CNN CAPITAL GANG
FBI Announces Sweeping Reforms; U.S. Calls on Musharraf to Stop Raids Into Kashmir; Why Do Europeans Dislike Bush?
Aired June 1, 2002 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: From Washington, THE CAPITAL GANG.
MARK SHIELDS, HOST: Welcome to CAPITAL GANG. I'm Mark Shields, with Al Hunt, Robert Novak, and in New York, Margaret Carlson.
Our guest is Republican Senator George Allen of Virginia, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
It's good to have you back, George.
SEN. GEORGE ALLEN (R-VA), FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: Good to be with you all.
SHIELDS: Thank you.
FBI director Robert Mueller announced sweeping reforms in the 93- year-old agency.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT MUELLER, DIRECTOR, FBI: We have to do a better job of collaborating with others, and, as critically important, we have to do a better job managing, analyzing, and sharing information. In essence, we need a different approach that puts prevention above all else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHIELDS: The director conceded for the first time that the FBI may have missed warning signs of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Quote, "I can't say for sure that there wasn't a possibility that we would have come across some leads that would have led us to the hijackers," end quote.
The next day, Attorney General John Ashcroft removed the 1976 guidelines that restrict FBI surveillance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL: The guidelines bar FBI field agents from taking the initiative to detect and prevent future terrorist attacks or acts. REP. JAMES SENSENBRENNER (R-WI), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: I believe that the Justice Department has gone too far in changing the domestic spying regulations that have been on the books for 25 years. I get very, very queasy when federal law enforcement is effectively saying, going back to the bad old days when the FBI was spying on people like Martin Luther King.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
SHIELDS: Margaret Carlson in New York, are we looking at a bright new FBI, or, in fact, a return to the bad old days?
MARGARET CARLSON, "TIME" MAGAZINE: Well, there is a danger of a return to the bad old days, because we're not talking about a well- oiled machine with the FBI, we're -- that was hamstrung in its efforts because of an investigative straitjacket.
It's not filled with people like Coleen Rowley, who wrote the memo about the Moussaoui that was ignored in FBI headquarters. It's, you know, filled with people who managed to ignore all the warning signs before September 11.
But that being said, the FBI is dealing with an entirely new danger here. They're not going to be surveilling students singing "Give Peace a Chance," they're going to be looking for terrorists at war within the United States within its own borders.
The way to deal with the danger in giving them these powers is to have very, very, very strong oversight.
SHIELDS: Bob Novak, is it in fact a different situation that the FBI's ever faced before, and therefore new measures are required?
ROBERT NOVAK, "CHICAGO SUN-TIMES": I think reform is required, and I still am very skeptical that they're serious about reform. My information is, they're still not sharing information with police chiefs, they're still cracking down on new whistle-blowers that come out.
I think what has happened is, after eight months, suddenly Mr. Mueller says, yes, we could have, we did do a bad job of analysis, because the criticism from the Hill is so great, and I, and then running scared, Attorney General Ashcroft and director Mueller decide they're going to get rid of these guidelines. And I really -- these, these 1976 restrictions on surveillance.
And I really do believe that when you have a Republican conservative chairman of the House Judiciary Committee start -- Jim Sensenbrenner, saying that this is not a smart move, I think it indicates that maybe the administration is going down a bad alley.
SHIELDS: George Allen, a bad alley. And then when you start -- Jim Sensenbrenner's a card-carrying conservative, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told Novak and Hunt, didn't tell Shields, but he told Novak and Hunt, that he's going to hold hearings, bring up the FBI director and the attorney general, ask them that -- demand that why explain why they're shutting these 1976 guidelines.
ALLEN: Well, they'll have to explain that, and that's proper. But I think what the FBI director's trying to do is redeploy his assets and personnel towards domestic concerns as far as homeland security and terrorism. He also recognizes if you look at his other testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee a reality that they are very technologically challenged in the FBI.
The ability, as Bob said accurately, the inability to share information from the field agents to the top and also share it with other federal agencies and with state and local law enforcement. So I think he recognizes what the problems are. It's the technological deficiency, it's a mindset deficiency.
And when you start going into civil liberties, there's not going to be a one of us -- well, I only can speak for myself -- I'm not going to stand by and let the writ of habeas corpus, for example, be abridged. They did propose that, as you might recollect, in the Patriot Act, but that was all scaled back, and the legislative branch certainly makes the laws that law enforcement will follow.
SHIELDS: Al Hunt, your own take.
AL HUNT, "WALL STREET JOURNAL": Well, I think Bob Novak's absolutely right about it. When Jim Sensenbrenner, a very conservative Republican, says, this is really unacceptable, you have to sit back and take notice.
It'll be interesting to see whether Democrats have the guts to follow Sensenbrenner. They have been remarkably quiet on this so far.
And I think the complaint about lifting those 1976 guidelines that were promulgated by Edward Levy, a Republican attorney general for Gerald Ford, Republican president, is that it creates a laziness. Ashcroft's approach is lazy. You don't do the hard work, you substitute this instead.
Mark, there was no lack of information prior to 9/11. There was a lack of knowing how to use that. There was a lack of intelligence. And I think that's the terrible danger what they're doing now, and I don't think that we should lose sight of the fact that if you want to start spying on mosques and churches, it's not going to prevent another 9/11, and it will be a return to those old days.
And let's not forget, those old days were really terrible. When J. Edgar Hoover wasn't wearing his pumps, he was engaged in a reign of terror...
NOVAK: Oh, he didn't wear -- he didn't wear pumps.
HUNT: It was either pumps or terror.
NOVAK: You know, that's like -- he -- that's just -- we can't go down that (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
HUNT: (UNINTELLIGIBLE). NOVAK: But this -- what bothers me is that it's hip -- it takes eight months, George, eight months to say, boy, we had this data, and we didn't collate it. With my limited information, I had that in a column the week after 9/11, that they should have put these things together.
And what -- and you have to have the -- I can't draw any inference other than they, because of the political heat going on now, suddenly they make a conclusion they should have had a long time ago.
SHIELDS: Margaret Carlson, it -- the timing's a little suspicious here. Hearings begin next Tuesday on Capitol Hill, a House -- joint House and Senate Intelligence Committee, on 9/11, what can be done to prevent another 9/11, what went wrong this time.
Do you think there might have been a little attempt on the part of the agency and the Justice Department to inoculate themselves against disclosures that are going to jump out beginning next week?
CARLSON: Well, I mean, it isn't as if they said, well, already there are excuses, we didn't have enough power, and that's why these, you know, we made these mistakes, although they're not even admitting that they really made any.
It -- and it simply is not because they didn't have enough power that they didn't learn more about these hijackers learning how to fly planes into buildings. The problem here, though, is that I think we do need to honor civil liberties. But at the same time, this is an entirely new threat that reasonable people have to come up with a new way of dealing with.
We don't quite have it yet. Even if the FBI had been working smoothly, they might not have had the power they needed. They said they didn't have enough on Moussaoui to issue a search warrant. They weren't allowed to surf the Internet. And as for mosques, by the way, there are mosques in Detroit that are shams for hiding al Qaeda terrorists.
NOVAK: So you approve of the new guidelines, then.
CARLSON: I think the new guidelines go too far, but I think there's got to be a new balance between public security and individual freedom that we haven't dealt with thoroughly since September 11. And let's hope that reasonable people on the Hill come up with something.
HUNT: The issue, Mark, is not balance, it's culture and competence, and that's what the FBI has to change.
SHIELDS: And I'll just be interested, if this is going to be ecumenical, you're going to see FBI cars in every church parking lot or just in mosques. But -- and I just say, one question to end with, whatever happened to Tom Ridge?
George Allen and the gang will be back with nuclear war drums in South Asia.
SHIELDS: Welcome back.
With nuclear-armed India and Pakistan moving closer to war, the United States called on Pakistan's Pervez Musharraf to stop armed raids into Indian-held Kashmir.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
BUSH: He must stop the incursions across the line of control. He must do so. He said he would do so. We and -- we and others are making it clear to him that he must live up to his word.
JASWANT SINGH, INDIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: General Musharraf has had all the time that he wants. We are talking about crackdown on terrorism since the 11th of September.
PRES. PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, PAKISTAN: We will not allow Pakistan territory to be used for any purposes of terrorism across its borders against any country. Now we stand by it, I stand by this.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
SHIELDS: Al Hunt, is it really the Pakistanis' dictator's decision whether we have war or peace in South Asia?
HUNT: Yes, Mark, and I think what's so worrisome is, on January 12 Musharraf made the same pledge, and ever since then there has been a significant rise in the infiltration of terrorists going across the border into Kashmir. I, I, I think this is the most perilous situation since the Cuban missile crisis of 40 years ago.
I talked to a couple experts this week, and there's two fears that really do create nightmares. One is that there -- they fear there's leaders on both sides, India and Pakistan, that don't fully comprehend the cataclysm of a nuclear confrontation. Our intelligence experts say seven to 10 million deaths on each side, the end of Pakistan as a state, a terribly destabilized world. And the people don't really comprehend that.
Secondly, the scenario to get there, almost like 1914, a series of irrational acts don't, unfortunately, appear that far-fetched when, when, when, when, when you look at those two places. Some, some crazy Muslims go and they blow up the Indian parliament, the Indians try a preemptive strike against the Pakistani nuclear facilities, they can't be totally successful, and the Paks, facing extinction, decide to retaliate.
And it's really scary.
SHIELDS: George Allen, is it as serious as Al Hunt portrays it?
ALLEN: It could potentially get that -- to that stage, but I don't think it helps to be calling him a dictator, to be honest with you, Mark. Musharraf's been very helpful to the United States. Understand, as far as...
SHIELDS: There's no free elections there, right? He (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
ALLEN: Well, at least...
SHIELDS: Yes, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), yes.
ALLEN: Correct, correct. But they are...
SHIELDS: Yes, (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
ALLEN: ... at least moving towards them, and they have local elections and municipal-type elections, and they are moving that way.
Note, though, in the midst of all this try (ph), the militants are not friends of Musharraf. Musharraf stood with the United States. They have a battle helping the United States as far as al Qaeda and Taliban war on one border.
On the other border, they have people who have a predilection or an affinity or affection for those in Kashmir, and these are borders that are all set up after the British left in 1947.
Now, I don't think that the president, President Musharraf, has complete control of these militants. He is trying all sorts of efforts tot really to get control of the, of these zealots and these groups that are obviously supportive of terrorism, and he has and -- indeed condemned the terrorist attack of May 14 in India.
Now, all of this could turn into a conventional war, then of course, India being much stronger than Pakistan, Pakistan sees no other resort but to nuclear arms.
Next week, though, there's an opportunity. The leaders, Vajpayee and Musharraf, are going to be in Kazakhstan. It certainly would be helpful to get them together to try to defuse this situation.
SHIELDS: Bob Novak, your own take.
NOVAK: The problem is that you do have these terrorist camps of al Qaeda in -- that are in Pakistan-controlled territory. Why doesn't he close these down? It's because he has to have something to show to his army people that he got something for showing it down. Where is the something?
There's some kind of an international conference. The Indians won't go that way because they think that might lead to a plebiscite.
These people don't want to live in -- people in Kashmir don't want to live under Indian rule. Everybody tells you what a great democracy is, India is, but they don't want to have a vote for these people, because they'd say, Get the hell out of here.
So it's a very difficult problem. You've got to give Musharraf something to hang his hat on to say, OK, if you close down these plants we'll give you some kind of a political move toward a free Kashmir.
SHIELDS: Margaret Carlson in New York, if I'm not mistaken, though, President -- President Musharraf, General Musharraf, erstwhile dictator Musharraf, was the principal benefactor of the Taliban up until the last calendar year. Am I -- is that wrong?
CARLSON: Indeed he was. And, you know, he helped the United States root out the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan...
ALLEN: And is still doing it.
CARLSON: ... and for that, the United -- and for that, the United States has to be grateful. It's not entirely done, but, but he stood up and helped us.
He may have thought that bought him a little bit of leeway and in the Kashmir situation, which, in fact, it does not, especially now that the two sides are lined up against each other on the border.
The problem is that Musharraf is a, is a, is a moderate Muslim, but he's hawkish on the subject of Kashmir. And in fact he led an incursion in 1999 into the Indian side of Kashmir, and he created this cadre of militants that now he may not have control over.
I mean, that's -- it would be better if he had control and had not yet exerted it. He may not have it, because the army intelligence and the militants that he created are now a body unto themselves...
CARLSON: ... who are not going to answer to Musharraf.
ALLEN: That's the point. It's not as if this is the Pakistani army that he has full control over. Indeed, he had to even purge some of his generals when he made the decision to stick with the United States against terrorism as opposed to going with these Taliban terrorists.
SHIELDS: Last word, George Allen.
Next on CAPITAL GANG, why don't the Europeans like George W.?
SHIELDS: Welcome back.
President Bush concluded his European trip with a NATO summit in Rome that accepted Russia as a junior partner.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: Two former foes are now joined as partners, overcoming 50 years of division and a decade of uncertainty. And this partnership takes us closer to an even larger goal, a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace for the first time in history.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHIELDS: But demonstrators protested the visit, and the European press was critical.
London's "Independent" said that the president, quote, "sometimes seems unsure which European country he is visiting," end quote. The "London Daily Mirror" said, quote, "Bumbling George Bush was lost for words last night," end quote. And "The Times of London" said, quote, "Like certain distinctive wines, President George Bush does not travel well."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID GREGORY, NBC CORRESPONDENT: I wonder why it is you think there are strong -- such strong sentiments in Europe against you and against this administration?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHIELDS: NBC reporter David Gregory then asked French President Jacques Chirac the very same question in French.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: ... four words, and he plays like he's intercontinental.
So you go to a protest, and I drive through the streets of Berlin seeing hundreds of people lining the road waving.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHIELDS: Bob Novak, has the president got a European problem?
NOVAK: I don't think so, I think Europe has an American problem, and they've had it for a long time. The words that they use about George W. Bush, insulting words, were they used about Ronald Reagan 22 years ago, I remember them very well. Now he's a great hero, of course, who ended the cold war.
The -- what the European problem with America is, their economy is not as efficient, they are (UNINTELLIGIBLE), they are no, they are not -- their countries are racked with anti-Semitism, anti-immigrant feeling. There is a terribly right-wing extremist parties coming up. Their European community is troubled with a conservative Italian government, which is spoiling things.
The chancellor of Germany, Chancellor Schroeder, one thing that, that you can say is that George Bush has one advantage of him, he's going to be in office next -- in September, and Schroeder won't.
So I think that they're jealous of George W. Bush. And of course I don't think the president should be worried about one network reporter trying to be a smart alec.
SHIELDS: Bob, just a quick question. I mean, David Gregory spoke in French. I mean, he knows French, he asked the question in French of the French leader. Is there something wrong with that?
NOVAK: Oh, I, I think the president was, was irritated by his question. I think that, that, that was it, and the whole, the whole idea that, I think that reporters get bored with things like getting Russia into NATO and arms treaties, and they want to have, oh, why don't the Europeans like you, Mr. President?
SHIELDS: Margaret Carlson in New York, your own take. I mean, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), on the president's tour.
CARLSON: Well, you know, David Gregory may have been showing off a little bit. But we saw something there that we haven't seen for a long time in George Bush, which is that, you know, he's a little bit thin-skinned, and he doesn't like to be upstaged in any way. And he goes around speaking Spanish whenever he can.
But George Bush admitted to a little jet lag, which most people wouldn't admit to, you know, if, if this is Tuesday, it must be Belgium. He was on, for him, a very grueling schedule. You have to remember, during the campaign, we always shut down at about 3:00 on Friday afternoon so he could be back in Austin.
And he took his feather pillow, remember.
But, you know, Bob is right, Europeans love the storyline to be the ugly American...
CARLSON: ... and that's what they did. And we bought it.
SHIELDS: Al Hunt, your own sense of our president's trip, and did he enlist any new support for his invasion of Iraq?
HUNT: Je suis surprise, Robert, I'm surprised at you, Bobby, I really am.
I mean, first of all, it wasn't that big a deal, it wasn't a very impressive trip. Bush, it was papers like Rupert Murdoch's paper in London that were criticizing him.
HUNT: The -- can you imagine Eisenhower or FDR pleading jet lag? I mean, it's just kind of hard to imagine. The Normandy speech was perfectly fine, but it wasn't nearly as good as Reagan's or even Clinton's, for that matter.
And he's just -- he's not very comfortable on that kind of world stage. I don't think it made a whole lot of difference on this trip. I think this trip was more about symbolism.
And one of the reasons we saw all that side of him is because he is a -- almost a hermetically sealed president. They don't let him out very much. And occasionally when he gets out, he has a tendency to embarrass himself. SHIELDS: One thing that was serious was that apparently the president was unable to persuade Putin on the sharing of nuclear technology with Iran. I mean, that's, that's, that's pretty serious.
ALLEN: Yes, that is a concern. However, you know, the reason that the -- whether it's in France or whether it's protesters in Germany or writers in Britain, they're free countries. Those are all their own countries, their own cultures, and they're free, and they have a right to do it. The leaders all understood why the president was there, to thank him, as far as the Western democracies, for the war on terrorism.
The big successes notwithstanding, all the hand-wringing when he said, we're going to go forward with the missile defense system and abrogate, so to speak, the ABM Treaty, they got to agree with the Russians to reduce nuclear warheads.
The challenges ahead, though, as you say, Mark, is correct, is that the Russians are selling nuclear capabilities to the Iranians, they're selling them also launch capabilities, and also conventional weapons, as well as to the People's Republic of China.
So I think it's fine to trust Mr. Putin, but as Ronald Reagan said, we need to watch him, we need to verify him, and there needs to be...
NOVAK: But still, it's still...
ALLEN: ... transparency.
NOVAK: ... it still is an amazing day, George, when you get, even as a junior partner, the Russians coming in. But I would say just one thing, Al, that FDR didn't complain of jet lag...
ALLEN: They didn't have jets.
NOVAK: ... but maybe, maybe he didn't have jets, and there may be a -- told somebody he had a stroke (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and he wouldn't give half the world away to the -- half of Eastern Europe away to the Russians...
SHIELDS: Bob Novak...
NOVAK: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
HUNT: ... you wouldn't be sitting here today if it weren't for (UNINTELLIGIBLE) for FDR, who saved your freedom...
HUNT: ... you get rich, huh? Let's just make that clear.
ALLEN: ... from this, there's going to be, for the aspirant countries to join NATO, freedom is on the advance.
SHIELDS: Let me again, let me just say one word. I know we're running out of time, I just want to identify totally with Al Hunt. FDR saved your free enterprise system and he saved Western democracy...
NOVAK: Read, read, read, read what happened (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
SHIELDS: ... and he will always have my gratitude...
NOVAK: Read what happened (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
SHIELDS: We'll be back with a CAPITAL GANG classic marking the 13th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
SHIELDS: Welcome back.
Thirteen years ago this week, the democracy demonstrations in Beijing came to an abrupt end. THE CAPITAL GANG commented on June 3, 1989. Our guest was Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel of New York.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, JUNE 3, 1989)
PATRICK J. BUCHANAN, "CAPITAL GANG": Saturday night, the patience of China's communist rulers with the student uprising ran out. Tanks and troops of the People's Liberation Army smashed into Tiananmen Square, opening fire on unarmed protesters, who fled in terror, leaving scores dead and hundreds wounded.
Secretary of State James Baker called the massacre "deplorable," but he was careful not to burn America's bridges to the Beijing regime.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm afraid it's too little, too late.
I wish the United States government for the past three or four weeks had said this, If you do this, if you turn your army against your people, it's going to be unacceptable, and you're going to pay a price.
SHIELDS: The deploring of any action without the action statement that follows it, what is it, what are we going to do? What we're doing now is deploring. And there's no statement at all, of course, about military sales or swap of technology.
NOVAK: You know, if it were South Africa, if it were any of the right-wing dictatorships, people would be in the streets.
REP. CHARLES RANGEL (D), NEW YORK: I don't know whether you prepared this in Ollie North and the rest of the people in (UNINTELLIGIBLE) China...
NOVAK: No, I think, I think it is obscene to have military cooperation and technological cooperation while this is going on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHIELDS: Bob Novak, the nation's outrage and even your own didn't last that long. Why?
NOVAK: Because I think we had to move on, the country had to move on to get a relationship with China. My outrage lasted several years, but you finally have to get it behind you. I still believe that the Bush administration, the first Bush administration, was wrong. They didn't every -- ever say they disapproved of it, they didn't try to prevent it, and they were very mild in their criticism.
SHIELDS: Margaret Carlson, your own view.
CARLSON: You know, trade with China is so important to the United States. The United States continues, or it let China get away with murder there and continues to overlook so much about human rights when it comes to China.
SHIELDS: Trade policy does trump human rights, doesn't it, George?
ALLEN: It should not, and I think with the advent of the Internet, there's greater opportunity for discussion of ideas. There's been a rapprochement with the Chinese in recent years. They -- I think that the Tiananmen Square situation hurt China a great deal. It set them back as far as the image of them in this country. They still have a long way to go, but they have made some progress.
SHIELDS: Al Hunt?
HUNT: Brother Novak was great on that tape, wasn't he? We had a -- we ought to replay that every couple months or so, I'll tell you something. I just wanted to say, Right on, Mr. Novak.
SHIELDS: I couldn't agree with you more. When Bob showed some moral outrage and was indifferent to dollar signs.
We'll be back with the second half of THE CAPITAL GANG. We look at college commencement time with our "Newsmaker of the Week," Georgetown University President John DeGioia. "Beyond the Beltway" looks at Elizabeth Dole's Senate campaign in North Carolina with Rob Christensen of "The Raleigh News and Observer," and our "Outrage of the Week."
Senator George Allen, thank you for being with us.
THE GANG will be back after a check of the hour's top news following these important messages.
ANNOUNCER: From Washington, THE CAPITAL GANG. SHIELDS: Welcome back to the second half of THE CAPITAL GANG.
I'm Mark Shields with Al Hunt, Robert Novak, and, in New York, Margaret Carlson.
Our "Newsmaker of the Week" is Dr. John DeGioia, the president of Georgetown University.
John J. "Jack" DeGioia, age 45, residence, Washington, D.C., religion, Roman Catholic. Bachelor's degree and Ph.D. from Georgetown, taught undergraduate philosophy courses at Georgetown, Georgetown's assistant to the president, later became senior vice president. He became Georgetown's first layman and non-Jesuit president last July 1.
Earlier this week, our own Al Hunt sat down with President DeGioia.
HUNT: This is the first commencement since 9/11. How has that terrible event changed college life in the commencement season?
JOHN J. DEGIOIA, PRESIDENT, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: The class that just graduated came together in a way that I think is somewhat unique among classes of the last couple of decades. There's a special bond that I think holds this group together, because they had to come to terms with a set of experiences that were a bit unusual.
There were some immediate impacts, I think, which we found this year. Students have shown a very strong interest in public and community service and pursuing careers in government. We've also seen a very strong interest in trying to understand their place in the world, the nature of Islam, and where they fit in this changing world that we're a part of.
We saw, for example, a 20 percent increase in applications to our school of foreign service this year.
HUNT: Several years ago, college seniors would fill a room to hear an investment banker coming to recruit. Who would fill a room today?
DEGIOIA: This year, Hamid Karzai filled the room, filled our gymnasium in late January when we invited him to campus. Desmond Tutu filled the room, Eli Wiesel filled the room. We had a number of folks came to campus this year for the purpose of helping students try to make sense of the events of September 11, and they filled the room every time.
HUNT: You have a considerable international presence at Georgetown, including a large Muslim student population. How has -- how have the campus Muslims been affected?
DEGIOIA: Well, I think that what they found was, they were very happy to be in the United States in a context which truly valued the contribution that they could make to making sense of all these experiences.
HUNT: Your dissertation was on human rights. In the looking at places like Pakistan, Kazakhstan, do you have any fear that human rights could be a partial casualty of the war on terrorism?
DEGIOIA: Oh, certainly, yes. The human...
DEGIOIA: The human rights culture which came of -- really came of age in the period immediately following the Second World War has been in a bit of a crisis over the course of the past decade, and that's certainly impacted by the events of September 11. What it's going to take for us to make this a safe world could have a significant impact on our respect for human rights.
HUNT: Georgetown University is -- has a need-blind policy, but the costs of colleges and universities have skyrocketed over the last decade. Not everyone has that policy. Is there any concern that many working- and middle-class Americans may be priced out of the best college educations?
DEGIOIA: Oh, certainly, it's a concern. But what we've tried to ensure is that regardless of one's economic needs, you'd have the ability to come to a place like Georgetown. And that would be the case for most of the universities in our country.
What we want to ensure is, regardless of your financial background, it is affordable to come to a place like Georgetown. And what we try to do is ensure that we have sufficient scholarship support to provide for students who come.
HUNT: Do you have any fear that the credibility of the Catholic Church as a champion of the poor is going to be impaired by the recent church scandals?
DEGIOIA: No, the depth of commitment of the church to support the poor and cases of social justice throughout our country, throughout our world, is so deep that I don't believe this present crisis will have an impact on that.
HUNT: Does the present crisis have any impact on Catholic institutions of higher education?
DEGIOIA: Well, I hope that we'll be able to provide a resource for Catholics and for church leadership as we try to wrestle with the range of questions that emerge out of these events.
HUNT: American higher education in general, is it the envy of the world, or is it in trouble?
DEGIOIA: It's the envy of the world. I think we're going to look back on this period of American higher education and refer to it as a golden age. More is taking place on our college campuses throughout our country today than I think at any time in history. There's an explosion in knowledge that has occurred over the last couple of decades that universities have been really struggling. One of the reasons for the high cost for universities is, how intense it is to try to keep up with the explosion of knowledge.
I think we've done an outstanding job, and I think we are the envy of the world.
SHIELDS: Al Hunt, do you think President DeGioia looks upon his university and the university in general as an instrument of change?
HUNT: Oh, yes, I do, Mark. And I also think we ought to keep in mind, as our colleague, Kate O'Bierne's son graduates from Princeton this weekend, that the American higher education system, as Jack DeGioia said, is the envy of the world. It's the best.
SHIELDS: Bob, I know you've never been a fan of Georgetown, but you have to be, certainly concede President DeGioia's points.
NOVAK: Yes, I was at a John Carroll (ph) Society dinner several months ago, and he was the speaker. And several people commented it was the first time they had heard anybody mention religion in connection with Georgetown University in a long time.
And so he might save the university from the Jesuits. It's certainly a Catholic school in name only, according to the people who know. But I'm very impressed with him, and he -- if he can save Georgetown, he's a wonder worker.
SHIELDS: I don't think he has to save Georgetown. I think the Jesuits can speak for themselves, and their contributions are monumental.
CARLSON: Yes, Georgetown doesn't need saving, and it may help that, given the church scandal, a layman running Georgetown at the moment is not such a bad idea.
(UNINTELLIGIBLE) the one interesting thing that Al brought up, among the many interesting things, was that the age of the investment banker being lionized, Jack Welch and Donald Trump, seems to be over on college campuses. And as, you know, Hamid Karzai fills the gym, the Morgan Stanley guy does not recruit at Georgetown as successfully as, say, the CIA and other government institutions.
And that's a wonderful thing to have happen.
NOVAK: I don't know if that is such a wonderful thing.
SHIELDS: Al, you concluded your piece this week in "The Wall Street Journal" with a quote about asking, that the failure of our leadership now to ask young people to do it, and tell us that (UNINTELLIGIBLE). HUNT: George Bush has done it some. He's called on -- he's called on young Americans to provide some service, to give back something to their country, but he hasn't done it consistently enough. I hope he does more.
His proposals by themselves, I think, are very good. I just wish he would make it more of a centerpiece of his presidency.
I think the American youth are waiting to be tapped. They want to serve, they want to help, they want to give back.
SHIELDS: Last word, Al Hunt.
Next on CAPITAL GANG, "Beyond the Beltway" looks at Elizabeth Dole's Senate campaign in North Carolina with reporter Rob Christensen.
SHIELDS: Welcome back.
"Beyond the Beltway" looks at the U.S. Senate campaign in North Carolina of Republican candidate Elizabeth Dole.
The North Carolina Republican State Convention in New Berne (ph) today was addressed by her husband.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOB DOLE, FORMER U.S. SENATOR: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) 101st arrives over there, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) 62 percent of the people over there are going to be (UNINTELLIGIBLE), they're trained in North Carolina.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHIELDS: Mrs. Dole's most recent public pronouncement called for action against Saddam Hussein.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ELIZABETH DOLE (R), NORTH CAROLINA SENATE CANDIDATE: He's invaded Kuwait, launched Scud missiles against Israel, even used chemical weapons against his own people. Right now, he's paying homicide bombers to attack Israeli civilians. We must stop him from producing weapons of mass destruction and obtaining long-range missiles.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHIELDS: Her likely Democratic opponent is former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, TV COMMERCIAL)
ANNOUNCER: It was Erskine Bowles who brought Democrats and Republicans together in Washington to negotiate the first balanced budget in 30 years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHIELDS: Republican and Democratic polls taken two months ago show Dole leads over Bowles of 35 and 19 points.
Joining us now from New Berne is Rob Christensen, a veteran reporter and columnist for "The Raleigh News and Observer," who is covering the current Senate campaign.
Thanks for being with us, Rob.
Rob, is Bob Dole a major asset to his wife, Elizabeth, in North Carolina?
ROB CHRISTENSEN, "RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER": Well, we really haven't seen Bob Dole campaigning much in North Carolina. He's sort of disappeared, like Bill Clinton with Hillary Clinton. This was one of the first appearances that Bob Dole has made on her behalf.
But in areas like New Berne, where you have a lot of veterans, he can be a very -- very helpful to Mrs. Dole.
SHIELDS: I have to say that the prospect of Elizabeth Dole, perfectly tailored and perfectly coiffed, being at a North Carolina barbecue is a little bit like Bob Novak being at an elegant Georgetown tea.
Is she out mixing it up with the folks?
CHRISTENSEN: Well, she -- no one is ever going to confuse her as a good old boy. But she has, in fact, been making the barbecue circuit. She's visited all 100 counties. And she's doing a reasonably good job. She's trying to show that she's not just Watergate Elizabeth, that in fact she has some North Carolina roots, even though she hadn't lived in the state since Elvis was king.
So no one's going to confuse her as a good old boy, but she's doing reasonably well mixing it up.
NOVAK: Rob, she ran such a terrible race for president in 2000 that there's been a kind of a conventional wisdom here in Washington that you shouldn't pay too much attention to the big leads that the polls have shown her, that it's all going to dissipate, and that anybody who puts his two bucks on Elizabeth Dole is in, is going to be a loser.
How would you assess the campaign that she's conducted so far? Is it better than her presidential campaign?
CHRISTENSEN: Well, Bob, the -- first of all, the bar for a U.S. Senate race is much lower than for a presidential race. And she had to go up against George W. Bush, had a terrible time raising money in the presidential race. Here she -- in North Carolina, she is raising money with the help of George Bush, so it's makes a huge difference. In fact, she's the leading Republican candidate in terms of raising money in the country. So she is doing much better. She's had some bumps in the road, but running for the Senate is not quite like running for president.
NOVAK: Well, there's been several stories in the North Carolina press that we read that she's a little hard for the media to get to. She kind of gives her speech and gets in the car before any of the local reporters can question her. Is that accurate? And if so, is that -- do you think that's a smart or a dumb strategy for this stage of her campaign?
CHRISTENSEN: Well, she's sort of running an incumbent strategy. She not only had very much reduced her meetings with reporters, but also she has sort of sloughed off all her primary opponents.
She -- her strategy has changed a little bit. She got quite a bit of criticism for avoiding the press or just having very short interviews. In the last month of the campaign, there's been a marked change. She is spending much more time with reporters.
So they decided that was a bad strategy. But she's running very much of a -- an incumbent's campaign, very, very defensive, sitting on their lead, don't expose herself to very long interviews where she could -- might make a mistake.
SHIELDS: Al Hunt.
HUNT: Rob, she really has a pretty much of a free ride. She has only token opposition in the Republican primary. And she has moved to the right, at least on social issues like gun control, at least from her '99 campaign. I -- her 2000 campaign. I assume that's assuaged some Helms conservatives. Could that come back to hurt her in the general election?
CHRISTENSEN: Well, it could. At the state Republican convention here in New Berne yesterday, Friday, she came down very strongly for the Second Amendment on gun control, and also very pro-life on abortion. In fact, they were distributing, the Dole campaign, NARAL fact sheets showing that she was against abortion, which you usually don't see at a Republican convention.
I would say that she has not won the hearts and minds of Jesse Helms conservatives. There's a certain amount of distrust of Mrs. Dole. But they also see her as a winner.
There's a little bit of a parallel with the 2000 presidential election, where a lot of Christian right folks really didn't trust George W. Bush but decided to go with him because he looked like a winner. I think the same thing is happening here. There's still some distrust of Mrs. Dole, but by and large, they've decided to climb on board the wagon.
HUNT: Rob, if the general election is Bowles versus Elizabeth Dole, do you agree with those polls? Or handicap it. Will it become closer? CHRISTENSEN: Well, I don't think we'll see a 20- or 30-point lead. This is a very competitive state. But Mrs. Dole has -- presents some real problems for the Democrats. She can move back to the center for the general election. She still has a moderate image. And she can really make some inroads with some of those soccer moms.
And that's very much of a problem. Plus, it's very hard to attack her in this post-September 11 climate. People are less inclined to accept this negative campaigning. And also, there's the -- Mrs. Dole has this image as the Southern lady, the candidate out of "Southern Living" magazine.
So it's a very risky tactic to go after Mrs. Dole. So the Democrats are kind of in a tough spot.
SHIELDS: Rob, your own assessment, if you would, of Erskine Bowles' campaign, and what does he have to do in order to be competitive?
CHRISTENSEN: Well, he wasn't very well known across the country -- across North Carolina, even though he has some national exposure. He's the only Democrat that's raised money. He has -- there's a bit of a transformation on the campaign trail. He's now -- peels off his jackets and begins pounding the table now that he talks, which is not the Erskine Bowles you probably saw in Washington.
But there's certain things he hasn't changed. He still has what he calls his Harry Potter glasses, and -- which all the consultants told him that he needed to ditch. He has strong national credentials. He has a good North Carolina name. You know, his father, Skipper Bowles, was the Democratic nominee for governor in 1972. So he's got some background in the state.
In a lot of ways, he's positioned correctly for a Democrat in the South. He's kind of a centrist Democrat. He's getting a lot of support from former governor Jim Hunt, who was the first choice of most Democrats to run for this seat.
SHIELDS: Rob, I thank you very much for being with us, Rob Christensen.
THE GANG will be back with our Outrages of the Week.
SHIELDS: And now for the "Outrage of the Week."
If truth is the first casualty in any war, then constitutional rights must be the second. The U.S. Justice Department seeks to stop 21-year-old Yasser Esam Hamdi, born in Louisiana, raised in Saudi Arabia, and now held in a Navy brig in Norfolk, from meeting with his public defender. No charges have been filed since he was captured with the Taliban.
Why? The feds say, quote, "The relationship of trust and dependency between detainees and the military that is key to intelligence-gathering," end quote, would be damaged.
Last time I read the constitution, being born in the United States made you a U.S. citizen.
NOVAK: Ever wonder what it means for a little state like South Dakota to have its Senator Tom Daschle as Senate majority leader? Take a look at the Senate version of the Emergency Appropriations Bill that supposedly funds war on terrorism and homeland security.
In the dead of the night with no publicity, an extra $400,000 to $650,000 was added for the Wagner South Dakota School District. Where did the money come from? At the expense of 1,300 other school districts impacted (ph) with federal employees as Wagner is.
Congratulations, South Dakota.
SHIELDS: Margaret (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
CARLSON: Mark, we're used to interviews with Arab-American students bleating about their hatred for America from the comfort of their Ivy League dorm rooms. Now a Harvard student who has defended a group with ties to Hamas has the nerve to complain about complaints over his commencement speech, subtitled, "American Jihad."
If Harvard weren't so PC, there would be an adult saying, graduation is not a forum for debate.
President Larry Summers should show the same anti-PC courage he showed when he told a professor that a rap CD is not a work of scholarship.
SHIELDS: Al Hunt.
HUNT: Bob, I think Senator Tim Johnson was to blame for Wagner.
Mark, the worst news in journalism this week was Tom Brokaw's retirement announcement. It's not that it's imminent. He'll be an NBC News anchor for another two and a half years. And it's not that he doesn't deserve it after years as a distinguished White House correspondent, "Today" show host, and anchorman.
It's just that in a business where standards seem to erode every year, we can ill afford to lose someone who cares about real journalism.
SHIELDS: This is Mark Shields saying good night for THE CAPITAL GANG.
If you missed any part of our show, there is hope. You can catch the replay at 11:00 p.m. Eastern and at 4:00 a.m. Eastern.
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