LOU DOBBS TONIGHT Aired January 3, 2007 - 18:00 ET
DOBBS: A new study shows that a key component of what some call the North American Union simply won't work. A Texas A&M transportation study shows the trans-Texas corridor, that's the super highway from the Mexican border across Texas, won't meet the state's needs and will lack necessary funding.
As it stands, the overall plan, officially called the Security Prosperity Partnership of North America, it was signed by the presidents of the United States and Mexico, the prime minister of Canada, without congressional debate, approval, national dialogue or discussion. It has major corporate backers, of course. Its goal is for the three countries to integrate their economies.
Critics say the union fights U.S. interest and could be the first step to a loss of U.S. sovereignty. It wouldn't be the first step, but the first major step at least under the terms of this agreement. We'll see what happens and we're going to follow it very closely on this broadcast.
Two U.S. border patrol agents who were convicted of shooting a Mexican drug dealer that they were at the time pursuing across the border are scheduled to begin serving their prison terms later this month. Their supporters say the agents were simply doing their jobs.
Members of Congress have petitioned the president to pardon those agents. Two of the congressmen join us here tonight. Congressman Ted Poe, Republican from Texas, Congressman Walter Jones, Republican from North Carolina. Gentlemen, good to have you with us.
Let me turn first to you Congressman Jones. The idea that the president -- how many of you signed the letter, first, 50 congressmen?
REP. WALTER JONES (R), NORTH CAROLINA: Yes, sir, we sent a letter back in December initiated by Dana Rohrabacher with 55 members of Congress asking the president to consider a pardon. I myself had sent three letters to the president of the United States and I have been so disappointed in the indifference of this White House and the president, quite frankly.
DOBBS: He hasn't responded? Not one of his senior aides has called you or said...
JONES: Well, we received a "No" response, if I can put it that way, from the Justice Department, that said nothing, quite frankly.
DOBBS: Same story for you, Congressman?
REP. TED POE (R), TEXAS: Yes, the letters that we sent to the president -- we didn't get a letter back from the president, the White House. We got a letter back from a junior U.S. attorney in the Justice Department, saying the U.S. Attorney's Office is not going to do anything about the case.
DOBBS: Before we even get to the merits of this, you're both Republicans. You've both been to the White House. You rub shoulders with this president.
You're from Texas, for crying out loud. How long have you known this president?
POE: I've known the president a long time, even before he was governor of the state, 15 years.
DOBBS: So he doesn't really -- how do you explain this?
POE: I don't understand it. It seems to be blissful indifference at the administrative level on this issue of the border agents that were wrongfully convicted in this matter.
DOBBS: You and everyone who watches this broadcast knows, you and Congressman Jones, that the U.S. Justice Department had to go after these two agents. They had to make a conscious decision to do this and they had to do so it seems -- I'll say it straight out. I'd love to hear what you think. But it seems like they had to do so at direct orders of Alberto Gonzalez, the U.S. Attorney General.
JONES: Lou, I will speak quickly because Ted's a former judge in Texas. But I will tell you what I know about it. And I'm learning something new each and every day. I'll be speaking to one of the attorneys for one of these two men tomorrow morning.
I believe sincerely that this whole prosecution of these two men is one of the greatest examples of an injustice that I have ever seen. And somewhere along the way, I think there's a skunk.
DOBBS: You got an idea where that skunk is, Congressman Poe?
POE: The Justice Department had a choice here to prosecute a known drug dealer bringing in a lot of dope into the United States or prosecute two border agents that violated some policy. And they chose the side of the illegal drug smuggler over the border agents. And that seems to be the policy of our federal government: when in doubt, take the side of the illegals. And I think the American public is tired of that policy from the Justice Department.
DOBBS: Well, you know, I won't speak for anybody but myself. But I'm sure tired of what looks like to be sheer accommodation to the government of Mexico, rather than inspired defense of U.S. sovereignty and the men and women who support and defend the borders of this country.
POE: No question about it. These two border agents, one of them nominated for Border Agent of the Year, doing their job. And they're being punished for doing their job. Our government's on the wrong side of this issue. We treated the illegal -- taxpayers treated the illegal. He's suing the federal government for $5 million. He's a known drug smuggler. He was given immunity from prosecution for bringing drugs into the United States.
MATTHEWS: The Border Patrol Council, the union tells me, Congressman Jones, that this would have been an administrative issue, the firing of their weapons, unless the U.S. Attorney decides to go after this case, give a drug dealer immunity to testify against two agents who everyone said -- is satisfied was transporting drugs, fleeing our federal agents. I mean, I don't understand it.
JONES: Lou, as you know, the prosecutor, the federal prosecutor wanted to charge these and did charge them with attempted murder for shooting an illegal drug smuggler, as you said.
And I hope -- Lou, I want to thank you and CNN for your interest in this issue. And I want to remind the people watching this show that they can call 202-456-1111 and let their outrage speak to the president of the United States and remind him that he is to defend this country from an invasion south of the border, in this case, a drug smuggler.
DOBBS: Well, you know, when you can't even get a Republican president to respond to a fellow Texan, two Republican Congressmen, respond to 55 U.S. Congressmen...
POE: I called the White House this week asking for even a verbal response and didn't get any response to that.
DOBBS: You know, there's arrogance and there's sorry arrogance. Where does this fit?
POE: Well, we need an answer and we deserve an answer. And I'm not going to categorize which type of arrogance. Lou, I'll let you do that.
DOBBS: I'll leave those choices to the viewers. But it's one or the other and it sure isn't right.
Thank you very much, gentlemen.
Thank you for pursuing this and pursuing a further investigation.
JONES: Thank you, sir.
POE: Thank you, Lou.
DOBBS: Congressman Poe, Congressman Jones.
Coming up at the top of the hour here , the "SITUATION ROOM" with Wolf Blitzer -- Wolf.