Return to Transcripts main page
THE SITUATION ROOM
Georgia-Russia Cease-Fire Broken; Possible V.P. Clues in Convention Lineup; Dems Target Indiana
Aired August 13, 2008 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MALVEAUX: Happening now, breaking news -- Georgia's president telling CNN the truce with Russia is broken. Our cameras captured Russian forces moving toward the Georgian capital in an unprecedented show of force.
Also, a new U.S. response -- President Bush ordering military relief flights and sending his top diplomat to the conflict zone.
Plus, the battle being fought online, as well as on the ground -- is Russia behind a massive cyber attack on Georgia?
Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Suzanne Malveaux and you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
We are following breaking news. The situation in Georgia is deteriorating despite a day old cease-fire, further straining relations between Washington and Moscow.
Among the latest developments, Russian troops are on the move, accused by Georgia of violating yesterday's truce deal and raising fear they may move on the Georgian capital.
Meanwhile, the Russian leadership is playing hardball with the Bush administration, reportedly saying that the U.S. will need to choose between Russia and Georgia.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made the U.S. position very clear.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CONDOLEEZZA RICE, SECRETARY OF STATE: The United States has made very clear that it is standing by the democratically elected government of Georgia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: Our State Department correspondent, Zain Verjee, has the very latest.
She was in that press conference with Secretary Rice. Secretary Rice on her way very shortly to the region -- Zain, what is the update?
ZAIN VERJEE, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT CORRESPONDENT: Suzanne, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is telling Russia to stand down and just leave Georgia.
VERJEE (voice-over): In this diplomatic mission, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is demanding Russia stay true to its word and get out of Georgia.
RICE: This is not 1968 and the invasion of Czechoslovakia where Russia can threaten its neighbors, occupy a capital, overthrow a government and get away with it. Things have changed.
VERJEE: Secretary Rice says Russia seriously overreached by sending troops deep into Georgia and it's time to dig itself out of a hole.
RICE: I really do believe that the Russians understand that they are -- that pushing the envelope here would have significant consequences for Russia's standing in the international system, which I think it already has had consequences for that, and for any future hopes that Russia might have to be fully integrated into the international system.
VERJEE: President Bush is sending Secretary Rice first to France to consult with the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, who's been leading on diplomacy, then on to the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, to meet with close ally, President Mikheil Saakashvili. Noticeably, she's not expected to visit Moscow -- part of a move by the U.S. and its allies to punish and isolate Russia.
U.S. officials say relations are the worst since the cold war. Both presidential candidates have weighed in on the crisis, speaking to leaders on both sides.
But are they helping or hurting Rice's efforts?
RICE: I've also been having conversations with Senators Obama and McCain. And I know that they are, at this moment of difficult diplomacy, that they are doing what they can to support the efforts of the administration.
VERJEE: Secretary Rice, Suzanne, will also be heading to Brussels to meet with NATO's governing body just to turn up that diplomatic heat on Russia -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: Zain, thank you very much.
President Bush has ordered Air Force cargo planes to deliver more than $1 million worth of medical supplies to Georgia. He is warning Russia against interfering with relief efforts and called on Moscow to honor the truce.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Russia has sought to integrate into the economic political and security structures of the 21st century. The United States has supported those efforts. Now Russia is putting its aspirations at risk by taking actions in Georgia that are inconsistent with the principles of those institutions. To begin to repair the damage to its relations with the United States, Europe and other nations, and to begin restoring its place in the world, Russia must keep its word and act to end this crisis.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: Let's now get a report on the ground.
Our CNN senior international correspondent, Matthew Chance, personally saw Russian forces moving toward Tbilisi and has this report.
MATTHEW CHANCE, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Russia's military offense came without warning -- a column of armor heading toward Georgia's capital in an unprecedented show of force.
(on camera): Well, there's been a lot of speculation about where the Russian troops are. Well, here they are -- well inside Georgian territory and outside the main conflict zone of South Ossetia. We are now on the road to Tbilisi.
The question is, how far will they go?
I can see there are troop carriers here. There are armored personnel carriers. We haven't seen any Georgian forces up ahead. We don't know whether they're going to encounter any resistance. But these are incredible scenes. But this wasn't the full scale invasion many Georgians feared.
Well, this column is now turning off the road to Tbilisi. Let me just get out of the way of the armored personnel carrier. And it's heading down this road to a village. Georgian officials have indicated to us that this is a planned incursion by Russian forces. We don't know what they're doing at the moment. In fact, let's try and ask them.
(voice-over): I asked the Russian officer what his men were doing. "No comment," he answered. "But the Georgian people know we're here."
Half of the soldiers, edgy and smelling of alcohol, had fallen behind and approached us.
"We have not been ordered to take Tbilisi," they told me. "Russia doesn't want a war. We were forced to send our troops here," they said.
Georgian officials say Russia is failing to respect its own cease-fire.
(on camera): Well, these are the first Georgian forces that we've come across after the Russians have moved in. They're about five kilometers -- three miles or so -- from where the Russians have positioned themselves inside Georgian territory. Now, obviously, they're heavily-armed. They've got field guns.
(voice-over): But this Georgian Army may be in no position to resist the military might of its giant Russian neighbor.
MALVEAUX: Some fear the crisis in Georgia may be just the beginning and that Russia may have other plans, including some Washington might consider to be very ominous possibilities.
Our CNN's Brian Todd is working that part of the story -- and, Brian, what is the biggest concern here?
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, a big concern here is that Russia may be trying to exert more control over some former Soviet territory.
And take a look at the map. This is the former Soviet Union. This is before the early 1990s. It encompasses Georgia, Ukraine, the Baltics and several other countries.
Now look at the map. Russia is a lot smaller. Georgia and all these other countries have become independent.
Now, Vladimir Putin has said this is the biggest mistake his country made in the 20th century. And experts say, at the very least, he wants to send those countries a message.
TODD (voice-over): A military rout throwing an overmatched rival into a state of panic. The push into Georgia, analysts say, has a huge ulterior motive -- a signal from the Kremlin to other former Soviet republics on its border.
JONATHAN ELKIND, FORMER NSC OFFICIAL: Be careful, because if we don't like what you're doing, in a worst case scenario, you'll get our tanks coming over your border, as well.
TODD: Jonathan Elkind spent three years dealing with Russia on Bill Clinton's National Security Council. An immediate worst case scenario, he says, is that Russia is doing more than just protecting its sympathizers in the Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
ELKIND: But is actually trying to come down into Georgia and perhaps even concur the entire country.
TODD: Conquer and possibly depose Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. Next, he says, Ukraine could be in Russia's sights. Like Georgia, Ukraine has angered the Russians by requesting membership in NATO. Elkind and other Russia experts say Vladimir Putin, Russia's president turned prime minister, has already tried to intimidate Ukraine.
ELKIND: He said, allegedly, as a hypothetical, that if Ukraine entered NATO, then Russia would have to talk about having -- targeting its missiles on Ukraine.
TODD: Maybe even more chilling, Elkind says the U.S. couldn't do much in response to help Georgia or Ukraine, beyond heavy diplomatic pressure. The U.S. couldn't defend them militarily since they're not yet full NATO members and America's military is already stretched thin in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Russian leaders know that. And some worry they may not stop with Georgia or Ukraine.
TODD: Now that means that countries now, like Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, all of whom are either planning to pipe oil through Georgia to Western markets or are doing it already, could find their borders destabilized by Moscow, at Moscow's prodding with ethnic Russians in those areas.
Now, Jonathan Elkind says it's unlikely Russia will invade all of these countries because they are -- these Baltic countries, at least, are full-fledged members of NATO. But they could use economic and other leverage against them. He says Moscow now takes the view why buy these places, when you can use them for free to get what you want -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: And, Brian, we see these former Soviet republics that are in line, obviously, with Georgia.
TODD: That's right.
MALVEAUX: They don't have good relations with Moscow, either.
So are we looking at, perhaps, retaliation from Russia against those states, as well?
TODD: You're talking about the former Baltic republics.
TODD: The Baltic republics who -- they showed solidarity with the Ukrainians the other day -- with the -- excuse me -- with the Georgians the other day. They could be in line for retaliation -- not military, because they're full-fledged members of NATO. But there could be some economic retaliation from Moscow and Moscow could use its political influence to intimidate their legislatures. You're already seeing some evidence of that according to experts that we've talked to.
MALVEAUX: OK. Brian, thank you so much. There's also new information that Russia has been attacking Georgia on the Internet. Web sites for critical government agencies, banks and more all hit by hackers.
Also, clues about Barack Obama's search for a running mate in the convention lineup.
Plus, it's where the Unabomber plotted his deadly attacks. Now, the Unabomber is complaining from prison about a museum exhibit.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
MALVEAUX: The chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party has died after being shot by a man at party headquarters in Little Rock. Bill Gwatney was a close friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton. And they issued a statement confirming his death and saying they are stunned and shaken by the shooting. Authorities say the suspect was killed after a police chase. And members of Gwatney's staff say a man barged into his headquarters office and began shooting.
We now have more -- I believe we have more from -- Candy?
MALVEAUX: Well, we'll get back to that.
To the presidential campaign now. The list of speakers at the upcoming Democratic convention may contain clues about Barack Obama's choice of running mate.
Our CNN senior political correspondent, Candy Crowley, is on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, where Obama is vacationing -- Candy, another big announcement on a speaker.
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And it's interesting here for the signal that it sends. Keynote speakers -- of which, by the way, Barack Obama was one four years ago -- are selected for a variety of reasons. Mark Warner was a very popular governor in Virginia. He left office with a more than 60 percent approval rating. Virginia a very Republican -- on a presidential level -- state and one that the Obama campaign is targeting for this year.
Mark Warner a moderate. He had support among gun owners, which has always been a bit of a problem for Democrats. So he is that kind of new Democrat, that kind of Southern Democrat, that the Obama campaign wants to kind of bring into the fold. Mark Warner, again, very popular. He is also running for the U.S. Senate. So this is a very high profile position for him to have as they sort of further that.
As you know, both the DNC and the various arms of the Democratic Party have been pushing very hard about that magic 60 number in the Senate. They are looking at Mark Warner as a possible pickup in the U.S. Senate for the Democrats.
So Warner as a keynote speaker serves a variety of functions -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: And, Candy, what do we know about the possibility of Colin Powell endorsing Barack Obama? There seems to be a little bit of buzz about that. What do you know about that?
CROWLEY: Absolutely. I know it's being reported that Colin Powell will be at the Democratic convention to endorse Barack Obama. I can tell you, A, the Obama campaign has so far had nothing to say about that. And, B, a couple of sources tell CNN that there has been no decision by Colin Powell on that. Both sources again saying that they can't quite see Colin Powell showing up at the Democratic convention.
We also know that Obama, when he was in Washington, at least once has gone to Colin Powell's office to talk to him. Powell, we were told by people around him, was impressed with Obama, was glad to see him in Colin Powell's office. So we know that the two have had a relationship in a political context.
But, again, a couple of sources telling CNN that so far as they know -- and these are people fairly close to Colin Powell -- that so far as they know, he has not made up his mind yet -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: And, Candy, obviously the superstar, Oprah Winfrey, she had a role in Barack Obama's campaign.
Are we expecting to see her anytime soon?
CROWLEY: Superstars everywhere. There is a thought out there that perhaps Oprah Winfrey, who, as you know, was very visible early on in her support for Barack Obama, pre-Iowa. So she kind of put herself out there in a way that she had not before politically. She went from Iowa to South Carolina to New Hampshire with him, created quite a buzz, both in the entertainment industry, as well as on the political campaign trail.
So it's no secret that she is a strong supporter and fellow Chicagoan for Barack Obama. So the thought that she might go to the convention is not out of the realm of possibility. Again, the Obama campaign saying nothing about this at the moment. But she does, of course, bring excitement.
The question is whether, when a party is about to nominate the first African-American to become the nominee of a major party, whether they need any more excitement from Oprah Winfrey. But, nonetheless, we've been checking on that and haven't yet been able to confirm that she intends to go there -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: OK. Candy, thank you so much.
And good to see you in Hawaii.
Thanks, Candy. CNN's Election Express is traveling from Washington to Denver for the Democratic National Convention later this month.
Tom Foreman is on board. He is talking to voters along the way. Today, he's focusing on Indiana, a traditional Republican stronghold that some say could be in play for this Democrat this year -- Tom, of course, is Barack Obama really serious about contesting Indiana?
Tell us what you know. Oh, look at you, Tom.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, he's serious about it. And right now we're crossing from Indiana into Illinois, going up toward Chicago. (AUDIO GAP) territory up toward Chicago.
And, yes, he's dead serious about it. And he is expected to be coming to this state to work these people hard and see if he can get them to turn to his side.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So thank you again for the kind introduction and the warm welcome to Indianapolis.
FOREMAN (voice-over): And if history is any indicator, that's what John McCain should expect. Indiana has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1964. But Barack Obama is working hard to turn that red state blue.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I need your help, Indiana.
FOREMAN: And he may get help from this man.
SEN. EVAN BAYH (D), INDIANA: Barack Obama is here with us today because he cared enough to come. He wants to listen to us.
FOREMAN: That's Evan Bayh, Indiana's former governor and now representing his state as a senator. He was a big Hillary Clinton supporter in the primaries. Now he's backing Obama and is considered to be on the short list as Obama's running mate.
FOREMAN: And, as I said, Suzanne, we just rolled out of Indiana into Illinois, on the way to the convention. But that's not the direction the candidates will be going. They'll be pushing into Indiana and all the potential battleground states as we get closer to the election -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: Tom, it's fascinating to see you're actually on the move during the report, the traffic in the background, the CNN Election Express.
Thank you very much, Tom.
One of the targets of the anthrax attacks speaking out now about the surprise twist in the investigation. Is former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle convinced?
Plus, the presidential candidates swept up in the Georgia conflict -- our political contributors Bill Bennett and James Carville are here to grade their responses.
MALVEAUX: Our Carol Costello is monitoring the stories that are incoming into THE SITUATION ROOM right now -- Carol, what are you watching?
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, Tom Daschle says he is satisfied with the evidence against a scientist in the 2001 deadly anthrax attacks. The former Senate majority leader received one of the poison-laced letters. "USA Today" reporting Daschle called the government investigation complete and persuasive. Microbiologist Bruce Ivins committed suicide in July after learning he would be charged in the anthrax case.
A hidden bomb ripped apart a bus in Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli, killing at least 12 people. A senior member of Lebanon's security forces is telling CNN that chaos is in step with an announcement that Lebanon and Syria will establish diplomatic relations for the first time since they gained independence from France more than 60 years ago.
A rebound in oil prices after the government reports a surprise drop in U.S. gas supplies. The price of crude rose nearly $3, to $116 a barrel, still significantly down from last month's high of $147.
That's a look at the headlines right now -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: OK. Thanks, Carol.
The U.S. Air Force now playing a role, as Washington responds to the crisis in Georgia. We go inside the president's two part strategy.
Also, key Georgian Web sites hacked and shut down -- the conflict spreads on the ground and on the Internet.
Plus, the Unabomber expresses concern for his victims -- his fear about a museum exhibit.
MALVEAUX: You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
Happening now, tensions mounting -- there are new indications, including normally top secret intelligence from the White House, that Russia is pressing ahead with military action in Georgia. We'll update you on the Bush administration's two-pronged strategy to put pressure on Moscow.
Also, spilling over to the campaign trail -- I'll be joined by James Carville and Bill Bennett to discuss where the presidential candidates stand on the crisis in Georgia and who stands to gain or lose the most.
And fortress New York -- authorities say the city remains atop the list of potential terrorist targets. Now, new security steps are being planned.
Wolf Blitzer is off today. I'm Suzanne Malveaux and you're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
The U.S. military is taking on a growing role in the U.S. response to Russian action in Georgia, as the Bush administration keeps very close tabs on Russian forces.
Our CNN Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, joining us live -- Barbara, what are you picking up right now?
BARBARA STARR, PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Suzanne, the U.S. military is about to get much more deeply involved in Georgia. The question is, is Moscow listening?
STARR (voice-over): As Russian forces continue to roll in Georgia, President Bush spelled out the latest intelligence about what the U.S. believes Russia is up to.
BUSH: We're concerned about reports that Russian units have taken up positions on the east side of the City of Gori, which allows them to block the east-west highway, divide the country and threaten the capital of Tbilisi.
STARR: Mr. Bush pulling no punches, offering the type of information that is often classified to openly pressure Moscow. President Bush said Russian forces have entered the port city of Poti, Russian armored vehicles are blocking access to the port and Georgian vessels have been blown up.
U.S. officials also say Russian troops are still conducting probing actions into Georgia and occupying the breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
As an aggressive show of support to Georgia, the U.S. military is flying into the middle of it all. A U.S. Air Force C-17, loaded with humanitarian relief supplies, landed at the Tbilisi airport -- the first of perhaps dozens of flights aimed at helping Georgia and pressuring Russia to halt the fighting.
STEVEN PIFER, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: On the one hand, there is a need for humanitarian assistance and the U.S. military can go about it very quickly. But it's also sending a very strong political and diplomatic signal of U.S. concern about and support for Georgia.
STARR: Now a military assessment team is trying to determine exactly what type of humanitarian aid Georgia still may need. And administration officials have told CNN they already are now considering how to rearm Georgia once the fighting stops -- Suzanne.
MALVEAUX: Thanks, Barbara.
For more on the crisis in Georgia, we want to bring in two of the political contributors, Democratic strategist James Carville and Bill Bennett, host of the conservative national radio talk show Morning in America.
Thanks for joining us.
JAMES CARVILLE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You bet.
MALVEAUX: Let's start off by essentially making an observation here. We've seen the Georgian president talk about the two presidential candidates here, Barack Obama and John McCain, over and over John McCain essentially. It seems like they're taking a little bit of the focus and thunder away from President Bush. You were in the White House under Ronald Reagan. What would you advise President Bush to do now to really kind of get a handle on this situation and focus more on him?
BILL BENNETT, RADIO HOST "MORNING IN AMERICA": Well, he's in charge until he's not in charge anymore. And the actions you just described suggest the president in charge.
These are very serious actions he's taken. I think they're the right actions. I think he could go even further but understand, having American military there, sending these aircraft, we don't know what's going to happen.
It looks as if Putin really wants a major confrontation. He certainly wanted it with the Georgians. Whether he wants it with the United States or not remains to be seen.
The only question I had is how come we didn't see this coming. The interest thing is, John McCain did see this coming. He's been talking about this sort of thing for the last couple of years. I guess, you know, one doesn't like to reduce this to mere politics, but this does remind you of what a president is about. This is what the job's about.
CARVILLE: I think it reminds you after 7 1/2 years of Republican rule, Puty put as our Republican president refers to him, invaded a country while the president was sitting next to our president on the opening day of the Olympics. So and if we want a continuation of these polities, John McCain certainly will offer that. I think it's up to Senator Obama to talk about how he is different and how can he reassert economic power, American diplomatic power.
Putin knows that we have 350,000 people in the middle of the Iraqi desert right now and he's acting at will. I think we need to in this election talk how we can assert American influence where they don't haul off and invade a country sitting next to our president. Puty put has been behaving poorly.
BENNETT: What everyone says about President Bush, whatever the eye of Democrats towards President Bush, it's stretching it, I think, a bit to believe that Barack Obama would be stronger, more aggressive with the Putin than a John McCain would be. McCain has had this record for a very long time. Unambiguous. Not the Bush record when it comes to Putin.
MALVEAUX: James, if you were going to --
CARVILLE: I think he'll be smarter.
MALVEAUX: If you were going to advise by Senator Obama now, what would you say to him? I mean honestly it's bad timing. He's on vacation. He's in Hawaii. He has issued some statements. Is he winning or losing in the perception of how strong he is when it comes to responding to a crisis?
CARVILLE: I would advise him to speak very clearly and find out where was the CIA in all of this. I mean, here it is. If I'm president of the United States and a country is invaded and I'm sitting next to the president of the country invading that country and I didn't know about it and my CIA hadn't told me, I'm not aware of it, then I want to know what the heck is going on.
And I think that what Senator Obama needs to talk about very clearly is that, this is a result of a policy over a long period of time. You know, our invasion of Iraq is causing energy prices to go up, which is giving Putin enormous economic power. This guy is doing what he wants to do now.
BENNETT: To blame this on the Bush administration is really a little ridiculous I think, to blame the invasion of Georgia on the Bush administration is ridiculous.
CARVILLE: I'm blaming some part of the rise in the Russia power on the Bush administration. I'm clearly doing that.
BENNETT: Now, I think Obama reacted in a way that one can understand. Initially he said, well, both parties should pull back. Russia should pull back. Georgia should pull back. That's how most people would react, most people who are inexperienced. That's not the way McCain reacted. McCain reacted very strongly, very forcibly.
The other steps to be taken, which you asked James about, have to be considered having a meeting of the G-8, but make it the G-7. Push for Georgia to get into NATO. If he continues to move on Tbilisi, my guess is you'll see John McCain calling for something like stinger missiles and javelins to be sent to the Georgians for their use like we did with Afghanistan.
MALVEAUX: What if a stronger response ignites more violence here, more aggressive type of response from Russia? Is there not a need to be cautious here?
CARVILLE: Go ahead.
BENNETT: There's a need to be cautious and careful. There's also a need to send a very unambiguous message to Putin that he can not do this, because Ukraine is waiting in the wings. You can see other countries, other republics are waiting to see what will happen. If the United States doesn't act and act forcibly, who stands up to the Russian bear?
CARVILLE: Again, 7 1/2 years of the Republican rule, 7 1/2 years of Bush-McCain foreign policy lead to this insult of the United States, where they just do it, sitting right next to our president. I think something's clearly called for in a change here. I think America's got to regain its economic power. It's got to regain its diplomatic power and it's got to get its army out of Iraq.
MALVEAUX: How does it actually do that, besides just making these kind of pronouncements to Russia? What kind of leverage do they have?
CARVILLE: You can start by reducing our consumption of energy. You can start by reducing the deficit that's exploded under this administration. You can start by getting your troops out of Iraq and get them ready to deal with other problems in the world. Putin knows where our army is. He's not that dumb.
BENNETT: Right. Stop driving surrender in Iraq. This is the solution. I don't think so.
Look, it will be interesting to see what Barack Obama's response after he gets to consider this will be. I hope it is smart. I hope it is thoughtful. So far it reminds us the commander in chief is the main job of the president.
MALVEAUX: There was a question that was put to the administration essentially Russian officials saying, you're either with us or you're with Georgia, an ultimatum. We heard Secretary Rice say we're with Georgia. Do you suspect that either Obama or McCain's responses would be any different? Should they be any different?
BENNETT: I hope not. You've got to clearly be with Georgia. It's a democracy. Russia has invaded this democratic country. This is a pro-western country. It's a pro-NATO country. This is a return, as John McCain said, to the old ideas of Russian empire. I have absolute moral clarity on this.
CARVILLE: Again, I repeat, 7 1/2 years of Bush-McCain economic policies --
MALVEAUX: Do you agree?
CARVILLE: Of Bush-McCain diplomatic policies and military policies, that have sort of allowed Putin to do something like this. The United States needs to reassure ourselves. We need to get our intelligence services back in order, which has obviously deteriorated significantly under this administration.
MALVEAUX: What do you do right now?
CARVILLE: Well, if you're in power for 7 1/2 years, and something like this happens. When you're in power for 7 1/2 years and something like this happens, then it is time to change things.
BENNETT: We resent these arguments.
CARVILLE: It is time to change after 7 1/2 years of failed diplomatic, economic policies. And that's clearly what Senator Obama's got to do.
MALVEAUX: In the immediacy here, the short term, what do you do in the next six months?
BENNETT: Again, I think some of the steps that have been taken and recommended already are right. I think this air lift is a very interesting idea. It's risky. But I think it's a good idea.
I think you try to get them into NATO as soon as possible, so they are seen by the Russians as part of this NATO -- under the NATO umbrella. Then you begin to talk seriously with the Russians about how you're going to help the Georgian people as you help the Afghans. And that would be an excellent thing to do.
You talk about domestic politics, and you can blame Bush all you want, though I think it's a bit silly. But you do have to come up with a series of plans and recommendations and measures, which we have not heard from Obama.
CARVILLE: Again, as somebody who believes they ought to take responsibility which is sort of a new thing with this association, people ought to be accountable after 7 1/2 years. I think responsibility and accountability are in order. I think that Senator Obama should point that out to the American people.
BENNETT: Putin is responsible for invading, not Bush.
MALVEAUX: All right. Thank you very much. James Carville, Bill Bennett, thank you for joining THE SITUATION ROOM.
Did Russia plan its military invasion of Georgia long before the orders to attack were given? One security expert may have new evidence from the internet.
Also, license plate scanned, cars and trucks photographed; the extraordinary security you might soon see in New York City.
You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
MALVEAUX: Well before bombs started falling and Russian troops marched into Georgia, a security researcher was watching an attack against the country in cyberspace.
Homeland security correspondent Jeanne Meserve is joining us now.
Jeanne, this seems to raise questions whether Moscow actually planned to send troops into Georgia. Is there a link? Tell us what you know. JEANNE MESERVE, CNN HOMELAND SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Some people believe there is. They say that perhaps the Russians were testing the system before they moved in militarily. But others aren't so sure that Russia's responsible.
Experts say the cyber attacks began weeks ago, but escalated when Russian military action began.
MESERVE (voice-over): The website of the Georgian parliament, defaced with pictures of Hitler. And shut down by a massive denial of service attacks. As were the websites of other critical media agencies, the media and banks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Russia has launched a cyber attack.
MESERVE: Georgia's president was quick to assign blame. Some experts in the U.S. agree the Russian government is behind the attacks, but others say it may be impossible to determine who was responsible.
JOSE NAZARIO, ARBOR NETWORK: The servers are lucky in some cases in Russia, back in Moscow, we know the code base being used is available on Russian language forums and was written for Russian language audience by a Russian language author. That said, we don't have any evidence that the government is behind this.
MESERVE: Russia's military action is having a far greater impact than the cyber attacks, though the government's ability to communicate with its citizens has been hindered. Georgia, however, is not dependent on the internet.
JAMES LEWIS, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC & INTL. STUDIES: Whether it's our European allies or Japan or the United States, Australia, we're more vulnerable than Georgia. We know that our opponents want to use this kind of thing against us.
MESERVE: Most experts agree they will, perhaps to disrupt electricity, water, or other critical infrastructure. Cyber war, they say, is here to stay.
SCOTT BORG, U.S. CYBER CONSEQUENCES UNIT: We entered the nuclear age sometime in the late 1930s, early 1940s. In the last few years we've entered the cyber edge, the edge of cyber attacks. It will change how defense needs to be handled.
MESERVE: Some Georgian government websites are now up and running, hosted in other countries, but the cyber attacks are continuing -- Suzanne?
MALVEAUX: Jeanne Meserve, thanks so much, Jeanne.
Authorities concerned about the terrorist threat in New York are moving to step up in the security in the city but some are concerned security planners will go too far.
Our CNN's Mary Snow is covering that for us.
Mary, what are the kinds of security steps that they're actually talking about?
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Suzanne, officials in New York say these plans include scanning vehicles, going into the city and installing sensors to detect radioactive material. People here are calling it an unprecedented level of security. But some worry it could turn New York's financial district into a fortress.
SNOW (voice-over): In lower Manhattan, not far from ground zero, security like this is now the norm following September 11th. Until these vehicles are screened, steel barriers prevent them from getting near the New York stock exchange. Now security is expected to get tighter. New York is taking a cue from other cities, particularly London, a location where New York's police commissioner has dispatched his officers.
COMMISSIONER RAY KELLY, N.Y. POLICE: We've asked them to look at the so-called ring of steel, and we've learned from that. We've sent teams over there to take a look and see what they've done.
SNOW: Citing the threat of car bombs, the commissioner says he wants to scan license plates and photograph cars and trucks crossing the roughly 20 bridge and tunnel entrances into Manhattan and keep those images on file for a month. He downplayed any questions of civil liberties concerns.
KELLY: We're not keeping this information, but the type of information that will help us better protect the city. We're going to purge our system. The license plates will be out of the system. I think it's common sense.
SNOW: Another plan? Setting up a radiation detection system. It would be set up dozens of miles outside the city and alert law enforcement of any radioactive material being transported into the city.
A big part of the project? Creating a secure zone around the world trade center site now under construction. Only select taxis and cars would be permitted, and trucks making deliveries would need to be screened for bombs.
Some community organizers say while everyone wants the city to be safe, they're worried that traffic and delays will choke off businesses.
CATHERINE MCVAY HUGHES, COMMUNITY BOARD ONE: We saw here at the New York stock exchange and with the rebuilding of lower Manhattan, a lot of businesses did go out of business. We want to make sure that does not happen here.
SNOW: Representatives for companies in lower Manhattan say they're really struggling with the balance between security concerns and an economic recovery. They plan to meet with the police commissioner in the coming weeks.
MALVEAUX: Mary, how long do they think it will be up and running?
SNOW: The police commissioner says it will take a couple of years before it will all be implemented, but already there are some mobile license plate readers that are being used. And next month downtown Manhattan there's expected to be a center that will keep tabs on thousands of security cameras that are constantly rolling.
MALVEAUX: A huge project. Thank you so much, Mary.
The Unabomber spent decades in a cabin plotting serial murders. Now you can see that cabin. But the man behind the bombings doesn't want you to. Find out why ahead.
And a new Google program that's showing the world up-close details you might not want to see. Wait until you see what we found.
You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.
MALVEAUX: The man known as the Unabomber for his 18-year mail bombing campaign is back in the news. He is protesting a museum exhibit that he claims is insensitive to his victims.
Carol Costello is covering the story for us.
Carol, I don't really understand this. Can you explain this to me? What is this about?
COSTELLO: Nobody can understand it. has to do with this exhibit at the museum in D.C. one that seeks to educate visitors about the relationship between reporters and police. But it's done something else. It's attracted the attention of the Unabomber.
COSTELLO: The Unabomber is not happy. The Harvard-educated killer long in prison wrote this letter to a U.S. circuit court of appeals complaining about an exhibit that features my cabin. Yes, that cabin. The one Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, built by hand in Montana where he made the bombs he mailed to victims, killing three, injuring 23 others.
He also kept some of the bomb-making materials in the hole in the ceiling, right?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, he had things scattered about.
COSTELLO: The cabin, along with an interactive display is part of an exhibit called G Men and Journalists at Washington, D.C.'s museum. The items are on loan from the FBI.
Kaczynski, in solitary confinement at the Colorado Super Max Prison, found out about the exhibit from an ad in "The Washington Post." It asks the question, what led the Unabomber to target universities, airlines and computer stores? Was it a deadly case of cabin fever?
Kaczynski didn't address that in his letter to the court, instead he complained. Government is responsible for the public exhibition of the cabin. This has obvious relevance to the victims' objection to publicity connected with the Unabomber case. I don't think I need to say anything further. The court can draw its own conclusions.
GARY WRIGHT, UNABOMBER VICTIM: It is a strange statement in that I think that he is trying to say that for some reason, he has feelings for the victims. But for so many years, I don't think he really did.
COSTELLO: Gary Wright is one of Kaczynski's victims, injured in 1997 when he picked up a package outside of his computer shop. It exploded, hitting him with hundreds of nails and wood slivers. As for how Wright feels about the exhibit ...
WRIGHT: It's a piece of history and people saw photos and things like that. Paying to get into it, in some ways, I think there should be restitution paid back to the folks that were injured. Because in my case, insurance didn't pay for anything.
COSTELLO: Wright has no desire to see the cabin. He made peace with what happened and with Kaczynski himself when the Unabomber was sentenced years ago.
WRIGHT: I actually told him, look I don't hate you. I forgave you a long time ago because if I hadn't, I just would have been kindling for your cause and I don't know exactly what that was and when that happened, he dropped his pencil and we just locked gaze. It's something I'll always remember.
COSTELLO: The exhibit is fascinating. There is plenty of information about the Unabomber's victims.
The cabin itself is really small. It's 10'x12'. You can see it right there. I mean two people can barely fit inside of it. It's made of plywood. Kaczynski laboriously put it together. He used in some cases as many 17 nails on each corner to hold the thing together at the corners. There's also a black stain. There you see it. Inside the cabin on the far right-hand side wall. That's where his bed was. He wasn't the most hygienic of men. He slept up against that wall. That is an outside of his body. He was in that cabin for 20 years.
MALVEAUX: Does the exhibit address the victim at all? COSTELLO: It does address the victims. It has their names. It has their pictures. It has their stories. It tries to do that but as one of the curators told me today, the exhibit is really about the relationship between the media and the police. It's not a memorial to the victims. Nor is it a memorial, of course, to the Unabomber.
MALVEAUX: That's fascinating. Thanks, Carol.
Google's street view offers users a view from the ground in several cities around the world. As this mapping tool spreads across the globe, how much information is too much information?
Let's bring in our internet reporter, Abbi Tatton. Abbi, what kind much pictures are you seeing on this site?
ABBI TATTON, CNN INTERNET REPORTER: Well Suzanne, first of all, this is how it works. The Google van, as it's known online, travels around taking these photos of everything in its path. Most of it entirely innocuous. But some of it can be potentially embarrassing if you're the person in the photo. Just ask this guy about that. This is a man in Australia, snapped here lying at the side of the road outside his mum's house, passed out drunk. He gave an interview to an Australian newspaper saying he had been drowning his sorrows and this is where the taxi dropped him.
These pictures are being collected online, some of the most outlandish on there collected by websites. Let's look at one closer to home. This one was snapped in Arkansas by the Google van, house there on fire, fire engines in the corner but the Google van snapped it anyway. You can expect plenty more outlandish images because this service, the Google street view, is expanding. It's now in 100 regions around the United States.
MALVEAUX: I'm sure a lot of people don't want to see those kind of images of themselves. Is there any sense of concern for privacy here?
TATTON: Privacy rights groups have spoken out about this calling it, it's not illegal it may be irresponsible. Google has stressed all along that all these images here, this is just public property. They're driving along public spaces and this is stuff that anyone can see walking down the streets. However, you can flag images if you think they're offensive or inappropriate. They'll go through there and see what they may want to take down. They're also blurring faces using new technology.
MALVEAUX: OK. Abbi, thank you, very fascinating. Thanks.
The candidates reveal their musical tastes. Who's the Abba fan and which one likes Nina Simone? John McCain and Barack Obama share their top five favorites.
Plus, a controversial new book about Barack Obama. Could it swift boat his campaign?
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MALVEAUX: Three Hispanic families in Wichita, Kansas have sued the catholic diocese challenging a policy that requires students to only speak English in schools. Lou Dobbs has been keeping an eye on this.
Lou, tell us what this is all about.
LOU DOBBS, CNN ANCHOR: What it's all about is multiculturalism and really an affront against the private schools in my opinion, because the suggestion that a private school cannot determine its curriculum or set its rules, unlike a public school, is an absurdity.
These folks want their children to be able to speak a language other than English at school. They've got a right to I guess sue. It's disproportionate in terms of both the judgment of the lawyers, the government and the plaintiffs. That's what we're all about.
We'll be exploring tonight on the show, Suzanne, why U.S. intelligence agencies had no idea that Russia was massing more than 300 tanks, preparing for an invasion of a sovereign nation. Why not? We seem to have problems with our intelligence agencies, have you ever noticed that, Suzanne?
MALVEAUX: There have been some occasions, yes. All right. Thanks. Looking forward to your show. See you Lou.
DOBBS: Take care.