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CNN WOLF BLITZER REPORTS
Controversial Judge Confirmed; Iraqis in City Under Siege Begin Cooperating; Iraqi Residents Help Rebuild Sadr City; Suspects in Aruba Disappearance to be Held Longer; Lawyer Statement Expected in Michael Jackson Trial; Suspect Hospitalized after Lengthy L.A. Car Chase; Howard Dean Remarks; Jane Harman Interview
Aired June 8, 2005 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Happening now, the vote has just started, the roll call. You're looking live at the U.S. Senate chamber where we're awaiting a critical vote. It's been two years in the making. At any moment now, we'll learn if President Bush's controversial pick for the federal bench prevails.
Stand by for hard news on WOLF BLITZER REPORTS.
BLITZER (voice-over): Al Qaeda plot? A father and son under arrest in California. Was one of them trained overseas to kill fellow Americans?
From urban combat to urban renewal. They fought in its streets. Now U.S. troops are helping to clean up a sprawling Baghdad slum.
Frontline. Is marriage another casualty of war? Why divorce rates among soldiers are soaring.
ANNOUNCER: This is WOLF BLITZER REPORTS for Wednesday, June 8, 2005.
BLITZER: Thanks very much for joining us. We're following a developing story right now. One day after stopping a Democratic filibuster, the United States Senate is poised to approve another controversial judicial nominee.
The vote to put Janice Rogers Brown on the United States Court of Appeals right here in Washington, D.C., could come up any moment now. The roll call has just started.
Our chief national correspondent, John King, is watching developments with us. He's standing by live. This is another big test for the president, but it's also a big test for the Democrats.
JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Big test for the Democrats, Wolf. Most of them will oppose this nomination. But it appears, as you noted, after two years that Janice Rogers Brown will be confirmed.
She's on the California Supreme Court. She will be -- assuming this vote goes as everyone thinks it will -- be relocating right here to Washington, D.C. And that is significant, because if you look at her rulings and, especially her speeches, her very controversial speeches, this is a woman, an African-American woman, the daughter of sharecroppers, a compelling life story, but a woman who has a very skeptical view of government and a skeptical view of entitlement, if you will, of the welfare state, of people expecting benefits from their government.
She will be on D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over almost every major federal agency. So all the questions about the scope of government, the power of government, ultimately when they're appealed through the federal courts, go to this district court.
This is a very interesting lady -- many believe a D.C. District Court of Appeals judge next and a future, perhaps, Supreme Court justice.
BLITZER: The D.C. District Court widely believed to be the second most important court in the United States, right behind the United States Supreme Court. But it looks like it's going to be a done deal as a result of that compromise that was worked out a couple weeks ago, those seven Democrats and seven Republicans.
KING: And most disappointed on this day -- yes, conservatives still getting heat over that deal. But most disappointed on this day are the liberal groups, because you have now had two judges confirmed, two judges they had blocked, one for four years, one for two years. And Priscilla Owen and now Janice Rogers Brown, who we assume in about 15 minutes will be confirmed.
The liberals are now seeing what they viewed as a nightmare happening, what they viewed as unacceptable conservatives. It's almost an oxymoron. They call them conservative activists on the federal bench.
So the liberals are unhappy on this day as this goes forward. There will be fights ahead. Many believe this is only a temporary truce. And if there is, in the next week or so, Chief Justice Rehnquist, perhaps, or another Supreme Court resignation, this fight will heat right back up.
But this particular judge is a very interesting woman. Again, highly skeptical of affirmative action. She has had some rulings on restrictions on abortion rights. So she will become a federal appeals court judge now, leaving the California Supreme Court, and she will be in the heart of these issues that have made these fights over the judges so partisan.
BLITZER: So the president will get -- already has Priscilla Owen, who was waiting for, what, four years. She's been confirmed now. Now Janice Rogers Brown about to be confirmed. William Pryor, the next controversial judge. He's about to be confirmed in the coming days, as well.
KING: He most likely will be confirmed, as well. Democrats say he is anti-environment, he is too pro-business. Again, the Republicans have the majority. So if there is no filibuster on those nominees, you should expect those to be confirmed.
The question is what happens after that. The deal allows votes on these judges and then a filibuster in a, quote-unquote, extraordinary circumstance. No one has put in ink and certainly not in stone how they define extraordinary.
So when will the patience of the Democrats run out? The prominent liberals in the Senate run out? When will the patience of the interest groups run out? And will they start demanding a filibuster?
So once we get past this vote and the next vote, then that deal, the 14 who came together, seven on each side, will truly be put to the test.
BLITZER: We'll see how that works out. John King, reporting for us. John, thanks very much.
And I wanted to let viewers know, we're going to be standing by, watching this vote unfold. We expect 15 or 20 minutes or so from now the roll call to be completed. We'll bring you the final results as soon as they're made available.
U.S. and Iraqi forces are stepping up their hunt for insurgents in the city of Tal Afar, near the Syrian border. But as this door-to- door sweep continues, residents are caught right up in the middle.
Our Jane Arraf is embedded with the troops in that area and has this report, only here on CNN.
JANE ARRAF, CNN CORRESPONDENT: American and Iraqi troops continued their operation in Tal Afar today, trying to stabilize that city and root out insurgents.
Now, this is a city just 60 kilometers, 40 miles from the Syrian border, one that is in the grip of the insurgency, according to local people.
We were with a quick reaction force with the U.S. Army, which went out into parts of the city, responding to trouble and responding to tips by informants as to where they could find people suspected of laying roadside bombs and other explosives.
What we found were people suffering from a city that has been essentially under siege. They say they haven't had water for two weeks. The food rations haven't been coming in because of trouble in the city and on the highways. Mothers have not been sending their children to school.
What we also found are Iraqis who stood up and said they were tired of this. And they were starting to report people in their neighborhood who they believed were launching these attacks. It's a very slow and steady process, but the only way Iraqi and U.S. officials say that they can restore peace and stability to Tal Afar.
Jane Arraf, CNN, reporting near Tal Afar, Iraq.
BLITZER: They've gone from urban combat to urban renewal. After fighting in its streets, U.S. troops are helping to clean up what's called Sadr City, a massive Baghdad slum.
CNN's Jennifer Eccleston reporting now from the Iraqi capital.
JENNIFER ECCLESTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Americans are coming to Sadr City, the sprawling Shiite enclave in eastern Baghdad.
The Americans were here a year ago, too, when the place was a battlefield, U.S. forces fighting street by street with militiamen loyal to firebrand Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The conflict left scores dead and the local population deeply suspicious of the liberators, come to free them from the subjugation of the mainly Sunni regime of Saddam Hussein.
What made the dynamic shift so dramatically? It's a case of turning swords into plowshares.
BRIG. GEN. THOMAS BOSTIK, U.S. ARMY: By putting shovels and hammers in their hands that they will build for their future rather than building vehicle-born improvised explosive devices and fight against us.
ECCLESTON: Shovels and hammers, an investment of mere pennies in the multibillion dollar effort to rebuild Iraq. But what a payoff. Electricity, water, trash disposal and a sewage system for desperately poor neighborhoods where such things never existed.
In Sadr City, rebuilding an infrastructure neglected for decades -- the gratitude of the people matched by the enthusiasm of the donors.
COL. JAMIE GAYTON, U.S. ARMY: I love this aspect of it. Getting out and talking with the people and hearing their concerns and then taking those concerns and turning it into a reality on the ground.
When we go into neighborhoods, and they've never had any kind of sewer system other than just a sewer that runs down the street in an open slit trench. And if you talk to them about ideas, we get with their Iraqi engineers and discuss how we can solve these problems. It is a wonderful thing.
ECCLESTON: Sadr City is a city within a city. Over two million people, Baghdad's biggest slum. Any infrastructure development at all translates into vast improvement in the quality of life of a lot of people.
Even so, there are complaints. Things move too slowly, this man says.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Each time he says we will build a network to supply us with water. It's been like this since last year. Whenever we go to ask them they say tomorrow, the day after, and so on. And nothing yet.
ECCLESTON: The Army Corps of Engineers' Col. Dick Thompson says frustration is only natural. But he says there's a good reason for the slow pace of progress.
COL. DICK THOMPSON, U.S. ARMY: Here we're going to opt for manual labor, people with picks and shovels digging trenches that we would normally use a backhoe to do. It may take a little longer, but we can employ several hundreds more people on an individual project site by doing it that way.
ECCLESTON: A battle for hearts and minds. Bilge pumps succeeding where bullets failed. Winning over some of Iraq's most suspicious citizens, at least for now.
Jennifer Eccleston, CNN, Baghdad.
BLITZER: Elsewhere in the Middle East, the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas went to Gaza today to try to prop up an increasingly shaky truce amid more violence between Palestinian militants and Israeli forces.
An Israeli missile destroyed a car in Gaza. Palestinians say it was aimed at a group of Hamas militants, who escaped. But an Israeli military spokesman says the strike was aimed at mortars which had fired at Jewish settlements and at an empty vehicle used to transport such weapons. Yesterday, three workers died when a mortar round fell on an Israeli settlement.
When we come back, missing in Aruba. New developments in the search for that Alabama student, Natalee Holloway. The suspects in her disappearance appear in court today and their families are speaking out. We'll go live to the island.
High-speed chases. Are police in hot pursuit putting your life in danger? I'll ask the deputy commissioner of the California Highway Patrol.
And the United States military and marriage. Divorce rates drastically increasing among men and women in uniform. We'll take a closer look.
BLITZER: Welcome back. There's a closed hearing on the island of Aruba. There was that hearing today for two men being held in the disappearance of a vacationing Alabama teenager. Karl Penhaul has been there from almost the start. He's joining us now, live from Aruba, with the latest in the case of Natalee Holloway.
What is the latest, Karl?
KARL PENHAUL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, a judge ordered in that closed hearing today for both those suspects to be kept in custody for a further eight days in order to give prosecutors time to gather more evidence against these men.
The men have now been named as Nicky -- Nicky John and also Abraham Jones, one 28, the other 30 years old, both security guards. That we do know.
The pictures, of course, we've seen of one of the men so far. That of Nicky John, the main picture we've seen of him in handcuffs. But today we were speaking to his mother at the poorer eastern end of this island. She showed us a photo from happier times and then went on to say this about what she believes her son has been up to.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANN JOHN, SUSPECT'S MOTHER: I know to myself, my son, will never, will never, will never put himself in this kind of a situation. If you tell me my son might tell somebody a bad word, I'll say, oh, yes. But put myself in this way to try to kidnap a lady, no, no. I rather they kill me if he do that instead of me, because I don't think my son is so dumb.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PENHAUL: She described her son as a guy who didn't like going out and socializing too much with friends, who doesn't drink, who doesn't smoke cigarettes, a guy who likes going to the beach and kicking around a soccer ball or taking his younger brother to the beach.
We also talked to the other suspect's family, Abraham Jones. He's the father of a five-year-old daughter. And on the night that Natalee Holloway disappeared, his girlfriend says that he was with her and they went home after a soul music festival.
BLITZER: Karl, what about the lawyers representing these two suspects? What are they saying?
PENHAUL: The defense attorneys -- and we've spoken to the lawyers representing both these men now, and they are surprised by the little evidence that has been presented in official prosecution files so far.
In fact, the defense attorney that we've spoken to said that at the moment, all there is in this file is circumstantial hearsay evidence. No testimony from any witness that suggests that either of these two suspects ever came into contact with Natalee Holloway. What they do add though, is because of the intense political pressure here and also the media scrutiny that the island is now facing, they say that they believe that that is feeding into the mix and is pressuring judges to keep these men in custody for the time being, Wolf.
BLITZER: Karl Penhaul, reporting for us in Aruba. Karl, thanks very much.
I want to go out to California right now, Santa Maria, California. CNN's Ted Rowlands standing by. There's a developing story involving the Michael Jackson trial.
What have we learned, Ted?
TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, within the last 20 minutes or so, according to the court, both attorneys met with the judge. And the judge is going to be approving a statement of some sort from one of the attorneys. It's not clear which side is going to be making the statement or which -- what the statement is going to be about.
We will have been told, however, that it is not about the jury. It is not about any sort of read back or a -- anything from the jury in terms of evidence. That it is coming from one of the attorneys.
So we're standing by. In terms of timing, the court administrator said it is coming "soon" -- quote-unquote. So we are waiting, standing by. Meanwhile, there's s about 15 minutes left in the day's scheduled deliberations, and clearly, there has been no verdict as of yet.
BLITZER: So can we assume, Ted, that this statement that's about to be released will happen after the jurors go home for the day?
ROWLANDS: Well, no, not necessarily. He said it's coming out soon within the hour. And he told us this about 10 minutes ago. So we can't assume that, but what we can assume, according to this administrator, is that it has nothing to do with the jury deliberations that are taking place at this moment.
So those two will be going on different tracks. When the jury finishes, the jury finishes. We have been told that if they want to continue on any given day, they can. We have not been given any information to lead us that they're doing that today. And as I said, about 15 minutes left in their scheduled day of work.
BLITZER: All right, Ted. We'll come back to you as soon as we know what that statement is. We'll watch it carefully.
Ted Rowlands is out there in Santa Maria, California, outside the courthouse, where the jury continues deliberating in the Michael Jackson child molestation trial.
We'll take another quick break. When we come back, dangerous speeds, California car chases covered almost daily. But is the police response putting lives in danger? I'll ask the deputy commissioner of the California Highway Patrol.
And terror arrests, a California father and son now in custody. New details of an alleged training camp and an operation in Pakistan, and targets right here in the United States.
And later, a very, very dedicated delivery man, a pizza guy gets shot and still makes his next three deliveries. We'll tell you what happens. Stay with us.
BLITZER: You're looking at live pictures, the floor of the United States Senate, where 100 senators poised to vote. They're voting right now on the nomination of Janice Rogers Brown to be a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge right here in the District of Columbia, often seen as the second highest court in the nation.
We're standing by for that roll call. She's expected to be confirmed following that compromise of a couple weeks ago. We'll give you the roll call tally as soon as we get it.
We're also standing by for a statement from out in Santa Maria, California -- you're looking live at the courthouse in California -- in the Michael Jackson child molestation trial. We've been told by the court that a statement emerging momentarily from one of the attorneys. We have no specific details on what the statement is.
The jury, though, continuing its deliberation, expected to wrap up very shortly for another day, but the jury deliberations will continue beyond today.
We'll watch both of those stories, get the information to you as we get that information. In the meantime, we'll check out other news we're following.
A man identified as Dennis Elliot Shellhouse of Phoenix City, Alabama, is listed now in stable condition at a Los Angeles hospital. He was wounded at the end of a lengthy police chase yesterday.
CNN's Peter Viles has the story.
PETER VILES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It shut down one of the nation's busiest freeways for hours, a bizarre standoff between a small army of police and an armed man threatening to kill himself.
DENNIS ELLIOT SHELLHOUSE, SUSPECT: There's only two bullets in this car and they're meant for me. So I can't get any clearer than that. Your officers are not in danger.
VILES: The story began in morning rush hour. Police pursuing the driver of a white van, believing had he attempted to kidnap a woman north of Los Angeles and that he was armed and dangerous.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The suspect, apparently armed with a .9 millimeter handgun, said that he will not be taken by the police.
VILES: At times, it slowed to a stop in rush hour traffic. At one point, the driver pulls a U-turn on Interstate 10, but the California Highway Patrol was patient and effective, laying a trap with a spiked strip right here to flatten the van's tires.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Spike strip got it.
VILES: Then another textbook tactic, the so called PIT maneuver, or tactical ramming. CHP did it several times.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here it comes; here it comes. Once again, spinning it around. Oh. Look at that.
VILES: At that point, a second drama begins. Patrolmen surround the car, then bring in the big guns, literally, three armored vehicles from the sheriff's SWAT team pinning the vehicle against the wall.
CAPT. TOM SPENCER, L.A. COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: It was ideal, because we had that large wall on the opposite side of the vehicle. We didn't have to evacuate anybody. He was totally isolated. And we really took our time and tried to deal with him and resolve the situation in a peaceful manner.
VILES: The standoff lasted three-and-a-half hours and ended with a bang. Officers using a pole to push a percussion grenade and tear gas into the car. They also fired a single gunshot at the driver. Minutes later, a police dog dragged the driver from the vehicle. He was wounded but alive.
Peter Viles for CNN, Los Angeles.
BLITZER: No one except the suspect was hurt, but police chases are unpredictable, and sometimes innocent bystanders can be put in jeopardy. That's a serious concern for law enforcement authorities.
Joe Farrow is the deputy commissioner of the California Highway Patrol. He's joining us now, live from Sacramento.
Commissioner, thanks very much for joining us. What exactly are the rules of engagement for the California Highway Patrol in dealing with these kinds of chases?
JOE FARROW, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL: Well Wolf, first of all, thank you very much for having me on today and address your readers -- your listeners.
Our policy is very simple. When we will engage in a traffic stop, we expect the individual that we're going to stop to pull over and come to a safe stop. At times, that doesn't occur. In California, for example, there's about 7,000 police pursuits per year. Most of those we'll handle very quickly, where the individual comes to a stop at some point within the first minute or two of the initiation of a stop.
The one question that you had yesterday went on for quite some time, was a very lengthy pursuit, but almost textbook from our standpoint, is that we follow at a safe distance, always keep in mind the safety of the public. That's foremost concern of ours.
At the same time, making sure that the individual is traveling basically at a speed that we can control, and we control the maneuvers.
I heard when I was listening, ready to come on, I heard the part about when we employ the spike strips and the PIT. Those are tactics that we use that were employed by our supervisors at an opportune time, hoping to bring these vehicles to a safe stop. The spike strips deployed yesterday were able to flatten the rear tires, which put us in the position where we could do the pursuit immobilization tactic and really spin the vehicle around and pin him up against the guardrail.
So the tactics employed yesterday really worked well, just as well as we were trained.
But the answer to your question, what we do -- and I think every agency probably throughout the nation -- is the concern of the public safety is foremost on everyone's mind. People are highly trained. There are policies in place to guide us. Supervision is required to be out there at all times. If available, aircraft is overheard to help us and maybe to take over the pursuit. And all those things are considered.
BLITZER: Commissioner, at what point, though, would you use, like, deadly force to deal with this? Because that person, who's driving on a highway or a street, going at very fast miles per hour, he's using potentially deadly force himself.
FARROW: They are. It is something that we have to take into consideration because some of the pursuits do travel at very high speeds. Some of the options that we have is one, to abort the pursuit, actually pull away from the pursuit for the protection of others' safety.
BLITZER: And just let that person -- just let that person go?
FARROW: We may have to. There may be times where you have to do that to protect the citizens of California.
BLITZER: Why not -- why not use a weapon to shoot at the tires and at least get some flat tires going?
FARROW: I think that the issue of the tires, we would do different ways with other technology, the spike strips, for example. But any time you engage in a high-speed pursuit and you start to use fire, where you're firing at a vehicle that's in motion, I think at times you could jeopardize other people. And then say, for example, if you hit the individual and you disable him, now you have a vehicle traveling at 80 or 90 miles an hour out of control. And I think you jeopardize a lot more people.
BLITZER: Do you ever -- do you ever have to take into consideration the disruption to traffic, the economic ramifications of what's going on? Yesterday, this chase lasted for hours and hours and hours. A lot of people's commutes, a lot of people's lives were disrupted.
FARROW: We certainly do. I think one of the things that happened at this termination point is we have a felon, we have an individual who at gunpoint tried to abduct a woman out of her house. He was very dangerous at the time.
Working in cooperation with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, who in our opinion are one of the finest SWAT teams, negotiation teams, probably in the country. Going out there in their judgment, they worked through a process where in time, we were able to extract him out of his vehicle. But it is a process that takes a little bit of time.
Being out on a freeway, the I-10 freeway in Los Angeles, yes, sir, it was building traffic up for a much, much lengthy delay. We do take that into consideration. But at the same time, we have to balance that with getting this individual out of the vehicle safely, if all possible, and saving a life. So there is a balance that we have to work through in these situations.
BLITZER: Joe Farrow is the deputy commissioner of the California Highway Patrol. Commissioner, thanks very much for spending a few moments explaining what this policy is, because we've all been fascinated over the years as we watch it unfold on television. Appreciate it very much.
FARROW: Thank you very much.
BLITZER: This is a very, very serious business and a deadly business, potentially, as well.
We do have confirmation now that the roll call has been completed in the United States Senate. Janice Rogers Brown, as expected, has been confirmed to serve on the U.S. District Court of Appeals -- 56 in favor, 43 opposed. She will go on to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals here in Washington, D.C., the District Court of Appeals. Fifty-six/forty-three, setting the stage for another controversial nominee to go forward, presumably in the coming days, William Pryor, as well.
But that issue has been resolved now after two years of serious debate involving this judge.
We'll take another quick break. When we come back, a shark attacks a teenage boy in the waters off the coast of New Jersey. We'll have details of what's happening there.
Also, a father and son arrested in California for allegedly having ties to al Qaeda.
Plus, the new casualty of war: marriage. Why those "Dear John" letters are on the rise.
And in our look around the world, how torrential rain is causing widespread flooding in China.
BLITZER: You're looking at these live pictures out from Sana Maria, California, in the Michael Jackson child molestation trial. The court has informed us a statement will be read shortly by one of the attorneys. We have no additional information on what that statement will be, who precisely will read it. We will go out there as soon as we know more.
But the jury continues to deliberate. They're about to wrap up this day's deliberations. We'll go out to California for this statement as soon as it becomes available.
We're now told, by the way, the jury has wrapped up their deliberations on this day. They will resume deliberations tomorrow.
Let's check some other news we're following right now.
A former Baylor University basketball player pleaded guilty to first-degree murder today in the 2003 slaying of a teammate. Carlton Dodson faces a prison sentence of five years to life. The body of Patrick Dennehy was found more than a month after he disappeared in a field near the Baylor campus.
A jury in Miami, Florida, has found two former America West pilots guilty of operating an aircraft while drunk. Part of the evidence, a $142 bar tab the men ran up six hours before their scheduled flight. They were arrested almost three years ago as their flight was about to take off.
And as we said, there's still no verdict in the Michael Jackson trial. The jury has just ended its third day of deliberations. So far jurors have asked only one question, which the judge refuses to make public. Jackson is accused of molesting a 13-year-old cancer survivor.
Once again, we're standing by for a statement from one the attorneys in the case. We'll go back there live once it becomes available.
And experts say it appears a great white shark attacked a surfer in the waters off the coast of New Jersey. The 17-year-old got bitten, but survived the weekend attack. The movie "Jaws" is based loosely on a similar attack along the Jersey shore back in 1916.
Other news. As violence simmers in the Middle East, let's turn to Congresswoman Jane Harman. She recently returned from the region, where she met with the leaders of Israel, Jordan and Lebanon. The ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Jane Harman is joining us live from Capitol Hill.
Congresswoman, thanks very much for joining us.
Did you return to Washington encouraged or discouraged by what you heard?
REP. JANE HARMAN, (D-CA) HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Encouraged. It was my 13th trip to the region as a member of Congress. I've been there almost as many times as you have, Wolf.
But I came away with a feeling that the window is open for a good deal, not just pulling out of Gaza and some other short-term options, but a final solution for two states.
And I was very pleased to see right after my visit a very positive visit to Washington by the leaders of the Palestinian Authority and by Sharon, who was here too, not speaking to the government but speaking to private groups like AIPAC.
BLITZER: Is it your sense that the new president, the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, can effectively control Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, some of the Palestinian militants who could disrupt this operation as you well know?
HARMAN: Well, we have to help him do that. In the short term, I think my answer is possibly no. But the Palestinians assure me that they have a plan to do this. That the elections which have been postponed, but which should occur in the next months, will elect some -- clearly some Hamas people to government. But their goal over the medium term is to turn Hamas into a political party, a disarmed political party. And we need to help them get that done.
BLITZER: Is that realistic that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, some of these groups that the State Department brands as terrorist groups, if they're part of this new Palestinian Authority government, that they will in fact come around and accept a two-state Israel, Palestinian solution.
HARMAN: I don't know the answer to that, Wolf. And we will have to be clear-eyed about it. But I think the goal is to help this government succeed. There's no deep bench there. Mahmoud Abbas is, I think, the best leader of the Palestinians we could field. He has a very capable economics minister and security minister. And my view is that we have to see whether he can do this, at the same time as we clearly condemn actions of violence by groups in Palestinian against Israel.
BLITZER: What about the settlements? What about Sharon and his commitment to withdraw from Gaza, scheduled for mid-August? Is that going to be followed by a similar withdrawal at least for more of the West Bank? HARMAN: Well, I think we don't know the answer to that. That's what the Palestinians want to know. I would guess that subject is being discussed, if not publicly, at least privately right now.
I think the prime minister -- I know the prime minister of Israel supports the road map. And now the question is, when do we start implementing the road map, which is a carefully staged dance to a two- state solution.
If the withdrawal from Gaza goes badly, obviously, that will set us back. Hopefully it will go well. The Palestinians understand that and they're planning for it.
And I choose to be an optimist. There are a lot of pessimists in the region. But I've been there a lot of times, and I think this administration is now keyed in. I think the leaders in the region are, and this has to succeed. There are no other good options.
BLITZER: I know you have to vote, but I'll ask you one quick political question, Congresswoman, before I let you go, on Howard Dean. Listen to what he said last night, the chairman of the Democratic Party.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD DEAN, DNC CHAIRMAN: The Republicans are not very friendly to different kinds of people. They're a pretty monolithic party. They pretty much all behave the same and they all look the same. And they all -- you know, it's pretty much a white Christian party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Do you agree with him? Is he a help or a hindrance to the Democrats?
HARMAN: Well let me just say, that, as one Democrat, I think security is being addressed by many in our party, security issues. The intelligence bill comes up tomorrow. A lot of the things that we've been able to do in the last several years were Democratic ideas, including the structure for this new director of national intelligence.
So you know, I think that Democrats are being more successful in Congress and I'm really going to be proud of the role I will play tomorrow as ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee when this bill passes.
BLITZER: But, what about Howard -- what about Howard Dean?
HARMAN: I have -- he was elected the chairman of the Democratic Party. I didn't hear see or hear those comments, but I am just hopeful that we can forge a really successful path for Democrats on security issues. I think we need a higher profile there, and I'm very excited about the opportunity.
BLITZER: All right, Jane Harman. You can go ahead and vote now. HARMAN: Thanks.
BLITZER: Thanks very much for spending a few moments with us here on CNN.
HARMAN: Thank you, Wolf.
BLITZER: When we come back, American al Qaeda? New developments in the arrest of a father and a son. Were they out to harm Americans?
Plus, frontline fallout. Why military marriages are the latest casualties of the war.
And later, a very dedicated delivery man. How this pizza guy got hit by a bullet -- by a bullet -- and then continued his deliveries.
BLITZER: In our CNN "Security Watch," a father and son in northern California are under arrest, with the FBI alleging the younger man attended a terrorist training camp in Pakistan where he learned deadly lessons he intended to bring home.
(voice-over): After a series of searches in northern California, shocking allegations in an FBI affidavit that a young man born in the United States recently attended a terrorist training camp in Pakistan where he learned how to kill Americans. Arrested were 22-year-old Hamid Hayat, who was born in California, and his father, 47-year-old Umer Hayat.
After an FBI affidavit was unsealed in federal court, both men were charged with making false statements to the FBI. The affidavit says the younger Hayat admitted attending a jihadist camp in Pakistan where he was trained on how to kill Americans with potential targets including hospitals and large food stores.
Both father and son are being held at the Sacramento County Jail. The FBI says it first questioned Hamid Hayat on May 29, as he returned to the United States after two years in Pakistan. When his name appeared on a no-fly list, his flight from South Korea was diverted to Tokyo where he was interrogated by an FBI agent.
The agency says Hayat denied attending a terrorist training camp and was allowed to continue to San Francisco. He was questioned again last Friday and allegedly confessed Saturday after failing a polygraph test.
After showing his father video of the confession, the agency said he admitted to financially supporting his son's training. Johnny Griffin III, who represents the elder Hayat, says the affidavit is very alarming but pointed out that the men were only charged with making false statements.
(END VIDEOTAPE) (on camera): And we'll continue to watch this case for you, our viewers.
Meanwhile, two Islamic leaders from Lodi, California, have been detained on immigration charges. The news has shocked Lodi's Muslim community.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TAJ KHAN, ISLAMIC CULTURE CENTER: We believe that Imam Adil and Imam Shabbir both are honest, sincere citizens, nonviolent. They have no intention of violating any laws of United States and at least we do not know of any laws that they have violated, and we will work with FBI.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: No date has been set for the men's hearings. Please stay tuned to CNN day and night for the most reliable news about your security.
The cost of war in human terms. There are alarming new numbers on death and divorce in the U.S. military.
BLITZER: The Pentagon is investigating the weekend death of a United States Army colonel in Iraq. Colonel Theodore Westhusing is the highest ranking officer to die in the Iraq war. And so far, the U.S. Army is saying only he died of noncombat-related injuries.
Twenty-five senior officers and 123 junior officers have died in Iraq over the past two years since the war started. Enlisted men and women account for the vast majority of the 1,683 fatal fatalities.
The Iraq war also is taking another human toll on military marriages. Our senior Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre has been looking into that. He has this report from the Pentagon.
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SENIOR PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: ...on any marriage in the best of times. And Wolf, these are not the best of times.
MCINTYRE (voice-over): War is hell on marriages, especially for Army officers who are responsible for two families: their comrades in arms and their spouses at home. Just look at the numbers from last year.
In 2004, 3,325 Army officers' marriages ended in divorce -- compared to 1,866 in 2003, and 1,060 in 2002. That's a jump of 78 percent in one year and triple the number from three years ago.
If you combine enlisted soldiers and officers, the numbers are still dramatic. More than 10,000 divorces last year, a jump of more than 3,000 from the year before. That pushes the overall Army divorce rate from just under 3 percent to just over 4 percent.
The Army says the reason is obvious, the stress of combat and long deployments both in Iraq and Afghanistan.
LT. COL. GERALD NELSON, U.S. ARMY CHAPLAIN: Everyday routine is completely different. They've been told what to do. They know where to go. And they come back, and civilian life is really quite a change.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Welcome home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's to you, sweetie.
MCINTYRE: Army Major Bob Cabell and his wife Elizabeth hope to avoid becoming just another divorce statistic. So when he returned from Iraq, they enlisted in the Army's "Building Strong and Ready Families Program."
MAJ. BOB CABELL, U.S. ARMY RESERVE: There was a disconnect in our relationship with just general stuff, making decisions and how we do that.
ELIZABETH CABELL, WIFE: Because I didn't stop.
B. CABELL: Me trying to fit in -- me trying to be the round peg in the square hole.
MCINTYRE: With Internet and cell phone technology, it's easier for soldiers to keep in touch from the battle field, but experts say that doesn't always help a shaky marriage.
KATHLEEN MOAKLER, NATION MILITARY FAMILY ASSN: Communication is both a blessing and a curse, because the service members know more about what's going on at home and the families know more about what's going on in the field. And while for many that's a comfort, for others, it could be a detriment because it gives them more to worry about.
MCINTYRE: The Army says it's aware of the stain that can be put on a marriage by a long and dangerous assignment. And it has a number of education and counseling programs to help keep marriages together. That said, experts say it doesn't change an essential fact. And that is it's not easy being married to a soldier serving in a war zone far away.
BLITZER: Not easy at all. Jamie McIntyre, thanks very much for that report. Let's get a quick look now at some other news making headlines around the world.
BLITZER (voice-over): Rescue workers dug through the rubble of a collapsed apartment building in Alexandria, Egypt. They were able to rescue one woman. At least 14 people were killed in the collapse, including four children.
China flood update. The death toll stands at 78 in China as waters continue to rise. The famed Yang Xi River is just one of many overburdened waterways in China's central and south central regions.
Bus trip. One hundred old British buses are being sent to Sri Lanka and Indonesia to help with the tsunami relief effort. They'll be used to carry children to school, and in some cases, even be used as makeshift classrooms.
And that's our look around the world.
BLITZER: They thought he was an easy target, but this pizza delivery man proved tougher than his assailants thought. We'll explain. Stay with us.
BLITZER: Perhaps many of us could take a lesson from a pizza delivery man in Tampa, Florida. He fought off a robber while delivering pizza and completed his round. Only then did he realize he had been shot. He talked with CNN's AMERICAN MORNING about the experience.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THOMAS STEFANELLI, PIZZA DELIVERY MAN: I didn't go to the hospital right away. I was on my last delivery. I went back to the shop and called 911.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: OK. Eventually you ended up at the hospital though. And the doctors found the bullet, right?
STEFANELLI: Police found the bullet at the shop in my back pocket.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Tampa police say they've identified several suspects in the shooting. But so far, no arrests.
Let's quickly go out to Santa Maria. Ted Rowlands standing by. What's the latest on the trial? .
ROWLANDS: Well Wolf, we've been waiting for this statement. It appears it's going to be a statement from Thomas Mesereau, just talking about who is authorized to talk within the family. He says nobody is. Clearly not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. The big headline here today, another full day of jury deliberations and no verdict.
BLITZER: All right. Ted Rowlands, we'll watch with you. Thanks very much.
That's it for me. LOU DOBBS TONIGHT starts right now. Lou is standing by in New York.
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