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Military Gears up for Retaliation; France Supports U.S.; Tension Increases at Afghan Border; Bush Meets with Congress

Aired September 19, 2001 - 16:08   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.
ANNOUNCER: A battle group ships out and emotions run high.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are angry and want to go fight in defense of America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: President Bush keeps urging world leaders to support the new war against terrorism despite the anti-American pressure some of them face at home.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are gathering as much evidence as we possibly can to be able to make our case to the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: And on the front lines in New York and Washington: The monumental fight to recover goes on.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Judy Woodruff, in Washington.

JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Joie Chen, at CNN center in Atlanta. WOODRUFF: Joie,

When they appear before the cameras, we will be bringing that to you live. At ground zero, meantime, in New York City, about 32,000 firefighters are working in shifts, and perhaps working against the clock.

Hazardous materials are beginning to surface as crews get deeper into the rubble of the World Trade Center. If that starts to become a danger for rescuers, they may have to be pulled back.

CHEN: Let's check now on some of the other developments that we know of this hour: Pentagon sources telling CNN that more than 100 military aircraft are being deployed, perhaps as soon as tomorrow, to support the U.S. war against terrorism. CNN's Jamie McIntyre, military affairs correspondent at the Pentagon will have more on that in just a few minutes. Also today, more than 15,000 sailors and marines now are at sea aboard the Aircraft Carrier Theodore Roosevelt and its battle group.

The ships left Virginia on what originally had been a routine mission to the Mediterranean. But now, Navy officials say, the battle group may head to unspecified points East of there.

In Afghanistan, many people are still trying to get out. They fear U.S. attacks if the Taliban government does not hand over suspected terrorist mastermind, Osama bin Laden. Afghanistan's supreme leader is accusing the Bush Administration of using bin Laden as a pretext to destroy the Islamic system in his country. And the leader of neighboring Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf, today appealed for his people's support, and he laid out reasons for joining the U.S. war against terrorism.

In Washington, Bush Administration officials are busy reaching out to other countries.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: We are approaching this not as a single battle to be fought by the military, but as a campaign that will involve all of our elements of national power, and we will be discussing with our friends and allies in the days ahead exactly how we think this campaign should unfold.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHEN: Secretary Powell spoke after a meeting with Russia's foreign minister today -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: And now, as promised, Joie, let's go to CNN military affairs correspondent Jamie McIntyre. He has details on what the Pentagon is calling "Operation Infinite Justice." -- Jamie.

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's the working name, although sources say that still has to get final approval from the White House, but it is meant to show that this is a long-term campaign.

What we are reporting today is that Pentagon sources say that deployment orders have been issued for dozens of aircraft to move from the United States to bases in the Persian Gulf, and that a second deployment order which has not yet been issued, apparently, could push the number to more than 100 planes in total.

What appears to be going on here, according to Pentagon sources, is that there is -- the idea is to move more combat aircraft, such as F-15's and F-16's that are used to patrol the skies over Southern Iraq, move more of them into the area, so they can take over some of the -- beef up the no-fly zone patrols in Southern Iraq.

That will free up the U.S. aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, which is normally on station in the Persian Gulf so the president has the option of moving that carrier out of the gulf into the Arabian Sea, where it will join the USS Enterprise.

In addition there could end up being three carriers in the region because the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which departed from Norfolk today is also heading towards the general region, may also end up. But Pentagon sources say that this movement of planes is designed to provide more support in case the United States plans to take air- action either in support of ground troops, or by itself.

That will require more refueling planes and by moving the aircraft carrier out of the Persian Gulf, it requires more land-based planes in the Persian Gulf region to continue those no-fly zone patrols in Iraq, Judy, so just to try to put in a little better context what is going here with this movement of planes.

WOODRUFF: Jamie, I want to go back to a point you and I talked about more than an hour ago. We have been hearing from the president -- and please, those of you who are watching, forgive the sirens in the background, we are right in downtown Washington -- the president has been saying this is going to be a different kind of a war. We are going after an enemy that's hiding, unseen.

Yet, Jamie, we are talking about really, conventional aircraft, ships and so forth. Talk about what we are really seeing here.

MCINTYRE: We are seeing some of the conventional air power of the United States military, but it may not be used in a conventional way. the United States is still looking at this as an operation that will be heavily driven by intelligence.

And if the United States has intelligence that allows it to go after terrorists leaders such as the accused leader, Osama bin Laden, that might require a quick strike by specially trained commandos. But that would also require air cover, an air campaign that might distract the terrorists, might soften up the target, might also just provide protection for those troops on the ground.

It is important that if the United States is going to undertake even an unconventional covert operation, that it still has the full resources of a quick reaction force of air power or perhaps air support for those operations. So we are still not talking about a conventional war in which the United States would invade a country and occupy territory. We are talking about an unconventional war against an unconventional foe.

WOODRUFF: Jamie McIntyre at the Pentagon. And as we have been saying at the White House today, President Bush has been engaged today in a series of meetings with officials from around the world, and from Capitol Hill. And for the latest on that, here is our senior White House correspondent John King -- John.

JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Judy. Some urgent diplomacy. Also some urgent domestic politics. Let's look at the diplomacy first. Part of the president's job is to build this international coalition to support not only the military campaign Jamie McIntyre was just talking about, but the other aspects of what Mr. Bush calls a war against terrorism.

First up for the president this morning was President Megawati of Indonesia. Now the president has said he is asking different things of different nations. From Indonesian, the world's most populous Muslim nation, the president looking for strong statements that a war against terrorism is not a war against Islam or a war against Muslims.

The United States would also like Indonesia to check its banking system to make that it is not laundering any money for suspected terrorists.

The Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov here in with the president. This, the German foreign minister. In both of those discussions the president talking about the plan to fight terrorism ahead. From the Russians they are seeking intelligence about the bin Laden organization and about Afghanistan given the Soviet campaign there some years ago.

The Germans of course a key ally in NATO. They have spoken out forcefully, promising to stand by the United States. As we know from our investigative team, some of these suspected hijackers passed through Germany at times in the past year. The administration seeking help on that front as well, tracking their movements.

Importantly, coming up in the next hour for the president, urgent economic discussions. There is an airline bailout plan being negotiated between the administration and Capitol Hill, and airline CEO's, many in Congress want to get this done in the next 24 to 48 hours, not only to help the airline industry, but to send a signal to Wall Street that the government. both the administration and the Congress committed to stepping in here, and dealing with the economic problems resulting from this.

Look for the negotiations on that plan. The airline plans to reach a critical point in just a few moments here at the White House. Also discussions of a broader economic stimulus package. Many believe the economy, if it has not already, is sliding into recession. Joining these negotiations from time to time, Larry Lindsey, the president's top economic adviser, Alan Greenspan, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, and at the request of the Democrats in Congress, Robert Rubin, the Clinton Administration treasury secretary.

The Democrats making him their point man. The message in that is they would like to have one person in representing them, so when they can reach an agreement on more government and perhaps on another round of stimulative tax cuts, they can quickly get it through the Congress and to the president's desk -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, John King. And with all that action on the diplomatic and political, the economic fronts, if you will, meantime CNN's Nic Robertson is on the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan. After Afghan officials asked him and his cameraman to leave the country, saying that they could not guarantee journalists' safety if Afghanistan came under attack.

Nic Robertson and Alfredo Delara (ph) left Kandahar, where they had been the only western-based journalists in Afghanistan. Now, Nic Robertson reports on their journey to Quetta, Pakistan.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Certainly, a lot of interesting things to see on the road that gave us a real insight into the mood in Afghanistan at the moment. Kandahar itself, normally a bustling city today, the streets very empty, very few cars on the road and a lot of stores shut.

On the road we were looking out for refugees to see if there were a lot of families fleeing towards the border. There weren't. There were a few cars on the road but not crammed with families or family belongings. So, very few people, it appears, at this time, making a run for the border.

Close to the border itself, checkpoints, normally manned by armed guards who are fairly relaxed. Today those armed guards seem very tense. They have bayonets fixed on their guns and they were certainly very inquisitive about what we were doing.

At the border itself, normally a bustling small-market town, people quite friendly to strangers. Today however, a lot of somber looking faces, people very serious, no smiles. That is what one would normally see, a lot of happy faces. Today, also saw a lot of people looking at their radios, clearly they are trying to find out what is going on and exactly what could be happening to their country.

And right on the border itself, a very interesting situation. Pakistan says it has sealed its border. We saw several hundred men on the Afghan side of the border throwing stones and rocks at the Pakistani policemen on the other side, the Pakistani policemen gesturing as if to fire their rifles in their direction.

Of course they didn't fire, but one Pakistani official at the border told us the situation there has been getting more and more tense in the last three or four days and the border itself, perhaps not as sealed as first indications might be, as dusk fell we saw a lot of those men actually walking across the border, and several vehicles coming across.

So the border not quite sealed and people coming through in dribs (ph) and drabs. But a very interesting insight into the mood in Afghanistan, which is clearly people preparing for the worst, people locking up their shops, not going out on the streets, not rushing for the border at the same time, but certainly keeping a very low profile.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: That was Nic Robertson asked to leave Afghanistan today by Afghan authorities. He is reporting now from Pakistan.

We are waiting any minute for the president to talk. He has been meeting at the White House with congressional leaders. As soon as that gets under way we will take you there when it begins.

Meantime. the Bush Administration welcoming the president of Pakistan's speech today in support of the United States coalition against terrorism and for more on that speech and Pakistan's role, CNN's Christiane Amanpour. She joins us from Islamabad, Pakistan -- Christiane.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Musharraf has to rally his nation to the decision he's taken, the strategic decision to stand with the United States. And that's what he did, and set out to do in a speech to the country tonight. He used every device possible.

He appealed to stories from the early Islamic history. He talked about the necessity of choosing a wise and intelligent decision over an emotional decision. He talked about the possible threat from India with which Pakistan has this ongoing conflict over Kashmir, saying that if Pakistan did not stand with the west, India could use it for its own political gains and he made a quite a long discourse on the threats from neighboring India.

Again, remember, this directed entirely at the local Pakistani audience. He said that he had brought together many, many leaders of all walks of life here from all sorts of level of society whether army, religious, academic, political, and that they had understood his position, and he said that he believed the majority of Pakistan is support him. He acknowledged that there was difference of opinion. He said there was maybe 10, 15 percent of the people against him.

He believed that their aim was to make their own political and personal agendas out of this and to cause chaos and harm to the country. So he, basically telling the people that he's made a strategic decision for the sake of Pakistan, for the sake of Pakistan's future and in order not to bring harm to the country. He insisted to the people that this global war on terrorism was not a war against Islam nor against the Afghan people, but against terrorists.

And again trying to make a case to his people that this attack last week was not just an attack on the United States. He said that even Pakistanis in America were killed, as were people from 45 different countries -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Christiane, how does President Musharraf plan to deal with that minority, but a sizable minority, you said 10 to 15 percent of the people who do side with the Taliban, and oppose any alliance or even cooperation with the United States?

AMANPOUR: Well, one of those areas which are the potential trouble spots is the area that Nic Robertson was talking about in that previous report, the border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Basically just to sort of explain, there are a lot of tribes that are sort of half in Afghanistan, half in Pakistan. They really sort of straddle the border, and those are the ones who are mostly supportive of the Taliban and the situation in Pakistan.

To that end President Musharraf is calling tomorrow as he continues this sort of consensus building in Pakistan, he is calling together the tribal leaders from that region. There were demonstrations there today, and there's been a few in other Pakistani cities. But the president making it clear that they plan to deal with any violence, that they plan to keep the country secure, as they say, and already we've seen some protests particularly here in the Capital Islamabad of quite heavy police presence.

But again, he insisted the majority supported him, and he said the minority should not be allowed to hold the majority hostage.

WOODRUFF: All Right, CNN's Christiane Amanpour reporting, as we are saying, from Islamabad and Pakistan where I believe it is about 8 hours ahead of where we are in the U.S., 4:25 Eastern time.

We have some information just in to CNN, further confirmation of just how hard hit the airline industry has been. American Airlines confirming announcing that it will lay off 20,000 employees in the wake last week's terror attack. Two American Airline passenger planes involved in those four hijackings. Two of which ended up in the World Trade Center, one in the Pentagon, and one in Pennsylvania.

We will be talking a little later this hour with the head of another airline, Delta Airlines, about just how serious and dire, in fact, circumstances are facing the airline industry in this country.

Coming up next, we will head to New York for an update on recovery efforts and the latest high-level support for New Yorkers from our allies overseas.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHEN: It has been a week since rescue workers at the World Trade Center site found any survivors. But as the grim and dangerous work continues, logistical and moral support continues to pour in. For the latest, we turn to CNN's Gary Tuchman, live from Lower Manhattan -- Gary.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Joie, many people in New York have returned to their normal activities but live just doesn't seem normal. It's hard to get out of your mind that just three blocks behind me is in essence, a temporary graveyard for 5,400 people who are missing and presumed dead.

As you look behind me you still see smoke billowing, there are small fires under the rubble. Firemen continue to spray water trying to put the fires out. April 19, 1995, 168 people were killed in Oklahoma City when the Murrah Building was bombed. That was a huge and obscene number.

This number is more than 30 times higher. The search continues for the possibility of survivors but no one has been found since a week ago on Wednesday.

Today the former president of the United States, Bill Clinton, met with rescue workers and he was asked what he thought about the job President George W. Bush was doing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Look, I have been in a situation where I had make the call. We have got let him make the decisions and give him time to work through it and the rest of us should just be united as country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TUCHMAN: Two hundred thirty-seven bodies have been recovered. That is only 15 more than yesterday. That gives you an idea of how catastrophic the scene is, that only 15 bodies have been recovered in the last 24 hours.

Earlier today the president of France, who is in the United States, Jacques Chirac, went on a tour with Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a helicopter tour above the scene. The governor of France is pledging support in this new war against terrorism.

Joie, back to you.

CHEN: Gary, before you go here, I have to tell you, I have been watching you for the full week now, looking at that mountain behind you of rubble and it doesn't seem to have moved that much. Is there any sort of projection on how much work is left to be done on the site?

TUCHMAN: Right now, the latest figure, Joie, is that 60 thousand tons of rubble have been taken away in more than 4,000 trucks. It is estimated there are hundreds of thousands of tons of tons of rubble. So we are talking either way, a total of less than ten percent.

What you see behind me, the rubble you see directly behind me right now, that is the rubble from the Seven World Trade Center building. That was a 47 story building that collapsed after building one and two, but, in actuality, according to some rescue worker, that rubble behind me may be mixed with some of the rubble from the two tall buildings, the two 110 story towers also.

CHEN: CNN's national correspondent Gary Tuchman on the scene in Lower Manhattan. Now to Judy.

WOODRUFF: Ever since last weeks attacks, U.S. officials have talked about the possibility of states having been involved in supporting the terrorists behind those attacks. Yesterday, our David Ensor reported that U.S. officials were telling him that there was information about a meeting last year in Europe between one of the hijackers and an Iraqi intelligence official.

Of course David went back to do further reporting on that and David Ensor joins us now, our national security correspondent. David, just how much evidence is there, realistically, at this point, about an Iraqi connection with what happened?

DAVID ENSOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A certain amount, Judy. Let me review the bidding (ph) . First there was the meeting you mentioned earlier this year between an Iraqi intelligence officer in Europe with Mohammed Atta, one of suicide hijackers who threw a plane into the World Trade Center and that's been confirmed by U.S. officials.

Secondly, there may have been a meeting in Konduhar, Afghanistan in December of '98 between Osama bin Laden himself and Farook al Hajazi (ph) , who is Iraq's ambassador to Turkey, but is considered by intelligence officers to be a senior official in the Mook Ha Barat (ph) , which is Iraq's intelligence agency.

There is some limited evidence an official told me that such a meeting may have taken place. Thirdly, there of course the written statements by bin Laden himself that one of America's crimes as he sees it, is a responsibility for, as he put it, a million starving Iraqi children. And fourthly, there is some evidence in the case against the bombers of the U.S. embassies in Africa. There was a passport found on one of the bombers, officials tell us, that they believe disappeared in Kuwait during the Iraqi occupation.

And there is of course a rational of sorts, very Middle Eastern, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: David, several pieces information, what does it all add up to? Does this mean that U.S. officials believe Iraq was behind this?

ENSOR: No, in fact they suspect that Iraq was not behind this for a number of reasons: First of all, they ask themselves, what did Iraq have to offer the plot? Not much in their view. Al Qauda, the bin Laden organization has plenty of money. It was able to come up with 20 or more experienced older men who were trained to fly and willing to die.

It had planning and coordination experience, which it had gained in previous attacks -- USS Cole, East Africa and others. It may not have needed all that much help.

Secondly, on the meeting with Atta and an Iraqi intelligence officer, that intelligence officer was using official cover. In other words, he had diplomatic status in the country where the meeting took place. So he had to assume that he might be watched and his meeting noted even possible his conversations monitored in some way.

So if Iraq were behind the attacks, this would be sloppy tradecraft as U.S. intelligence officials put it. To put it mildly, they don't think the Iraqi are that stupid. Finally, on bin Laden's statements, although he denounces the U.S. for economic sanctions against Iraq, he has also criticized the regime of president Saddam Hussein. It is not nearly Islamic enough for bin Laden.

One more point: On Saddam, officials say there would be terrible danger for the Iraqi leader in having anything to do with a plot like this: The risk it could be uncovered and almost certainly lead to annihilation by the U.S. One official saying Saddam may be crazy, but not that crazy. And that is where they leave it. They don't really think that Iraq is behind this but they are watching the evidence very closely.

WOODRUFF: David Ensor, national security correspondent. All that raises the question, if not Iraq, then what other state, potentially, was involved? But we know, David, you will keep on digging.

We want tell you again that we are waiting for a report from the White House. President Bush has been meeting with Congressional leaders at this hour and as soon as that get under way, we will take you there.

But for now, one other of the many threads of this story we are following, the nation's airlines saying they need help from Congress. they say they need it now. That story from Capitol Hill when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Airline industry executives are on Capitol Hill today, making the case for billions in federal aid. The airlines are back in business after the last week's shutdown, but the carriers say that empty seats and higher security have cost billions.

For the latest on the hearings and the prospects of a government bailout, let's join CNN's -- we won't go to Kate Snow. We are going to go to the White House where President Bush is meeting with congressional leaders. This is the Oval Office and we will take you there and listen in.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want to welcome the leadership of the Congress here, and I want the nation to know how proud I am of how they have helped unite our country. Senator Daschle and the speaker and Senator Lott and Representative Gephardt have really showed that, in times of emergency and crisis, that our government can function in a way that is just exemplary, and I want to thank them for coming down. I'm also so pleased to accept the invitation of the speaker and the leaders to come and address the Congress tomorrow night. I look forward to the opportunity to explain to the American people who it is, who would do this to our great country; and why, why would people choose America?

A lot of our citizens have got a lot of questions about what has taken place on September the 11th and subsequent to that, and I owe it to the country to give an explanation. And I want to thank the Congress for giving me a chance. I can't think of a better place than to talk about freedom and the battle to maintain freedom in one of the greatest halls of freedom, and that is in the United States Congress.

So thank you for the invitation. I accept wholeheartedly, and I will see you all tomorrow night.

I'd be glad to answer a couple of questions.

QUESTION: Mr. President, will you be able to tell Americans tomorrow whether they're going to be safe while you prepare to retaliate, or will the terrorists strike again while we prepare for war? BUSH: I think America needs to know that we in government are on alert, that we recognize life around the White House or around the Congress is not normal or is not the way it used to be, because we're very aware that people have conducted an act of war on our country.

And that all of us urge our fellow Americans to go back to work and to work hard, but we must be on alert. And our government is working hard to make sure that we run down every lead, every opportunity to find someone who would want to hurt any American.

The American people are united. They're united in the resolve to help heal the nation. But they're also united in the understanding that we've entered into a new day, and we'll deal with it.

QUESTION: Sir, you have been stressing that this is not a war against Islam. However, there are some around the world who view the coming battle along these lines. I'm wondering how worried you are that some view as a holy war? And are declarations of Jihad, at all, affecting U.S. plans?

BUSH: I appreciate that question. First of all, it is so important for my fellow Americans, as well as everybody in the world, to understand that America will hold those evildoers accountable. We don't view this as a war of religion in any way, shape or form.

As a matter of fact, Islam preaches peace. The Muslim faith is a peaceful faith. And there are millions of good Americans who practice the Muslim faith, who love their country as much as I love the country, who salute the flag as strongly as I salute the flag.

And for those who try to pit religion against religion, our great nation will stand up and reject that kind of thought. We won't allow that to creep into the consciousness of the world.

We're going to lead the world to fight for freedom, and we'll have Muslim and Jew and Christian side by side with us.

QUESTION: Mr. President, you promised only to dig into the Social Security surplus in an emergency, a recession or a war. And in your words, this constitutes a war. How much of the Social Security surplus are you going to spend?

BUSH: We are not only -- someone conducted an act of war on us, our economy has slowed way down, and this is an emergency. We've had all three, it seems like to me.

And I'm going to work with Congress to send a clear message to America, American workers, American business people, that this government will respond to this emergency. We'll respond to the emergency in terms of working on a package for the airline industry that has been severely affected. We'll respond to work to fight terrorism.

The Congress has already responded with a supplemental that will not only help fund our military but, as importantly, will send a clear message to the people of New York and New Jersey and Connecticut that we'll help you rebuild, which is exactly the subject we talked about.

The definition of how much -- is enough to get America going again; is to be able to endure this emergency.

QUESTION: And if that means all the surplus, are you concerned that (OFF-MIKE)?

BUSH: We're reasonable people. The leaders from the Congress are very reasonable, and they are mindful about government money, as well as anybody else.

But we are dedicated, we are dedicated to saying to the American people, "This is an emergency," the likes of which we have not seen in a long time in this country, and this government will come together and deal with it. And that's exactly what's going to happen.

QUESTION: But did you mean to say this time that we are in a recession (OFF-MIKE)?

BUSH: No, I said -- well, I said -- let me put it this way, tough economic times. No question it's tough times.

And I don't have all the numbers, but let me just say this. I can pick up, you know, all the statistics, but make no mistake about it, this has affected our economy in a big way.

Now, I've still got faith that we'll recover. The strength of the American economy has always been our entrepreneurial spirit in our workers, and that's still prevalent. But you've seen the statistics on the airlines, they're beginning to layoff people. Big airline manufacturing companies responding. And this government will respond.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have all the numbers at my disposal because they haven't started counting them up. But this is a shock to our economy, and we're going to respond. And that's exactly what this leadership and I have been talking about.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) full support of President Musharraf? And how hard is it going to be for him to live up to his plan, given his domestic situation?

BUSH: Well, there's no question that President Musharraf has taken a bold position, which is to say that he will work to the extent he can with America and our allies as we deal with the prime suspect in the case. And we appreciate so very much his statement of support.

I said we'll give the president a chance to perform, and I believe he has done so.

We will work and consult closely with Pakistan and India to make sure that that part of the world is as stable as it can possibly be stable.

Let me say that, in terms of foreign policy and in terms of the world, this horrible tragedy has provided us with an interesting opportunity. One of the opportunities is in the Middle East. I'm pleased with the fact that Chairman Arafat and Prime Minister Sharon have taken positive steps toward bringing peace to the region. I think we have an opportunity to refashion the thinking between Pakistan and India. I think there are some interesting opportunities to shake terrorism loose from sponsor states.

And this government, working with Congress, are going to seize the moment. Out of our tears, I said I see opportunity, and we will seek opportunity, positive developments from this horrible tragedy that has befallen our nation.

Thank you all.

WOODRUFF: President Bush comments across a range of subjects. Just to quickly reiterate, on the U.S. economy saying it was clearly shocked by the -- the president still speaking, let's see if there is -- I guess that's the end of it. The president saying the American economy was shocked, there was no question. And when reporters pressed him on limits to what Americans are prepared to spend he said we have an emergency and we are going to do what we have to do.

He talked about the airline industry having taken a big hit and in connection with that, there were hearings on Capitol Hill today. They will continue tomorrow. Looking at just what the federal government can do to help out the airline industry laying off people, looking at very dire circumstances ahead.

Right now joining us, Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia. He is the chairman of the Senate Aviation Subcommittee. He joins us now from Capitol Hill. Senator, how much money is the airline industry going to need?

SEN. JAY ROCKEFELLER (D), WEST VIRGINIA: It's not clear yet. They certainly need about $5 billion because of the government mandated shut-down of the last week. They lost humongous amounts of money. They are going to need, they are projecting 40 percent, 50 percent, 60 percent load factors over the next two years.

So they are going to loose a tremendous amount more money. The layoffs. They are really strapped financially. We could see a number of airlines go out of business. So it ranges between $15 billion and $24 billion dollars, most of that being in government guarantees not cash.

WOODRUFF: Senator, the industry was already having a tough time before last week's terror attacks. How do you distinguish between what the industry may need as a baseline to support it and what has happened as a result of last week's attack?

ROCKEFELLER: You distinguish very clearly, Judy. Any problems the airline industry was having economically before last Tuesday, and there were enormous problems, will have absolutely nothing to do with what Congress does to help them. Not only the financial viability the airlines but also all of the airline safety factors that have to be considered. And it will only be post last Tuesday consideration.

WOODRUFF: Senator, do you consider this a bailout and if so, what is to stop other American industries that are facing tough times as a result of last week, to ask for similar handout from the government?

ROCKEFELLER: That's always a possibility, but that's where the discipline of the Congress and the administration working together in a united front comes in very strongly. The American -- I mean if there is any and there isn't, but if there is any silver lining out of last Tuesday, it is that the whole area of aviation and aviation safety, economically and just the carrying out of the function has risen to the top of the American agenda in a week.

And it has come out of the shadows and into the bright sunlight. And now we have obligations not only for safety, federalizing of people who do the checking of the baggage, but air marshals, the doors that separate the cockpit from the rest of the plane, all of that.

A lot of that I think has to be paid for by the federal government. The aviation industry doesn't have any money. It's hard to say that, does United Airlines, American Airlines, they have no money, can they borrow money? No, they can't. No lending institution will give them any money. So, people have understand that the deal, already bad, is now really dangerous. And if aviation shuts down in this country, this country has enormous economic problems.

WOODRUFF: Senator Jay Rockefeller, we will be keeping a close eye those hearing that you are conducting tomorrow at the Capitol. Thanks for joining us. Good to see you.

From the financial aftermath to the human aftermath, our Jeff Flock is with a Missouri family who's son is among the missing from the World Trade Center. Their story and their thoughts on potential U.S. military action when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHEN: Shortly after last week's attacks, our Jeff Flock traveled into the nation's heartland to see how the nation is responding to the tragedies in New York and Washington as well as the crash in Pennsylvania. Jeff has, in his travels, talked with people from all walks of life and today he is in Missouri. One family's story. He joins us from the town of Walnut Shade -- Jeff.

FLOCK: Indeed Joie. We are a long way away from the World Trade Centers. But the family I stand with now, their thoughts are right there. Because it is their son, John Charles Willett, was on floor 101?

RON WILLETT, FATHER OF MISSING MAN: Yes.

FLOCK: And you have not heard from him since?

R. WILLETT: No we have not.

FLOCK: He is on your shirt, in your heart and you told me about him. You said he is someone who is opposed to capital punishment and you suspect if he were here to speak for himself he would not be for strong military retaliation that would hurt other people.

R. WILLETT: I know that. I am not saying he wouldn't be for strong military retaliation, but he wouldn't want innocent people to suffer. He would want to us go to the core of the problem and retaliate.

FLOCK: Across this country there are a lot of strong voices right now advocating for military action and people in a poll said even if it meant innocent people being harmed, they would be for that -- Lucy.

LUCY WILLETT, MOTHER OF MISSING MAN: No. I don't want any other parents to have to go through what we have gone through. This is just too much.

FLOCK: You just a moment ago listening to the president and his latest comments. How is he doing in this? Are you behind him?

L. WILLETT: Well I'm hoping that he will keep the courage and go in and do what needs to be done.

FLOCK: Do you think that is going to happen?

L. WILLETT: I hope so. I really hope so.

FLOCK: I need to ask you, you still have hope, don't you? Somewhere in your heart?

R. WILLETT: Yes, a big place in my heart.

FLOCK: Tell me why that is?

R. WILLETT: Oh, you know, it's strange. About two weeks ago I have been going through my brain, I can't remember why, but I sent John a letter and I said, John, I believe in miracles. I said your mother is a living example of a miracle because she had a heart attack and open heart surgery and he stood by me every day telling me mom is going to be OK.

FLOCK: So you don't want to abandon him.

R. WILLETT: No.

FLOCK: And I know as you were telling me you don't want to abandon his thoughts about all of this which is, if he was to counsel the U.S. on what to do about this right now, what would he say? And what do you say?

R. WILLETT: Whatever he would counsel, it would involve a lot of intelligent thought. It wouldn't just be blabbering, we are going to nuke them or whatever. It would be a lot of intelligence input into it because the people that he worked with in government, already, he was politically involved a lot of his young life, and the people we have heard from, that is all they said about John.

They said he wasn't just somebody that would come in a room and rattled. He was someone who came into a room and you listened to his opinions.

FLOCK: Lucy are you worried that there may be too strident a response that made lead to more anger and more hate?

L. WILLETT: Yes, I'm afraid there is. We have heard some of it already and seen it on the Internet and everything, so.

FLOCK: I want to leave you, Joie and Judy, with the picture of the outside of the Willett's home, a sign out there says "God Bless America."

Two people out here in the nation's heartland that are doing their best to keep the faith as this nation goes forward. Judy, that's the latest. Back to you.

WOODRUFF: Jeff Flock. Please tell Mr. and Mrs. Willett that our hearts are with them.

Coming up in the next hour, John King will be interviewing the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert. I am Judy Woodruff signing off for now. Our coverage of America's new war continues.

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