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Bush Pushes Marriage Incentives; Is Airline Security Measuring Up?; Nation Looks to July 4 with Expectation and Trepidation

Aired July 2, 2002 - 19:00   ET


ANNOUNCER: CROSSFIRE. On the left, James Carville and Paul Begala. On the right, Robert Novak and Tucker Carlson.

In the CROSSFIRE tonight, he's proposing marriage among other things.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We should use taxpayer's money to help people change their lives.


ANNOUNCER: Tonight, faith-based welfare reform, for better or worse.

Breaches of security and sobriety. Is flying safer or just plain scary?

And will the Fourth of July bring the wrong kind of fireworks?

DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: We intend to take every reasonable precaution and operate it with a sense of heightened awareness.



From the George Washington University, James Carville and Robert Novak.

JAMES CARVILLE, CO-HOST: Welcome to CROSSFIRE. Tonight the Fourth of July, and freedom from fear. Also getting folks on welfare to say I do. But before we get to the altar, we propose to bring you the unusual and interesting stories you don't find anywhere else but in our CROSSFIRE "Political Alert."

President Bush took his welfare reform revival to Milwaukee's Holy Redeemer Institutional Church of God and Christ. Wow, say hallelujah, the president told the faithful that government should make welfare recipients work. His sermon also included plugs for the school vouchers, faith-based welfare initiatives. By the time he got done even the people don't touch beer that Milwaukee made famous.

Well, the line between church and state was looking more blurry than ever. Well a jump to the welfare reform bandwagon a little bit and asked the president's right in asking welfare recipients to get married, as well as to get to work.

ROBERT NOVAK, CO-HOST: It makes your liberal constituents really angry when the president invokes a little bit religion in their life, doesn't it?

CARVILLE: I don't - I don't think we care about revoking religion. We just don't want the government to invoke it for us.

NOVAK: During a question-and-answer session in Milwaukee today, President Bush urged the rest of the country to get out and celebrate the Fourth of July despite the FBI's code yellowism terrorism alert.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They should celebrate heartily because we have freedom and we love freedom, and I - they should also know our government is doing everything we can to make the homeland secure, that people ought to be joyous in their celebration. Celebrate the fact that we're fortunate enough to be Americans.


NOVAK: Now homeland security director Tom Ridge says there is no specific threat about the Fourth of July, but he adds there is no question the government is seeing increased al Qaeda operational activity, and he says people should be alert. Despite all that, Ridge also says Americans should enjoy themselves this holiday -- just keep your eyes peeled when you grill that hot dog.

CARVILLE: Actually, I agree with the president. I think people should enjoy themselves, and no one can guarantee there's not going to be a terrorist attack, but even they say that there's no reason to believe there'll be one here any more than any other time.

If there's anything that makes a librarian madder than late books and loud talk, it's the government's latest tactic in the war on terrorism. FBI agents have been looking over library records to see what some people on their watch list have been checking out. But librarians who hoped they had a friend in the White House are going to be disappointed.

The "Washington Post" says former librarian and current First Lady Laura Bush had let it be known she's siding with her husband in favor of the government surveillance policies. So if you're tempted to borrow that copy of building your own nuclear bomb for the fun and profit, leave it on the shelf.

NOVAK: I really don't think that the books of most law abiding people take out are going to cause any trouble for the government ...


CARVILLE: You know what? I would really be for a law saying you can't have a book in the library to tell people how to build a nuclear bomb. That goes to show you how far I'd go.


NOVAK: Yes. A new report on the health effects of irradiated mail seems to put two and two together, connect the dots, but can't figure out the answer. Ever since January, mail to Capitol Hill has been doused with enough radiation to kill anthrax spores. The congressional Office of Compliance studied that mail and found - quote - "certain irritant chemicals produced by the mail irradiation process" - end quote.

The study also found that 51 percent of Capitol Hill workers who handle irradiated mail complain of headaches. One-third had itching skin. About a quarter report burning eyes or nausea and smaller percentages develop rashes or bloody noses. The report's conclusion? More study is needed before a definite link is established.

They recommend that women wear protective gloves and limit the amount of time they spend handling mail. So don't send your letter to your congressman. E-mail, anyone?

CARVILLE: I tell you what, that whole "News Alert" made me sick.


At least one candidate is panning to take on Florida Secretary of State Congresswoman wannabe Katherine Harris. Percy the dog is entering the race as a write-in candidate. His campaign manifesto promises Percy not only will be tough on crime, he'll personally chase down any criminal he sees, a hubcap too.

It also says voters don't need to worry about Percy getting implicated in a sex scandal thanks to his timely neutering. But mostly Percy's in the race because his owner wants to make a point about the high cost of running for office. The campaign has spent a lot - spent all of $600 so far. Harris has raised about one and three-quarter million dollars in an effort to win a congressional seat.

But at least she's noticed the competition. A Harris press secretary says Percy is - quote - "cute". We'll have to shake a lot of paws to catch up, either that or refuse to count thousands of people who cast votes for his opponent. It sure worked last time.

NOVAK: You know - you know James, a lot of - a lot of candidates, particularly the ones that you've had, are dogs, anyway. So this is nothing new as far as I'm concerned.

CARVILLE: Let me tell you, I would say this, is that Percy will not have as much makeup on as his Republican opponent. I guarantee you that. NOVAK: Speaking of - speaking of dogs running for office, remember Barbara Lee? She's the far left wing Democratic congresswoman from Oakland, California who was the only member of the House to vote against the resolution against terrorism. That makes her a heroine to the nut cases.

It was Barbara Lee day in Santa Cruz, California last Saturday as a sold-out crowd packed a movie theater, jumping to their feet and cheering as she received the key to the city. She's been honored by the lefties across the country. That's what makes America great, but the members of the Barbara Lee fan clubs ought to thank God, yes God, that there are patriotic Americans around to protect them.

CARVILLE: By God -- did you say the word God on here? I mean, Democrats, we don't say God or Allah or ...


NOVAK: I'm not eligible ...


CARVILLE: You're not eligible, huh. Well, OK. You said someone has finally solved the mystery of President Bush's trifecta campaign promise. The president's been joking with audiences that during the 2000 presidential campaign he promised only to run deficit in time of war, recession or national emergency. Then he delivers the punch line - I never thought I'd hit the trifecta.

Trouble is no one in the White House could find a single instance where George W. Bush made that promise. Now we know that Bush never said it. Al Gore did. The "Washington Post" said Gore first made the promise in an economic club in Detroit in 1998 and kept repeating it throughout the campaign. At least we now know George Bush is listening to somebody.

NOVAK: Well you know you get mixed up sometimes (UNINTELLIGIBLE) what you say, what the other guy ...

CARVILLE: What the other guy said. Yes ...


... people all the time (UNINTELLIGIBLE) opponent said and said gee, I said it just like he probably said as Al Gore that if you try to do all this we're going to run deficit, right. Exactly ...

NOVAK: OK, when a panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco was announced as deciding two to one that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional, I knew, just knew the identity of one of the two judges. Steven Reinhardt, I knew him as a left wing member of the Democratic National Committee years ago who was given a lifetime judicial nomination by Jimmy Carter.

Steve never fails. Now he has violated all judicial courtesy by protesting that his colleague has put the ruling on hold until appeals are considered, said Judge Reinhardt of Judge Alfred Godwin's action, it was a public relations gimmick. Here's to Steve Reinhardt, the looniest liberal judge on the nation's looniest liberal court.

CARVILLE: You don't like the Ninth Circuit?


CARVILLE: What are you talking about, man?

NOVAK: Coming up, President Bush has put his faith in welfare reform. But should Congress say I do to the part that encourages people on welfare to get married?

Also, what has your pilot been drinking before takeoff?

And our quote of the day is from a man who surprised WorldCom.


NOVAK: President Bush is preaching the gospel of compassionate conservatism this week. At a church in Milwaukee today, the president put in a plug for his welfare reform plan, which encourages single parents to get married and would give government money to faith-based organizations.

Would the president's plan make a difference in people's lives? Stepping into the CROSSFIRE now are Kim Gandy, President of the National Organization for Women, and Sandy Rios of Concerned Women of America.



CARVILLE: Ms. Rios, I actually, in my book in 1996 took on liberal orthodoxy and said that marriage was good and children ought to be raised in two-parent families wherever possible, that the Catholic Church makes you jump through hoops. You have to go to Pre-K (ph) and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) conferences.

Now many protestant churches are saying that you ought to go through a lot of things before you get married and decide what you really want to do. Why in the hell are we encouraging people to do this? Why shouldn't we say, we ought to be discouraging people and say don't do it unless you're sure and you know this is what you want to do?

RIOS: I'm not sure we're doing that, James. The program is just an option. It's to encourage marriage. I don't think you're comparing apples to apples.

CARVILLE: ... I am. Wait ...


CARVILLE: We've got too much divorce and too many broken homes in this country ...

RIOS: OK, James, the government has been ...


CARVILLE: We've got too many people getting married they're not ready.

RIOS: Yes, well the government's been discouraging marriage for a long time ...


RIOS: ... does that bother you?



RIOS: Well women ...

CARVILLE: I got married. They didn't discourage me one bit. I stepped right up there, they didn't say a damn thing.


RIOS: Because you're not on welfare, are you, James?


CARVILLE: If I was on welfare, how could that discourage you from getting married?

RIOS: It discourages you from getting married because if you're a mom, who's single, who gets pregnant and you're eligible for welfare, if you marry that guy, you lose your benefits. That's a discouragement.

CARVILLE: They don't do that anymore.

RIOS: They do that ...

CARVILLE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) why should we be encouraging people to do something that will just be more divorce and more kids growing up and saying I don't want my tax money going to that.

NOVAK: That is the most ludicrous ...


NOVAK: ... I have ever heard.


(CROSSTALK) GANDY: I think you're absolutely right about that. There's already plenty of divorce in the country. And women get -- poor women get married for the same reasons that the rest of us do, because they've met someone they want to share their lives with, not because the government tells them they should.

RIOS: The government is not telling them to, Kim.


GANDY: Or dangles a check in front of them.


RIOS: They're not ...

NOVAK: Let's be ...

GANDY: But they are.

NOVAK: ... let's be - Ms. Gandy, let's be frank. You represent the National Organization for Women and you have a lot of constituents who are anti-marriage. They like single families ...

GANDY: No ...

NOVAK: ... they like ...

GANDY: ... that's clearly - that's baloney and you know that.

NOVAK: Can I just ask my question?

GANDY: Look at who's at the table. Sandy's divorced. I'm married.


GANDY: You know I ask you.


RIOS: She's against marriage and I'm for it.

GANDY: There you go.

RIOS: She's married.

GANDY: You know I ask you ...


NOVAK: Let me - let me just ask my question. Don't you have an awful lot of people in the National Organization for Women who really don't like the idea of encouraging marriage? They want the government to be neutral toward marriage, don't they? GANDY: In fact the position that N.O.W. takes is that more people ought to have the option of getting married. People in committed relationships who are lesbian and gay ought to have the option of getting married. But we don't think people should be pushed into it. Let me give you an example.

RIOS: They're not being pushed in ...


GANDY: West Virginia gives an extra $100 a month in your welfare check if you're married. And with an average West Virginia check of $300 a month, that $100 is a huge incentive to get married.

NOVAK: So what's wrong with that?

GANDY: Whether you really want to get married or not.


GANDY: Everything is wrong with it because it says to you that you have to get married even to somebody you don't want to get married ...


RIOS: Now wait a second. Let's talk about marriage for a second. Kim ...


RIOS: ... the truth of the matter is ...


NOVAK: One at a time please.

GANDY: If he leaves you, or he beats you, you lose that $100.


RIOS: They don't marry because you might get beaten, Kim. That logic is not good. Let me just say ...


CARVILLE: It's wonderful logic. What we're saying is ...


CARVILLE: ... she doesn't understand what we're saying. No, she doesn't understand what we're saying.

NOVAK: Let her - let her finish.

(CROSSTALK) RIOS: Explain it to me, James, in James' terms.

CARVILLE: Explain ...


RIOS: Let me just tell you that ...

CARVILLE: ... let me explain it to you.

RIOS: ... marriage is very good for children. You do know that?

CARVILLE: It's great.


CARVILLE: I'm saying it's great. I'm agreeing with her.

RIOS: All right, so why would you discourage it?

CARVILLE: Because ...

RIOS: Because it's not good for you.



CARVILLE: No, no ...


CARVILLE: ... let me ...


CARVILLE: ... let me explain to you what we're saying. We're saying there's too much divorce, there's too many children ...


CARVILLE: ... let me finish Bob ...


CARVILLE: ... let me finish. There's too much divorce. There's too many kids ...


CARVILLE: ... in single parent homes -- let me finish.

RIOS: Why did you marry if that's the case, James?

CARVILLE: Because I married -- I'm married because ...


CARVILLE: ... hold on, let me finish - let me finish. If you encourage people to get married, that are not ready, you're going to end up with more divorce and more kids in single parent ...

RIOS: Who says they're not ready?

CARVILLE: ... families.


RIOS: Who says they're not ready, James?

CARVILLE: Because if the government is paying you to get married ...

RIOS: They're not paying you ...

CARVILLE: ... it's going to ...


CARVILLE: ... an incentive ...


CARVILLE: ... of course they are.


GANDY: One-third increase in your welfare check ...


NOVAK: Ms. Gandy, let me ask you this. You just - you brought up the fact that this ought to be a good thing for lesbian and gay families, which you don't - you don't have a nuclear family ...


NOVAK: ... just a - just a minute, with a male ...

GANDY: The best way to defend marriage is to keep government out of it.

NOVAK: Please, could I ask the question? Don't you think it is an advantage if you have a father and a mother? There's all the research that shows that children coming out of those families have an advantage. So why shouldn't the government encourage it?

GANDY: Well, I don't think we've ever done any studies of people who were pushed into marriage because somebody offered them a check to do it

RIOS: Kim, they're not being pushed into marriage.


GANDY: We don't have studies of what the children of those kinds of relationships have. Obviously ...


RIOS: Kim, I'll tell you what we do know ...

GANDY: ... all women ought to ...

RIOS: We know that ...


GANDY: ... and that poor women we already know marry ...

RIOS: ... children from single parent families ...

GANDY: ... for the ...


RIOS: ... like mine that you so pointed out, are seven or eight times more likely to be on poverty than children from married couples. That's ...


CARVILLE: You understand I'm agreeing with you, and I'm saying if that's the case, why would you want to have a system that encourages to have more children in single-parent families and more divorce? I'm accepting your premise and saying this is crazy, that the government is encouraging people, paying people to get married when they're not ready.


We should beat this ...

RIOS: Who says they're not ready?


CARVILLE: ... game and tell them ...


GANDY: ... that it's $1 billion that could be much better spent to help people come out of poverty.

RIOS: Now wait a second, Kim, three-quarters of our welfare dollars go to support single-parent families -- three-quarters -- $150 billion. If we encourage people to be married, it's going to decrease the level of care that's needed. So that's a bogus argument.

(CROSSTALK) NOVAK: I'd like you to take a look at an editorial from "The Washington Post", great newspaper, but not exactly a conservative newspaper. This is an editorial from "The Washington Post". Let's see what they say. For decades, welfare discouraged marriage among the poor with few exceptions before the 1996 reform -- that's the Welfare Act -- welfare payments were made only to unmarried recipients, giving men an incentive to walk away. So hasn't ...


GANDY: That's no longer true.

NOVAK: ... the '96 Act, which the National Organization for Women opposed, hasn't that been a great encouragement for the - for marriage?

GANDY: We have always supported reforming parts of welfare that were broken ...


GANDY: ... the '96 act went way too far. And in fact ...


GANDY: ... hundreds of thousands of families have been thrown off of the rolls and are living in poverty.

RIOS: No, the poverty level of children, especially black children, is the lowest that it's been in American history.

GANDY: And if you look at the funding ...


CARVILLE: ... Bill Clinton, thank you.


CARVILLE: Thank you, President Clinton. We appreciate it.


NOVAK: Well ...


GANDY: There's no - there's no question that people in poverty need an opportunity to move towards self-sufficiency. But saying that getting a man, you know, running the Dick Cheney dating game is not the way to get poor women out of poverty. Education ...


GANDY: ... childcare, work support.

NOVAK: Let's not ...

GANDY: That's how you get ...

NOVAK: ... you're moving ...


GANDY: ... out of ...

NOVAK: ... you're moving a little too ...

GANDY: ... poverty.

NOVAK: ... you're moving a little too fast. In 1996 ...

GANDY: That's too fast?

NOVAK: ... your organization and all these people oppose the bill President Clinton -- President Clinton vetoed that bill twice until under duress, knowing it would hurt him in his presidential reelection in 1996. He passed - he signed the bill that was passed by the Republican Congress. Now a lot of people, critics such as yourself, said oh, there's going to be poor people sleeping in the streets.

GANDY: And they are.

NOVAK: It just didn't happen.

RIOS: But ...

NOVAK: Oh, please.

GANDY: ... In fact it has happened. We don't know where 20 percent of the people who were on the rolls five years ago, we don't know where they are. We don't have their ...

NOVAK: They're working.


NOVAK: They're working.


GANDY: That right, let me - let me clarify that because if they were working, we would know where they were. We have their Social Security numbers.

RIOS: Kim ...

GANDY: They are not working.


CARVILLE: ... find it a little bit -- a little bit -- I find it amusing that the Republican Congress, which is infested with divorced people out there encouraging poor people to get married. They love marriage because they get married so many times.


CARVILLE: And you know what? There are divorced Democrats, too.


CARVILLE: I tell you what, look at the record of divorced ...

RIOS: Was there a question there, James?

CARVILLE: Yes, don't you think it's a little hypocrisy of a bunch of people that are divorced I don't know how many times, sitting there telling poor people that you're encouraged to get married.


NOVAK: What are you talking about?


GANDY: How about if their benefits hinged on whether they stayed married?

CARVILLE: Go ahead.

NOVAK: Go ahead please.

RIOS: Do you think that Bill Clinton would be a better proponent of marriage because he's never been divorced?

CARVILLE: Absolutely. Absolutely.

RIOS: You know what this ...

CARVILLE: Absolutely ...


CARVILLE: You know what Bill Clinton never did? He never stuck out his hand and introduced himself to his own child at his high school graduation.


CARVILLE: Never did that.

RIOS: James, have you ever heard of Pinocchio?

CARVILLE: And Mr. Novak knows what I'm talking about.

NOVAK: Let me just - let me just - who are you talking about people who have been divorced several times?

CARVILLE: Bob Dole (UNINTELLIGIBLE) three times.


CARVILLE: No, there's a lot more. I'm not going ...


RIOS: The thing of it is the person that's proposing this is the president who has for all apparent purposes a fabulous marriage.

CARVILLE: I bet he ...

RIOS: It's been an inspiration to all of us.


RIOS: Yes and so have you, so why are you discouraging this?


RIOS: Why are you guys fighting something that you both enjoy?

CARVILLE: Because what we're saying is, is just - what we're saying is, is that what -- we have too many divorces, and what we need is not more marriages, more good marriages ...


CARVILLE: ... and we ought not to pay people to get married. We ought -- they ought to get married for the right reasons.

RIOS: You know James, the thing of it is, statistics show -- it sounds like - the thing of it is they have done studies already and they know that children do so much better ...


RIOS: All right ...

CARVILLE: I agree with you lady. Can't you get that through your head?


NOVAK: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Ms. Rios, thank you very much. Ms. Gandy, thank you.


NOVAK: Still to come, a sober look at airline safety and security including the case of two pilots who failed a Breathalyzer test.

We'll also ask D.C.'s top cops whether everyone should avoid crowds on the Fourth of July.

And don't forget our quote of the day is from someone who isn't buying WorldCom stock.


CARVILLE: Welcome back. It must be tough to have $1 billion in cash and still be worried about bankruptcy, but that's the case at WorldCom. So CEO John Sidgmore finally came to Washington to face a camera as well as government regulators, and one of them doesn't seem a bit impressed by Sidgmore's plea for sympathy.

Securities and Exchange Commission Chief Harvey Pitt has read WorldCom's sworn statement about how the company managed to misconduct for nearly $4 billion. Pitt gets our quote of the day for saying WorldCom statement - quote - "demonstrates a lack of commitment to full disclosure to investors and less than full cooperation with the SEC."

NOVAK: You know what my problem with that is? I don't believe in "Alice in Wonderland" justice where you have verdict first, trial later. I'd like Mr. Pitt to take a look at WorldCom, see what they did, and not say gee, he's so worried about liberals like you attacking him that he's saying they're guilty.

CARVILLE: How does somebody - just ask a question - how you lose $4 billion? You just - I mean where does it go? I mean ...


CARVILLE: ... somebody don't know -- jeez, $4 billion. You know we lose (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in your pocket, you lose a couple of bucks. How do you lose $4 billion?

NOVAK: We don't - we don't live in a communist state. I mean you probably regret it, but we don't live in a communist state and ...


CARVILLE: I understand.

NOVAK: ... the fact of the matter is we have a trial. We have a system where people are investigated. They may be - they may be fraudulent, but what -- how is Mr. Pitt making ...


CARVILLE: I'm just saying well Mr. Pitt is just - he's on a run because he's just a hack -- a hack for the accounting people, and he ought to be out of there. But the point is I'm asking, how do you lose $4 billion? It's just a question.

NOVAK: You say anybody who's a Republican and a free enterprise is a hack ...



NOVAK: ... in your view.

CARVILLE: ... now Arthur Leavitt was - Bob (UNINTELLIGIBLE) was the greatest press secretary ...


NOVAK: Well, he was a Democrat, wasn't he?

CARVILLE: ... of the modern era. You damn right.


NOVAK: So Democrats are great ...


NOVAK: ... and Republicans are bad.

CARVILLE: Absolutely. Absolutely. And this -- and this pant load we got in there right now, nobody has any faith in him.


NOVAK: Coming up, CNN's Connie Chung shows us a new problem out west, and this time it isn't a wildfire.

Later, unfriendly airports and scary skies. Will air travel ever be fun again?

Also, is fear taking the fun and games out of your Fourth of July?


CARVILLE: If you're flying this holiday, you'll be rubbing elbows with a lot of other folks. About 4.4 million Americans expected to travel by air on this Fourth of July holiday. That's down by 4.5 percent from last year. It's hard to say what's scarier: the threat of terrorism, getting through lines at airport security, or the way some people are behaving.

In Miami last night, a couple of American West pilots were arrested when they went through security with open drinks. They failed breathalyzer tests.

Makes you want to run down to the airport, doesn't it? I say this is a show about drunk people getting married, huh?

In the CROSSFIRE, two aviation consultants: Michael Boyd joins us from Denver, Colorado, and Jim Tilmon is in Phoenix, Arizona -- Bob.


NOVAK: Mr. Tilmon, let's review what happened that's created all this attention. These aviators go through the security area. And the only reason they're stopped is they have cups of coffee. Those are the open drinks -- they're not liquor, they're cups of coffee.

So they caught -- they say, you can't go through with coffee, they cause a fuss, they smell their breath and they say, hey, you've been drinking.

Now my question to you is this: How many pilots go through without a cup of coffee that have been drinking and there's nobody smelling their breath? Is this a pretty common occurrence?

JIM TILMON, AVIATION CONSULTANT: This is so rare, that it's news on your show.

The fact is that this is a very, very unusual situation. Pilots are professional, and they are disciplined, and they are very, very careful about their health and their condition when they go fly airplanes.

This is not systemic. This is not part of the professional pilot group. These are two individuals that did something that was way out of the ordinary.

NOVAK: Well, you know, there's considered off-duty -- there's a lot of drinking goes on with pilots, I know that.

And the question I'm asking you is: Is it unusual because they got caught? They got caught in unusual circumstances because they were carrying a cup cup of coffee? Are there a lot of people sneaking through? There's no way of telling, is there?

TILMON: I've been flying since 1959. And Bob, I've got to tell you I can count on one hand the number of instances that I know of where a pilot has shown up for duty and has had some alcohol, enough so that it would be a problem.

I don't think that we're looking at anything other than these two individuals, and I think we need to keep our perspective very, very carefully taken care of.

CARVILLE: I want to talk to Mr. Boyd about Don Carty, the chairman of the American Airlines said that they're losing money hand- over-foot, and said enhanced security measures are really killing these airlines, in particularly, the majors.

Is this is a problem? And how bad is business for major airlines in America today?

MICHAEL BOYD, AVIATION CONSULTANT: Well, Mr. Carty, that took a lot of courage for him to do that.

The fact is, these aren't enhanced security measures in many cases, they're crackpot. Last-minute random checks of people at the gate where they pick out the first first class passenger that boards regardless, or somebody carrying a diaper bag or something. Mr. Carty was right: We need focused security, not this random scatter-shot approach.

Last week we had a workshop -- a security workshop with airport managers from around the country, and the stories were the same: We don't have focus at this Transportation Security Administration. We don't have real good policy. We don't have real good follow-through.

So people aren't flying. A certain segment don't want to fly, and that's hurting airlines and airline employees around the country.

CARVILLE: I mean, how much danger are the major carriers in right now of going under?

BOYD: Well, I think right now, not a lot at the moment. But as we get toward this December deadline to put in bomb-sniffing machines that don't work very well that are really going to choke our airports, I think airlines are looking at -- down the barrel of some very tough financial times.

Because if you have to come to an airport and check your bag two, three, four hours ahead of time -- which is what it's going to look like by December -- fewer people are going to fly.

We really don't have the policies out there, and the right kind of equipment. And for crying out loud, we do not have the leadership we need to do what we need to do to get our airports secure.

NOVAK: Mr. Boyd, I just want to backtrack to the drinking pilots once more. Do you agree with Mr. Tilmon that this is not really a problem?

BOYD: Only about 100,000 percent. I mean, I grew up with a pilot. My father was vice president of American Airlines and chief pilot. I saw what (sic) the professionalism among pilots. I've worked with pilots' unions.

I mean, you have a better chance of having Ed McMahon showing up at your door with that sweepstakes check than fining a drunken pilot.

NOVAK: All right, Mr. Tilmon, Mr. Boyd gave a very tough appraisal of the Transportation Safety Agency new organization established after 9/11.

Do you agree with him?

TILMON: No I don't.

I mean, let's put it this way: on the 11th of September we all woke up. Everybody found out there was a brand new world out there. A lot of things changed. And it was mandated that we're going to do some dramatic things with our airport security and our aviation security program.

It is literally impossible to take the program, shut it down and replace it overnight with competent people. You just can't do it. There are not enough people to do that with it, and not enough time. Security is a matter of time and money, and we need some of both. No, we're not where we should be right now. I agree with Mr. Boyd: There are a lot of things wrong with where we are right now.

However, I've had enough opportunity to see some of the things they're doing, and they're doing some good things.

NOVAK: Mr. Boyd?

BOYD: I disagree entirely.

First of all, number one, the bomb-sniffing machines they're buying don't work very well. Number two, not one FAA official or DTSA has ever lost their job over what happened at 9/11.

As a matter of fact, the person in charge of FAA security at Boston Logan, where two airplanes were hijacked, she was promoted.

So what we have is a system that really needs to be cleaned out. And until we clean out that, get some accountability at the top, we're not going to get to where we need to go.

And airports we work with totally agree with us on this, that we need to clean up this mess. For example, in Moline, Illinois, the federal security director there, he came from the personnel department.

What we have here is a bureaucracy that's growing by leaps and bounds. And I agree with some people in Congress that say it's chaos.

We do need to move in the right direction. And some things have been done, such as cockpit doors being strengthened, flight attendants being trained in some self-protection. That's very good.

But in terms of the people running the show, this system is out of control right now. We're not going in the right direction.

CARVILLE: Well, this is CROSSFIRE: We get 100,000 percent agreement, 100,000 percent disagreement.

Let me go to you Mr. Tilmon.

I'll tell you, I'm a little sympathetic with Mr. Boyd here. I fly a lot. I mean, a whole lot. And some of the stuff is just ridiculous. I think Ashcroft put my name in the computer because they're always kicking me out. They're always kicking me out for body searching.

And it is -- if you fly first class, you know not to be the first person in line. Anybody that does it, they tell you, you're the first one in line, so we're going to do it. Now, you'd have to have a pretty stupid terrorist to be the first person to get on a plane in first class.

I mean, come on, aren't there a lot of things we can do to make this thing safer, but simpler?

TILMON: Oh yes. And there's no question about that.

And listen, you know, it's a little bit uncomfortable for me, because I'm normally on the other side of this issue. I'm normally talking about what's wrong with the system.

But I've had some opportunity to do some real research on what's going on right now. I've seen some of the bomb detection devices that are being checked right now in the research and development. I've seen how they work. I've seen the failure rate to be more acceptable than ever, and perhaps moving in the right direction. I've seen the training for air marshals. I've had a chance to witness that program and see how effective it is, and how well-trained they are, how professional they are.

I have seen some of the other kinds of training that's going on. I've seen some of the evidence of the federal employees that are now manning some of the checkpoints that are the ones that we hope to see on all the checkpoints in November.

Is it right now? Well, I fly a lot too. And sometimes I'm the first person in line for first class. Guess what? They don't pick me.

NOVAK: Mr. Boyd?

BOYD: Well, I think one of the problems we have here is, like, what we're doing here is like the screening process. We're taking virtually the same people who were there before, giving them 44 hours of training and screening, and then they get supervised oversight by the same FAA/TSA people we had before.

That's not good enough. These bomb-sniffing machines, the CT- based machines, according to the GAO and the Department of Transportation, they can sniff two bags a minute. Try to do that at the morning bank at O'Hare.

And the other thing is rubbing bags, that doesn't work either.


NOVAK: We're just about running out of time. I would say that I'm sometimes first in line in first class, I never get checked.

If you look like a terrorist, you do get checked, James.

CARVILLE: Are you saying I look like a terrorist, huh?


NOVAK: Mr. Boyd, don't you believe, though, that all these security regulations, whether they make it safer or not, are making flying by air miserable, and if we make them any tighter, you're really going to wreck the industry?

BOYD: Yes, I agree, I think we can have much better security, because good throughput and consumer confidence and good security are not all mutually exclusive.

But when you walk through and then you have to put out your arms, and little old ladies being wanded -- look, this non-profile thing is ridiculous. If these people were running the show in World War II, they'd bomb Omaha occasionally just to show we don't like the Japanese.

NOVAK: That will have to be the last word.

Mr. Boyd, thank you very much. Jim Tilmon, thank you so much.


NOVAK: Coming up in "Fireback," a viewer who's worried about pilots having more than alcohol in the cockpit.

And next in the CROSSFIRE: making sure the upcoming holiday doesn't turn into a terrorist's opportunity.


CARVILLE: The appropriate colors for this week are red, white, blue, and yellow, as in a yellow alert.

In the government's color-coded world of terrorism alerts, yellow means an elevated threat. The FBI is urging state and local law enforcement agencies to take extra security precautions.

Should you take precautions of your own, like staying at home?

Please welcome into the CROSSFIRE U.S. Capitol Police Chief Terrance Gainer and Chief Teresa Chambers of the U.S. Park Police.


NOVAK: Chief Gainer, I want to start off by putting up a "Newsweek" poll asking people about likely terrorist attacks on the Fourth of July. You read: 57 percent -- 12 plus 45 -- think there's going to be terrorist attacks.

Haven't you just scared the people so much that they're being alarmist?

CHIEF TERRANCE GAINER, D.C. CAPITOL POLICE: I don't think so. I think the warnings have been prudent; we need to be cautious. But I think law enforcement is well-prepared to help us have a safe holiday.


NOVAK: Is it likely or not?

GAINER: I think it's unlikely.

CARVILLE: Chief, let me ask you: How would I act any differently if I got a yellow alert or an orange alert, or whatever? I mean, how would I -- what would you recommend? How would my behavior -- how would I adjust my behavior based on Tom Ridge's spectrograph or whatever the hell he's got there?

CHIEF TERESA CHAMBERS, U.S. PARK POLICE: I would hope that you'd remain vigilant, and even more so than usual. I think we all have since September 11.

CARVILLE: But what does it mean? If I'm to be vigilant, what should I do?

CHAMBERS: What it means is you keep your eyes open. Nobody can police the community better than the public itself. We need you to look to see what is out there in the area that you're occupying. If it's a cooler on the Washington Monument grounds, if it doesn't belong to you and doesn't belong to your neighbor, we need to have you tell somebody.

NOVAK: Chief, isn't it kind of ridiculous, though, to have a check of all the vast crowd that's going to be on the Mall for the Fourth of July? I mean, you have a terrorist bomber, they could go up to New York and knock off as many people there.

Isn't that just ridiculous, to require each one to be searched?

CHAMBERS: Actually, I think the American public has grown to expect that. We know that since September 11 we've gotten used to some minor inconveniences -- waiting in lines, having packages checked.

We understand in the United States Park Police our role in doing the best job we can at the nation's biggest party here in Washington, D.C., to make it a safe and secure environment, and yet one that's still open and a family friendly environment.

GAINER: And not necessarily everybody is going to be searched. I think that the way we're running each of the respective areas we have, there's a set of criteria that the Park Police has put out. And not everyone will be searched. All packages will be searched.


CARVILLE: Let's just get to the meat. Are people going to be profiled?

GAINER: I think if you come out there in a long trench coat with a backpack on, then you will meet the police.

CARVILLE: Then you will meet the police.

But let's just say you look more of a Middle Eastern origin than somebody else?

GAINER: Not at all.

NOVAK: Why not?

GAINER: I think it's the totality of the circumstances: how you're dressed, what you're carrying or not carrying. CARVILLE: Tell us a little bit -- what are you telling your people what to look for out there?

GAINER: Well, one of the things we're telling them, if you bring backpacks in and packages, that we're going to look for them. If you saw someone in a long winter coat or a trench coat that seems out of season, out of style, then you take another look at them.

NOVAK: Chief Chambers, I want to put up on the screen some pictures of what's been set up on the Mall for protection, if it comes up.

Now, that is a -- we're going to show it now -- that is kind of ugly, putting all that equipment up there, all that -- all these fences. They're just putting it up now.

Do you really gain any security by putting it up? I mean, what are you -- at the cost of making this beautiful Mall ugly -- and look at all that stuff out there -- what are you really accomplishing?

CHAMBERS: Actually, that kind of fencing, the snow fencing that you're referring to, is up during most of our major events, and was prior to September 11. It's helped us funnels pedestrians to keep them out of the trafficways. What we've enhanced it with this year is a double row of snow fencing.

And no, it's not a hardened fence, but we didn't want that. We wanted to find that balance and compromise.

NOVAK: What good does it do?

CHAMBERS: What it does, is it helps us -- allows us to funnel people through these secure checkpoints that Chief Gainer has just talked about.

And between the parallel rows, we'll have officers: 2,000 officers are working down on the Mall on the Fourth of July thanks to folks like Chief Gainer and Chief Ramsey, the uniform division of the Secret Service, and dozens of other law enforcement agencies so that people have the sense of security, and yet an open atmosphere, and have...

CARVILLE: Just give some people watching in all of America: How many different law enforcement agencies will be represented on the Mall the night of the Fourth of July?

GAINER: Chief?

CHAMBERS: In uniform, at least 16 different agencies will be represented.

CARVILLE: And in plain clothes -- how many more of them in plain clothes?

CHAMBERS: Up to a half a dozen additional.


CARVILLE: So when people are sitting at home watching the Fourth of July celebrations on television, people from almost 30 different law enforcement agencies on there trying to sort of protect people on the Mall?

NOVAK: Do you think that people should have any trepidation at all, and say gee, I want to go out there, but I'm really nervous?

DO you don't think they should have any trepidation when they go out on the Mall?

GAINER: I think it's a reasonable question to ask in light of what happened on September 11. But I think they also should take some comfort that we're well-versed in this, and actually leave the angst to us -- that we have good intelligence, we're sharing it, we have good people out there.

But we know this: Whether it's England, Ireland or Israel, there have been problems, and they've been very good at this before. So we can't be Pollyannaish about it, but we're taking so many precautions...

NOVAK: Have you ever heard of a terrorist taking a holiday? I've been trying to find one, I can't find any.

GAINER: Well, hopefully there won't be one now.

CARVILLE: Do you have children?

CHAMBERS: I do not have children, but my family will be down here for the Fourth of July.

NOVAK: Your family will be. You will recommend...

GAINER: My children and grandchildren will be down there on...


CARVILLE: All right. I like your confidence, I like your professionalism. Thank you all for the great job you do.

GAINER: Thank you.

CHAMBERS: Thank you.

NOVAK: Thank you, we really appreciate it.

Next on "Fireback": a viewer who thinks we need more than a little bell to keep things under control.


NOVAK: It's time for "Fireback," when the viewers "Fireback" at us.

Our first e-mail from Ron Schalow of Fargo, North Dakota refers to last night's program when we were talking about cigarette taxes.

He says: "Bob, it's nice that you're so worried about poor people not being able to afford cigarettes. Here area few other things they can't afford: proper health care, decent housing, enough food, education, political influence, and Final Four tickets."

Ron, that is really a stupid comment, because as a matter of fact, what I'm worried about is putting so much taxes on it they can't afford it. We don't put taxes on the other things so they can't afford it.

CARVILLE: Do you worry a lot about poor people?

NOVAK: Not a lot, no.

CARVILLE: You don't much really care...

NOVAK: Only about getting cigarettes.


"What I find even more worse than some drunk airline pilot, is the thought that they may soon have guns as well as alcohol in the cockpit," James Stevens, Newtown, Connecticut.

Well James, you've got a lot to worry about. I tend to agree with those pilots; I think it is an extremely rare occasion. And I want to say this: I fly a lot, and I've found every airline pilot that I've encountered to be both sober, professional, and...

NOVAK: And I'd feel better if they had guns in the cockpit, too.

CARVILLE: You'd fell better if everybody had guns.


NOVAK: That's right.

Carlton Carver of Washington, North Carolina says: "It would be a fun gimmick for you to employ a gong in your show. When Carville has one of his ill-tempered moments, simply ring the gong, send him off to cool down, and cut to commercial for a few minutes."

Carlton: typical, good, Tarheel comment.

CARVILLE: That must be one good Republican who wants to deny free speech to our side on saying "hell" on CROSSFIRE.

I didn't go there; all right (ph).

"I saw that a dog was running as a Republican in Florida" -- actually, it was a Democrat -- "I've got a dog that growls whenever he hears the name George Bush. Is there any chance I can earn him some coin as a pundit?"

Sure. NOVAK: That was a nice job there.

We'll have a question from the audience, please.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My name is Danielle Slayton (ph), and I'm from Pomona, California.

And my question is: Why should we take taxpayers' money and put it towards welfare mothers getting married and not towards them receiving an education, or better yet, getting off of welfare?

NOVAK: Because marriage is good for the offspring. And we used to spend -- waste a lot of welfare money making sure they didn't have a man in the house. This is just the opposite.

CARVILLE: Well, as I said before, this is an idiotic thing. I think if people want to get married, they ought to get married. They don't need the government to try to force them to get married or pay them to get married because you end up with what you don't want, is a lot of bad marriages and a lot of kids growing up without the benefit of a two-parent...


NOVAK: ... next question.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good evening Mr. Carville and Mr. Novak. My name is Rachel Marsden (ph), and I'm from Vancouver, Canada.

And this is a question for Mr. Carville. Mr. Carville: How do you respond to comments suggesting that Bill Clinton and his administration blew their chance at capturing bin Laden after the embassy bombings in 1998?

CARVILLE: Well, I would respond by telling you that the Clinton administration went after bin Laden; the Bush administration pulled the planes out, they pulled the stand-down in the Indian Ocean. That General Carrick (ph) said that the Clinton administration was far more focused on terrorism than the Bush administration ever was. Everybody acknowledged there was a great deal more focus.

And if he was so easy to get, why hasn't Bush got him yet?

NOVAK: All right, we'll get another question in quickly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good evening. My name is Wilthea Abdullah (ph), and I live in Rockville, Maryland.

It seems to me a key characteristic of a terrorist act is the element of surprise. And I'm wonder how real the warning is if that element is no longer?

NOVAK: Well, I don't think you can really predict where it's going to come, how it's going to come. But I think it's very unlikely it's going to come on the Mall on the Fourth of July.

CARVILLE: From the left, I'm James Carville, good night for CROSSFIRE.

NOVAK: From the right, I'm Robert Novak. Join us again tomorrow night for another edition of CROSSFIRE on the Fourth of July.

CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT begins immediately after a CNN News Alert.


Measuring Up?; Nation Looks to July 4 with Expectation and Trepidation>



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