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Break in Salmonella Probe; Obama Visits the War Zone; Sought After Bosnian War Criminal Captured; McCain May Have Ally in Popular Evangelical
Aired July 21, 2008 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: To our viewers, you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Happening now, Barack Obama gets a close look at the war zone, as Iraqi leaders seem to be moving closer to his timetable for withdrawing combat troops.
But is John McCain the one who's been right when it comes to fighting the war?
We'll speak about it with a potential Democratic vice presidential candidate, Senator Evan Bayh.
John McCain has had some tough going with some Christian conservatives, but there are signs a key evangelist is softening his stance toward the Republican nominee-in-waiting.
And as you just heard from CNN's Chad Myers, the Texas coast now under a hurricane watch.
How hard could it be hit?
We're tracking Tropical Storm Dolly with the director of the National Hurricane Center.
He's standing by to join us live.
I'm Wolf Blitzer.
You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
But first this developing story we're following. Investigators call it a significant break in the probe into that nationwide salmonella outbreak that sickened more than 1,200 people. They just announced that the bacteria has now turned up on a jalapeno pepper at a Texas food distribution center.
Let's go to Carol Costello.
She's working this story for us.
She's getting these late-breaking developments.
What are we learning -- Carol? CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. The FDA found the salmonella bacteria on one jalapeno pepper in that McAllen, Texas distribution center. The FDA knows that pepper was grown in Mexico, but it doesn't know if it was contaminated on that farm, Wolf, or contaminated along the way to the distribution center.
So, the FDA is telling you not to eat fresh jalapeno peppers.
I know you're wondering about tomatoes. Well, tomatoes are not completely exonerated either, because jalapenos and tomatoes often go hand in hand in things like salsa. So they're asking you to exercise caution when it comes to eating tomatoes.
As far as what supermarkets/grocery stores this distribution plant in Texas sends its jalapeno peppers to, that information has not been made public. But the distribution center says it will voluntarily recall those jalapeno peppers at the grocery store.
But it's safe to say don't eat fresh jalapeno peppers anywhere.
BLITZER: Anywhere across the United States, even if this is just limited to Texas?
COSTELLO: I wouldn't. I mean the FDA is saying they don't know exactly where this pepper became contaminated along the way. They don't know if it was really contaminated in Mexico. All they know is they found this one pepper at the distribution center in Texas that was infected with the salmonella bacteria.
BLITZER: All right, Carol...
COSTELLO: So it's like better safe than sorry.
BLITZER: I think that's good advice.
Thanks very much.
Carol is working the story. We'll check back with her.
Senator Obama, the would-be commander-in-chief, got a look today at the war he has vowed to end. He got a briefing and a bird's eye view of the battle zone from the U.S. military commander there, General David Petraeus. And he also met with Iraqi government leaders, some of whom now seem to have a much closer view -- a much closer position, as far as he's concerned, to his timetable for a U.S. troop withdrawal.
Let's go live to Baghdad.
CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is standing by.
He's watching the story for us.
I guess a lot of people are asking, is Obama on the same page now with Nuri Al-Maliki, the prime minister -- Fred? FREDERICK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, the two certainly don't seem to be very much at odds. After Obama had had that meeting with Nuri Al-Maliki today, we were actually told by the Iraqi government that they have a vision to see almost all U.S. combat troops out of Iraq by mid-2010. Now, of course, that sounds a lot like the withdrawal timetable that Barack Obama has been putting forth in his campaign.
Let's just see how the day unfolded here.
QUESTION: Senator, how is the trip?
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Great so far. Thank you.
PLEITGEN (voice-over): The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee in Iraq. Barack Obama met with top Iraqi officials in Baghdad, including Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki. Maliki's office said he and Obama discussed the overall situation in the country.
If elected president, Obama has pledged he would withdraw most U.S. combat troops from Iraq by mid-2010. But officially, this is a Congressional fact-finding mission, not a campaign visit. And Obama is trying to make clear he has come to listen. Like in this meeting with Iraq's vice president, Tariq al-Hashimi. After the meetings, no comment.
OBAMA: Thank you.
OBAMA: I have had a -- I have had a wonderful visit so far and excellent conversation.
PLEITGEN: Somewhat surprisingly, Senator Obama's first stop in Iraq was a visit to the southern city of Basra -- an area with predominantly British forces on the ground. But he also met with U.S. and Iraqi commanders. Later, he and Senators Chuck Hagel and Jack Reed, traveling with him, took a helicopter tour with commanding General David Petraeus.
At least one Iraqi politician had a favorable impression of the senator.
TARIQ AL-HASHIMI, IRAQI VICE PRESIDENT: Well, well, he's precise. He's specific.
I'm very much interested for the dialogue that has taken place with him. He's very much aware about Iraqi issues.
PLEITGEN: And, now, Wolf, I was at that meeting between Obama and the Iraqi vice president. And it seemed as though Obama was almost a little bit nervous and certainly very cautious to not let this look like a campaign photo-operation, to really make this look like a Congressional delegation. You know, we tried to corner him after he came out of that meeting with Tariq al-Hashimi. And we asked him, have you in any way, Senator, changed your position -- changed your assessment of the situation since you've gotten here?
And he just got into his car and left and wouldn't have any of it -- Wolf.
BLITZER: He'll be speaking plenty in the days to come about what has happened.
Frederik Pleitgen, thanks very much for that.
A key Evangelical leader has softened his stance against John McCain. And that's a rather significant step, given the Republican candidate's problems in attracting some support from Christian conservatives.
Let's go to senior political analyst, Bill Schneider.
He's working this story for us.
So what are we seeing right now -- Bill?
How would we define what's going on?
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, we're seeing something like a flip-flop. But this time, it's not by a candidate.
SCHNEIDER (voice-over): John McCain and Evangelicals have had an off again/on again relationship. It was off in 2000, after McCain labeled certain Evangelical leaders...
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left, or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right.
SCHNEIDER: It seemed to stay off this year, when religious broadcaster James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, said he would not vote for president if McCain is the Republican nominee.
But after reading a 2006 speech in which Obama urged religious voters to defend their views on abortion in terms of universal values, Dobson said...
JAMES DOBSON, FOCUS ON THE FAMILY: Now that's a fruitcake interpretation of the constitution.
SCHNEIDER: Meanwhile, McCain has been seizing opportunities to distinguish his views from Obama's.
MCCAIN: And he voted against a ban on partial birth abortion. So there's a clear choice between myself and Senator Obama.
SCHNEIDER: So now the relationship is on again -- sort of. In his Monday broadcast, Dobson said he is reconsidering because McCain is closer to his views than Obama, "by a wide margin."
DOBSON: I have to take into account the fact that Senator John McCain has voted pro-life consistently and that's a fact. And he says he favors marriage between a man and a woman. I believe that.
SCHNEIDER: After concluding that an election is always a choice between two flawed individuals -- who knew? -- Dobson came out with a resounding maybe.
DOBSON: While I am not endorsing Senator John McCain, the possibility is there that I might.
SCHNEIDER: If that is a flip-flop, Dobson said, then so be it.
SCHNEIDER: Dobson says he still doesn't trust McCain. He seems to enjoy frustrating conservatives, Dobson said. But he finds Obama more threatening -- particularly after Obama's efforts to outreach to Evangelical voters -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Bill Schneider is working this story for us.
Thanks, Bill, very much.
John McCain and Barack Obama appearing on stage together, but it's not a debate. The two candidates will take part in a forum hosted by the influential Evangelical Pastor Rick Warren.
Let's go to Jessica Yellin.
She's working this story for us -- all right, Jessica, what do we expect to see?
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, we'll see Barack Obama and John McCain briefly appear together. It will most likely be their first time on stage together since they became their party's presumptive nominees.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They've seen the face of -- the passionate conservatism and the face of compassionate liberalism and what we have in common is compassion.
YELLIN (voice-over): That's the Reverend Rick Warren, pastor of a mega church in California and author of the best's selling spiritual self-help guide, "The Purpose-Driven Life".
Now he's doing what no one else has been able to do -- bringing John McCain and Barack Obama together on the same stage. The two will take part in a forum on August 16th at Warren's Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. In a statement, Warren says that: "This is a critical time for our nation and the American people deserve to hear both candidates speak from the heart, without interruption, in a civil and thoughtful format."
Getting the two candidates together is something McCain's been trying to do since the end of the primary. He challenged Obama to weekly town hall style debates from the middle of June until the political conventions in late August.
MCCAIN: I want Senator Obama to accept my invitation. I'll fly around this country with him. I'll reserve one day a week.
And let's have town hall meetings and hear from the American people.
YELLIN: Those debates are not happening. And each campaign blames the other for the breakdown in negotiations.
YELLIN: Now, Wolf, the candidates won't face-off at this forum. Warren will just question them individually for an hour each. And it will probably be the last time we see both Senators Obama and McCain together until the presidential debates in late September and October.
BLITZER: And there will be three of those, one vice presidential debate. That's the schedule right now.
Jessica, thanks very much.
Let's go back to Jack.
He's got The Cafferty File -- Jack.
JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: While John McCain goes on and on about the surge and winning in Iraq -- whatever that means -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki says Barack Obama has the right idea -- get U.S. troops out of his country within 16 months.
Talk about a blow to President Bush and John McCain. President Bush wants everything to be up to him. He's "the decider," remember. And John McCain says we could be in Iraq for a hundred years.
Nuri Al-Maliki told the German magazine "Der Spiegel" that he'd like U.S. troops to withdraw "as soon as possible," adding that Barack Obama's talk of 16 months "would be the right time frame for a withdrawal."
The Bush administration immediately said well, that can't be right, this statement was out of context, that was mistranslated, that isn't what he meant blah, blah, blah.
The translator for the interviewer with the German magazine was Nuri Al-Maliki's translator. And Al-Maliki brought the subject of Barack Obama's timetable up on his own -- voluntarily. He wasn't asked it.
"The New York Times" got a copy of the audio recording in which Nuri Al-Maliki stated clear support for Obama's ideas for ending the war. The German magazine says it stands by its interview.
This follows the capitulation by President Bush late last week in agreeing to talk to Iran about its nuclear program -- something the president said he would never do unless they stopped enriching uranium.
McCain, of course, goes along with President Bush when it comes to Iran.
But Obama has said all along, hey, we ought to talk to them.
What could it hurt?
Here's the question: What does it mean when the Iraqi prime minister endorses Barack Obama's schedule for getting U.S. troops out of Iraq?
Go to CNN.com/caffertyfile and post a comment on my blog.
What it might mean -- what it could mean is that Nuri Al-Maliki thinks Obama might win. And it's never too early to start sucking up to the guy who's going to have the job next.
BLITZER: I suspected that right away, as soon as I heard it.
BLITZER: But then again, you know, I'm sort of cynical when it comes to these kinds of matters.
BLITZER: Yes. So many times.
CAFFERTY: I thought that was my job.
BLITZER: You're cynical...
CAFFERTY: You seem to be a pretty reasonable, measured sort of a fellow.
BLITZER: Thank you.
Thank you, Jack.
BLITZER: Stand by.
Barack Obama -- he's in Iraq right now. You might be surprised at the reaction elsewhere in the Middle East some everyday people are giving him. We'll talk about that and more with a top Obama supporter, possible vice presidential running mate, Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana.
Also, the Texas coast being warned to watch out for a possible hurricane.
We're going to get an update on Dolly from the director of the National Hurricane Center.
And a South American mystery -- why are hundreds of penguins washing up dead thousands of miles from home?
You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: Right now it's still a tropical storm, but Dolly is closing in on land and likely -- likely to become a hurricane. And the latest forecast just released has it driving right into the Texas coast.
The National Hurricane Center is certainly tracking this storm.
And the director, Bill Read, is joining us live from Miami. Director Read, thanks very much for coming in.
BILL READ, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER: My pleasure.
BLITZER: Give us the latest information you have.
Where exactly, as of this moment, do we expect -- and we expect it to be a hurricane -- do we expect it to hit along the Texas coast?
READ: Well, let me switch images there. And, you know, this is the latest forecast. As you say, we just produced this one. And the current forecast says the most likely location is between Brownsville and Corpus Christi. There still is a possibility it could go a little farther south, into Northern Mexico, perhaps just a little bit north of Corpus Christi. But all odds are now that we're looking at category one hurricane on the Texas coast by midday Wednesday.
BLITZER: So is it too early to start even thinking about evacuations or are you recommending evacuations already?
READ: Well, of course, that's the job of the local officials. They know best what needs to be done down there. I would think for a category one hurricane, it's very low lying areas, maybe some folks in trailers and the tourist industry that is most concerned with what will happen immediately on the coast.
BLITZER: We know the waters in the Gulf are relatively warm. And in the past, you know, we've always heard that it could slow down, it could intensify, it could move.
Is there any likelihood that we could see some significant shift or is this basically a done deal? READ: Well, I'm reasonably confident on our track within -- that fairly close range that we have there. The challenge we always have is on the intensification.
As you can see in the satellite loop, the thunderstorms spread all across the Gulf with the storm there and the center being down here this afternoon. So we're looking at a very large area of circulation, with favorable conditions for some further intensification.
The slowdown we're expecting to show up beginning tomorrow as it crosses some warmer water. That would be the time to look for the storm to get its act together and become a full hurricane.
BLITZER: So it still potentially could intensify, is that what you're saying?
READ: That's absolutely correct. We are expecting it to become a hurricane and there's always the potential. And we always encourage people to consider one category stronger than what we're forecasting.
BLITZER: The whole notion, though, the category one hurricane -- you know, we've experienced category three and four, so we know how devastating they can be. People sometimes become casual.
Should they be casual when hearing oh, it's only a category one?
READ: Absolutely not. We had -- when Katrina came across Miami, roughly a billion dollars worth of damage occurred with category one conditions. So it's something to be reckoned with. We consider severe thunderstorms, somewhere around 60 miles an hour. So that lasts for minutes.
If you have 70, 80, even 90-mile an hour winds occurring with a hurricane lasting for several hours, the potential damage is significantly more.
In addition, with this storm slowing down on the coast, our biggest threat may become the excessive rain and flooding that occurs from a very slow-moving and large storm like this.
BLITZER: And that could even be before the eye hits land.
And you're saying that could probably be Wednesday afternoon sometime?
READ: The initial conditions -- the tropical storm conditions will begin affecting the coast as early as tomorrow evening, with the brunt of the storm occurring on Wednesday.
BLITZER: Wednesday morning or Wednesday afternoon?
READ: And Thursday, also.
BLITZER: Wednesday morning or Wednesday afternoon?
READ: I think because of the size of this storm, they'll be impacted pretty much all day.
BLITZER: All day on Wednesday.
And let's forget about Dolly for a moment, but look at the season that -- it really only just begun not that long ago.
What are we expecting for the rest of this season?
READ: Well, a lot of talk around here has been that having storms form from the Cape Verde type waves that come off of Africa, like Bertha and now Dolly, are indicative in the past of very active seasons. So we'll wait and see.
BLITZER: Let's hope for the best.
Director, thanks very much for helping us.
I'm sure we'll be in close touch over the next few days.
READ: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: A bound and blindfolded protester shot at close range with a rubber bullet. Now there's fallout from the disturbing video, which we're about to share with you.
Plus, the crash that turned one diner into a drive-through.
You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: Carol is monitoring some other important stories incoming into THE SITUATION ROOM right now.
What's the latest -- Carol?
COSTELLO: Well, Wolf, a B-52 bomber with six people on board has crashed in the Pacific Ocean. The Air Force confirming two of the crew are dead. A search now underway for four missing crew members, all from Barksdale Air Base in Louisiana. Now, the jet was going to Guam to perform a flyover in a parade. It is the second crash for the Air Force this year on Guam.
The first U.S. war crimes trial since World War II is now underway. Salim Hamdan pleaded not guilty to supporting terrorism at his military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay. Captured in Afghanistan in 2001, he's accused of being Osama bin Laden's bodyguard and driver. His lawyers argue he was just a low level employee with no role in Al Qaeda.
Cold case -- Portuguese police announcing they're closing their investigation into the disappearance of a British girl, Madeleine McCann. They also say they found no evidence that her parents, Jerry and Kate McCann, committed a crime and no longer consider them suspects. The 3-year-old girl disappeared last May while on vacation with her family at a Portuguese resort.
And, Wolf, talk about a jolt to the day -- a car comes crashing into a coffee shop. There you see it there, slamming a man and the booth he was sitting in onto the counter. Unbelievably, Kenneth "Mac" Anderson was not injured. As you can see from this surveillance video, he calmly reached for his hat -- there he goes -- before leaving. A regular at the Wilkesboro, North Carolina diner, he says he plans to go back, though he might find a new place to sit -- Wolf.
BLITZER: Wow! It's a miracle that he's OK. And we're really happy he is.
COSTELLO: He's got nerves of steel.
BLITZER: I've got to tell you. And he was so cool under -- under that pressure.
COSTELLO: I would be screaming in panic.
BLITZER: God bless that man.
All right. Let's see what the driver was thinking. Now, that's another story.
BLITZER: Carol, thanks.
As Barack Obama visits the war zone, is John McCain the one who's been right when it comes to fighting the war?
I'll discuss that and more with a potential running mate, Democratic Senator Evan Bayh.
And China right now making a desperate move -- why authorities are taking a million -- yes, a million cars off the streets only weeks before the Beijing Olympics start.
And hundreds of dead and dying penguin washing up along the coast hundreds of miles from their normal territory.
Stay with us.
You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: To our viewers, you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Happening now, John McCain using Barack Obama's trip to Iraq to criticize his policies. The Indiana senator and possible Obama running mate, Evan Bayh, is here to defend the Democratic candidate.
Also, the Chinese government taking very drastic action right now to try to clear the air before the Olympic Games start, leaving millions of Chinese workers in the lurch.
And the video that has Israelis and Palestinians buzzing -- we're going to show you the close range shooting that even a prime minister is condemning.
I'm Wolf Blitzer.
You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
BLITZER: But I want to begin with breaking news right now.
Carol Costello is working a story.
One of the world's most wanted men apparently has been captured -- Carol, tell us about this.
We're talking about Radovan Karadzic.
COSTELLO: Yes. I'm just getting information in right now, Wolf. We're talking about him. The Serbian president's office announcing that he has been arrested.
There's been an international manhunt for him for years and years. In fact, his nickname is "the butcher of Bosnia".
In July of 1995, he was accused by the United Nations of killing at least 7,500 Muslim men and boys in order to terrorize and demoralize the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croatian population. That is, his forces. He's been in hiding ever since.
But like I said, the president's office in Serbia says "the butcher of Bosnia" has been arrested. And, of course, he'll probably go to trial in the Hague.
As I get more information in, I'm going to pass it along to you -- Back to you -- Wolf.
BLITZER: It's really, those of us who covered the war in Bosnia- Herzegovina, we certainly can't forget those pictures of those emaciated Muslims, the Bosnian Muslims who were tortured and terrorized by this earlier regime. And Karadzic was one of those war criminals. The U.S. wanted him. The international community wanted him. But for years, going back now almost a decade, he's been roaming around, hiding out. But now, this is truly a significant development if in fact he's been captured alive.
COSTELLO: Absolutely. The United States, along with another country, had a $5 million reward out for his arrest. You were mentioning those prisoners, Wolf. It looked exactly like a concentration camp. Complete with barbed wires. And you saw the emaciated men and boys behind it. Truly, truly horrible.
BLITZER: We'll stay on top of this story and get some more information. This is a significant development, a major development, breaking news, Radovan Karadzic arrested, a war criminal, widely, widely accused of slaughtering a lot of Bosnian Muslims. Thousands of them. We'll stay on top of this story. But we'll move on right now.
As Barack Obama gets a firsthand look at the war zone, he's getting some fresh criticism from his Republican rival. Which candidate so far seems to have been right when it comes to the war in Iraq?
BLITZER: And joining us now from Capitol Hill, Democratic Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana. Widely seen as someone on the short list potentially as a vice presidential running mate. Senator, thanks very much for joining us.
SEN. EVAN BAYH, (D-IN): Good to be with you, Wolf.
BLITZER: Here's the latest thrust of the criticism that Senator McCain is leveling against Senator Obama. I'll play this clip from earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCAIN: If we would have done what Senator Obama wanted to do, we would have lost and we would have faced a wider war and we would have had greater problems in Afghanistan and the entire region, and Iran would have increased their influence. So let's have no doubt about the consequences of pursuing what Senator Obama wanted to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: All right. So the point is, McCain says he was right in calling for a military surge in Iraq, and Obama was flat-out wrong. Do you want to respond?
BAYH: Well, Wolf, Barack Obama has consistently demonstrated good judgment. The kind of judgment you would want in a commander in chief about all of these things. If we had followed his advice, we wouldn't have gone to war in Iraq in the first place, we wouldn't have to be discussing surges and all this kind of thing. What is remarkable that even knowing what we know today, no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, $700 billion, what will eventually have been seven long years, all the adverse consequences in Afghanistan and elsewhere, John McCain has said he would do it all over again, even knowing all of that. I don't think that's the kind of judgment you want in a commander in chief.
Take Afghanistan that he mentions. John has finally come around to adopting Barack's point of view in Afghanistan, that we should have been focusing there and increasing the number of troops in Afghanistan all along. He mentioned Iran. Even George Bush has finally come around to Senator Obama's point of view that we should engage the Iranians, gather our allies to get them to give up their nuclear weapons aspirations.
BLITZER: So what, are you suggesting Senator McCain is not qualified to be commander in chief?
BAYH: No, John McCain is a quality individual. What I am saying is his criticisms about Barack Obama are unfounded. Senator Obama has consistently shown good judgment on these things. And in fact, others. Including John McCain and the case of Afghanistan, George Bush in the case of Iran. And the Iraqi government are agreeing with Barack Obama.
BLITZER: Will you concede, though, that Senator McCain appears to have been right when it comes to the surge as opposed to Senator Obama who opposed the surge?
BAYH: We wouldn't have had to discuss a surge if Senator Obama's advice had been followed. That's my point, Wolf. And John McCain was opposed to the surge in Afghanistan. And we've seen the adverse consequences there.
The real question is, where do we go from here? John, as I understand, Senator McCain favors basically no time frame whatsoever. Basically a blank check from the U.S. taxpayers to the Iraqis after we've already spent $700 billion. Basically a limitless time commitment. Well, even George Bush is now talking about time horizons. You know, aspirational goals. Sounds a lot like a timeline to me. The Iraqis have come out and pretty clearly say they favor a timeline too.
BLITZER: The other major criticism that Senator McCain is leveling last week before his trip to Afghanistan, before his trip to Iraq, he already outlined Senator Obama, his strategy, his policy. What's the purpose, McCain says, for a fact-finding trip for the leaders, to meet with the commanders if he's already made up his mind in advance of that?
BAYH: Where, there are two important things here, Wolf. First is broad strategy. And Senator Obama has been very clear about his broad strategy, that we need to in an orderly, timely way wind up the conflict in Iraq. We need to focus on Afghanistan, the place that we were attacked from to begin with, which has not gone very well. That those are his broad strategic directions.
Now, how best to pursue those, the means to implement them, of course he listens and learns. When I was with him two years ago on his last trip to Iraq, he was very strong, very engaged with regard to Iraqi leaders, our generals and diplomats about how best to go about implementing this strategic division. The vision does not change. But of course you learn how best to implement it.
BLITZER: But the bottom line, though, is that, he's already made up his mind and he's only going to be refining, what, tactical decisions on the extent of the withdrawal, how quickly to move those brigades out, how quickly to move some brigades into Afghanistan? Is that what you're saying? He's going to formulate in the course of these visits to Afghanistan and Iraq? But he's already basically made his mind up on the whole strategy?
BAYH: Well, the strategy he's been very clear about, yes. And how best to implement it, as you know, Wolf, he believes that over 16 months from the inauguration of the next president, which would be about 20, 21 months from now, we can in an orderly way remove our combat troops. The alternative is, and the Iraqis by the way are now agreeing with that. Now even George Bush is talking about time horizons. The alternative is basically just a blank check. No time horizon whatsoever. A limitless commitment. And Senator Obama just does not believe that is the correct way to go. And I agree with him on that.
BLITZER: Senator Bayh, thanks for coming in.
BAYH: Good to be with you.
BLITZER: We're following the breaking news. Radovan Karadzic, one of the world's most wanted men, the former Bosnian Serb leader has now been captured. He's been charged by the United Nations war crimes tribunal with engaging in -- with his forces -- in killing some 7,500 Bosnian Muslims, both men and boys at Srebrenica in July of 1995. Radovan Karadzic is now arrested. We're working the story. We'll get more information for you. That's coming up. We're also getting reaction that's pouring in from around the world.
Also coming up, shot at close range by an Israeli soldier. A Palestinian protester was bound and gagged. We have the video of the incident that's rocking the country's military right now.
Plus China, closing factories, halting construction, and even yanking cars off the road. Can it clear the air in time for the Olympics? Stick around. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: Shocking pictures of a West Bank shooting that appears to be deliberate, has led the Israeli Army to investigate the conduct of some of its soldiers. CNN's Ben Wedeman is in Jerusalem. Ben?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, of the images caught by a 14-year-old girl on her home camera are raising questions about how the Israeli Army in the West Bank is operating.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): This is not your average home video. An Israeli soldier appears to shoot at close range a bound and blindfolded Palestinian protester with a rubber bullet. Fourteen- year-old Salam Kana'an shot the footage from her house.
"I forgot I was filming, she recalls. I gave the camera to my brother because I was screaming. I couldn't believe what I was seeing."
The protester was shot in the foot. He was later released after treatment. The incident took place in the West Bank village of Nalin where residents and activists have mounted almost daily protests against the construction of Israel's so-called security barrier. This isn't the first time Israelis, settlers and soldiers have been caught on home cameras allegedly mistreating Palestinians. The Israeli human rights group B'tselem has handed out 100 video cameras to Palestinians around the West Bank, and some of the images they've captured are disturbing.
The Israeli Army arrested the soldier who shot the protester and launched an investigation. Defense Minister Ehud Barak condemned the shooting saying, "Warriors do not behave like this."
The soldier said he was ordered to shoot the protester by his commander. The incident, which has received widespread coverage in the Israeli media, has raised questions about the Army's willingness or ability to police itself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shouldn't this incident have been reported immediately at the time?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: According to my initial information, it was reported at the time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And it didn't raise any question marks or alarm bells when it was first reported?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Perhaps it did. This is another matter the investigation has to complete and find out.
WEDEMAN: For years, rights groups issued details on abuses by Israeli settlers, the Army and the police. But video like this may be worth more than 1,000 reports.
WEDEMAN (on camera): Some Palestinians are learning they don't necessarily have to shoot back with a gun, but rather with a camera. Which may prove mightier than the sword -- Wolf?
BLITZER: Ben Wedeman in Jerusalem working the story for us.
Will athletes who train to push the human body to its limits gasp for breath before the guns go off at the Beijing Olympic Games? Chinese authorities are taking drastic steps to cut down on the city's notorious smog. CNN's John Vause is in Beijing. John?
JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, more than 1 million cars have now been taken off Beijing's roads and they'll stay off for the next two months. Officials say that should dramatically reduce pollution.
VAUSE (voice-over): Eighteen days before the Olympics, and Beijing still can't breathe easy with its sprawling city of 17 million waking to its usual heavy haze of pollution. To clear the air, hundreds of factories in the capital and beyond are now closed. Others have cut production. More than 1 million cars off the road. And work on all construction sites is on hold.
Thousands of workers have been sent home as unpaid vacation many say they didn't want. "We wanted to work hard for a long time," he says. "But because of the Olympics, we don't have jobs anymore."
"No work means no pay," says another. The government has opened new subway lines and put more buses on the roads and has lowered the cost of fares. It's a last-minute drastic scramble to reduce pollution, a plan which has no absolute guarantee of success.
MALCOLM GREEN, BRITISH LUNG FOUNDATION: To my knowledge, this has never been done before, somebody take a city and hugely reduce the amount of polluting sources. With cars and factories. And it will be fascinating to see what does happen.
VAUSE: Olympic officials admit they're hoping for a stiff breeze and some good rain to wash the air clean. If that doesn't happen, pollution levels might stay stubbornly high.
GEORGE THURSTON, NYU, ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE: And if they put on the control measures, my expectation is there would still be probably at least double what the pollution levels would normally be in a city like New York.
VAUSE (on camera): Reporter: but all of this is just a quick fix for the Olympics, and Paralympics. After September, the factories will fire up, construction will start and the cars will be back, so will the pollution -- Wolf?
BLITZER: John Vause in Beijing, getting ready for the Olympic Games. By the way, the U.S. Olympic committee has an answer for Beijing's bad air quality. That would be masks. The "Wall Street Journal" reports more than 600 Olympians will receive a high-tech mask developed in secrecy so the competitors can't necessarily copy it. One tri-athlete says he plans to wear the mask most of the time when not competing. But a woman softball player said masks were issued for the 2006 world championship games. Most of the players didn't bother wearing them then.
We're following breaking news. The breaking news involving Radovan Karadzic, the war criminal in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He's now been captured after years on the run. He's been on the run since 1998, accused of massacring a lot of Bosnian Muslim men and women, especially young boys. This is a huge story. We're getting reaction coming in. Much more on this story up. Radovan Karadzic, arrested.
Also, Barack Obama gets some valuable space to state his views on the "New York Times" op-ed page. Why is John McCain getting the run- around from the same newspaper when it comes to publishing an article of his own?
And hundreds of penguins wash up dead or dying on a coast far from their home territory. What's behind the penguin mystery?
Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: And a mystery along the coast of Brazil right now. Hundreds of penguins are washing up dead. Thousands of miles from their normal territory. Dan Lothian's working the story for us. This is a mystery. Any clues to this mystery? What's going on, Dan?
DAN LOTHIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It really is a mystery. There are some clues, but still no definite answers. Experts say these penguins came from down in Patagonia or Chile, are probably between and one and two years old. Some even younger. And what is happening there some say is alarming.
LOTHIAN (voice-over): These are the young penguins that managed to survive. Rescued by the Brazilian coast guard in the waters off of Rio de Janeiro. Veterinarians at a local zoo are treating and feeding them back to health as the mystery surrounding the deaths of more than 400 other birds deepens.
(on camera): The penguins have been washing ashore over the past two months. While it's not uncommon to see them there both dead and alive, experts are concerned, because there are so many. More this year than at any time in recent history.
(voice-over): Brazilian experts in this region can't seem to agree on a cause. Some blame over-fishing, which forces penguins further out to sea to find food and right into strong ocean currents. Others say it's global warming or even pollution. Some of the birds had a coating of oil.
DYAN DENAPOLI, PENGUIN EXPERT: These juvenile penguins are oiled.
LOTHIAN: We showed pictures of the birds to the woman who calls herself the penguin lady.
DENAPOLI: This is a juvenile Magellanic penguin.
LOTHIAN: Her real name is Dyan DeNapoli, an expert from Massachusetts who says when something like this happens, everyone should pay attention.
DENAPOLI: That's a pretty alarming number. You would expect here or there to see a young penguins wash ashore, but to see 400 all of a sudden is quite alarming. So something is going out there.
LOTHIAN: DeNapoli says 13 of the 17 penguin species are considered at risk or endangered. Any disruption their habitat could have a ripple effect.
DENAPOLI: You're more likely to see the juveniles dying. Even under the best of conditions, for this species, only about 40 percent of those juveniles will survive to adulthood. So, it's -- it's a problem ...
LOTHIAN (on camera): Officials do continue to investigate the deaths at the zoo where they received 173 living penguins. Well, they continue to nurse them back to good health and hopefully release them back to the wild -- Wolf?
BLITZER: Let's hope they can do that. Dan, thanks for the story.
Let's check back with Jack. He's got "The Cafferty File." Jack?
CAFFERTY: The question this hour, what does it mean when the Iraqi prime minister endorses Barack Obama's schedule for getting U.S. troops out of Iraq?
Allie writes: "Could it be any louder and clearer? Put on your hearing and thinking cap on Mr. Bush, our plan has been a disaster for our country and the world. And the Iraqi people are now talking loud and clear. We are talking loud and clear, too. You just don't care enough to listen."
Steven writes: "What does it mean? It means the Republicans are crashing and burning, that's what it means. A healthy eight year switch is what the country needs."
Dan in Lafayette, Indiana says: "It means al-Maliki is a puppet of the Iranian regime."
"Simple, Jack," this is from Ron: "The Iraqi prime minister is doing like McCain says, listening to the people on the ground. The difference is it's the Iraqi people the prime minister is listening to, not the American military machine that McCain listens to."
Kevin in Vermont writes: "While John McCain is to be lauded for his service in Vietnam, his years in Congress, his military mindset has that has tainted his worldview. It seems that in his mind hawkishness is the only way. The Iraqis are rightfully tired of the perpetual war that's been consuming their country and their everyday lives."
And Mark in Washington writes: "Isn't this what we wanted in the beginning, Jack? A democracy that can take the training wheels off and move forward. Where does it end? We should honor their wishes. If we do: mission accomplished."
If you didn't see your e-mail here, you can go to my blog, cnn.com/caffertyfile. Look for yours there among hundreds of others that are posted -- Wolf?
BLITZER: All right, Jack. Thank you.
We're also following the breaking news, the capture of the man called the "Butcher of Bosnia. The former Bosnian Serb leader, accused war criminal Radovan Karadzic. CNN's Christiane Amanpour covered the war there extensively. She is standing by to join us live.
Plus, a controversial Muslim cleric now behind a subway ad campaign in New York City. Stay with us. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
BLITZER: In our political ticker, Republicans certainly getting ready right now for their upcoming national convention in Minnesota in early September. Construction under way inside the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Keys to the site were officially handed over to the RNC planners earlier today. Rows of chairs will be taken out. Box suites will be turned into television studios. All part of the extreme makeover over there.
The tragic shooting deaths of three people has shed new light on a controversial policy of shielding illegal immigrants in San Francisco. Lou Dobbs has been keeping an eye on this story. I know he's working on it for his show coming up in an hour. What are you picking up, Lou?
DOBBS: Well, Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco has the deaths of three people right now as his responsibility for pursuing a sanctuary policy. The illegal alien who killed those three people, shielded under the state -- the city's juvenile probation policy.
This sanctuary policy that's in effect in many cities across the country, just squarely responsible for what's happening. Rather than deporting illegal aliens with a violent criminal record, they are simply protecting them. And it's inexcusable, Wolf.
BLITZER: And the federal government, what, has no power to go into these cities and do something about that?
DOBBS: The federal government in point of fact doesn't know about it if the probation people do not hand the information over to them. And that's precisely what happened here. The city Juvenile Probation Authority, did not -- did not -- bring in Immigration and Customs Enforcement to deport in this case Edwin Ramos who is a violent criminal, whose record was well known and understood by the authorities. There's no excuse for this having happened. And he was a member of a violent gang as well.
BLITZER: And you're working the story, I assume you're going to have a lot more coming up at the top of the hour? At 7:00 p.m., an hour from now.
DOBBS: We're going to have a great deal more. And it is not particularly flattering to either Mayor Newsom, the City of San Francisco, or any other city, whether it be Houston, whether it be Los Angeles, any number of cities pursuing these sanctuary policies at the expense of their own citizens.
BLITZER: We'll be watching, Lou. Lou's show comes up in an hour from now.