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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Co-Defendants to Testify Against O.J. Simpson?; Weapons Charges Filed Against Rapper T.I.
Aired October 15, 2007 - 20:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Here's the truth. It's a loss across the board with no end in sight for the U.S. military, for the Iraqi people, for the American people. So says a U.S. commander on the ground. So, who's winning in Iraq? Contractors, that's who. We will bring it OUT IN THE OPEN.
SANCHEZ (voice-over): Question, why are we still in Iraq, when we now have yet another general, no, make that the one-time top general, saying this?
LIEUTENANT GENERAL RICARDO SANCHEZ (RET.), U.S. COMMANDER IN IRAQ: There is no question that America is living a nightmare with no end in sight.
SANCHEZ: Glaring incompetence, and we all pay. And what's the media's role in this? Not good. Here's the hard truth about Iraq, if you dare hear it. Companies with ties to this White House are doing gangbusters, big profits. Yes, profiting from war.
What about Congress? What about the Democrats? About their mission, mission to end the war? Instead, they're talking Turkey. What?
Two of O.J. Simpson's cell mates will spill the beans. Will their testimony send him to the slammer? Uh-oh.
Hiring illegal immigrants. This mayor is in hot water for doing just that for his campaign. Is it excusable?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I still don't know if they're illegal immigrants. They both produced valid identification.
SANCHEZ: What about if you or I did it?
How does it get this bad? This is real and serious, and it could be caused by people on the Web giving your kids real bad advice.
And the winner is rapper T.I. But, no, he's under arrest for machine guns and they're still cheering? This is wrong. And we will bring it OUT IN THE OPEN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICARDO SANCHEZ: Continued manipulations and adjustments to our military strategy will not achieve victory. The best we can do with this flawed approach is stave off defeat. There has been a glaring, unfortunate display of incompetent strategic leadership within our national leaders. As a Japanese proverb says, action without vision is a nightmare. There is no question that America is living a nightmare with no end in sight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SANCHEZ: And hello again, everybody. Que tal. That was Rick Sanchez, by the way, and so am I. He's a general.
And this is why what he says is so important. Look, when somebody who doesn't live in your house goes around saying that your house is a mess, that can be jealousy. In fact, it could be a lot of things. But when somebody who lives inside your house says your house is a mess, folks, it's a mess. Such is the case with the latest revelation that you just heard from General Rick Sanchez, the man who commanded our troops in Iraq from 2003 to 2004.
By the way, if Iraq is a lost cause, why is today's "Washington Post" reporting that some U.S. generals are now saying mysteriously that al Qaeda has been defeated? More on that in just a little bit.
But, first, more about what the general is saying. If, in fact, it's a loss for the American people and it's a loss for the Iraqi people and it's a loss for the U.S. military as well, who is possibly winning? The people who are winning are U.S. military contractors, and no one knows more about this than the man that you're just about to hear about.
His name is Eugene Jarecki. He has written a very famous documentary. The documentary is called "Why We Fight." And he's good enough to join us now.
The warning came from a Republican president who was an honored soldier. He said beware of the military industrial complex. Are we right now in this country more concerned, or should we be, about that warning that any time in our history?
EUGENE JARECKI, DIRECTOR, "WHY WE FIGHT": Yes. I think definitely.
I mean, what Dwight Eisenhower warned us about in 1961 has now become a situation that's simply out of control, where you have contractors basically representing that we have outsourced the best interest of the American people to private companies. So, the public interest has been outsourced to private ventures.
And that's the kind of crisis that we are now seeing play out in so many ways in Iraq.
SANCHEZ: It is no coincidence that, for the first time in our nation's history, we have someone who literally came from the industrial military complex and is now working at the White House. Some would argue he is in charge there, but he's only the number two guy, Vice President Dick Cheney. How important is that?
JARECKI: Well, I think it's extremely important. The revolving door, it is the famous phrase we use to talk about the way people in the private sector pass into the public sector from government into industry, into corporations in the defense sector and back again whenever it suits them.
SANCHEZ: Let me stop you for just a moment and let's break this down for our viewers.
SANCHEZ: So, he's defense contractor. I don't know what he was as secretary of defense, probably $150,000, $160,000. I don't know how much he made.
SANCHEZ: But I do know that when he went to Halliburton, he made upwards of $70 million over the time that he was there. Then he leaves Halliburton and he goes back to be the vice president of the United States. Do we expect that as a result of that, he would be inclined to want to help his company and others like it?
JARECKI: It would be hard to imagine that he wouldn't want to do so just through the nature of friendships. I think what conspiracy theorists want to see is that Dick Cheney is sitting in the White House counting his money while the bombs are falling.
But life doesn't work that way. The way it really works is simply that this is somebody from a sector, from a corporation, that ends up being what do you know, a tremendous beneficiary of a war that is turning into a nightmare for the American people, while turning into a real field day for Halliburton and others like them.
SANCHEZ: Let me ask you this. If you and I tomorrow lived in city X and we elected a mayor, and that mayor used to have a road construction company, and as soon as he got into the office, the first thing he wanted to do was redo the roads, wouldn't most of the people living in our city go hmm, something's a little fishy about this?
Why haven't the American people asked this very same question about what's going on in the White House right now and said, hmm, something's a little fishy about this?
JARECKI: Well, I think what the American people suffer from is not really understanding what's happening to them, and I think when they do start to understand it, as they are starting to when even a general comes out to warn us about it, they will start to take their cars and put them in the street and say this can't continue. This is stealing our children's future and it's ruining the world in our name.
SANCHEZ: Let me stop you right there, because you just said our children's future. Here's my take on why most Americans really could give a hoot about this and for the most part, haven't been paying attention. The money that's being used in this war goes from people like -- or countries, I should say, like China to people like KBR and Halliburton and Blackwater, right?
So it's not coming from you; it's not coming from me. It's coming from money that's borrowed from China that won't be paid back until my kids have to pay it back. And my kids don't watch CNN. That's why this is so interesting from that regard. And that's why I believe that many of the American people aren't paying attention to this situation. Am I wrong?
JARECKI: I think the American people are hoping that their congresspeople, who they elect, will represent them and will seek to have decisions made that actually represent the will of the people.
What they don't realize is that basically, we have 1,500 corporations in America that absolutely have those 535 congresspeople in their pocket. There are 300 million of us. So all we have to do is start to understand that our voice is not being heard and that the voice of an elite few, what Eisenhower called the elite, the military industrial complex, is basically having its way with our congresspeople so that our congresspeople are not representing the fact that the majority of the country is against the war.
Congress is the same Congress on both sides of the aisle that was so terribly silent when this war was launched.
SANCHEZ: You have been fighting for this for a long time. I made my kids watch your documentary, by the way. What will change this? What do you think will eventually change the situation we're in right now? Maybe I should ask the question this way. Can it change, given where we are right now?
JARECKI: Well, I think it can change. I think it's up to the American people themselves to start to understand that this is a terribly corrupt system, a system in which corporate government, give it its proper name, which is really an alliance between the corporate and our politicians, the politicians are in the pocket of private interests in this country.
And until people understand that, and the military industrial complex is just one set of corporations and they helped lead us to war, but basically, our politicians are not representing you and me. They are representing tragically those who are their benefactors and everyday people have to form groups that become watchdogs that watch what their congresspeople are doing, that write to their congressmen.
If anyone watching this has not addressed this war with their congressperson, they have nothing to complain about. And, tomorrow, their job is to do that and to create a voice that their congressperson cannot ignore. You have to drown out the radio static coming out of the corporate elite that is so controlling of our political leadership.
SANCHEZ: It's called "Why We Fight." Eugene Jarecki is its producer and director. We thank you, sir, for taking time to talk to us.
JARECKI: Thank you so very much.
SANCHEZ: The reason we are doing this coverage today, by the way, is because of the statement that was made by Ricardo or Rick Sanchez. He says essentially the situation in Iraq is just out of control, seems to be intimating, if nothing else, that it is a loss.
There was another article today of interest. This one was in "The Washington Post." And what "The Washington Post" is reporting is that in fact, no, we have won. We have actually beaten al Qaeda. Yay.
Well, maybe not.
We hunted down the guy who's written that article. In fact, his name is Tom Ricks. Here is what he said.
SANCHEZ: Tom, thanks for being with us.
THOMAS RICKS, MILITARY CORRESPONDENT, "THE WASHINGTON POST": You're welcome.
SANCHEZ: Here's what the general says.
"Our national leadership to this day continues to believe that victory can be achieved through the application of military power alone. The best we can do with this flawed approach is stave off defeat. The administration, Congress and the entire interagency, especially the Department of State, must shoulder the responsibility for this catastrophic failure and the American people must hold them accountable."
This does not sound like a statement being made of someone who's proud of an effort that they have led in Iraq, does it?
RICKS: It doesn't. He also went on to call the situation in Iraq a nightmare.
The odd thing about his speech, though, is that he blamed everybody but himself. Here's the guy who was the U.S. commander in Iraq during the period from '03-'04 when the insurgency arose, when we had the first big battles in Fallujah and Najaf, and we had the Abu Ghraib scandal occur on his watch.
Yet, he doesn't really seem to look in the mirror much. He seems to look and blame the president, the National Security Council, the State Department, the media, the Congress, the American people. At one point he says America has failed.
SANCHEZ: Why do these fellows get led blindly, it seems, by people who barely know how to put on an Army boot, someone like Dick Cheney, for example, which has really been pulling many of the strings in Iraq, over the probably best advice of people like a Ricardo Sanchez, who at some point should have looked him in the eye and said, I'm sorry, Mr. Vice president, but what you're saying doesn't make sense, it's not a good idea?
Why didn't they do that kind of thing?
RICKS: That was the question I had as I listened to his speech, which is, you know, when we were writing these stories back in '03-'04 saying there are real problems here, this is worse than American officials are saying, General Sanchez came out and at one point standing next to Ambassador Bremer and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld insisted that everything was actually a whole lot better than we were saying. He talked about all the good news that's not being reported. Now he seems to be saying, well, the news wasn't as good as he claimed it was back then.
SANCHEZ: But he's not only bashing the media. This guy is bashing just about everybody involved, except himself, obviously. He criticizes Congress in particular, Tom.
In fact, let me give you an example of what he's talking about. "These partisan struggles have led to political decisions that endangered the lives of our sons and daughters on the battlefield."
Again, what's interesting about this is most Democrats would argue that those members in Congress who are either liberal or Democrat have capitulated and have rubber-stamped everything that this government, this administration has gone along with. So, where is he getting that statement from?
RICKS: Well, I wouldn't look for a lot of logic in General Sanchez's speech. What you heard was a blast of emotion. He's clearly a very angry man, upset with a lot of things. What he hasn't done, though, is I think asked the basic questions of himself.
The real issue here, I think, is, what about your own performance, General Sanchez? And what about the performance of your fellow generals? Could it really be everybody else's fault but your own?
SANCHEZ: Well, here you have a general who is really getting it both ways. He's trying to criticize the administration for their mistakes, but he's also criticizing Congress and the media. He goes on to say about the media, "What is clear to me is that you are perpetuating the corrosive partisan politics that is destroying our country and killing our service members who are at war."
He's talking about guys like you and me, when in fact, an argument could be made that people like me and MSNBC and FOX and CNN and all of us, at the beginning of this war, failed to ask enough questions about policy, right? Isn't it just the opposite of what he's saying?
RICKS: I would think so. To blame the media for the deaths of troops I think is to not look at the role that he played in helping create this insurgency that killed a lot of American troops.
SANCHEZ: Tom Ricks, thanks so much for joining us.
RICKS: I appreciate it.
SANCHEZ: Here we go. O.J. Simpson, his co-defendants are now turning on him. Does that mean that his goose is all but cooked?
SANCHEZ: Other news of the day.
This morning, you may have heard that one of O.J. Simpson's co- defendants has turned on him. Well, guess what? Now we are hearing another one is willing to do the same. Who knows how many there are going to be out there by the end of the week willing to take deals to testify against O.J. Simpson.
Simpson is charged with trying to steal some sports memorabilia at gunpoint, though he wasn't the one holding the gun, from a guy at a Las Vegas hotel room. You know that, right?
Joining us now is Court TV anchor Lisa Bloom.
He says, look, I'm not guilty. These guys are saying, hey, I'm willing to go in there and say he is guilty.
How much does that hurt him?
LISA BLOOM, COURT TV ANCHOR: Well, overall, that's good for the prosecution...
SANCHEZ: Of course.
BLOOM: ... because now they have two clear cooperating witnesses who are going to say O.J. conspired to commit armed robbery and that he was aware that guns were brought into the equation. One of them for sure is going to testify that he knew about guns. The other one, Walter Alexander, is allegedly one of the gunmen, so his attorney is being a little bit cagey about what he is going to say about guns.
But it doesn't mean it's a slam dunk for the prosecution, because the first line of cross-examination of these guys by O.J.'s lawyers is, you took a deal. You made a deal with the prosecutors.
SANCHEZ: You're saving your own hide.
BLOOM: Yes. You did this. And you're giving them exactly what they want. What they want is the big fish, O.J. You turned on O.J. That's what you did.
SANCHEZ: But here's what's interesting. Why are they going for -- my dad always wondered about this. And he always said that's funny. What I don't understand about the American legal system is why if two guys do something wrong, they get one guy to talk about the other guy. Well, what happens to the first who was wrong as well?
BLOOM: Well, what else are you going to do? Prosecutors have to make deals with the devil every day.
SANCHEZ: Well, here's what is really going on, isn't it? People want to nail O.J. Simpson because of what he did to Nicole. So, it doesn't matter what else these guys did. They are going after O.J. Simpson. They are going to get back at him.
BLOOM: Clearly, that's true, but the prosecutors also say he's the mastermind. After all, this was supposedly his stuff.
BLOOM: So, he's the mastermind of this operation. He went busting into a hotel room, guns drawn, with a bunch of his compadres. He would be the big fish in the story even if he wasn't accused of this double murder from 12 years ago.
SANCHEZ: But, in the end, let me ask you, is there anything wrong with prosecutors deciding we think that we need to get him for what he did to Nicole because they didn't get him guilty in the first trial, and we're sure he did it? Tell me, is that the way the system works?
BLOOM: I think it does work that way to some extent. Law enforcement is always going to want to go after O.J. Simpson. He has got to keep his nose clean. And he was foolish to get involved in this in the first place.
BLOOM: But they still have to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. And they are going to need more than the testimony from these two guys who have checkered pasts and have now made deals with the prosecutors.
You're right. More may be turning as the week goes on.
SANCHEZ: Let's talk about the case. He's in there. He's recorded on tape telling people to back up against the corner, telling people they can't leave the room.
BLOOM: He never talks about a gun, though, on the tape, never mentions it.
SANCHEZ: Who cares? We know there's a gun there. That's all that matters.
BLOOM: Well, he says there wasn't a gun.
SANCHEZ: If we know there's a gun there and we know that he is saying don't leave the room...
BLOOM: How do we know there's a gun there? We don't know that for sure. O.J. says there wasn't a gun.
SANCHEZ: How dumb would a member of the jury have to be to not put those two together?
BLOOM: It's not a matter of dumb. It's a matter of reasonable doubt.
And the question is, does the prosecution have credible witnesses who are going to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, or do they have a couple of guys with checkered pasts who have made deals with the prosecutors? That what's the defense is going to say.
SANCHEZ: You're right. You're right. And you're good.
BLOOM: I don't think they have it yet. They might get it. I don't think they have it yet.
SANCHEZ: Lisa Bloom, thanks for being here.
BLOOM: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: Court TV.
SANCHEZ: Rap, rap, plus guns. Fun to say rap, isn't it? Sounds like trouble, but will it be good for this guy's career, a charge?
SANCHEZ: Here's what has got to be the question of the day. Will a famous rapper become more famous now that he's been nailed for allegedly buying machine guns? Machine guns.
Rapper T.I. Was in cuffs and chains today. A judge denied him bail on federal gun charges. For T.I. , Saturday went from a big night to a big bust. He won two awards at the BET hip-hop award show. That's good, right? But before he could pick up the awards, federal agents busted him, moved in.
Authorities say T.I. -- his real name, by the way, is Clifford Harris -- that's what he would be called if he goes to a federal penitentiary -- had a bodyguard pick up three machine guns and two silencers for him. I should tell you he had an outstanding warrant. He already done -- joining us now is top-selling rap artist, author of a book, "Guaranteed Success," Percy "Master P" Miller. Thanks so much for being with us.
How stupid is this guy?
PERCY "MASTER P" MILLER, AUTHOR, "GUARANTEED SUCCESS": Well, you know, I mean, I got a chance to meet T.I. And I really think that he's a great person, but sometimes, you get caught up into the movies, the music, and even the community.
SANCHEZ: Machine guns? Machine guns?
MILLER: I know. But it's a lot of movies. When you see the movie "Scarface," it really turned a lot of our kids, thinking that this is the way out.
SANCHEZ: Hold on. What does watching -- my kids love the movie "Scarface."
SANCHEZ: I love the movie "Scarface." It's about some Cuban guy in Miami, by the way. I know a little bit about that. But what does that have to do with going out and buying machine guns?
Well, you know what? We have a lack of education and knowledge. And we definitely have to grow up. I'm definitely praying for T.I. I think it's a total loss to the hip-hop community. And that's what my whole life experience is about, is saying, you know what, it's time to grow up. We got to start thinking doing right.
We got to start glorifying more positive things. And I think that our community glorify people getting in trouble. They glorify people getting going to jail. They glorify -- even glorify people getting killed. Look at Tupac and Biggie. Tupac and Biggie was the most successful album after they died, which is sad.
SANCHEZ: Exactly. And let me tell you something else, P. This guy got cheered the other day when he was announced. And there were a couple guys, my producers were telling me -- let me look at my notes here. People were saying, free T.I., when his name was announced at the BET Awards. Is that true?
MILLER: Well, you know what, T.I. is definitely a likable guy. But the thing is, in this game, you have to realize that now you made it, you're successful, you can't live the same way that you used to live. And I had to learn that myself.
You know what? It's kind of difficult. It's hard to explain. But you have to grow up and say, you know what, I'm not in the projects anymore. I'm not in the ghetto. Now I have got a better life for myself.
SANCHEZ: Look, here's the point. It's not about T.I. OK? He's stupid. He did something stupid.
SANCHEZ: It's about the rest of us stepping up and saying, when someone does something stupid -- it's like you. You seem like a really likable guy. I like you.
But if tomorrow you got charged with rape or murder and someone asked me about you, I would say, if he's guilty, he should do his time. I wouldn't be screaming free him before he's even tried, right?
MILLER: Well, you know what, it's definitely we have to spend a lot more time with our kids. And I'm trying to do that with my son, Romeo, make sure that he understands, go to school, get your education.
I just think sometimes when you get to be famous and you don't receive, you know, the proper education, you just get money, then you think you can do anything. And so, I'm just glad that the man up above spared me, changed my life, because I'm not perfect. None of us are perfect.
But the thing is, we do have to make a change. Like they say in the Bible, a life without change is a wasted life. So a lot of these kids are wasting their life. And I just want to do whatever I can do to say I'm there for these kids. I have been there.
SANCHEZ: I will tell you what you can do. I will tell you what you can do. I will tell you what you can do and I will tell you what I can do and I will tell you what we can all do.
When someone does something like this, and is this dumb about going out and buying machine guns, because anybody can make a mistake -- this is not an easy mistake. He had to think through this. We need to essentially put him aside for awhile, condemn him, and say let's move on to the next artist, and not celebrate him, buy his songs, and put him in a movie and make him a star.
You get the last word.
MILLER: Yes. Well, you know what, I think we have to start glorifying the positive stuff and our kids are going to want to be more like positive people.
Like I say, once upon a time, I lived in the ghetto. And I'm saying that, once you make it out, you have to start making changes. You got to change your friends. You got to change the people you hang with. You got to grow up. And I think that's what this is about right now. It's a sad loss for the hip-hop community because I really like this guy, but you know what, our kids have to understand if you get a second chance at life, you got to make the best out of it, man.
So, I'm definitely praying for the rest of the hip-hop generation and hope that we can help save our babies and help save the next generation of hip-hop, because I just want to preserve it.
SANCHEZ: Master P, you're good to come on and talk to us about this. We appreciate it.
MILLER: Thank you.
SANCHEZ: They got elected by promising to do something about Iraq. So, why are they, the Democrats, instead focusing on World War I? World War I.
Also, did a mayor who is -- illegal immigration really get caught hiring a couple of illegal immigrants himself?
Stay with us.
SANCHEZ: Is it possible that your kids are getting some advice that could actually kill them? This is serious. Coming up, we bring you the danger on the Web OUT IN THE OPEN. We'll see what this is all about.
Well, let's go to this now. All of a sudden Washington seems to be starting a fight with Turkey, one of the most crucial allies in the war on terror. Now, this started with a vote in a House committee. It's about something that happened in World War I, about 1918.
The committee voted to call the death of more than a million Armenians during that war genocide. Turkey involved in that back then is outraged now, even recalled its ambassador to the United States. Why is this such a big deal? Well, this one's kind of complicated.
I want to show you. Let me back up here. All right, just so you can look at it as a point of reference on the map. You see Turkey right there, right? You Iraq right there. Who lives in the northern part of Iraq? Well, the Kurds. Who doesn't like the Kurds? The Turks. They've hated each other for many, many, many years.
When the United States decided they were going to go into Iraq they had to cut deals with Turkey essentially saying we're going to use your area as fly space, we're also going to have some of our units there to go into the area, but the Turks said fine, as long as you don't let the Kurds ever become an independent state. We don't want that to happen. Well, that's what we got going in. That's the proviso. That's where we are, and all of a sudden this week we've got this situation that has Turkey so mad, they're even threatening to go into Iraq and create a new front on this war by attacking the Kurds. That would be a disaster. Let's go to my friend, Bill Press, he knows as much about this from a Democratic standpoint as anybody else. He has a syndicated show that's on in the mornings. It's darned good. Let me say hello to Bill.
How you, sir?
BILL PRESS, NATIONALLY SYNDICATED RADIO HOST: Hey Rick. How you doing?
SANCHEZ: Hey, let me ask you a question. Do Democrats know that there's this war going on now and it's in Iraq? Do they know that?
PRESS: Yeah. They know that, but you know...
SANCHEZ: I just want to make sure because you know, it seems like maybe their calendar is a little askew.
PRESS: Now, I know it does seem kind of weird that we're talking about World War I when we are in this war in Iraq, but I mean, Congress is always doing multiple things at any one time. I think the timing really is like a non-issue. I mean, there's no bad time to condemn genocide and there's no good time to condone it. So, now's just as good a time as any.
SANCHEZ: OK. I'll give you that. There's never a bad time to be good or there's never a bad time to be good or bad time to be bad and you should always be good. All right, now that we've gotten those out of the way, including the malapropos, shouldn't they be more current? Why -- if the American people put these guys in to deal with the situation at hand now and they don't seem to be doing that, instead they seem to be rubber-stamping everything that comes their way, and I'm sure you're not in favor of that, why then are they dealing with something in the past instead?
But let me say, that's important too, and you're right Bill, that's important, but we will deal with it next month. Right now let's get Iraq done.
PRESS: No, no, no, look, Iraq -- I'm totally frustrated with the fact the Democrats haven't been able to end this war in Iraq. I think most American people are. But look, this is a separate issue. You know what, Rich? Do you know why I like this issue and I think you like it too, it's a classic moral dilemma. To me there are three things that are clear. There's no doubt that genocide took place back in 1915. There's no doubt the right thing to do is to say hey, we don't approve of this stuff. We condemn it. There's also no doubt that Turkey, as you point out, is going to be pretty upset if we do so. So, the moral dilemma is what do we do. Do we do the right thing or do we bend over for the Turks?
SANCHEZ: Hey, do you think, by the way, speaking of bending over for the Turks...
PRESS: I think we do the right thing. SANCHEZ: I can't believe you said that on national television, by the way. Do you think the folks in the White House are making more hay out of this than actually exists, just to make the Dems look particularly stupid?
PRESS: I do. I do. You know, Condi Rice says, for example, that if we do this, if they pass this resolution, it's going to harm our troops in the field. I mean, seriously, how will standing up against mass murder harm our troops in the field or put it the other way, how will condoning mass murder hurt -- help our troops in the field? I mean, I think the Americans ought to stand for what we stand for.
SANCHEZ: I will tell you this, have you ever talked to either a Kurd or Turk about the other side? I mean, it is...
PRESS: Oh, yeah.
SANCHEZ: It is anger as soon as you mention the other party's name.
PRESS: Yeah. They hate each other viciously. And you know, it's also a case of these were Muslims called Young Turks at the time, who were killing Christians, so I find it also kind of ironic, you know, that we're in this war on terror against fanatic Islamists - Islamists, right for Islamic -- fanatics, right, and yet we're asked to remain silent about this massacre of Christians by Muslims. I mean, let's be...
SANCHEZ: But do you believe -- do you, Bill Press, believe that this could actually turn into a major problem if the Turkish people and government are pressed to a point where they are so angry they actually go after the Kurds? And I understand they have been looking for any little excuse to do it anyway.
PRESS: Well you know, the deal you were talking about, which is the deal that made before we started the war, before we overthrew Saddam Hussein, now to the extent that anybody does, we control Iraq. I think the conditions are vastly different. And I don't think Turkey would dare invade Kurdistan now, or the Kurdish part of Turkey, and by the way, and the United States is not about to make the Kurds an independent nation. So, we haven't reneged on that deal.
You know what, Rich? This reminds me of like, this is what -- this isn't what the Turks today did, it's what their grandfathers did. Like our grandfathers practiced slavery. We're not proud of that, we condemn it, we've apologized for it and we moved on. So, they can admit, it seems to me that their grandfathers did some pretty bad things. It's no reflection on them.
SANCHEZ: Your point is well-taken on that one, I'll give you that one. Bill Press, always a pleasure talking to you.
PRESS: Hey Rick, you're a great man. See you later.
SANCHEZ: Police and papers say that this mayor hired illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants hired by the mayor's office? What's he say? We call him out. He's here with us.
Also, we take you later into a cave were these students wondered if they would ever get out.
SANCHEZ: Welcome back, I'm Rick Sanchez tonight we continue to bring OUT IN THE OPEN the most divisive problem here in the United States, but it's a lot more complicated than just complaining about Mexican or Central American illegal immigrants, as one mayor in New Jersey recently found out. You see the mayor opposes illegal immigration and jumped all over McDonald's for putting up a billboard in Spanish and wants local police to enforce immigration laws. Sounds familiar, right? Then, though, he was caught allegedly hiring two illegal immigrants himself. How's that happen?
And joining us now is Mayor Steve Lonegan of Bogota, New Jersey.
You're getting a lot of heat for apparently hiring what's described as two illegal immigrants, right?
MAYOR STEVE LONEGAN, BOGOTA, NEW JERSEY: I'm getting heat for hiring two young Hispanic kids, about 18 years old, something I've been doing for 20 years, but only in this new immigration -- lack of immigration standard environment do people like me have to worry about this.
SANCHEZ: Because I just happen to be in your neighboring city not too long ago and there was a huge problem there with a lot of immigrants who were waiting for jobs and people have been apparently getting tired of that and I thought it would be interesting that we would end up talking about this. So you...
LONEGAN: Yeah, yeah, well it is a complex issue. Rick, you know, I've been an employer for over 20 years. I had a shop in Patterson. Most of my workforce has been Hispanic over the past two decades. Black, Latino, and when I hire someone who's Latino, I don't look at them and say you must be an illegal immigrant, I can't hire you. I hire all people the same way. Monday morning I attempted to hire two young men around 9:00, about 18 years old, young kids, like high school kids, and when I hire people, I hire them. And I had no opportunity to find out about their immigrant status because they were gone by 10:30, when the police took them off my property.
I have a big problem with that, because this is America, Rick, and if somebody wants a job and they're willing to work, I want them to go to work. They need to have proper identification and a social security number, I require that. But I do not discriminate against anyone, nor put them up to a different standard.
SANCHEZ: So, are people blasting you now because you hired these guys who apparently are illegal immigrants?
LONEGAN: Apparently I am being blasted because I hired two Hispanic men. I still don't know if they're illegal immigrants. They both produced valid identification. SANCHEZ: But here's the argument, the argument is a lot that a lot of employers will tell you all I can do is ask them. I'm not an investigatory business.
LONEGAN: Well, I agree with that 100 percent.
SANCHEZ: And all you can say is are you or are you not an illegal alien or immigrant and if they say they're not illegal, I'm going to hire them, because I got nobody else to do this job for 10 bucks an hour.
LONEGAN: Well no, and I agree because for 20 years I ran a manufacturing -- in Patterson, New Jersey, most of my workforce has Latino. I had to learn to speak a relatively good amount of Spanish to deal with it. And I assume if a guy comes to me and says he's working, here's the soc, that it is legit. I am not the verification agency. Employers should not have to do that...
SANCHEZ: But, what do you say to people like Oklahoma and Virginia, where they're actually passing state laws to the effect of saying if you hire somebody and they turn out to be an illegal immigrant, you're in trouble, you're going to be fined.
LONEGAN: You need to make every good faith effort to assure that during the employment process. However, we have a federal government that has failed to set forth a criteria and agenda for enforcing immigration laws and it cannot land on the shoulders of employers to be responsible for that.
SANCHEZ: Beyond that, actually the federal government has set up a system where they'll give you a tax I.D. number, it's called a Federal Tax I.D. Number, for that employee, and they may not be legal, in fact, with a wink and a nod, it seems like the federal government knows they're not legal, but just wants to make sure you're paying on them, right.
LONEGAN: Yes, that's true. In essence, as an employer, I'm being held to a totally different standard than the government is upholding and yet people will attack you for daring to hire Hispanics. I'm not going to go down that path.
SANCHEZ: You're saying the government needs to come up with a plan and right now they don't have a plan.
LONEGAN: The government's lack of plan has led to issues like I have right now, where 10 years ago I could hire Latinos without a second thought and now I have to suddenly be suspicious that I'm going to be attacked in the press, in the public, because I had hired two 18-year-old Hispanic kids. That's absolutely ridiculous. And I'm not going along with it.
SANCHEZ: Steve Lonegan, mayor of Bogota, New Jersey Thanks for being with us.
LONEGAN: Thanks Rick. SANCHEZ: Stocks got slammed on Wall Street today as oil prices jumped. The Dow dropped 108 points. The NASDAQ, you want to know? It fell 25 points. S&P, it slipped 13 points. Oil closed at a record high, $86.13 a barrel. Heating oil prices and natural gas prices also rose. That could hurt consumer spending as well as business.
Citi Group reported huge a 57 percent drop in third quarter profits. The nation's biggest bank took a $3 billion hit caused by the mortgage market meltdown that we have all been talking about.
AOL is slashing another 2,000 jobs, did you know? The company is trying to remake itself as an online advertising force instead of a dial-up Internet provider. AOL is part of the Time Warner company, by the way, it's the parent company of CNN.
Happy ending near Austin, Texas. Three cave explorers who were lost on underground for 30 hours, you got to see this, got out safely yesterday. Rescuers say they did everything right beforehand and that is what saved them, before going underground, they told somebody to call for help if they didn't get back in time. and they left a trail of leaves in the cave so the rescuers could eventually find them. Smart fellows, huh?
Now, to give you an idea of what it's like in parts of that cave, check that out. Feeling a little claustrophobic are we? Look at this picture it was sent in by CNN i-Reporter, it shows part of the cave, but not the people who where rescued. Tight squeeze, barely 18 inches wide, we're told. You have to push with your feet and be very small to get through.
Our next stop, New Orleans, where 12,000 police officers are talking to illegal immigration. More crackdowns coming your way, New Orleans.
And then talk about "Jaws." This is not Hollywood. And they were fishing for grouper? What happened? We'll be right back.
SANCHEZ: Welcome back, Rick Sanchez, here. Department of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff and the top Immigration and Customs Enforcement cop, John Clark went to New Orleans today to meet 12,000 law enforcement officials. They came for a conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The top of the agenda, the thing that we on this show have been bringing you now for the last three weeks, the conflict over immigration laws and should they be enforced by the feds or should they be enforced by the locals.
Deborah Feyerick has been following this story for us. She's joining us now with the very latest on this.
Have you been hearing on the ground of what kind of strategy they are going to be coming up with?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's the whole thing. There's simply a lack of strategy in many respects. The word that I'm hearing a lot of is "frustrating." The police chiefs here frustrated here that there's no immigration reform and no immigration policy that sets out what it is they're supposed to do. And what that means is for police chiefs across the country, they're each having to come up with their own way of dealing with enforcement.
And that's leading to this patchwork effect in all different states on how they're dealing with the issue. And it's a division, even here at this conference, as a matter of fact, the group that is sponsoring this put out this guide, "The Police Chiefs Guide to Immigration Issues," and even in this, there is no one set of standards on how to deal with endorsement. It just says here's what you're going to have to deal with, here's what you're going to have to think about, so think about it.
SANCHEZ: You know what's interesting, the police chiefs are stuck really in the middle of this, because they're going to have folks on one side of the community pulling for more enforcement as we've seen in our travels to places like Irving, Texas and Tulsa, on the other hand, they're going to be saying look, I don't want to castigate the Hispanic community because we need them to help us do law enforcement. So, that's a tough place to be, Deborah.
FEYERICK: Absolutely, because they know that they have to deal with immigrant communities and the people who are hard-working, but they're also getting a lot of pressure from the public who's saying arrest them, arrest them no matter what. That's the way they expect to deal with the immigration problem. We spoke to one chief who said it is very, very difficult.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHIEF Ronald SERPAS, NASHVILLE POLICE: It is terribly unfair and completely disingenuous to the public to ask governors what they're doing about it, to ask mayors what they're doing about it, to ask police chiefs what they're doing about it only.
CAPT HECTOR VALEZ, PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY POLICE: The common perception is that police come out, they should lock them up, they should deport them, when it's not that simple.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FEYERICK: You know, and even the head of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, said to these police chiefs who he met with in a quiet session in the morning, and then later as a group, said, you know, I really, I feel your pain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL CHERTOFF, HOMELAND SECURITY SECY: Either we can live up to our oaths and execute the law as it is, vigorously, fairly and firmly, or we can stand by and endorse what I would call a silent amnesty.
(END VIDEO CLIP) FEYERICK: And so the solution that everybody seems to have come up with at least in the short term is go after the worst people, those who are committing the crimes, the pedophiles, the rapists, the gang members and ICE has a lot of programs targeting those particular communities. As for the rest of the 11 or 12 million immigrants, well, that's something that Washington is going to have to deal with.
SANCHEZ: Exactly, and the point is they're not dealing with it. Congress has had an opportunity, they have failed to act and in the end, they've been all but cowardly in the way they've dealt with immigration reform. Deb Feyerick, thanks so much for that report.
This is my wife's ultimate fear, being stuck in a tunnel when something like this happens, just being stuck in a tunnel, period. This is inside an Interstate 5 tunnel north, this is in Los Angeles. Suddenly, two 18-wheelers crash, huge fire. This is inside a tunnel, folks. Thirty-one car pile-up, people trying to get out by running in either direction. Three people end up killed, 10 people end up injured, nine people who apparently escaped are still unaccounted for and the officials are still trying to find them.
The fire hit 1,400 degrees according to officials there. It was so hot at one point that concrete actually exploded inside the tunnel. closed the freeway over the weekend. It's a key artery north of Los Angeles, by the way and transportation officials managed to finally get traffic moving again for the morning rush hour.
Now, check out this video. Want to take you somewhere else, this is (INAUDIBLE), Massachusetts. It happened just a few hours ago. A car driven by a 70-year-old woman crashed right into a hospital, five people hurt. The vehicle went right through the front door of the radiology department at the Brockton Hospital.
And now, Will, what do you say we go to London? Let's take them to London, this is the world's biggest break dancing championship. They call it B-Boy in the U.K. Yeah. I can do that. Eight teams from all over the world competed Sunday. Why are you guys laughing at me? Teams came from Britain, France, Russia, Korea and more and guess who the winner is? Korea.
Here we go. Next, why are so many kids turning to social networking Web sites to learn how to starve themselves? It's reality and we'll bring it to you right here.
SANCHEZ: We do all know students and teenagers, including my own, are flocking to these social networking Web sites to meet with old friends and possibly make new friends, but did you know they can also go there and learn to starve themselves? That's right. They call the advice they get pro-ana for pro-anorexic and they help teach girls to use diet pills and laxatives so that they can look like, well, like some of those folks. Almost look like starving refugees.
Medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen is joining us now with tonight's "Vial Signs." Is this crazy or what, that there are Web sites where our kids can go to, to learn how to do something as foolish as this and dangerous, I might add?
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right and you should ask your kids, Rick, have you ever met Pro Anna on MySpace. Pro Anna is a young woman from Massachusetts who seems proud to be, to call herself an anorexic and on her site, you can get extremely specific advice about how to be an anorexic. Advice like exactly what laxatives should you be taking and what's the right dose for diet pills and how many days a week should you fast. I mean, she gives very specific advice. She almost makes it sound normal to do this.
Now, the thing that's really scary is that Pro Anna has 619 friends and they leave comments like "thank you for making this site, it helps me more than you would think." And not help in a good way -- Rick.
SANCHEZ: You know, it's one thing to have a Web site and I guess you can't stop people from having Web sites and everybody has them all over the world, but what about FaceBook and MySpace, because that's where the teens really hang out, isn't it?
COHEN: Exactly. They live on these spaces, Rick. This is their community. So for them, this is the norm, these are their friends. Now, we asked MySpace what are you going to do about girls who have pages on MySpace who are proclaiming how wonderful anorexia is and they said look, we don't censor people's pages. These are private pages. And they said if we notice them, we'll put information at the top about how to get help for eating disorders, but I'll tell you, on MySpace, on Pro Anna's page, we didn't see it.
And what you are seeing right now, that was Mary Kate Olsen with the stick legs. This is a group that Pro Anna belongs to and it's called M.K. is a role model and it proudly proclaims that she is skinny, determined and gorgeous, weighs 86 pounds and there's again, very specific advice about how Mary Kate stays so thin. What does she eat, what does do? It's really horrible.
SANCHEZ: That's amazing. Hey, thanks so much for bringing us up to date on this. It's certainly something for all of us as parents to think about. Elizabeth Cohen, once again, appreciate it.
SANCHEZ: Well, I want to show you something else. Take a look at this catch, this is a big, big fish, folks. Actually, it's a shark -- 844 pound maco shark. Six guys in a fishing tournament in Destin, Florida reeled this one in. Is that "Jaws" -- Will, I can't believe you're doing that.
It took them an hour to reel it in, it was so big to get in their boat, so they actually had to tie it to the stern for a four hour trip back to shore, beat the tournament record for sharks. In fact, you know what it beat it? More than 300 pounds. Look at the size of this. These guys were fishing for grouper, the last thing they expected was something that looked like this. And of course, on of the guys says, "It was like 'Jaws.'"
Thanks so much for being with us. I'm Rick Sanchez. Larry King is coming up next. We leave you with the music, too. Hasta Manana.
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