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America Under Attack: Pentagon Stays Open For Business

Aired September 13, 2001 - 05:17   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: An American flag is standing unfurled on the side of the Pentagon this morning. It is just one of many signs of resolve in the face of Tuesday's deadly terrorist attacks.

And more and more the Bush administration is talking about a military response.

CNN's military affairs correspondent Jamie McIntyre brings us an update.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There are still some smoldering embers in the rubble that was once the Navy wedge of the Pentagon seen here in a commercial satellite photograph. But after more than 24 hours, the fire was basically out.

The intense heat and smoky blaze that resulted from fully-fueled jetliner crashing into the building convinced Pentagon officials that anyone who might have survived the initial impact could not have survived the fire.

The death toll, feared to be as high as 800, now looks as though it may be just over 200, including the 64 people on the plane.

DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: From everything that we currently know, the estimate that's been widely reported is considerably high, and we certainly pray that that's the case.

MCINTYRE: The attack penetrated three of the Pentagon's five rings, and the fire spread through the wooden roof. For now, roughly one-half of the Pentagon is closed, sealed off by armed sentries posted at all five rings on all five floors.

Now, the search is for evidence. FBI agents lined up to slowly comb the area, looking for pieces of plane wreckage.

It will take months, if not years, to repair the damage to the Pentagon. And thousands of Pentagon workers, including the chiefs of the Army and Navy, have been relocated to temporary offices.

In a recorded message to U.S. troops, Secretary Rumsfeld again hinted military retaliation is coming. RUMSFELD: It is my duty as head of this department to tell you that more -- much more will be asked of you in the weeks and months ahead. This is especially true of those who are in the field. We face powerful and terrible enemies. And these we intend to vanquish, so that moments of horror, like yesterday, will be stopped.

MCINTYRE: So far, the only military deployments are defensive. An aircraft carrier off the coast of New York is one of dozens of ships patrolling the East and West Coasts. Air National Guard planes are flying protective cover over major U.S. cities.

(on camera): Rumsfeld warned that a military campaign against terrorists and their supporters will be neither easy nor quick. It will take, he said, "a sustained and broadly based effort." "But will it work?" he was asked. His reply, "Only time will tell."

Jamie McIntyre, CNN, The Pentagon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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