Should Full Body Scans Be Used in Airports?; Government Finds Ways to Make Telemarketers Go Away
Aired June 27, 2003 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: CROSSFIRE. On the left: James Carville and Paul Begala. On the right: Robert Novak and Tucker Carlson. In the CROSSFIRE, tired of long lines at airport security? Step inside. The sign says it all.
Is this the future of air travel in the age of terrorism? Or an invasion of privacy big enough to fly a jumbo jet through?
Plus, a way to make telemarketers go away.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Unwanted telemarketing calls are intrusive. They are annoying, and they're all too common.
ANNOUNCER: We'll tell you how to get on the do-not-call list.
And guess who's talking about Tucker Carlson's shoes? Find out what she said. Today on CROSSFIRE.
ANNOUNCER: Live from the George Washington University, James Carville and Tucker Carlson.
JAMES CARVILLE, CO-HOST: Welcome to CROSSFIRE. Today we're talking about the future of flying. You want to be absolutely sure the person in the next seat isn't carrying a gun or bomb or anything else a terrorist could use? There's a way to do it, but some people won't like it.
But first, fasten your seat belts for the best political briefing in television, our CROSSFIRE Political Alert.
It's been almost two months since President Bush put on his flight suit and landed on an aircraft carrier. Standing under the big mission accomplished banner, he told us that major combat operations were over in Iraq. A U.S. soldier was shot today in Baghdad, two U.S. troops were killed and eight wounded yet. A couple of soldiers are missing and feared kidnapped. Six British soldiers died.
On Tuesday, "The Washington Post" posted a U.S. official as saying the continued violence has become an embarrassment. Mr. President, go ahead and use those aircraft carrier pictures in your campaign ads. The Democrats should use them, too, because major combat is not over and there's no mission accomplished.
TUCKER CARLSON, CO-HOST: Really? I mean I think while it's terrible, it's a tragedy when Americans are killed, I think most Americans, and I'm certain most Americans, believe that liberating Iraq and the Ba'ath Party was an honorable thing, that the region is safer, that the world is safer. And I'm just not sure how much political mileage you're going to get out of whining about a war that's already (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
CARVILLE: Let me tell you what "The Washington Post" says. "It was an incomplete victory that defeated (UNINTELLIGIBLE) military, but not his Ba'ath political party." That was right in the paper. If you had read the paper this morning, you would know that they're not freed from the Ba'ath political party.
CARLSON: Is that true?
CARVILLE: Yes. Well, Tom Ricks (ph), right here -- if you'd read the paper.
CARLSON: That's ludicrous. Did I read the paper?
CARVILLE: When you're in the morning...
CARLSON: James, I'm not going to talk about my morning routine with you. James, look...
CARVILLE: You pick up "The Washington Post," you sit on the john, you read the paper.
CARLSON: The point is that the Ba'ath Party is no longer in control of Iraq. It has nothing to do with your morning john ceremony.
The true voice of the Democratic Party has spoken, uttering four words that speak volumes: Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich. They're the big winners of the online primary conducted this week by moveon.org.
The former Vermont governor crushed the rest of the field with about 44 percent of the vote. Congressman Kucinich was distant second, with 24 percent. With the exception of John Kerry's 16 percent, none of the other candidates even made it out of single digits, and low ones at that.
Carol Moseley Braun actually finished ahead of Joe Lieberman and American folk hero, Al Sharpton. The elitist Democratic leadership, which fears and loathes Howard Dean and knows nothing about the power of the Internet, will dismiss the result as irrelevant. You watch. Let them. Howard Dean will laugh last.
This is significant, James. You're going to pretend it's not.
CARVILLE: You know what's significant is that you have a homophobic idiot like Rick Santorum, that is the number three elected Republican in the United States and he embodies the values of the Republican Party.
CARLSON: OK. That's...
CARVILLE: You know? Some people are trying to exercise and have a little fun on the Internet. Don't compare him with the clowns who run the Republican Party. Don't compare him with people...
CARLSON: I don't even know what the hell you're talking about.
CARVILLE: Don't compare him with people like Tom DeLay that accused (UNINTELLIGIBLE) of having sex.
CARLSON: This is like one non sequitur after another, James. It doesn't mean anything. Address what I said.
CARVILLE: If Rick Santorum is elected to the leadership of the United States Senate and attacks homosexuals, (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
CARLSON: You're embarrassing yourself.
CARVILLE: It's the duty of every American to read a magazine article.
But in the current issue of the "New Republic," everyone should read a story written by (UNINTELLIGIBLE). In it, we learn the Bush administration gave us only about one-tenth of the truth to make its case with the war with Iraq. They used only intelligence that supported their position and ignored intelligence that did not.
And there was a lot of intelligence out there that said Iraq did not have nukes and that there was no link between Saddam and Al Qaeda and that it was not a threat to the U.S. This is a must-read for every American.
CARLSON: Well you know, I'm not going to respond with screaming about Al Sharpton and Rick Santorum. Look, James, the fact is that Iraq was a threat, not simply to the United States but the rest of the world. It's not even worth debating. I guess the one point I would make...
CARVILLE: Did you read the article?
CARLSON: Of course I read the article.
CARVILLE: Well you listen to Rush Limbaugh. You don't read this.
CARLSON: I've never -- you can barely read, and you're accusing me of not reading? CARVILLE: Right here is "The Washington Post."
CARLSON: Give me a break.
CARVILLE: Let me read it to you -- we're out of time.
CARLSON: I'm being lectured by an illiterate on reading.
CARVILLE: All right.
CARLSON: All right. James, look, the point is no Democrat is going to win the election campaigning about the war that was fundamentally a success.
CARVILLE: All you have to do is -- you see this "New Republic?" "Deception and Democracy, the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Iraq War." That's all you've got to do. Ladies and gentlemen, if you want to be an informed citizen, it's right here. All the lies are right there.
CARLSON: OK. Let's try again. At a gathering of Democratic activists the other night, Congressman Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island spoke of profound truth. For once, after former Governor Howard Dean had finished his speech, Kennedy remarked that the more you drink, the better the nine Democratic presidential candidates sound.
Then Kennedy, who may or may not have been drinking himself, began a political speech of his own. "I don't need Bush's tax cut," he said. "I never worked an f'ing day in my life."
Kennedy's spokesman later told "The Washington Post" that the congressman, who is famous among Democrats for being an embarrassment to his party, regrets using profanity. Notice that he did not regret admitting that he has never worked "an f'ing day in his life." Kennedy may be embarrassing, but at least he's honest, at least in this case.
CARVILLE: Let me put it this way: do you think the current occupant of the White House ever worked a day in his life?
CARLSON: Yes, actually.
CARVILLE: All he ever did was live off the gratuity of his daddy's friends. And every time he couldn't accomplish thing, his parents came in and bailed him out. At least Kennedy has the good sense to say, you know what? I was born with money and I've never had to work, as opposed to Bush, who lives off the gratuity of his daddy's friends and lives off the public...
CARLSON: That's what the thing is.
CARVILLE: Congratulations, Patrick Kennedy, for being an honest man.
CARLSON: That's not only mean, wrong and stupid -- see, that's literally not true -- whatever.
Well, the non sequitur fest continues. Coming up, a visit from big brother. Do you really want to show everything? And we mean everything to the security guards at the airport. Perhaps you already do. You may not have a choice.
In "Rapidfire," big brother part two. If you don't want a phone call from a salesman, just give your name to the government. We'll tell you how. We'll be right back.
CARVILLE: When you fly, do you worry the person next to you or two rows in front of you might be a terrorist? Do you wonder if the airport screeners are doing a good job while they're half asleep?
Well, there's a way to fix all that. The technology exists for full-body scans. It can reveal threats that medical screens can't, like plastic guns and plastic explosives. Of course it also shows what's under your clothes. And so a lot of people don't want it used.
Stepping into the CROSSFIRE tonight are David Sobel -- he's general counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center -- and with him is CNN security analyst, Kelly McCann.
CARLSON: Kelly, here's the problem I have. It seems to me these machines are another attempt to turn to technology to solve a more fundamental problem. It seems to me the real problem in airports is the quality of the security.
An aviation analyst in "The New York Times" this week described the TSA as like an occupying Army in airports. "Unfortunately it's the French army." Shouldn't we be taking this money going to these machines and upgrading the level of the security guards that are already there? Wouldn't that be more helpful?
KELLY MCCANN, CNN SECURITY ANALYST: Well, all security's got to be redundant and it has to have several different kinds. There's certainly human interaction, and then there has to be technological interaction. And then there has to be process interaction.
And it's the combination of all that that gives you the best security. It's a cake question. You want your cake but you want to eat it, too. And no one's ever figured out how to do that yet. People want to be safe, but they don't want any further intrusion in their life, and you simply can't do it.
CARVILLE: Did your organization oppose the putting in of the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) at first?
DAVID SOBEL, ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER: No, I don't think there are objections to the existing security measures that we have in the airports. I think the American public has been very cooperative and understanding. Well, this really takes it a step beyond.
And I don't know if you were even able to show on cable television these images, but this is extremely invasive. And I...
CARVILLE: Well we'll show them now. But that thing would have to be very sensitive to pick up any of my privates. Let me tell you, it takes an electronic microscope for that thing to show up. Look at this. I mean that's hardly erotic.
CARLSON: Well, I don't know.
CARVILLE: I doubt you know, some 50-year-old is going to take that image in the bathroom or something with him, you know?
SOBEL: I think the reaction of the average citizen is they are willing to go through metal detectors, they're willing to have their baggage searched. But when it becomes this personalized and this invasive -- and I do consider this to be invasive, I think most people would consider this to be invasive -- then that's where the line should be drawn.
CARLSON: Wait, Kelly, wait. I've been strip searched once at an airport in Brazil. I'm not embarrassed, unlike James of being naked, but it's still -- no but it is intrusive. That's an excellent point. And is this the only way to keep weapons off airlines? I don't believe that.
MCCANN: No, it's a way. Actually, the problem goes to the mentality. The person that sits in a plane can take an empty can, rip it in half, he's got two knives. There are many implements. It really goes to mentality.
SOBEL: Ballpoint pen.
MCCANN: Absolutely. But it is a way to create that redundancy. In other words, to take away another avenue to do it. Quite frankly, I think you'd have a better standard if everybody subjected themselves to it. The process that I read that they're going to engage, at least initially, is it will discriminate. And they'll only pull some people. I think everybody should go through it, and then it's less intrusive in a way.
CARLSON: But wait. You said there's a balance between having your cake and eating it. When you talk to security guys, they don't seem aware of that balance. There is a balance between freedom and security. And if you turn everything over to the security guys, it's all security and no freedom. Isn't that right?
MCCANN: No. But the thing is, you know, let's go back for a second. Think of the Constitution, think of when all the rights that we enjoy were initiated. There weren't weapons of mass destruction.
Threats from overseas came by wooden boat. There weren't planes that could fall out of the sky. So in pulling and doing the research on this, one of the ACLU representatives said passengers when they fly have a right to expect that they will not be seen naked. Well I have a right to fly and be safe.
So I mean there is a compromise here. If you are embarrassed of a piercing or a condition or something, it's not like the rest of the people in line will see that image. Men screeners will see men, women screeners will see women. It's not broadcast on a public viewer.
SOBEL: Well, I think it's a question of balance. I mean, as Tucker pointed out, we have an agency now in the TSA that is deciding these questions entirely on the side of security. Any perceived security benefit is what they're going to propose without any consideration of privacy rights, constitutional interests.
So there really needs to be a balance struck. And our position is that that balance thus far has been struck way too far on the side of intrusiveness.
CARVILLE: Outside of airports, in many ways I agree. I mean, I think it's the most -- in terms of civil liberties, the administration doesn't even know they exist. OK? However, once I go on an airplane, once I go to that airport, I'm giving up something.
I don't have to go to it. I can drive; I can do anything else. And I'm taking my kids, and like this shoe bomb, under the current -- my understanding is under the current stuff, it doesn't detect this. This will. If you have plastic explosives, it will.
All I'm saying is, flying is a uniquely delicate vulnerable thing, vulnerable in an airplane, and I've got to do it for a living and I'm willing to give up something to do it.
SOBEL: I think the problem with that is that what's happening in the airports is very likely to extend to other parts of our lives. All forms of transportation have vulnerabilities. The metro system here in Washington, I mean, any form of transportation is ultimately going to have these kinds of security measures associated with them.
So the question is, are we going to allow this in the airports setting, and if we are, how do we keep it confined to the airport setting? And there's no indication that that's going to happen.
CARLSON: Kelly, we're almost out of time. Al Gore stopped twice in the same day and searched in an airport, gives you a measure of how inept airport screening can be. Do you trust airport personnel to use this device with restraint?
SOBEL: No, there will be abuses. There is abuse to every process, literally, that exists in the United States. Every single one of them. Someone figures out a way, at least in small cases, to abuse it, as they will with this. But will that be the norm? No, I suggest not.
CARLSON: So these images are going to be on the Internet.
(CROSSTALK) CARVILLE: There are going to be a lot of people that want to check it out.
CARLSON: Thank you both very much. We appreciate it.
CARVILLE: After a quick break, Wolf Blitzer will have the news headlines.
Then there's a new way to keep telemarketers from calling you in the middle of dinner and anything else. We'll tell you how to get on the do-not call list as we take on telemarketers in rapid fire.
Later, if Hillary Clinton has noticed that Tucker Carlson is planning a special meal. We'll tell you what she said.
CARVILLE: It's time for "Rapid Fire." Short questions, short answers, and hopefully we won't be interrupted by telemarketers. Now, if you're as sick of those nuisance as I am, you might want to take advantage of the federal governments new do-not call list.
There are two ways to do it, there's a web site called do-not- call.gov. There's also a toll-free number, but it won't be available to the entire country till July 7. So we'll share you the frustration and not give it out. And before you make up your mind, give our next guest a hearing. Joining us from Indianapolis is Tim Searcy, the executive director of The American Teleservices Association.
CARSON: Mr. Searcy, the do-not call web site went up at midnight, and the first 12 hours, which were overnight, about 370,000 people signed up. People hate telemarketers, don't they?
TIM SEARCY, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AMERICAN TELESERVICES ASSOCIATION: Some do, and some don't. Those who receive lower-cost goods, love it, and for those who aren't pleased, they can hang up or ask to be taken off the list.
CARVILLE: Your industry is much maligned, you were gracious enough to come on. Give us 10, 15, 20 seconds about why Americans should like the telemarketing industry and what they do.
SEARCY: Telemarketing employs 6 and a half million people, 2 million people will be put out of work due to directly to this legislation -- this regulation. And telemarketers provide a low-cost inexpensive and efficient means by which to get competitive priced goods and services. When you eliminate that, you eliminate competition, it costs more to get goods and services in any place that you go.
CARLSON: It seems, Mr. Searcy, the government's doing you a favor. People are taking themselves off the list, and this way you don't have to waste your money calling people who don't like telemarketers. Now you just reach the people who are receptive to your message, right? SEARCY: Well, unfortunately that's a panacea of a thought. There's no way that that works. Consumer can only determine if they like an offer or don't like an offer once they receive it. Simply stopping the calls before they reach them denies them the opportunity to have a choice. And the federal government's picking what they can listen to.
CARVILLE: You say this is the First Amendment right. Do you really have a First Amendment right to call somebody in the middle of dinner and try to sell them something?
SEARCY: It's not an issue of if it's right to be taken off a do- no call list. We already maintain voluntary lists. The bigger issue is that there are two kinds of speech that are created in this, that which is exempted by the federal government. They determine it's okay to hear from them, the politicians and charities, but it's not okay to hear from commercial vendors.
CARLSON: Well, Mr. Searcy, I'd like you to hear from our viewers. What's your home phone number?
SEARCY: I can voluntarily opt not to hear from them. And I'm going to.
CARLSON: You are missing out. We have great viewers. We really appreciate your coming on. Tim Searcy.
CARVILLE: Thank you very much. You're a good spokesman, and you're a good sport. Thank you for coming.
SEARCY: Thank you.
CARLSON: Coming up in "Fireback," Senator Hillary Clinton had choice comments about CROSSFIRE. We'll explain when we come back.
Also, one of our viewers had a comment about the late Senator Strom Thurmond. We'd like to pay a tribute to him with a question for our audience.
Pull out your devices and tell us how was Strom Thurmond when he first became a grandfather. Press one if you think he became a grandfather at the age of 56. Press two, if you think it didn't happen till he was 83. And press three if you think his first grandchild didn't arrive until the senator was 100 years old.
We'll be right back with the answer.
CARLSON: Welcome back to CROSSFIRE. Time for "Fireback." But first the results of our audience question. And the question today was, how old was Strom Thurmond when he first became a grandfather? 29 percent of our audience said he was 56, 51 percent believed he was 83, and 20 percent believed he was 100 years old.
In fact, the 20 percent were right. Strom Thurmond became a grandfather, just recently, when Julian Martin Whitmer had their son, his first grandson, 100 years old.
CARVILLE: Pretty stout.
CARLSON: Amazing. OK. "Fireback." Joe Striker, Columbia, South Carolina writes, "whatever you thought of Strom's politics he was a man who loved his women, his politics, and most of all his country. He will be missed."
CARVILLE: You know, since Strom Thurmond, two great things that people want is to be redeemed if they've done anything wrong, he redeemed himself and lived to be 100. Not a bad way. Not a bad way. So maybe -- I offer condolences to his family. But anybody who lives to be 100 as healthy as he was got a lot to be...
CARVILLE: Now that Hillary's book is approaching the one million mark. I am eagerly anticipating watching Tucker eat his shoes. If Bill's book does the same will he promise to eat his hair piece. Brian...
CARLSON: Canadians are happy. You know, James, I made the mistake a couple of months ago about bragging about my hairpiece on the air. And I don't actually wear a hairpiece.
CARVILLE: You don't? All these years ...
CARLSON: You thought it was a wig all these years. But in fact, it's fully attached.
CARVILLE: Let's see what Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York had to say about this. Oh here we go, I'm going to be curious as to what sort of shoe he chooses, flip flop or (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
CARLSON: Mrs. Clinton, rubbing it in.
CARVILLE: There it is, man, I'll tell you what, you deserve every bit of it. It wasn't like you didn't ask for it.
CARLSON: I admit it was stupid of me to say that. Yes, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pleasure to be here. My name is Shawn Dickson (ph). I'm from Columbus, Kentucky. And my question is, given today's online primary results and recent media attention, do you think the White House should be paying more attention to Howard Dean?
CARLSON: I think the Democratic party ought to be paying more attention to Howard Dean as a legitimate candidate, not constantly sniping at him, and calling him a kook or a loudmouth or a mean guy, I mean, he's a serious candidate with a real constituency.
CARVILLE: I -- look, he's a serious guy. What everybody will know when the Democrats vote, and I -- in all these primaries. And I think the time is to give the Democratic when it comes time, let the Democratic voters decide who they want.
CARLSON: Howard Dean and Al Sharpton, 2004. Yes, ma'am. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. My name is Meg Caseson (ph). I'm from Florida. My question for you is do you think the majority of Americans are willing to concede certain civil liberties and rights to privacy in order to feel safe and, if so, how far are they willing to go?
CARLSON: Unfortunately they are willing to go very, very far. The Washington Post did a poll last year and asked people what thought about a National I.D. card, without which you would not be allowed to travel. And most Americans were all for it.
Americans are, unfortunately, willing to give up a lot.
CARVILLE: We need to remember, I think it was Ben Franklin once said, those that are willing to trade liberty for security end up with neither.
Yes, ma'am, we're almost out of time. Hit us with your question.
CARVILLE: This young lady right here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, I'm Niria Douglas (ph) from Maine. The topic of do-not call list. What do you think about a do-not e-mail list?
CARVILLE: I don't use the stuff. I don't know how to use a computer.
CARLSON: I can tell you this, we're absolutely going to see one. Spam is so annoying, I think it will be outlawed. Whether it's a good idea or not I don't even know.
CARVILLE: From the left, from James Carville, that's it from CROSSFIRE.
CARLSON: From the right, I'm Tucker Carlson, join us again for yet more CROSSFIRE. "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS" starts right now. Have a terrific week-end.
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Finds Ways to Make Telemarketers Go Away>