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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Outrage Grows Over Libby Commutation; U.K. Terror Investigation Expands to Australia
Aired July 3, 2007 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
GLENN BECK, HOST: Tonight, "We the People": why the Scooter Libby story is just the latest strike against the American political process.
BECK (voice-over): Tonight: putting aside partisan politics to focus on the issues that really matter, like justice for all -- Scooter Libby liberated, growing outrage over President Bush's decision to spare Scooter 30 months behind bars. Was this right or just partisan politics?
And the latest on the U.K. terror attacks -- yet another doctor taken into custody. Is what we're seeing now the new face of terror, or just the old face that we hadn't really recognized?
Plus: pork-barrel spending now worse than ever. Politicians are finding more ways than ever to waste your money. Can we, the people, ever find a way to stop the greed in Washington?
BECK: Hello, America. And welcome to "We the People."
I'm Glenn Beck. I'm sitting in for Paula Zahn, who is taking a few days off this week.
The big news tonight is that seemingly never-ending saga of Scooter Libby. I don't think anybody in America really even knows who this guy is. But the president is getting hammered on both sides of the aisle today. Republicans are saying he didn't do enough. Democrats are saying he shouldn't have done anything, except, of course, resign.
I guess we have to start here. Is the Libby case fueled mainly by politics? You bet. Was the sentence too long? Maybe. But does it really matter in the grand scheme of things? This is where I say I don't think so.
Perjury was wrong with Bill Clinton. And it is still wrong today. I'm a conservative, but whether or not you agree with me on my policies or my politics is completely irrelevant in this case. The most important thing is that we agree on principles, namely, lying is wrong. No matter if it is an elephant or a donkey that does it, it shouldn't be accepted by we, the people. I believe the answer to our problems in this country is we, the people. But, you know what? If we can't come together on something as simple as, perjury is wrong, those answers are going to be impossible to find.
Now, as for Libby, today, the White House spokesman, Tony Snow, had to beat back question after question about why the president commuted the sentence of the vice president's former chief of staff. And the president himself refused to rule out the possibility that he would even go further, that he would pardon Libby altogether.
As it is, the decision means that Libby isn't going to serve any jail time at all for lying to investigators about the CIA leak case.
Let's get the story now from CNN White House correspondent Ed Henry.
Ed, give me the latest.
ED HENRY, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Glenn, it was interesting.
Today, you saw the president for the first time trying to defend this decision, the decision that has caused so much controversy, the left saying that the bottom line is that this was a travesty of justice. You have heard conservatives on the right saying that the president needs to go further.
He tried for first time today to explain himself. And he also left the door wide open to eventually giving Mr. Libby a full pardon.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I felt the punishment was severe. So I made a decision that would commute his sentence, but leave in place a serious fine and probation. As to the future, I, you know, rule nothing in and nothing out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HENRY: So, you heard him leaving the door wide open.
Tony Snow faced a barrage of questions about how all of this came together. Snow did reveal that the president had been contemplating this for weeks and weeks, but Snow couldn't answer a lot of other specifics. I asked him whether or not Vice President Cheney weighed in, whether he went to bat for his former chief of staff. Snow said he wasn't sure.
Snow also wouldn't name the other officials who were involved here. I also asked, well, why did the president go around the normal Justice Department procedure, which is to have someone serve at least a day, a week, a month in prison before you commute the sentence? Snow didn't really want to talk about that. And he also wouldn't talk about why Karl Rove still has not been fired.
You will remember, three years ago, the president said, if anyone on his staff was involved in the leak, they would be fired -- Glenn.
BECK: All right, Ed, thank you very much.
I have got to tell you, this is why America hates politics.
Let's get to the legal end of things.
CNN senior analyst Jeffrey Toobin is here.
Jeffrey, you know, I wish the president was this compassionate with Ramos and Compean, who, gee, their sentence seems a little excessive, at 11 years, the two border guards.
Why -- why is he doing this? I mean, is he -- is this payback for something? Does he think this is really going to appeal to all Republicans? And will it?
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: You know, I mean, I think some of the conspiracy theories are wrong here, somehow, that this is to keep Scooter Libby quiet and protect Dick Cheney or protect himself.
This is much more simple. It is cronyism. It is helping a guy on your team. It is special justice for a special person. I mean, Ramos and Compean, the border security guards who are, you know, facing 11 years in prison, they have been told, well, you go to the Justice Department, and you wait at the back of the line, and maybe the pardon attorney will get to your case some year in the future.
Scooter Libby didn't have to worry about the Justice Department. The Justice Department didn't even know that this was being considered. This was special treatment, plain and simple.
BECK: You know what this is? This is the president giving amnesty. This is the immigration bill.
TOOBIN: That's right.
BECK: There's no line. OK, you came in. You did it the wrong way, but, come on. I will help you out anyway.
TOOBIN: Yes. It's the grand unified theory. Everything relates to everything else.
But, I mean, one of the words that Tony Snow used in his briefing today was really almost hilarious. He says, well, you know, part of this was just routine.
BECK: There's nothing...
TOOBIN: There was nothing routine about this. This was an absolutely extraordinary thing, the first pardon, the first commutation he's given of his presidency where the Justice Department wasn't involved. This was extraordinary. It wasn't routine.
BECK: So, Jeffrey, tell me, have you heard from anybody, a Republican or a Democrat, has anybody said, gee, it is almost like we switched sides in the last 10 years?
BECK: It is almost like I was saying what you're saying now and you're saying what I was saying then.
TOOBIN: No, because the code of Washington is, you have to be outraged fresh each time.
TOOBIN: You know, if you're a Democrat, you have to be so shocked at lying under oath, when you weren't so shocked when Bill Clinton was doing it, and Republicans just the opposite. I mean, it is a whose-ox-is-gored culture, and that's what we're seeing here today.
BECK: I will tell you, it just makes blood shoot right out of my eyes. I'm telling you, this is why people are so sick of politics.
Thanks a lot.
Now let's go to the actual politicians, Republican political strategist Amy Holmes and Democratic political strategist Peter Fenn.
Guy, I have you on my Headline News show all the time. And I like you because you will -- I mean, if you're a donkey, you will, once in a while, bash a donkey. If you're an elephant, once in a while, you will bash an elephant.
Can we please be equal-opportunity bashers here and just speak like Americans for a second?
AMY HOLMES, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: We can certainly try.
PETER FENN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Absolutely.
BECK: We can try.
BECK: All right.
Amy, I want to start with you.
Bill Clinton, perjury was wrong, right?
A. HOLMES: Correct. BECK: Scooter Libby, perjury is wrong, right?
A. HOLMES: Correct. Now...
BECK: What is the difference between the two?
A. HOLMES: The difference here is that there are defenders of Scooter Libby who don't believe that he did perjure himself...
BECK: Well, I...
A. HOLMES: ... and that this investigation should never have gotten under way, when we know that the original leaker who triggered the investigation was Richard Armitage, who admitted it. And, yet, he's not being prosecuted for the underlying crime that was alleged by Joe Wilson and his wife of revealing a covert agent's identity.
A. HOLMES: But I think, if we look back here, you know, I predicted, with Wolf Blitz in "THE SITUATION" -- Wolf Blitzer in "THE SITUATION ROOM," when this decision was handed down, that this was so extreme, so draconian, it would actually give the president an opportunity to forge a compassionate compromise. And that's what the president did yesterday.
BECK: Amy, I have to tell you, the hypocrisy -- and I'm a conservative, and I voted for George W. Bush, and it makes blood shoot out of my eyes -- the hypocrisy here is amazing. You just said, well, I mean, look, things are different. You know, the crime that they were investigating -- excuse me.
The whole Monica Lewinsky thing was over Whitewater. It is the same exact defense, Peter, that people -- that people like you were saying.
A. HOLMES: In fact, the independent counsel was given permission by a three-judge panel to investigate possible perjury in the Monica Lewinsky case, specifically.
FENN: Look, they spent $70 million, and discovered that he lied about sex.
FENN: Is it right to lie before a grand jury if you're Bill Clinton or if you're Scooter Libby? Absolutely not.
In the case of Bill Clinton, did it justify impeachment over three years? Probably not. You know, arguments...
BECK: Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. FENN: No, wait. Wait. If you go -- well, ahead. If you...
BECK: Peter, I just have to ask you, I mean, so, was the president supposed to serve his time in jail, and still finish his term?
FENN: But there was never any question about going to a grand jury, going to jail, putting him in jail for lying about...
BECK: If it is OK for Scooter Libby to go to jail for perjury, it should have been -- it is the same lie, same grand jury.
FENN: Look, it is not the same lie, though, Glenn.
But here is the point. This is where I will agree with you. This is where I will agree with you. It's wrong to lie in front of grand juries, period.
But here's the key question here. The key question is, you have a vice president of the United States who is up to his eyeballs in this effort to discredit Joe Wilson and then his wife, a covert CIA agent, who, you know...
FENN: And then...
FENN: Let me just finish, Amy. Amy, let me just finish.
FENN: This is fine, Amy, but let me finish.
You have got a whole group of people here having a ball going after Joe Wilson. And, if the president of the United States thinks that this is an excessive amount of time to be served, fine, then what is right? Fifteen months, 12 months, 10 months?
The fact of the matter is, this president -- as Toobin says, this is about cronyism. This is about letting guys off the hook.
FENN: This is about moving on.
BECK: Amy -- Amy, I have got to -- I have got go to you.
A. HOLMES: Yes.
BECK: I mean, can't we, as Americans, not as Republicans, not as Democrats, can't we be consistent and say, perjury is wrong? This is the second president now in a row that has really helped me not teach honesty to my children.
This is the second president in a row who's like, well, but if you have...
A. HOLMES: Well...
BECK: ... a place of privilege, if it's just because it is sex, if it's just if you work in the White House and they're trying to get you on politics, well, then you can lie.
A. HOLMES: Well, let's be -- let's, you know, be clear about what the president did issue yesterday, which is that the conviction stands.
Scooter Libby is most likely going to be disbarred. He has a quarter-of-a-million-dollar fine that he has to pay. It is not that the president pardoned him.
A. HOLMES: What he did was, he commuted the prison...
A. HOLMES: ... portion of that punishment.
But, Glenn, I would make a larger point, which is, Scooter Libby, I think, is a -- is being used as a partisan political football. Most Americans do not know who Scooter Libby is.
A. HOLMES: They see this as an inside-the-beltway obsession.
A. HOLMES: And, if Democrats think that they're going to be scoring points, public-opinion points with this, I think they're terribly wrong, because, just as in negative campaigning hurts your opponent, it also hurts you.
A. HOLMES: And the Congress right now has lower approvals than the president.
BECK: ... we have got to run, but I have got to tell you, you're both wrong on this.
BECK: It is going hurt both parties... FENN: Yes, it will.
BECK: ... because America is seeing the Democrats and the Republicans as the same pile of dog crap.
Peter Fenn, Amy Holmes, thanks.
Stick around, because we're going to talk to you about pork in just a bit.
But, coming up, what do you think when CNN started calling your federal lawmakers, looking for honest answers about billions of your dollars stashed away in pet projects called earmarks?
Also, magician, comedian, libertarian Penn Jillette, tonight's independent thinker. Don't miss this.
And we will take you to London for the very latest on the car bomb investigation, now stretching all the way tonight to Australia.
BECK: Well, I'm glad you're here tonight. We're focussing this week on we, the people, a government of the people, for the people, and by the people.
Now, tonight's question is why so many doctors figure in the car bomb investigation in Britain.
But, first, since we're declaring our independence from partisan politics, here is another question for you. Do we, the people, have a right to know how our government is spending our money? A lot of what we call pork spending comes in what Congress calls earmarks -- it's friendlier sounding -- anonymous pet projects that bypass the usual review process.
Well, you're about to see what happened when we tried to ask members of Congress about their earmarks.
Here's Drew Griffin.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Before they came to power, Democrats vowed to fix the broken earmark process. They promised complete transparency, no secret spending, no backroom deals.
REP. DAVID OBEY, (D) HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS CHAIRMAN: I'm now trying, and so is our leadership, to reduce earmarks by at least 50 percent.
GRIFFIN: So, has anything changed? "Keeping Them Honest," we put our intrepid CNN interns on the case. They called the offices of every single member of Congress, asking just one question. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm calling with CNN, and I'm trying to see if we can get a copy of the congressman's earmark request for this year.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was calling because we're trying to obtain a copy of the congressman's earmark requests.
GRIFFIN: What they found wasn't exactly a show of complete transparency.
RACHEL REYNOLDS, CNN INTERN: At first, I got quite a few yeses. And, so, I got all excited, and, oh, yay, Congress is being nice to me. And then they said they would e-mail back or call back. And, by the end of the day, I had nothing.
GRIFFIN: Our results? After three days of actually calling each and every House office, 34 members of Congress, just 34, sent us their earmark requests.
But, since then, a wave of pressure has apparently changed some minds. Our report caught the attention of political bloggers, demanding Congress release its requests. "The Chicago Tribune" ran an editorial, asking why members of the Illinois delegation were being so secretive.
We should note that some we called were downright hostile...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was really mean about it though.
GRIFFIN: ... not even letting us finish the question, like an aide to New York Democrat Charles Rangel.
TODD SCHWARZSCHILD, CNN STAFFER: When I called Congressman Rangel's office, I got one of his press aides, who, before I could even answer the question, said, no, I know what you're going to ask me. No.
And he said, good day, and then hung up on me.
GRIFFIN: Word of our requests apparently traveled fast in the halls of Congress.
CHAMISE JONES, CNN INTERN: When I called and asked for the earmark requests, he was like, no. And he was like, just like no one else is going to give it to you. I knew about you. I heard you were calling. I was waiting for you to call me.
GRIFFIN: "As long as we're not required to release them, we're not going to," said an aide to Louisiana Republican Jim McCrery.
But some didn't need our prompting.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you. Bye-bye.
GRIFFIN: Maverick freshman Democrat Nancy Boyda, New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, and Republican John Campbell of California all had already had posted their earmark requests on their Web pages.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: If I just might direct the record to another place, why don't we just leave this room today forgetting the word earmark? This is legislatively-directed spending, as opposed to executive spending.
GRIFFIN: And, Ms. Pelosi, for the record, a member of your staff told us you would not reveal your legislatively-directed spending requests.
BECK: Drew, is this what you expected to find?
GRIFFIN: You know, I hate to say it Glenn, but yes. There is a reason they like to keep all this spending in secret. They like to hold secrets, and they don't like to tell us about all these pork projects that they're going to have their names attached to now. They just don't want it to be known.
BECK: I have to tell you, it makes blood shoot out of my eyes. It makes me crazy.
What is the update now? How many people have actually responded?
GRIFFIN: Well, you know, we broke it down into a couple categories. But we keep adding on more. We have almost doubled the number of congressmen who have now given us their earmarks. But it is just up to 51.
GRIFFIN: Fifty-one of these representatives said, yes, you can look at my earmarks. Sixty-seven flat-out told us no. Six -- six people actually have the brave stance that they don't have any earmarks.
But look at that number, 311 still not even -- not even answer our call, will not even respond yes or no or indifferent.
GRIFFIN: They just won't call us back.
BECK: They're just responding to the people. And, clearly, Drew, you and I, we're not -- we're not the people, you know?
GRIFFIN: No, we don't rank. We don't rank.
BECK: Well, the -- out of the, what was it, 51 that said yes, here are our earmarks, any of them -- any of them really grisly, or were these the best kind of people on the earmarks?
I mean, I would have to go through those 51, but there is no shame in these earmarks. We had an earmark by a Republican congressman from California last week, Glenn. He had an earmark of $500,000 to beautify a metro station in Washington, D.C. Why? Oh, could it be that he lives three blocks away and has a house up there in the capital? I doubt it.
BECK: Thanks a lot, Drew.
Coming up: There is a lot more to Penn Jillette than entertainment. Sure, he's a magician, but he's a libertarian as well. And tonight's independent thinker, don't miss what this guy has to say.
And at least a half-dozen doctors figure into the British terror investigation. We will go to London for the latest.
BECK: Tonight, we continue our focus this week on independent thinkers.
And who could be more independent, more original than magician, comedian, and libertarian Penn Jillette? We have been talking about pork spending in Congress tonight.
Earlier, I had a chance to get Penn's take on it.
BECK: Penn, you see pork how, exactly, in our government?
PENN JILLETTE, MAGICIAN, COMEDIAN, LIBERTARIAN: Well, you see, oh, you're -- you have to remember, every time you talk to me, you're talking to a nut.
I come in so much before that. All the stuff that is pork is not the government's job. The government is supposed to do defense, courts and police. So, all that other stuff -- I mean, I'm so against pork, I'm against roads and libraries. So, trying to get me to trim off the pork, I want to throw away the whole pig. I want the whole farm gone.
BECK: I have to tell you, Penn, that is the thing where you always lose me, because I am a libertarian at heart, but, really, I think only when Jesus comes back, because the problem...
BECK: The problem is, is that libertarians, you can't mix libertarian, which is: Hey, you want to go do drugs? Do all the heroin you want, but I am going to step over you in the sidewalk, which...
BECK: ... you want to kill yourself on drugs, you kill yourself on drugs, Jack. I will help you if you want to get off, but it is not the government's job.
But the problem is...
JILLETTE: Right. But you...
BECK: ... libertarians then are combined with other people who have compassion at the end and say, no, we have to help them. And they don't work together. You know what I mean?
JILLETTE: The thing is, we have no problem -- I have no problem whatsoever with helping people.
JILLETTE: As a matter of fact, it is something I enjoy very much. I just don't think you have to run that through the government.
BECK: I have to tell you, I tithe 10 percent, and then I give to charity above and beyond that. And I have actually wept giving money. I have never wept in a good way on April 15, never. And government...
JILLETTE: Well, you know, my...
BECK: Go ahead.
JILLETTE: When my mom and dad quit the church, and were giving a lot of money to the church, and moved on from there, that money that they were using to tithe, they enjoyed very much still using to help people.
You have to remember that choosing to help other people is, I think, one of the biggest joys you can get in life.
BECK: You know, our government is now thinking about universal health care. They have gotten -- they just put it in, in Massachusetts. I just read an article...
BECK: ... in "The New York Times" this week that said there is people now that have health care, the state health care, and, yet, they won't sign up. So, the government now is thinking about fining them if they don't take the money the state is trying to give them. It is insane.
JILLETTE: Well, the most remarkable -- the most remarkable thing about all this, you know, socialized medicine and universal health care and so on is, people like Michael Moore, who seem to be not thrilled about the government, are pushing so hard to put trillions more dollars into the government, into that control.
When I don't think someone is doing a good job, I try to give them less money.
JILLETTE: That's one of the ways paying works in my life.
BECK: That's the thing that amazes me, is that so many people say that big business is in control, and big oil, and Halliburton, and everything else.
But, if there is one thing that they are in bed with right now, it is big government.
BECK: And, yet, somehow or another, government isn't bad; it is just corporations that are bad.
And, really, to me, it's the combination of the two that scare the living bejesus out of me.
JILLETTE: Well, you know, yes, exactly.
And what people what -- my point of view, which I guess is different from most people's, is, these bad corporations that are buoyed up by the government, if you take the government away and don't help those people, they will then be in real competition. They could be taken down.
What happens is, the government makes all these deals, like they made with Microsoft. You know, they made all these deals with them that, essentially, if you do this, in terms of antitrust, we will just buoy you up forever.
And it would be much better to just let it be a survival of the fittest in terms of corporations. Let them go up and down.
JILLETTE: It would be terrific, shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in two generations.
BECK: Thank you very much. We will talk you to again, sir.
BECK: Coming up: The terror investigation in Britain is spreading to Australia tonight, and at least six doctors are involved.
Also, we will go on a treasure hunt to find out where and why your tax money is being spent on ski lifts and runways for corporate jets. Don't go anywhere.
T.J. HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi. I'm T.J. Holmes at the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia -- more Glenn Beck in just a moment.
First, here are the headlines coming in into CNN right now. You will see tighter security at airports, subways, and bus stations over the Fourth of July holiday. The Transportation Security Administration is dispatching special VIPR teams with bomb-sniffing dogs to protect mass transit sites. They will focus on some of the nation's biggest cities, including New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Houston. Officials say the tighter security is a precaution, and not just a reaction to the British terror plot.
Meanwhile, federal, state and local law officers are strengthening security all across the nation for the holidays. In Boston, police dive teams are training to search for bombs that could be hidden in the harbor.
Well, floods in southeast Kansas just got a lot worse, with thousands of gallons of oil floating downriver. The oil is coating everything with that thick goo, and may reach the lake that supplies drinking water to Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Well, we all remember the Atlanta lawyer who created an international public health scare by flying to Greece with a drug- resistant form of tuberculosis. Well, now a federal health official says new tests show the man, Andrew Speaker, really has a less dangerous form that can be treated with antibiotics.
Also here, bad news to report for Detroit. Sales in June fell at all of the big three U.S. car makers. GM sales plummeted by more than 20 percent. Ford sales dropped 8 percent. Chrysler fell by 1 percent. It was helped by the strong performance of its jeep division.
Finally, I do have some good news to tell you about for millions of us who are going to be hitting the road for Independence Day tomorrow. The normal summertime gas price rise is easing. The average price now dropping to less than $3 a gallon.
I'm T.J. Holmes. "GLENN BECK" continues in a moment with the latest on the terror investigation in Britain.
BECK: Welcome back to WE THE PEOPLE. I'm Glenn Beck in for Paula Zahn who's taking a few days off. Still ahead, we stay on the trail of your tax money stashed away by Congress for pet projects like ski lifts, ritzy hotels -- and I'm not kidding you -- corporate jet runways. But they're nice ones, though, that you've purchased.
But first, tonight, at least six doctors have been questioned in the botched car bombings in Britain last week and the investigation is now stretching all the way around the globe. The doctors are being questioned, they are in Australia. Now, it has been three days since two men rammed a car filled with explosives and gas canisters into the entrance of the Glasgow Airport. It burst into flame, but only the men in the car were hurt. They're believed to be the same men who left two car bombs in London the day before. Those bombs didn't go off. Paula Newton is in London now with news of the investigation.
Paula what is the latest today?
PAULA NEWTON, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Glenn, the latest being those arrests in Australia. It seems that at least two of the doctors that they're questioning now did work in one of the same hospitals as one of these other suspects worked, meaning they're now finding the link between this whole medical professional plot that seems to have started here in Britain.
And these people left about the fall, about September 2006, to go work then in Australia. What is also happening here is that authorities are getting a clearer picture about how this is linked to al Qaeda. They now believe that at least one of the doctors here was recruited by al Qaeda, perhaps then to recruit and radicalize other foreign doctors that were here. Authorities tell us, Glenn, they feel that they have this plot under control. They are a little bit worried about the new character of this kind of threat, but they continue to say that they do feel the majority, the core group of the people who carried this out are in custody, now -- Glenn.
BECK: OK, Paula, thank you.
You got to wonder if these guys got into Australia and then Britain and back and forth like they were playing hopscotch, what's stopping them here? At least on part of the U.S. border with Canada, maybe not very much, we're talking about a Vermont town where crossing the border is as easy as driving down the street. There is no Border Patrol there, there's no checkpoint.
It's becoming a popular spot just to sneak across the border, so popular, that the town had a meeting a couple of weeks ago to decide whether they should just put a blockade there on the street that spans the border. The name of the town is Derby Line. And tonight, Gary Tuchman is there and he joins me now.
Gary, how easy would it be for a terrorist to sneak across the border, there?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Glenn, for the bad guys this is certainly a more convenient place to cross into the United States. And because of the increased number of apprehensions, Border Patrol officials say they want to do something about it. This is one of the three streets in the town of Derby Line, Vermont that has no Border Patrol officials. You can just go from the United States into Canada.
Right now I'm in the U.S. It's not exactly clear where the exact border is because there's no monument. But technically it's illegal for me to step into Canada. I can tell you, you can look at the maple leaf flag there, that is Canada, that house. This house next to it's also in Canada. We believe this house is in the United States, so we don't think we're technically breaking the law.
But the fact is, every day, cars come down here, people come down here, and they technically break the law. What you're supposed to do when you come down these three streets, here in this town of Derby Line, Vermont, is report to a nearby border station. There's a sign over there, it's a little hard to see, but it says, "United States report to the Customs and Border station," it's about five minutes away. But not everyone wants to bother with that, particularly the bad guys.
And what officials are very concerned about, here, is right next to that sign is the entrance to Interstate 91 South. And officials are very concerned that terrorists or drug smugglers could go down this street, where there's no border officials, and then zoom down the highway.
Now, there are cameras in this area and we've been caught five or six times, last night and today, kind of accidentally going to Canada. And the Border Patrol cars come up to us, they say they saw us on camera. They do have cameras, but don't have people here.
What they want to do, what the proposal is right now, to put flower planters in the middle of these three streets, so people can no longer drive their vehicles down the streets. At a town meeting, Stansted, Quebec and Derby Line, Vermont, a lot of people laughed when they heard that, but the fact is that is something they're considering, right now. They'll have another meeting in two weeks -- Glenn.
BECK: Gary, thanks. And by the way, he'll have much more on this tonight with ANDERSON COOPER 360 at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.
Joining me now, columnist Mark Steyn, author of "America Alone: The End of the World as We Know it."
Mark, I mean, we've been battling over this immigration bill and the security on our southern border. What kills me is most people who had, in my opinion, that this whole bill was about security in the first place, they tend to leave off the northern border's as well, that that is a real security risk. Canada has real extremists living up in Canada, do they not?
MARK STEYN, AUTHOR, "AMERICA ALONE": And particularly just north of Derby Line in Montreal, which is Jihad central. I think something like 80 percent of the Royal Canadian Police's anti-terrorism budget is spent in the Montreal area.
I know Derby Line, Vermont, very well, because it happens to be my local border crossing. In fact, my deeply sinister personal assistant will be coming through there at 120-miles-an-hour, crashing through the checkpoint this Friday. So, that's one I know. The town library in Derby, it's something like the nonfiction books are in the United States, and the fiction books are in Canada. I mean, the border is actually in the middle of the town library. BECK: OK, so tell me about Montreal. How far way is it and why do you say that it's Jihad central?
STEYN: Well, for example, the province of Quebec has its own immigration policy, so it favors French-speaking countries. There aren't a lot of French-speaking countries in the world and most of them that have residual French connections are in North Africa, the Middle East. So, you get a lot of people from Algeria, you get a lot of people from Syria.
The Millennium Bomber, just to take one example, who was arrested on the Washington State/British Columbia border en route to blow up LAX was someone who'd immigrated from Algeria to the province of Quebec and acquired a Canadian passport and then come through at Washington State to try and blow up Los Angeles Airport.
That's a kind of soft underbelly when -- in terms of getting into America. If you're in Montreal, you just have to hop in the car, and you're not very far from New York and Boston. And you might not even be asked for I.D on the border. Sometimes you are asked for a driver's license. One time at Niagara Falls, New York, I got into the United States, had nothing in my pocket except a town library card. I mean, it's very haphazard, the security at small border crossings.
BECK: So Mark, here we are on Independence Day tomorrow, and, you know, I've heard people, you know, oh, don't wear the flag pin and stop being so jingoistic and America is not all that. But that's really the problem, let's say, over in Europe that France, we are proud to be American. When you come here, you're an American. To become an American is a big deal. That actually helps us, does it not, on the fight on terror?
STEYN: I think so. I think actually when you look -- people wonder why are Europeans so anti-American? And a lot of it is because America is what they used to be. France would like to be a great nation state and project national power in the name of France around the world. And it can't do it anymore. And so it has to work through these rather unsatisfactory transnational talking shops, like the European Union, and the United Nations. And because of that, it hates the one country that still can project that.
You know, tomorrow is the Fourth of July, but it's also Independence Day and America is about the last nation that can actually act independently. And that's a lot of what the Europeans hate about it.
BECK: OK, Mark, thanks a lot.
Coming up, we are on the trail of your tax money, tonight, and we'll find out why millions are spent on pet projects like a ritzy hotel or even a ski lift.
Also, he was just 6-years-old when he started. Now his vision to help bring clean water to half a million people around the world is complete. And we'll introduce you to a very special "CNN Hero."
BECK: All right, earlier tonight we went looking for pork on Capitol Hill. We're talking about the pet projects that members of Congress pay for with money from, oh, I don't know, you, me, "We the People." Now, we're going to follow the money and see where some of that treasure is buried in Washington, where it ended up. Once again, Drew Griffin.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We're on a treasure hunt, looking for your money. Let's start with two million bucks, your tax dollars, right here. Listen.
(on camera): I think I hear a plane.
(voice-over): This is the tiny airport in tiny and remote Rice Lake, Wisconsin. Pull up a chair, grab a magazine, a newspaper, because it's going to take a while to show you how your federal tax dollars were spent, here.
JERRY STITES, RICE LAKE AIRPORT MANAGER: It's a pretty slow day today. If we had known you were coming, I'm sure we'd have been busier.
GRIFFIN: We'll get back to how Congress spent your money in Rice Lake in a moment. Meantime, here are more ways Congress has secretly spent your money.
Chances are you weren't a guest at the historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Florida, last summer. But taxpayers spent $96,000 to help renovate it. Skiing more your style? You pay $250,000 last year to renovate a ski lift. In our treasure hunt it was tricky to find that one. The money came out of last year's massive transportation bill, no mention of skiing. Instead...
(on camera): ...for the construction of the Alyeska Roundhouse in Girdwood, Alaska, $250,000.
GRIFFIN: In Congress, such treasure is called an earmark.
ANNI PATENOUD (PH), WATCHDOG: I got no name, and oftentimes these earmarks are certainly a bit vague.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Annie Patenoud watches Congress for a conservative economic watchdog group. She found two earmarks for the Alyeska Roundhouse, a total of $500,000 for the top of a ski lift.
That was last year. This year the new open Democratic Party- controlled Congress promised the earmark process would no longer be secret. All earmark requests would be made public with plenty of time for debate. Which may be enough time to find another earmark like Rice Lake, Wisconsin.
(on camera): So, this is the Rice Lake Airport, I asked you about. PATENOUD: Sure. Look for it on there.
GRIFFIN: This is on page 1,384 and it's somewhere in this fine print, I'm taking it.
PATENOUD: Look for it.
GRIFFIN: That right down here.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): Two million dollars in federal funds approved without debate to pay for a runway extension where we counted just seven small aircraft in four hours.
Why did they need to extend the runway? The manager Jerry Stites told us it was too short for corporate jets and executives who wanted to get in and out of Rice Lake quicker.
JERRY STITES, RICE LAKE AIRPORT MANAGER: Before we did the expansion on the runway, they couldn't land here. They had to drive an hour-and-a-half to get to their plan.
GRIFFIN: And which Congressman decided to extend the runway for a few corporate jets was worth your money? Wisconsin Democrat David Obey.
"My only apology," he wrote, "is that I can't do more for Wisconsin."
Drew Griffin, CNN, Washington.
BECK: And now you know the rest of the story.
Let me go to Republican strategist, Amy Holmes, Democratic political strategist, Peter Fenn.
Guys, you know, I really think that the problem in America is that we are being divided by our policies and we need to gather together on our principles. You're -- I mean, Peter, you're a Democrat. Amy, you're a Republican. Do you think -- do you think we should be spending, as politicians and as a nation, like Paris Hilton in a dog store?
AMY HOLMES, REPUBLICAN POLITICAL STRATEGIST: No.
BECK: All right, OK, so there's our principle that we shouldn't be doing this stuff. Why is it happening with the Republicans and now the Democrats?
HOLMES: Well, I could answer that. Because they're politicians and they're incumbents and they want to protect their seats. Look, conservatives are very frustrated and upset. And, you know, frankly, becoming disillusions with the Republican Party because of out of control spending. And out of control earmarks. And Democrats, they won in part because they campaigned against that in the so-called "culture of corruption." And now here we are all over again.
BECK: OK so, Peter, if that's the case, where is the road to Damascus moment? I haven't seen it from the Republicans or the Democrats.
HOLMES: Well, Nancy Pelosi did go to Syria...
BECK: Hang on, Amy.
PETER FENN, DEMOCRATIC POLITICAL STRATEGIST: I think you need a coming together at the White House with leaders of both parties and the president of the United States, whether it happens under this administration or the next and saying, look, this system is broken. The fact of the matter is you guys are treating the federal treasury like your own private ATMs. You know, you put in earmarks, you put in special projects. They're not vetted by anybody other than a few committee members. You put them out there in secret. You don't even put your names attached to them.
This is outrageous. It started a while ago, of course, and one man's pork is another person's real essential project. But that's for the Congress to make that decision, not in secret.
Look, in 1995, there were 1,400 pork barrel projects in this country. Last year, there were nearly 14,000. That is outrageous -- $65 Billions of dollars in this kind of money, going out the door. And that is wrong and it should be a bipartisan effort that stops.
BECK: You know, they keep saying, Amy, that, you know, gosh, we have to have universal health care and how are we going to pay for Social Security, and we have to do... here's an idea, cut the spinnage museums.
HOLMES: That's a great idea. And we don't need to be building a bridge to nowhere, either. But unfortunately, even that kind of cutting would not be able to shore up the entitlement disaster for that...
BECK: But is sure the heck would help.
HOLMES: But, you know, I would also add to Peter's point, now that we're talking like, you know, nonpartisans that I would...
BECK: Scary thought.
FENN: It is.
HOLMES: That I would support the line-item veto. And this is a power that President Clinton wanted, that President Bush would certainly appreciate having. And, again it would add to the transparency of the process. So, the president could put, you know, microscope on that budget and just start crossing things out that are ridiculous.
BECK: But Amy, you know and I know and Peter, back me up on this, nobody really wants that. They all say they want transparency. Really? Then how come -- I mean, we just reported on a story a few minutes ago, we called. We call -- CNN called, made the call to all of the House of Representatives, said, hey, guys, what are your earmarks? None of them wanted to tell us.
HOLMES: Oh, they'll tell you in a press release once they get it passed.
BECK: That's right.
FENN: Listen, the other problem with this is, you know, for every mayor that you make happy, with one project, you make about 50 people mad who didn't get their project. And I guess that's the reason that they think it ought to be secret.
But look, Barack Obama put out on his Website, all the projects that he put in, that he thought were worthwhile and you know, the public and look at that. And they can say, oh gee, I don't know why he up this in or that sounds look a good idea. But, you know, the basic problem here is it's too much, there are too many -- I agree with Amy. We should have this -- any president should have a line- item veto.
BECK: Look at this. Look at this, she...
FENN: Should have a line-item veto.
BECK: Do you see what's going on? A Democrat just agreed with a Republican, and a Republican with a Democrat. America, it's fixed!
HOLMES: It's a miracle. It can happen.
BECK: Thanks a lot. Amy, Peter, thank you very much.
BECK: Coming up, you got to meet a young man, he was six when he dreamt of bringing clean water to the world's thirsty. He is now a hero to thousands.
T.J. HOLMES, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: I'm T.J. Holmes in the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Going to get you back to Glenn Beck in a moment. But we have a bit of breaking news we want to bring you now. Sources tonight say kidnapped BBC journalist, Alan Johnston, has been freed. He was kidnapped four months ago in Gaza. But, tonight, we have word that he was just handed over to Hamas officials. Earlier today, Hamas gunmen had surrounded the stronghold of the group that was holding Johnston. Again, kidnapped BBC journalist Alan Johnston has been released. A lot more details to come on that. Stay here on CNN for those. I'm T.J. Holmes. Back to Glenn Beck in just a moment.
BECK: Well all this year, CNN is honoring people who are make extraordinary efforts to improve the lives of others. And right now you're going to meet a man who has been saving children all over the world by making sure that they have access to something that most of us just take for granted and that's clean water. That's why Ryan Hreljac is tonight's "CNN Hero."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, stand by. Go ahead, please.
RYAN HRELJAC, FUNDED WELLS: Every day, 6,000 children die because they don't have access to clean water. That's like 24 full jumbo jets crashing every day of the year. I feel that we shouldn't live in a world like that.
I was six years old and I was in my grade one classroom. My teacher said there are people that have to walk 10 kilometers to get to a dirty mud hole and I decided to do something about it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ryan told me has he been saving money to put up a well in Africa. And he said he wanted it in a school.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's look at example one.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The well which Ryan built was the first clean water they ever had.
HRELJAC: I went to Uganda when I was 10. I was pretty excited to go see what the impact was.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You read it.
HRELJAC: Ryan`s well. Funded by Ryan H.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Up to that moment, maybe Ryan never knew how much this means. The little boy who had this big dream now look where he is, not only doing one well, but so many wells. The clean water has reached far and wide.
HRELJAC: When a well is built in a community, the health, it skyrockets. And just to see smiles light up on people's faces because they have clean water to drink, it's great to see the impact.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ryan has changed many, many lives out here. So, he is a hero. He is a warrior who made it happen. (END VIDEOTAPE)
BECK: Here's a look at what's ahead this week, as we continue our focus on WE THE PEOPLE. Tomorrow, we solute the troops, a special edition from Utah where I'll be hosting a concert for our men and women in uniform, worldwide. Country superstar Trace Atkins will also be stopping by.
Thursday, partisan politics, we'll see how some of our leaders have been able to put aside politics, you know, to focus on the greater good of our country.
And Friday, gridlock in Congress. We'll look at what we can do to move past it and get things done for America.
Don't forget sign up for my free newsletter at GlennBeck.com. That's all for tonight. From New York, good night. LARRY KING LIVE starts right now.
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