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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  July 18, 2009 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT

6:00 pm lots of people tweeting about that driver. another popular story, >> thank you. you're still being recorded. pick it up, what is, it >> yeah. >> thank you. make sure you join us tonight 7:00 p.m. eastern. right now it's time for "the situation room" with wolf situation room" with wolf blitzer. -- captions by vitac -- a secret plan to assassinate al qaeda leaders revealed, how it would have worked and why it was scrapped. tough questions for the senate intelligence committee chair dianne feinstein. suicide bombers strike hotels popular with americans and other foreigners. is this an isolated attack or a deadly warning of things to come? and a giant leap into history, we're marking 40 years since americans first landed on the moon, changing the united states, this world and this universe. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in the "situation room."
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one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. on july 20th, 1969, the hopes and the dreams of the nation, to go where no man had gone before, they came true. apollo 11 landed on the moon, and americans became the first ever to walk there. monday marks the 40th anniversary. we'll mark this historic moment with a special hour of the "situation room." among our guests, buzz aldrin. let's turn now to another man who walked on the moon, harrison schmitt was part of 1972's last apollo mission and the last manned mission to the moon. he's joining us now. thanks very much, mr. schmitt, for coming in. >> it's great to be here. i hope i'm the most recent. >> you were the last person to walk on the moon.
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you and eugene sernin. were you the last person or was he? >> i was the last to step on the moon and he was the last to get off, so you can figure it out from there. >> we'll give you both a lot of credit. looking back 40 years, almost 0 yea ye 40 years, what was it like? how scared were you? >> well, there's no fear involved in these kinds of missions that you train for for so long. i trained as a backup crewman for appaollo 15. i was deeply involved in all the training, particularly the lunar ser surface training. fear and being scared is not part of it. you can't afford that. if you're going to be scared, you shouldn't be in the program. >> did you ever think i might not be coming back? this is unchartered territory? >> no. it certainly in our case it was not unchartered. five other missions had landed on the moon prior to apollo 17,
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and also we took great confidence in the rescue of the apollo 13 crew and the abilities of our thousands of supporters back on earth and mission control center, working with mission control center, and their abilities to do these kind of things and do them right. >> you were a ph.d. student at harvard. what inspired you to say, you know what? i want to be an astronaut? >> well, i was like many of my generation and the generation after me, when sputnik 1 was launched in 1957, it caught my attention, and i became one of the older persons in the sputnik generation, began to think very seriously about space. but i did not really think about volunteering to be an astronaut until nasa and the national academy of sciences asked for volunteers from the scientific community to go with the fourth group of astronauts selected.
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>> six were selected, you were one of them, in part of having the physical strength, were you also a scientist. >> well, i was a scientist and a geologist. and nasa had hoped, and the national academy had hoped to have more geologists qualify, and i frankly think they should have selected more. but nevertheless, i ended up being the only geologist and pretty much on a fast track to the moon. >> i read when you and eugene were on the moon you discovered some orange soil. speaking as a geologist, what significant, if any, did that have? >> well, it turned out to be volcanic material, fire fountain material such as you see formed on the island of hawaii almost continuously these days. but it was material contained gas eeous components and really relates directly to how the moon may have formed. most of my colleagues believe
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the moon formed by a giant impact of a marches-sized asteroid on the earth. i don't think the orange soil supports that. so we're in a bit of controversy about that. >> still continuing the geological controversy. if you would have thought in 1972 when you walked on the moon and you spent a few hours there looking ahead almost 40 years later, after the first man walked on the moon, that the space -- the space adventures, the whole space program would be in danger of ending, it looks like the space shut sl going to end, would you have believed that? >> well, i knew it was going to happen, at least for a short period of time. i frankly did not believe, did not even think that it would be a half-century hiatus before americans were once again going back to the moon and to go on to mar mars. i must say, i've been very
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disappointed in that delay, but i think i understand it. other regimes, particularly the chinese, seem to be intent on moving forward, to be dominant in space. i think having a nondemocratic regime dominant in space would be disastrous for human liberty here on earth. but that's a decision that this country is going to have to face here very shortly. >> it's in part an economic decision and the country is going through an economic crisis. i assume you appreciate that, of course as everyone else does. >> well, i certainly appreciate that it does cost some money to go into space, but nothing like what's being spent on other things, which frankly on a different program, we can talk about being far less valuable of liberty than going back into space. >> your partner, eugene, left -- you were the final two individuals ever to walk on the moon. you left a plaque that said this. here man completed his first exploration of the moon,
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december 1972, a.d. may the spirit of peace in which we came be reflected in the lives of all mankind. give me a final thought, almost 40 years later, on what goes through your minds as you reminisce. >> well, of course those words are as relevant today as they were then. and that's another underscoring of the fact that the united states just has to be the dominant space bearing nation. if we're not, than the future of liberty, as i indicated earlier, i this i is in serious jeopardy here on earth. the chinese will not have similar sentiments, believe me. >> harrison schmitt, thanks so much for all you've done and thanks for coming in during these historic hours. >> well, it's my pleasure. thank you for the invitation, and best to everyone on this anniversary date. >> a very courageous man indeed. thank you very much. we're getting a first look
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of i wimages of the apollo miss. >> one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. >> reporter: it's the iconic image of our efforts to explore space. and now as we approach the 40th anniversary of man's first visit to the moon, nasa has restored and enhanced the original grainy, black and white images, including that one that riveted the planet. >> that looks beautiful. >> reporter: astronaut neil armstrong setting foot on the lunar surface in 1969. the new video is an improvement over the original, but nasa believes somewhere out there is video that could take our breath away. images like this, but sharper and clearer than anything seen before. the problem is, no one knows
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where it is. >> and liftoff of "endeavour." >> reporter: regular shuttle missions and the crisp color images they transmit have space fans a little spoiled. we forget how complicated it was to transmit pictures from space to earth in 1969. here is how it worked. a small camera built into apollo 11 scanned the lunar landing in a unique format unsuitable for regular tv. those images were transmitted to tracking stations in southeast australia and california's mojave desert where they were converted to a standard format and sent on to houston. losing picture quality every step of the way. but veterans of the apollo mission reminds nasa that they were on special tapes, which if converted now, would produce the highest quality images of man on
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the moon ever seen. a search has been launched, but three years into it, there's no sign of those tapes. and now many fear the spectacular images on them, images far superior to anything we've ever seen, may be lost forever. tom foreman, cnn, washington. and on monday, don't forget, the 40th anniversary of the landing of the first man on the moon. we're going to have a very special hour of "the situation room." buzz aldrin, he'll be among our geflts. we'll look back at that historic day and talk to other experts about how it changed the world. all that, right here, in "the situation room," 4:00 p.m. eastern on monday. the supreme court nominee sonia sotomayor, did she change any minds this week? i'll ask senator dianne feinstein, a member of the judiciary committee. also, can thousands more u.s. forces turn around the war
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in afghanistan? the journalist bob woodward is just back from the war zone. i'll ask him. plus, a deadly terror attack, suicide bombers strike at the marriott and ritz-carlton hotels. why a group with ties to al qaeda is suspected. ask your doctor if a cialis option is right for you because in addition to 36-hour cialis, there's another dosing option: cialis for daily use, a low-dose tablet you take every day so you can be ready anytime the moment is right. man: tell your doctor about your medical condition and all medications and ask if you're healthy enough for sexual activity. don't take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. don't drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed back ache or muscle ache. to avoid long term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than 4 hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision... stop taking cialis and call your doctor right away.
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the cia is certainly the center of more controversy now. there are reports the agency concealed information about a secret counterterrorism program from congress for almost eight years on direct orders from then-vice president dick cheney. the bombing attacks on two luxury chain hotels in indonesia has heightened the stakes on how the united states should combat terror. joining us now, the democratic chair of the senate intelligence committee, dianne feinstein of california. senator, thanks for coming in. >> thank you, wolf. >> on this latest terror attack in indonesia, the marriott, the ritz-carlton hotels, is there any intelligence that's coming in right now? i assume you've been briefed
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that this potentially is the start of a new wave? >> i looked at the intelligence this morning and none of it said this is a new wave. it does identify, you know, possible groups who carried this out. i think it's pretty clear that it was a terrorist attack, that it was meant to be a simultaneous attack, affect two hote hotels, both of them american, and both of them large, well-thought of american hotels. as a matter of fact, in a couple of weeks, my own family was expected to be spending overnight at one of them in jakarta. so it brings home the fact that terror is out there. it is not dead. it is alive and well. and they're attacking american interests. >> based on what you know right now, are these al qaeda groups, al qaeda-associated groups responsible for this simultaneous attack? >> well, the best i'm going to
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say about that is that it is most likely two groups who wish to associate themselves with al qaeda. and we'll have to wait and see. i think there is some interesting intelligence information that leads me to believe that it was a terrorist attack. this just didn't happen by spontaneous combustion. >> yeah, it's not coincidence. >> that's right. >> two attacks moments apart at these two american hotels in jakarta. lets talk about the controversy about these plans, apparently never operational, the plans of the cia to have these assassination hit squads go out into other countries and go after al qaeda targets. congress was never briefed on this, i take it, and the report is that the former vice president, dick cheney, told the cia, don't share this information with congress. i know this is very sensitive, you're the chair. what can you tell us? >> well, let me be careful in
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what i say. we were briefed in what's called a memorandum of notification, which took place directly after 9/11 that did indicate what the executive plans were to begin to look for some of these people that might be responsible, might have been connected, might have been funding the effort. however, we were not briefed on any specific program or specific activities. and so when mr. panetta came in and said, look, i just learned about this program, i'm canceling it as of today, he did exactly the right thing. now, this program, without going into detail, had at least three iterations that we have been briefed on. we are developing information, we're asking for an accounting of dollars spend on these programs. and so at least the senate
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intelligence committee will have a very good knowledge, when we finish, of exactly what moneys were used for and what the programs did or did not do. >> well, did any of the cia directors, whether george tenet or porter goss or michael hayden, did they violate any laws by not sharing this information with the congress? >> well, it's not my interest to get into recrimination or blame at this stage. let me say, the program was not briefed. there is no evidence of it having been briefed. there is no evidence in the cia of it having briefed, and there's no evidence in the committee files of our having been briefed, nor do i remember having been briefed on it. so i think that's the evidence that we have today. now, this -- >> do you think the intelligence committee should call any of these individuals and the former vice president, dick cheney, to
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come before your panel and be questioned about it? >> well, we well may down the line call some people. i don't think this should be driven by press questions. i think it should be driven by a very even-handed investigation of what did go on. and we are doing that in an informal way. and i have written for information, additionally. we've spent the last two days marking up the intelligence authorization bill, which i'm very pleased to say we voted on and it was unanimous on both sides. it is a bipartisan bill, and it does strengthen the notification provisions. and it does say that there should be no exception to these notification provisions. so i believe that will be helpful as well. >> well, we don't have a lot of time, but a quick thought on sonia sotomayor. you're also a member of the senate judiciary committee. she's obviously going to be confirmed, but do you think she's going to get some significant number of your
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republican colleagues voting to confirm her? >> i actually do. i believe we'll have every democratic vote, and we'll have a significant number of republican votes. probably at least a dozen. that's what i feel at this stage. now, of course, that could change. but she will have a very substantial vote. >> senator feinstein, good luck. thanks very much. >> thank you. thank you, wolf. he's just back from observing where things stand in afghanistan. bob woodward will be here in the "situation room" to assess the fight of the taliban and al qaeda. then, the mission to the moon, we're taking a closer look back at the countdown to apollo 11. discover card customers are getting 5% cashback bonus at the pump. now more than ever, it pays to discover.
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%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% i'm sorry. i can't hear you very well. announcer: does someone you know have trouble hearing on the phone? dad. dad, let me help you with that, okay?
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announcer: now, a free phone service shows captions of everything a caller says. i'd like to make an appointment to see the doctor. announcer: to learn more about captioned telephone, call 1-800-552-7724 or go to our website. i'll see you at 3:00! announcer: captioned telephone - enjoy the phone again! taliban extremists continue to attack in afghanistan, now bombers target two american hotels in indonesia. should america fear another wave of attacks? bob woodward is the award-winning journalist for "the washington post," just back from afghanistan. bob, thanks for coming in. >> thank you. >> i'm deeply worried, i'm sure
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you are, about what's happening in afghanistan right now. the u.s. is pouring in more troops and even more troops, thousands more might be needed. is there light at the end of the tunnel? >> well, they haven't fixed it and the war continues. and i think it's something that obama and the white house and the pentagon and everyone else involved in this are deeply concerned. because, as everyone says, afghanistan is not iraq. it's not something where you can surge x-number of troops and kind of fix the problem. the big difference in walking around there, it is a primitive country. >> you went with general jim jones, the retired common dant of the marine corps, you studied this closely, did you get the sense from your conversations with him, hearing him brief u.s. military personnel, he was coming back to washington more upbeat? >> no, i think they're worried.
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and they want to make sure the strategy they've got is implemented. now, of course, the strategy is not just military. they want to improve the economy, and they want to improve governance in afghanistan. as i say, it's not a modern state. it's not like iraq, where they have vast oil wealth, so they can spend the money to increase their own military and police force, which everyone agrees. so this is now obama's war, and it's, you know, there is not light at the end of the tunnel in the near future. >> one of the big problems, the u.s. is pouring in a lot more troops, 68,000 troops, the president approved more, that may not be enough, and there's deep concern that the afghans themselves, president karzai, they're not stepping up to the plate. >> yes. and big concern about karzai is the leader -- i went with
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general jones to talk to karzai, he's very outgoing and friendly and highly westernized, but you dig behind that and a lot of people say he's making deals with people who are corrupt in order to win the election next month. and not putting people in, or keeping people in the afghan government who are really going to fix things for the people in afghanistan. >> most of the afghanistan's wealth is from poppies, from opi opium. they're the biggest supplier of opium around the world. is there any progress in reducing that? >> they've decided now we can't fix that because that is the farmers' income. i talked to the general on the ground in afghanistan, and i asked about that, and he said, we do not want to eradicate the poppy crop now. we can't do, it because that will have 21,000 angry farmers, and i can't deal with that.
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>> that was an american general you're talking about. >> that was an american general. so there is a new policy of, we'll deal with the drug problem later. >> are the pakistanis on the other side of the border, the swat valley, are they making progress in going after the taliban and al qaeda? >> they have, and that is an optimistic note. but, boy, what's going on in those ungoverned regions of pakistan where osama bin laden presumably is, i wouldn't bet any money on it, but you know it's the best guess, and in pakistan, they're there recruiting, they are plotting. it's -- it's scary stuff. >> does the obama administration have confidence in that man, president as i haif ali zardari >> you talk to people about it, you talk with him also, and he talks like he's on top of the game. you ask people about what's going on, and they say, he
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doesn't know much about governing. he's benazir bhutto's widower, and that's why he's in that office. he's somebody that spent 11 years in jail, somebody who is a businessman and not naturally a politician, and so we've -- the situation, afghanistan, pakistan and their link, afghan -- af/pak policy as they call it, the leaders there are not as strong as the united states and our allies would like. >> we'll see what happens in those elections in august. that's going to be critical as well. iraq, not very far away. you know a lot about this subject. i pick up "the washington post," and there's a lead, a great reporter from northern iraq, the kurdish area.
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>> closer to war, iraqi kurds and iraqi shiites? >> well, first of all, the kurdish region is very independent, and they value their independence and they want more of the oil revenue, and that's something that really has not been worked out. >> could this whole iraq experiment just simply collapse now that u.s. forces are out of the cities and not too far down the road u.s. forces will be gone. >> i wouldn't call it the iraq experiment, i would call it the iraq war. it's not over. we have 130,000 of our troops sitting there, outside the cities, the general odierno has told the pentagon, look. we can't -- the plan is to pull them out over the next year, but let's not do this too fast. because there are all of these worries. and the problem in the north
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with the kurds is only one of them. the other one is al qaeda and the insurgency. they have not been eliminated in iraq, it is still a violent country. there are still questions about, how do you get a political solution there. so, you know, here we are six months into the obama administration, and he has george bush's wars in afghanistan and iraq still very much on the table. >> and i know you're working on a book on the obama administration that will be out next year. bob woodward, thanks for coming in. >> thank you. terrorists launch a deadly strike against two hotels in indonesia. peter bergen is here to assess whether it's the start of another string of attacks. plus, sarah palin's decision to quit as alaska's governor, has it hurt her standing in the gop? we'll discuss that and more with the republican party chairman, michael steele. (announcer) listening to you.
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let's get back to one of our top stories, terror returns to indonesia after a four-year lull with coordinated suicide bombings targeting two luxury hote hotels, the jw marriott and the ritz-carlton. let's bring in peter bergen, an expert on al qaeda and its affiliate groups. when you heard about this, these two hotel bombings, were you surprised? >> i was surprised because this al qaeda affiliate that's done so many of these attacks was really on the backfoot over the last several years. the indo-neeshen government has been capturing bomb makers, i think the wisdom that i shared was that this group was kind of, you know, really almost out of business. >> is it this group, do they directly coordinate with al qaeda in the sense that bin laden or ayman al zawahiri, on
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the loose right now, they plot, talk or it's just an inspiration? >> if you go to the bali attack of 2002 which 200 people died in, at that time there was a direct tie. there was also somebody who had been a close friend of bin laden who is in u.s. custody. now the links are much more inspirational rather than operational. >> the fact that they were two american hotels attacked, al qaeda has always said to itself if you destroy america's economic prowess, you destroy america. the world trade center, for example, in new york was hit not once but twice as all of our viewers will remember. this is part of that same mentality, right? >> yeah, and i think also hotels are in the hospitality business, they can't turn themselves into fortress fortresses. it's a brand name, you're going to kill westerners. we've seen these kind of hotel attacks, the hilton in egypt,
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best western in imman, jordan, and jakarta on several occasions. so unfortunately, if you're in a muslim country in a five star hotel with an american brand name, the likelihood of an attack or attempted attack is relatively high. >> and it's seen as a soft or easy target. >> and it is. >> the fear is this could be the start of a new wave of terror attacks, not only in indonesia but elsewhere. is that a realistic fear? >> these groups, they sort of go to one place, they're growing, another place they're diminishing. al qaeda in iraq is diminishing but growing in yemen and attacking tourists in that country. if you average it out, al qaeda and its affiliates are i think not doing particularly well because all the muslims have turned against them. but in any given country they may be growing. pakistan now has seen more suicide attacks than any time in
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its history. >> and an offensive in the swat valley with afghanistan, the u.s. is beefing up its military presence in afghanistan. but, and this is the big question, is there any indication they're closing in on the al qaeda leadership, bin laden, for example? >> none. no indication of that. bin laden has disappeared. there hasn't been good intelligence about where he is since the battle of torah bora in 2001. that's been a long time ago. >> when you heard about reports that the cia was planning, didn't actually go forward with these assassination hit squads of al qaeda leaders, never informed congress of it, it was in the planning stage, never fully operational, what do you think? >> i must say, my outrage level was pretty low. the united states government has been in the business of trying to assassinate bin laden since before 9/11. but clinton had a plan to, you know, capture and kill bin laden. so the idea that the united
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states might be engaged in assassination operations against al qaeda leaders has always been the case. what's not clear is going into other countries, party countries that hadn't given permission. the other thing is the operations never happened. so, and we keep assassinating al qaeda leaders with drones all the time. clearly the authority exists to do this anyway. >> it's a sensitive issue and we'll continue to explore it. peter, thanks for coming in. ugly infighting among members of the group young republicans sparked by some racially-charged writings by the group's leader. michael steele will be my guest. and it was 40 years ago this week, a liftoff that opened a whole new world of space exploration. we're going to show you some newly-enhanced video just released by nasa.
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racial slurs against president obama marred the chairmanship of the young republican, appearing on the candidate who won, aude dra shea. she didn't write them but appeared to endorse them. now she says she was totally misunderstood and accuses opponents of stirring the pot. let's bring in michael steele, the chairman of the republican national committee joining us here in the "situation room." what do you think about this? >> i don't have much to say about it. i'm not involved at that level of electing the chairman of the young republicans. i think it's a stupid mistake that was made to, you know, appear to agree with the racist comment on a blog or some other posting. the membership has worked it out, they've elected her, she's put a statement out clarifying
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that she thought it was a dumb thing to do, and she should have known better and she wouldn't do it again. what they need to do now is come together, recognize these been elected and move forward. and use it as a lesson learned, and that, you know, the one thing about the times we live in is that we are much more politically and otherwise aware of how comments and phrases and agreements to those things can have an impact. and i think in this case, the young republicans should be in a position now to move forward, understanding that the whole -- the whole institution is impacted by this. and now they need to heal it and move on. >> you're the first african-american to lead the republican party. >> yep. >> have you experienced since becoming chairman any racism? >> oh, no. my goodness, no. not at all. this notion that somehow racism is only unique to the republican party or that racism is something that republicans are found to be involved with, it's just got to stop. i mean, the reality of it is, racism is a reality in america
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still, even with the election of barack obama. and i think that, again, as we've seen in the '08 election and as we will see in future elections as more and more african-american candidates run as republicans and democrats, these issues will still be dealt with because it's part of the fabric of this nation, that we still have not yet to come to grips with, wolf. i think that's part of the reality here. people like to blow it up and it involves republicans because they think that it confirms a narrative that they've, you know, think is true. but the reality of it is this country still struggles with it, republican, democrat, black, white. >> let's talk about health care reform. do you have a problem with raising the tax rates for the wealthiest americans, those making more than $250,000 or $300,000 a year in order to generate funds so that 30 million or 40 million uninsured americans will have health care? >> well, you know, this is the problem i have with this. the short answer is absolutely.
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why are we going down this road? you're talking 30 million to 40 million americans who are without health insurance. so 10 million of which are illegal immigrants who wouldn't get it anyway. so you have a smaller pool of people to work with. >> it's still millions of people involved. >> but out of 310 million people. so you're going to upend the entire system, health care system of this nation, of 310 million people, 90% of the voters have health insurance, 82% of all americans -- >> so do i hear you saying the country doesn't need health care reform? >> no, the reform we need is a cost reform. we need to look at the cost of health care. that's why the republicans have argued for putting portability, putting legal questions and things like that, that impact the cost of health care on the table. not just going, okay, you make x-amount of dollars, i'm going to tax you more to pay for his health care. that's not solving the problem. injury still not dealing with trial lawyers, you're still not
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dealing with pharmaceuticals, you're still not dealing with the patient/doctor relationship. the government is inserting itself in a way that i think takes the choice -- of individuals have out of the -- >> for republicans now to destroy any notion of what the democrats want, and certainly what president obama wants, health care reform? >> no. no. we're not trying to destroy the notion of health care reform. >> but the notion they have. >> we're trying to get the american people to appreciate that there's a better way to do this. we do not have to tax and spend our way to better health care. we do not have to tax and spend our way to deal with the costs. where in american history or anywhere for that matter have you saved money by spending more money? it just doesn't -- do you do that? is that how you run your household? oh, dear we have a budget deficit. let's go out and buy a new house. we have a budget deficit, let's go out and buy a new car. you don't do that. >> but if you want to 30 million, 40 million into the
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health community, that's going to cost money. >> there are a number of ways to do that. 10 million or 12 million of these people qualify already for health care they just don't flow t a certain percentage of that are young people who feel they don't need health insurance. what we've decided to do is go directly to the people, to have a conversation. we're inviting americans to go to barack obama health -- >> i'm going to move on and talk about some other. >> i've got to make this point. >> very quickly. >> look what they did with the cap and trade bill. 1300 pages of legislation nobody bothered to read. the administration wants to rush through in two weeks a massive overhaul of our health care system. tell me how many congressmen are going to read that. >> you're obviously going to fight that. lets talk about sarah palin, who stunned us all by announcing she is resident ig nating.
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a chief writer, sarah pail -- >> pretty question strong words from peggy noonan. >> well, i think the story on sarah palin is simply this. she made a very difficult choice to give up the governorship, to focus on her family, to focus on other things. i respect that choice, i admire that choice because it's very tough to do. if you feel in your leadership that other things are distracting from your ability to lead -- >> you know the problem, it looks like she quit in the middle of her term? >> that's a wonderful democratic talking point, she made a judgment about whether or not she could continue to be effective in her leadership there, whether or not there were other important things to deal with with her family and her young son that she has to care for.
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she made a percental and political decision. the people second guessing her that think they know her better than she does, you know, have no understanding or appreciation for what she's going through and why she made that decision. have you to take her at face value, why she made that decision when she did, and then let's wait and see what sarah does next. because then that will begin to give you some idea of how that story will unfold. so all the pontificating, stop it. wait and see what she does. >> michael steele, always a pleasure having you here in the "situation room." hope you come back. >> you've got it. i will. >> thank you. 40 years ago this week americans blasted off on a course that forever-changed history. now new photos are providing a new way to look at this very successful mission to the moon. and what does a princess do to celebrate her 32nd birthday? just ahead in our hot shots. so i can just drop off my car and you'll take care of everything?
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welcome home, man.
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it's the day that helped forever change history. almost 40 years ago man saw a
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new frontier, july 0th, 1969. apollo 11 landed on the moon and while it's certainly easy to remember this mission. we're looking at the countdown. to the change in history. >> i believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal before this decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. >> -- for the apollo 11 astronauts at liftoff at a distance of 18.96 miles away. t-minus one minute and counting. status board indicates that the oxidizer tanks in the second and third stages have pressurized and we'll continue to build up pressure in all three stages here at the last minute to prepare it for liftoff. t minus 1:35 and the apollo
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mission flight to land of the first men on the moon, all indications are coming in to the control center at this time to indicate we are go. 1:25 indicates. third stage completely pressurized. we'll go on full internal power at the 50-second mark in the countdown. guidance system goes on at 17 seconds leading up to the ignition sequence of 8.9 seconds approaching the 60-second mark on the apollo 11 mission. t minus 60 seconds and counting. 55 seconds and counting. neil armstrong just reported back it's been a real smooth countdown. passed the 57 mark. power transfer is complete. internal power with the launch vehicle at this time. 40 seconds away from the apollo 11 liftoff. all the second stage tanks now
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pressurized. 35 seconds and counting. we are still go apollo 11. 30 seconds and counting. astronauts report it feels good. t-minus 25 seconds. 0 seconds and counting. t-minus 15 seconds. guidance is internal. 12, 11, 10, 9, ignition sequence start. 6, 5, 3, 2, 1, 0, all engine running. liftoff. we have a liftoff. 32 minutes past the hour. liftoff on apollo 11. tower cleared. neil armstrong reported back when he received the good wishes, thank you very much. we know it will be a good flight. good luck and godspeed. >> wow. on monday the 40th anniversary
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of the landing of the first man on the moon. we'll have a special hour of "the situation room." buzz aldrin who went to the moon with neil armstrong will be here among our guests. 4:00 p.m. monday eastern. in britain a professional golfer enjoys a treat just one of our hot shots coming up next. so what do you think? i think i'll go with the basic package. good choice. only meineke lets you choose the brake service that's right for you. and save 50% on pads and shoes. meineke.
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there is a look at some hot shots. the president medvedev used binoculars to watch military exercises. india an improvised raft. in sweden the crown princess victoria enjoyed a concert thrown for her 32nd birthday. hot shots. pictures worth a thousand words. on monday the 0th anniversary of the moon landing, a special "the situation room" 4:00 p.m. eastern time. buzz aldrin who went to the moon with neil armstrong will be here.


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