act honorably and resign.

His supporters say this is not about his love life, it's just an excuse to dump a tough administrator. His management style and his fierce anti-corruption drives in developing countries have frustrated old hands.

A "Wall Street Journal" editorial says: "The real fight here is over his attempt to make the bank and its borrowers more accountable for results."

Despite questions about unethical behavior, President Bush is fully backing the man he put in the job.

DANA PERINO, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president has full confidence in Paul Wolfowitz. He's done a remarkable job at the World Bank, where they are working to lift people up out of poverty around -- from around the world.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

VERJEE: This is all erupting as the World Bank holds its annual spring meeting. Meanwhile, Shaha Riza, the woman at the center of all of this, says that she's the victim here. She says she never reported directly to Wolfowitz and never really wanted to leave the World Bank in the first place. She says this whole episode has affected her professionally, physically and psychologically -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Thank you, Zain, for that.

Let's go to New York and Jack Cafferty for The Cafferty File -- Jack.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, the Bush administration's terrible luck with finding documents is the title of a salon.com article written by Glenn Greenwald. He's a former litigator, author of the book, "How Would A Patriot Act?"

In light of the revelation that the White House may have lost thousands of e-mails sent out on the Republican National Committee e- mail account, some of which are thought to pertain to the firing of the eight federal prosecutors, Greenwald has ticked back through some other examples that tend to suggest a pattern.

So here we go, starting with this week.

"Some official e-mails have potentially been lost."

Then, "In Justice Department documents, there's a gap from mid- November to early December in e-mails and other memos."

And this: "What happened to a crucial video recording of al Qaeda operative Jose Padilla being interrogated in a U.S. military brig that has mysteriously disappeared?"

Or this: "The Pentagon sought to explain why some 2,000 pages were missing from a Congressional copy of a classified report detailing the alleged acts of abuse by soldiers against Iraqi inmates at Abu Ghraib Prison."

And then this: "Documents that should have been written to explain gaps in President Bush's Texas Air National Guard service are missing from the military records released about his service in 1972 and '73."

And there's this: "FEMA's Michael Brown's comments about the president surfaced in a transcript of an August 29th, 2005 video conference call produced by Bush administration officials today after they initially told Congress that no such document existed."

And, finally, this: "Concerning the trial of "Scooter" Libby, prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald had cautioned Libby's lawyers that some e-mails might be missing because the White House's archiving system had failed." So here's the question -- when it comes to missing documents and e-mails and the Bush White House, do you see some sort of pattern here?

E-mail caffertyfile@cnn.com or go to cnn.com/caffertyfile.

Kind of like a compost heap, Wolf -- the more stuff you pile on it, the greater the odor that emanates from it.

BLITZER: OK.

Jack, thank you for that.

CAFFERTY: You're welcome.

BLITZER: We'll get back to you soon.

Up ahead, a comedian takes on a sitting U.S. senator. Former radio host Al Franken calls the Minnesota Republican incumbent, Norm Coleman, and I'm quoting now, "a cheerleader for President Bush."

Franken is pondering a run for Coleman's seat. I'll ask Senator Coleman for his reaction.

Also, wanted -- more recruits. The U.S. government looking for more than a few good men and women to join the military.

But why is it using big bonuses, video games, huge advertising dollars to try to attract them?

And does teaching your children about not having sex really work?

There's a stunning conclusion in a Congressionally authorized new study. We're going to tell you what it concludes.

Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: As Senators square off over the war in Iraq, Minnesota Republican Norm Coleman could find himself in a serious race against a comedian, Democrat Al Franken.

At issue -- Coleman's support for President Bush's Iraq War policies.

Senator Coleman is joining us now from Minneapolis.

Senator, thanks very much for coming in.

SEN. NORMAN COLEMAN (R), MINNESOTA: It's always a pleasure to be with you, Wolf.

BLITZER: Listen to what Al Franken told our Larry King the other night about you.

Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AL FRANKEN (D), MINNESOTA SENATE CANDIDATE: Norm Coleman was a cheerleader for this president during this war. And whenever anyone was critical of the war, Coleman would lash out at them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: How worried are you about that line coming from Al Franken?

COLEMAN: Well, I have to say, Wolf, lashing out is not my style. It is Al Franken's style, and that's something that he's going to have to deal with, ultimately, and the people of Minnesota will decide whether they want lashing out style. But that's not Norm Coleman.

I firmly believe, Wolf, that defeat in Iraq would be a terrible thing. I oppose timelines. I think the idea of al Qaeda sending a message that we drove the Russians out of Afghanistan, the Americans out of Iraq, would have a destabilizing impact on the 300 million Muslims in India.

On the one hand, there are times where I have disagreed with this administration, I had raised concerns about the surge. I do what I think is right. I think Minnesotans respect me for that.

I take Al Franken's candidacy very seriously. To me, it's not a joke. And he's raised $1.3 million. He's rich enough that he doesn't have to work. He can campaign full time for the next 20 months. So that's not a joke. And hopefully we will have a serious discussion at some point in time.

But I'm just going to go do my job, do it as best I can and hopefully for the people of Minnesota, that will be good enough.

BLITZER: Back in 2004, you said the war was winnable.

Do you still believe it's winnable?

COLEMAN: You know, I definitely -- you know, what's winnable today -- I think Iraq is a mess, there's no question about that. On the other hand, Wolf, I think there are serious consequences. One, I would strongly object to a Democrat plan for immediately to pull out.

I strongly object to timetables for defeat.

On the other hand, we're not going to have massive American presence in Baghdad for a long period of time. Either this surge is going to be successful. The Iraqis then will have greater stability, do the reconciliation, which is -- we all cry out for. It's about reconciliation.

And in the end, we'll fight the battle against the al Qaeda in...

BLITZER: Why do you say, Senator, that the U.S. is not going to have the surge, the increase in troops, for a long time?

I've spoken to some of the top commanders over there and they say it's going to be at least six to nine months before they have a sense whether or not it's working.

COLEMAN: Well, in the end, Wolf, when I say a long time, I think before the end of 2008, you're going to see significant change one way or the other. It may be that if the surge has been successful and there has been reconciliation, that we'll all breathe a sigh of relief. But Americans will still be in Iraq.

And they may be, by the way -- be redeployed into some areas near the Iranian border so the Iranians don't come in.

But the bottom line, we've got two or three paths in Iraq -- one, the surge is successful, and, again, there's reconciliation. If it's not successful, we got ourselves out of the crosshairs of a civil war, probably to be redeployed somewhere else.

But the prospect that somehow we're going to be safe or the world will be better if we simply walk out of Iraq, that's something I disagree with. If the people of Minnesota hold me accountable in a negative way for that, I'll live with that. But the bottom line is that stability in Iraq is in all our interests.

On the other hand, there is not a blank check here. The Iraqis have to move quicker. They've got to move more effectively to deal with reconciliation.

BLITZER: All right -- Senator, I know the issue of embryonic stem cell research is very, very important to you. You've introduced legislation to try to thread the needle, if you will, separating the president's stance from so many others, including a lot of Republicans in the Senate.

Listen to what the president said this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In our day, there is a temptation to manipulate life in ways that do not respect the humanity of the person. We must continue to work for a culture of life, where the strong protect the weak and where we recognize in every human life the image of our creator.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: Seventeen Republicans voted to expand federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, including Orrin Hatch. You were not one of them.

Why are you opposed to what so many of them are suggesting -- including almost all of the Democrats -- this potentially could -- could find cures for Parkinson's, for all sorts of diseases?

COLEMAN: Wolf, I support that. I also got, right after that vote, we got 70 votes for my bill, for the Coleman-Isaacson Bill, which would allow us to pursue the hope of embryonic stem cell science without fighting the culture war, without getting involved in the destruction of human life to pursue the science.

Wolf, the bottom line here...

BLITZER: Oh, unfortunately our satellite has just gone down.

I want to apologize to Senator Coleman.

We'll try to get him back.

Senator Coleman's position is trying to bridge that gap between what the president supports and what so many others in the Congress are supporting. The president threatening to veto that legislation if it does come to his desk.

Once again, we'll have Senator Coleman back here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Coming up, the controversial B22 Osprey is about to fly in Iraq even though it has a dubious safety record. Our Pentagon correspondent, Jamie McIntyre, will be here with the story.

Also, Don Imus met with the Rutgers University women's basketball team for three hours last night. We're going to have the latest reaction.

What happened today?

The fallout.

Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: We'll get to the Bottom Line in a moment.

But this just coming into CNN from our producer, Paul Courson. He's now reporting that attorneys for Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, they've decided against filing a motion for a new trial and plan instead to challenge his conviction for perjury and obstruction of justice on appeal. That according to documents filed today in federal court.

Once again, they'll file an appeal, but not a motion for a new trial.

Let's check in with Carol Costello.

She's monitoring stories incoming to THE SITUATION ROOM right now from here in Washington -- Carol.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Time to check the bottom line now on Wall Street. All three major U.S. stock indices ended the week on an up note. The Dow, the NASDAQ, the S&P 500 all surged a little less than a 1/2 percent. Positive news on inflation and a balance of trade drove the buying.

The coach of the Rutgers women's basketball team says she and her players are, in her words, in the process of forgiving radio host Don Imus for insulting them on the air last week. Imus met with the team last night.

Vivian Stringer says her players then voted to accept his apology. Imus' racially charged remarks led to a public outcry and late yesterday, CBS Radio announced he had been fired.

And despite the lack of official news coming out of Cuba, there are now signs that longtime Cuban leader Fidel Castro is regaining his health and moving toward resuming official duties. The latest update comes from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who, of course, is a close ally of Castro. Today, Chavez said Castro had almost entirely recovered from surgery last year and had informally taken back his role in governing his country.

A weather system packing extremely high winds is moving across the country, bringing with it the potential for all sorts of severe weather and related problems this weekend. It all started yesterday with this -- wildfires in southern California that led to power outages in several areas around Los Angeles. At the latest report, more than 70,000 households still without electricity. More than 15 acres were torched around Beverly Hills. Three homes were destroyed.

It's now moving east across the Rocky Mountains and into the Great Plains regions. Heavy snow possible in Colorado and western Kansas, as well as thunderstorms, hail, tornadoes further to the south. Tomorrow could bring more of the same dangerous winds and storms across the Southeast and by Sunday the storm system will have moved into the Northeast, where it is expected to bring heavy rain and possible coastal flooding.

And all because of those winds -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Not necessarily a pleasant weekend for a lot of people out there.

COSTELLO: No.

BLITZER: All right, thanks, Carol, for that.

Coming up, can video games, among other things, bring in the volunteers?

An over stretched Army spending billions on recruiting.

Will that bring relief to the troops serving overtime in Iraq?

And it's a bird, it's a plane -- it's Vice President Dick Cheney's close encounter in the sky over Chicago. We're going to tell you what's going on.

Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: To our viewers, you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Happening now, President and Mrs. Bush filed their taxes. They paid just more than $186,000 in federal taxes last year. That's on an income just more than $765,000, about $30,000 more than the year before. The couple gave about $78,000 to churches and voters charities.

Vice President Cheney is second in command to the president, but his family is first when it comes to income. The Cheneys also filed their tax return. They have a taxable income from 2006 of just more than $1.6 million and owe just more than $413,000 in taxes.

And what happened?

That's what officials in Greece are trying to piece together after that cruise ship sank a week ago. Today, officials found the ship's data recorder. Two French passengers are still missing.

I'm Wolf Blitzer and you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

Something you're always supposed to do -- wearing your seatbelt while in a vehicle. That's a central issue regarding a car crash involving the New Jersey governor, Jon Corzine. It happened yesterday in New Jersey and right now the governor is in the hospital.

Our Carol Costello is monitoring the situation.

What's the latest -- Carol, on the governor's condition and what happened?

COSTELLO: Oh, it was a terrible accident, Wolf, and he's still in pretty bad shape. He's lucky he didn't suffer brain damage, but he is a little better today. But do not expect him to govern for at least another week.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

COSTELLO (voice-over): State police aren't confirming it, but his staff is. Governor Jon Corzine was not wearing a seatbelt and he was in the front passenger seat when his SUV crashed on New Jersey's Garden State Parkway.

TOM SHEA, CORZINE CHIEF OF STAFF: If he was not, he certainly should have been and we would certainly expect and encourage the state police to issue a citation to him for not having done that, to be quite honest with you.

COSTELLO: That's against the law in New Jersey. The penalty for that could be $40 to $50. But that's the least of Governor Corzine's problems.

DR. STEVEN ROSS, COOPERS UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: He remains on the ventilator, on the breathing machine, heavily sedated in order to treat the pain from his chest fractures. COSTELLO: Corzine is in severe pain. His thigh bone popped through his skin. He has multiple injuries in his upper body, including several broken ribs, a broken sternum and a broken collar bone. It makes breathing difficult.

Holding onto the reigns of New Jersey's government right now is State Senate President Richard Codey.

RICHARD CODEY (D), ACTING NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: I'm a stand-in until Jon can get better and can run the state. Obviously, he's not going to be able to run the state from the office for a while.

COSTELLO: Codey is a familiar face in this role. He served as acting governor for 14 months after disgraced Governor James McGreevey resigned from office in 2004.

The governor's office says Corzine won't be able to resume his duties for at least a week.

As for the accident itself, the governor's two car motorcade was heading from Atlantic City to the governor's mansion in Princeton, where the governor was to host a meeting between former radio host Don Imus and the Rutgers women's basketball team. The meeting went on without him.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

COSTELLO: Now, state police are still looking for a red pickup truck. Witnesses say someone was driving that truck erratically and probably caused the accident. Of course, police want to question the driver -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Is there an answer to the question why he wasn't wearing a seatbelt?

COSTELLO: There's never any excuse for that, is there?

But according to Corzine's chief of staff, he said the governor usually wore a seatbelt and when asked why the state trooper driving Corzine's car didn't ask the governor to put it on, Tom Shea said the governor was not always amenable to that.

BLITZER: Too bad.

We wish him a speedy recovery.

Thanks very much, Carol, for that report.

Let's turn now to this question -- how well do you know yourself?

That's a central examination in a new book called "The Lucifer Effect." Given incidents like prisoner abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib Prison and endless other controversial situations, the book looks at how seemingly good people become something else altogether.

CNN's Tom Foreman joining us once again -- Tom, this book and the author, what are they proposing?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, it comes to this: from the biblical sins of the fallen angel, Lucifer, to the abuses committed by American military guards at Abu Ghraib prison, there is always this question: Why do seemingly good people do such bad things?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PHILIP ZIMBARDO, STANFORD UNIVERSITY: When the Bush administration condemned these acts as, from a few rogue soldiers, from bad apples, I said, maybe it wasn't the bad apples, maybe it was the bad barrel that we put good American soldiers in, because that's the analog with the Stanford prison study.

FOREMAN (voice over): Stanford University professor Philip Zimbardo has been trying to answer that question for more than 30 years. In 1971, he conducted a now legendary experiment by randomly assigning Stanford University students to the roles of prison guards and prisoners. The experiment proved so dangerous that he had to end it prematurely.

ZIMBARDO: These good boys were behaving sadistically if they were guards. That is, enjoying the suffering that they were making the prisoners experience. And these normal, healthy young men playing the role of prisoners were having emotional breakdowns.

FOREMAN: In a new book, he says it's the situation that can lead even an angel to do devilish things. So when he saw the photos of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib...

ZIMBARDO: I was shocked. But I wasn't startled. My good guards did that in our mock prison, the same way these Army reservists did it in Tier 1A (ph) Abu Ghraib.

FOREMAN: Zimbardo was a defense witness for one of the Abu Ghraib guards arrested and convicted for prisoner abuse.

ZIMBARDO: He was corrupted by the situation, and then what was that situation? It was an impossibly chaotic, stressful, fearful, horrendous situation. And the question is, then, who created that bad barrel?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FOREMAN: Zimbardo places the blame for Abu Ghraib squarely at the door of the White House, saying the prison guards were inexperienced and poorly supervised. By the way, his next project is to find out how people in such stressful situations can also become heroes -- Wolf.

BLITZER: I look forward to that one. Thanks very much.

Tom Foreman reporting.

Up ahead, it's costly, and it's been deadly. But is it now safe enough to fly in Iraq? The Pentagon says yes. Jamie McIntyre has the story of the V-22 Osprey. That's coming up next.

Also, recruiting an all-volunteer military costs pricey -- is very pricey. In fact, some $4 billion, some estimates.

Coming up, we're going to show you some of the whiz-bang ways that money is being spent to encourage young men and women to enlist in the U.S. military.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: It can fly like a plane, land and take off like a helicopter, but it's also had a very troubled past with some fatal crashes. Today the U.S. Marine Corps announced that the tilt-rotor V- 22 Osprey will get its first real-time combat tour in Iraq.

Let's bring in our senior Pentagon correspondent, Jamie McIntyre. He's here.

You followed this story for a long time. Is it ready for this kind of combat action?

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, as you know, I've flown in the V-22. And I've got to tell you, it's a very impressive plane. Very fast, very maneuverable. But the real test is going to come now as it's sent into combat.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MCINTYRE (voice over): After almost 20 years, and more than $50 billion, the Marine Corps says its revolutionary heliplane, the V-22 Osprey, is reporting for duty.

GEN. JAMES T. CONWAY, U.S. MARINE CORPS COMMANDANT: I'll just say that the quantum leap in technology that this aircraft will bring to the fight has been a road marked by some setbacks.

MCINTYRE: The setbacks include two deadly crashes in 2000 that killed 23 Marines. That almost doomed the program, but the Marine Corps stuck with the V-22, improved the design, and says it now fills a critical need.

(on camera): The appeal of the V-22 is that it combines the best of both worlds. It can hover like a helicopter and fly like a plane.

These 38-foot rotors can move from this vertical position to a horizontal in just 12 seconds, taking it from a helicopter that might fly 100 miles an hour to a plane that can fly in excess of 300 miles an hour. Now, that gives it a lot more range than, say, this old Vietnam-era CH-46.

(voice over): This fall, the first squadron of 10 V-22s will deploy to Iraq's dangerous Anbar Province, where American helicopters have been a favorite target of insurgents. But the marines insist the faster, more maneuverable hybrid aircraft will be much harder to shoot down than the old CH-46 Sea Knight.

LT. GEN. JOHN CASTELLAW, U.S. MARINE CORPS: It's twice as fast, going 240 knots. If you've ever gone rabbit hunting, you know that it's harder to shoot a rabbit that's running than the one that's sitting still.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MCINTYRE: Now, the critics worry that the complicated avionics that allow it to shift from helicopter top lane might be too unforgiving in a combat situation. But Wolf, I've got to tell you, after flying in this, if I was trapped in a hot landing zone, this is what I would want to come get me.

BLITZER: What caused the earlier crashes? I remember covering one way back in the early '90s, when I was covering the Pentagon. And have all those problems before fixed?

MCINTYRE: Well, the -- what caused it, very simply, was they didn't quite understand the parameters for a quick-decent landing in the helicopter mode. They fixed that. They've got new software. And as long as they stay within the parameters, they should be good.

But again, the real test is going to come when they've got to fly this thing under battle conditions.

BLITZER: We'll see how it does. I remember also when the current vice president, Dick Cheney, was then the defense secretary in those early days of the '90s. He wanted to kill the whole project, Congress wouldn't let him.

MCINTYRE: And President Clinton came back and saved it.

BLITZER: All right. We'll watch it.

We wish all of the Marines a lot of good luck as they fly these missions.

Thanks very much, Jamie.

The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have the U.S. military looking for more than just a few good men and women.

Joining us now, our national correspondent, Bob Franken.

Bob, what's happening with the military's campaign for trying to encourage young men and women to enlist?

BOB FRANKEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, the growing burden on the U.S. military means a growing demand for more forces, as you point out. And it's vital enough that the Pentagon this year has set aside $4 billion for recruiting, using a wide variety of tactics.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FRANKEN (voice over): There's nothing like about an action- packed video game to attract high school kids. And the United States Army is using one of its own called "America's Army," to give potential recruits a chance to get a make believe taste of the real action that awaits if they join up. And even with the continuing news of extreme danger and personal hardship, the military has still been able thus far to meet its recruiting goals, which is vital for one basic reason.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have this wonderful thing called the all- volunteer force.

FRANKEN: And it's getting really expensive to maintain that volunteer force. Hundreds of millions for advertising, bonuses that can go up to $40,000, education benefits. Some complain it's money not well spent.

REP. CHARLES RANGEL (D), WAYS AND MEANS CHAIRMAN: We have never heard the president of the United States or the commander in chief make any argument in appealing to the people to enlist because it's the patriotic thing to do. Instead of that, they offer a $40,000 bonus, $70,000 education.

FRANKEN: But there is little doubt the selling job will get more difficult with the news that combat tours have gone up from 12 to 15 months. This raises the inevitable question: Is it time to consider a draft? Most consider that politically impossible.

SEN. JOHN WARNER (R), ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: I do not in any way believe that the Congress would step forward and institute a draft. Not under the present circumstances.

FRANKEN: So in the quest for volunteers, if video games create interest, then recruiters will utilize them.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

FRANKEN: Still, the military has to overcome a grim reality, Wolf. General Sherman did not say that war was a game. He said it was hell.

BLITZER: Anybody, Bob, who watches major sporting events like the Super Bowl, or the World Series, or the Final Four, they often see a lot of advertising for the U.S. military, whether the Army, the Navy the Air Force, the Marine Corps.

How extensive is the advertising? Because, I assume a lot of Madison Avenue advertising firms are making a ton of money.

FRANKEN: They are indeed. I mean, this is a major, major account. Hundreds of millions of dollars go into this advertising. But the Pentagon says it's necessary. It's just something that has to be done if an all-volunteer Army is going to be maintained.

BLITZER: Bob Franken reporting for us.

Thank you, Bob.

I want to go back now to our interview with Republican Senator Norm Coleman. We had some technical problems that interrupted us.

First of all, Senator, I want to apologize for the satellite going down. We were talking...

SEN. NORM COLEMAN (R), MINNESOTA: Wolf, I can assure the listeners, that was not either an Al Franken dirty trick, on CNN doing it on purpose.

BLITZER: No.

COLEMAN: The satellite went down. I appreciate the opportunity to continue the conversation.

BLITZER: The satellite went down from Minneapolis.

I want to play once again the clip, Senator, from the president earlier today on why he would veto that legislation in the Congress to expand federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, if it were to reach his desk.

Listen to what the president said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In our day, there is a temptation to manipulate life in ways that do not respect the humanity of the person.

We must can't to work for a culture of life, where the strong protect the weak, and where we recognize in every human life the image of our creator.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: The legislation, the president says he would veto was passed by the Senate, the vote 63 to 34 on Wednesday. Almost all of the Democrats voted for it, including 17 Republicans.

You opposed that legislation. Why?

COLEMAN: Well, two reasons.

What the president was reflecting, Wolf, was the feeling of a substantial number of folks in this country -- and by the way, longstanding federal policy that we do not use federal funds for research involving the destruction of a human embryo. What I offered was a third way.

I got 70 votes, Wolf, 70 to 28, for research that would push forward the science of stem-cell research, pluripotent research, but without having to destroy a human life, destroy an embryo in the process. The science is way ahead of the politicians here, Wolf.

There's a stem-cell line developed in Spain which uses a dead embryo, and people say, well, a dead embryo, how do you do that? We should have used the phrase "embryo transplants". When a body dies, the organs and cells are still active. You can use them. When an embryo dies, you can then use that to create stem cells, have all the pluripotency of any other kind of stem-cell research. So, the bottom line is that science is moving us away from having to cross the moral line.

I believe there's a third way. If the president's going to veto S-5, the bill that you talked about, if the House would take up my bill, and it passes, we can move embryonic stem-cell, pluripotent stem-cell research forward, and not engage in the culture war, not cross a moral line that many Americans don't think we should cross when it comes to federal funding.

BLITZER: Some experts though question what the premise of your -- of your legislation. John Gearhart, the director of the stem-cell program at Johns Hopkins University, he's quoted as saying this -- he said: "We find this to be an absolutely bizarre bill because the presumption upon which it is based is flawed."

You've heard the criticism. What's your response?

COLEMAN: We have a substantial body of scientific knowledge that has a different opinion. The reality, Wolf, on all stem-cell research, you're going to find folks in the scientific community pushing one or pushing the other.

There are in existence today dead embryo lines, including, by the way, some that were part of the 21 now that are left of the president's original lines that he approved research on. The reality is there are a lot of those critics who will look at other kind of embryonic stem-cell research and say you can't do that without producing tumors, you can't do that without cloning somebody, because otherwise you're going to have an immune reaction.

Let's put all the debate aside. If there's a path to move this forward, without crossing a moral line, without engaging in the culture wars, why don't we try it?

My bill offers that opportunity. It also sets up, by the way, a stem-cell bank for amniotic fluid and placenta stem-cells, which is also offering some possibility without crossing that moral line.

I just hope we give it a shot. I want to move the science forward.

My bill is the only bill that will put more money into embryonic stem-cell research this year, that -- there's no other bill that will do that, because S-5 is going to be vetoed. If you care about pluripotent stem-cell research, you should support my bill, and let the science speak rather than the politicians.

BLITZER: Senator Coleman, thanks very much for wrapping that interview up. We're going to continue this conversation down the road.

Senator Norm Coleman, Republican of Minnesota. COLEMAN: Thanks for the opportunity, Wolf. As always, thanks.

BLITZER: Appreciate it.

Up ahead here in THE SITUATION ROOM, the government spends tens of millions of dollars annually on sexual abstinence programs, but is that money well spent? There's a new congressional study on the matter. We're going to show you what it found.

And then, one of the most low-tech tools for fighting terrorism is also one of the most versatile. But is there a danger to how bomb- sniffing dogs can detect a threat?

Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: In the culture wars, abstaining from sex until marriage has long been a controversial curricular item in some school systems. But now the effectiveness of the program has been studied in-depth.

CNN's Brianna Keilar has been looking at the results -- Brianna.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, this is a long-awaited congressionally-mandated study that evaluates the effectiveness of these abstinence programs. What it shows is that they're not effective.

Mathematical Policy Research Incorporated conducted a study of more than 2,000 young people. They compared those who had abstinence education, which starts at about 11 or 12 years old, to those who did not. Then, when the subjects were on average about 17 years old, they surveyed them.

They found abstinence rates reported among groups to be exactly the same. About half of both groups had said they still had not had sex. For those who did have sex, the average age of first sexual intercourse was 14.9 years. Researchers also found rates of protected sex the same in both groups -- 23 percent from both groups reporting having sex in the last 12 months and always using condoms.

So, why is this important? Well, the federal government allocates about $176 million a year on programs that stress not having sex until marriage. And Congress will have to decide whether to renew some of those funds.

The study, of course, gives ammunition to critics who say abstinence education doesn't work -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right. But the study is not a complete win necessarily for those critics of abstinence education, is it, Brianna?

KEILAR: No, it's not. And that's because some of those critics have alleged abstinence education actually increases unprotected sex. This study found it does not. It found it is the same between both groups. BLITZER: All right, Brianna. Thanks very much.

Brianna Keilar reporting for us here in Washington.

In our CNN "Security Watch," they guard America's rail stations and airports, and patrol with police across the country. Since 9/11, bomb-sniffing dogs are playing a big role in anti-terror efforts. Federal authorities are spending $30 million this year alone to train and deploy them, but are they really worth the investment?

CNN's Ed Lavandera has the story from Dallas.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PATROL OFFICER KEN WESSEL, CHICAGO POLICE: Easy. Easy. Off.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Chicago cop Ken Wessel is in San Antonio, Texas, training with a new partner, Boyd (ph). The new duo is gearing up for patrols back home, sniffing out potential threats.

WESSEL: Chicago and the United States doesn't want terrorism, won't tolerate it, and we're doing whatever we have to do to make sure that it doesn't -- a September 11th never happens again.

Right here. Good girl.

LAVANDERA: The Transportation Security Administration is shelling out $70,000 to train and deploy each team for a year.

JONATHAN SCHACHTER, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY: Dogs are good. They can be a very valuable tool, but they are just one tool in the toolbox.

LAVANDERA: Police across America line up for this 10-week course held at Lackland Air Force Base.

But it is all worth it?

KEN ROBINSON, TERRORISM ANALYST: There are those who have cited this as a panacea, claiming that having the influx of large numbers of dogs will now make us safe. We're not safer, post-9/11. What we are is more prepared.

LAVANDERA: The TSA is banking on their increased patrols.

WESSEL: His sense of smell is 400,000 times more powerful than yours or mine.

ALEXIS SMOLLOCK, FEDERAL AIR MARSHAL SERVICE: Here you go. Right here.

We're constantly monitoring to see how chemical compounds are changing, and we will adapt to what we see in the intelligence field, and push out that information to our field canine teams.

LAVANDERA: So even though security analyst Ken Robinson says the TSA training is worth it...

ROBINSON: There's potential animal fatigue and there's potential user fatigue on the part of the dog handler. And these are the areas, the soft underbelly, if you will, where a terrorist will try to exploit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about up here, Mama (ph)?

LAVANDERA: Dogs on subways get extra training to track explosive scents as trains push air currents.

OFFICER GEORGE LIVERGOOD, CHICAGO POLICE CANINE UNIT: It's the most versatile tool that our country or anybody has in order to find explosives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Woo hoo!

LAVANDERA: A $70,000 tool Ken Wessel feels can make a difference on the train.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, Dallas.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: And stay tuned to CNN day and night for the most reliable news about your security.

Up ahead, Arnold Schwarzenegger teams up with MTV to promote environmentalism and souped up cars. We'll watch the California governor, as they say, pimp his ride.

It's what they said -- in our 7:00 p.m. Eastern hour.

Up next, missing White House e-mail, missing Justice Department documents. A missing interrogation video. Jack Cafferty wants to know if that's all apart of a pattern in the Bush administration.

Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: It's a bird, it's a plane. And it involves Vice President Dick Cheney.

Today the vice president's plane hit a bird. It happened as Air Force Two neared Chicago's O'Hare Airport. The vice president was in Chicago to attend an event. The plane landed safely. No one was hurt.

Let's check back with Jack Cafferty for "The Cafferty File".

Hi, Jack.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: How you doing?

He couldn't get the birds with the shotgun, remember? So I guess you get something bigger and try again.

The question is: When it comes to the missing documents and e- mails in the Bush White House, do you see some kind of pattern?

Skeeter writes from Vermont, "You're damn right there is. Remember Richard Nixon's secretary Rose Mary Woods accidentally erasing 18.5 minutes of incriminating White House audiotapes in the Watergate scandal? As far as I'm concerned, we're seeing history repeat itself."

Jim in California, "Getting information from this White House has been next to impossible. They've not only shut out the Congress, they have continuously turned their backs on the American people. I remember before the 2000 election people were screaming for moral values in the White House. Well, if this is it, bring back Bill and Monica for an encore."

Paul in North Carolina, "Jack, printouts of the missing e-mails will probably turn up in the same drawer that Hillary found the missing billing records of the Rose Law Firm."

Dave in Normon, Oklahoma, "The budget surplus disappeared, the WMD disappeared. The Republican majority in Congress disappeared, the attorney general tried to disappear."

"The e-mails did disappear. And in 2008, this administration will thankfully disappear. It looks like a pattern to me, Jack."

Allan in New York writes, "There are only two possible patterns. One, cover-up. They're trying to hide things by illegally destroying documents."

"Or two, incompetence. Even the most basic IT shop or individual knows that frequent and multiple backups are required."

Richard in Oklahoma City, "Pattern? Right, Jack. And I suppose you think the sun rising every morning is some kind of pattern, too."

And Linda in Columbus, Ohio, "A pattern? Snakeskin comes to mind."

If you didn't see your e-mail here, you can go to cnn.com/caffertyfile, where we post more of them online, along with video clips of "The Cafferty File" -- Wolf.

BLITZER: See you back here in an hour, Jack. Thanks very much.

Let's wrap up this hour with some of the "Hot Shots," pictures coming in from our friends over at The Associated Press, pictures likely to be in your hometown newspapers tomorrow.

In India, a man throws stones at lawyers who vandalize public property after a scuffle with police.

In Venezuela, soldiers mark the fifth anniversary of President Hugo Chavez' return to power after a coup that briefly toppled him. In Thailand, teenagers play with water guns during a festival celebrating Thailand's ancient new year.

And in San Francisco, an acrobat repels down 15 stories of a hotel as part of a promotional stunt.

Some of this hour's "Hot Shots," pictures often worth 1,000 words.

See you in one hour. "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT" starts right now.

Kitty Pilgrim sitting in for Lou.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.voxant.com

CNN U.S.
CNN TV E-mail Services CNN Mobile CNNAvantGo Ad Info About Us Preferences
Search
© 2007 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by CNN.com
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines