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CNN HOTLINE: America's New War

Aired September 19, 2001 - 00:00   ET



JACK CAFFERTY, HOST, CNN HOTLINE: As America struggles to recover, the list of people the FBI wants to talk to about last week's tragedy approaches 200.

United Airlines announces it's laying off 20 thousand people, as a massive aid package is consider to keep the nation's airlines aloft.

The Taliban says the United States must have proof if it wants them to consider handing over bin Laden.

Israel and the Palestinians are going to try again.

When the war starts, what's it going to be like? We'll talk about it tonight on CNNs Hotline.


CAFFERTY (on camera): Good evening from New York City, I'm Jack Cafferty our number is 1-800-310-4CNN. We ask you to call in with your questions for our guests.

Who, tonight, include the following:

General Wesley Clark, he's retired General of the Army, CNN Military Analyst and former Commander of NATO.

Dr. Khadled Abou El Fadl, he's an Islamic Law scholar from UCLA in California, with a primer on Islamic Fundamentalism and some other items of interest concerning the upcoming clashes conceivably with the Taliban and others.

Rick MacArthur, is the publisher of Harper's Magazine. He's the author of a book that was a best seller, "Second Front Censorship and Propaganda in the Persian Gulf War". We'll talk about the Pentagon announcing it's going to clamp down on the news media, when military operations begin.

Also, our correspondents include tonight:

Kelly Wallace at the White House.

Mark Potter at the Pentagon. Brian Palmer at ground zero.

Tom Mintier on the ground in Islamabod, Pakistan.

It's a call in show. It's your program for the next couple of hours. We invite your questions for any and all of these people and we'll begin with a phone call from Ohio.

Tammy what's your question?

TAMMY: Yes sir. Good evening. I would like to know, are they going to step up security on terrorism in the airports? Now, they say they have new security safe guards, but are they going to make it terrorist free, as well?

CAFFERTY: Well, I don't know that it's possible to make anything terrorist free. El Al has probably, the Israeli airline, has probably done as good a job as any with that.

But, there are plans to put on sky marshals, on the planes. There are plans to improve the cockpit security, on American passenger planes.

There are plans to beef up security in the terminal buildings, change parking rules. There are a lot of things underway, that while it may not make security perfect, will go a long, long way towards improving things.

Before we start with our guests and before I get to Garrick Utley. A couple of stories caught my eye on the way in here tonight. And, I just want to share this with you. Little things to think about as we move through the next couple of hours.

This is a story that was reported by CNN. The FBI was told, apparently, six years ago of a terrorist plot to hijack commercial airplanes and slam them into the Pentagon, the CIA Headquarters, and other buildings.

This is according to Philippine authorities, apparently told the FBI, back in 1995 of a plot, when they raided the apartment of Ramzi Yousaf. He was one of those convicted in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

They got a hold of his right-hand man, Abdul Akeem Murad (ph), who apparently told authorities at this time, Philippine authorities, that there was a plan by the Ramzi terrorist cell in the United States to hijack a commercial plane, ram it into CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, also, the Pentagon.

Philippine investigators also found evidence targeting Commercial Towers in San Francisco, Chicago and New York City.

And the Philippine authorities say they gave all this information to the FBI in 1995. But, it's not clear what happened to it after that. Interesting question to ask the Bureau.

The other story that's a little ominous, and I'll get right to Garreck for the news.

Apparently the prospect of a major U.S. military campaign against terrorism comes as the Pentagon grows closer to running out of vaccine for the deadly anthrax virus.

Now, the reason that story's a little frightening is, apparently, some of these bin Laden training camps, that he runs for his terrorists, have been found littered with the bodies of dead animals. Indicating to officials that they have been experimenting with the biological agents like anthrax.

The original plan was to vaccinate all the members of the Armed forces. When asked about it, a Pentagon spokesman said, "I'm not going to talk about it."

All right, let's get the latest news from my friend Garrick Utley. Garrick?

GARRICK UTLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Jack. Reporting on the news now at this midnight hour, at least here on the east coast of the United States and here in New York.

First of all, that term collateral damage, we all know, it's that, sort of, antiseptic, clinical term that's used when something goes terribly wrong in a military operation and innocent civilians are killed or wounded.

Well, what happened down here in lower Manhattan, down at the Towers, also collateral damage, as the ripple effect now goes across the economy and the airline industry and all the lay offs there.

This evening, Boeing announced, they will make a formal announcement tomorrow. Boeing, giant Boeing, going to lay off 20 to 30 thousand workers in its commercial airplane division by the end of next year.

No need to explain why, fewer passengers, fewer flights, the less need for Boeing Airliners. So, there we are.

Let's go downtown and check-in live at the site World Trade Center or what it was. The rescue and search operation continues.

But, there is a change of tone from mayor Guliani and City officials, now. The mayor said today that it's very unlikely that the rescue teams will find anyone alive beneath the immense pile of rubble that was once the Trade Center.

5,400 people are stilling missing, and as we know, the number of dead has climbed to 218. Now, all of this work done there and elsewhere, going to cost money, billions, millions and billions of dollars. And, today President Bush signed the $40 billion aid package, to help with this relief recovery in the early stages of the investigation.

He also spoke about the American spirit.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We'll fight terrorism on all fronts. We will not be terrorized, so that our hearts are hardened. Nobody can threaten this country.

Oh, they may be able to bomb a building, and obviously, disrupt lives. But, we're too great a nation to allow the evildoers to affect our soul and our spirit.


UTLEY: Along with those important words, is also, the hard work that got friends and allies to support the United States.

There is France's President Jacque Chirac, who met with President Bush at the White House and he vowed that France would fully support the United States and it's war on terrorism.

The French President said, "we have completely determined to fight by your side, this new type of evil, an absolute evil", he said. "Which is terrorism."

It was also a day of morning in the nation's capital in Washington. A thousand people turned out, one thousand turned out today for the memorial mass for American Airlines pilot David Charlevoix (ph).

The 39 year old pilot was the co-pilot aboard the plane that crashed into the Pentagon last Tuesday.

And, in New Town, Pennsylvania, there it is again. A memorial service for United Airlines pilot Victor Saraceni (ph) who was 51 years old. There he is. He was aboard the second plane that crashed into the World Trade Center.

And, we're going to see many more of those memorial services and funeral services in the days to come.

Jack, one quick note, we're also watching closely or waiting from the response from Afghanistan. The Taliban leaders are meeting there to decide whether to hand over Osama bin Laden.

You know, that Pakistan has said that they should. If they don't, they face attack from the United States.

Well, the process there isn't that simple. Six hundred clerics of the Taliban movement have to meet and they have to agree unanimously. Well, it's your guess what's going to happen.

In any case, we need to keep an eye, and we'll be keeping an eye on Pakistan. Why, this is a big country, we have several that support the United States in putting pressure on Afghanistan, but there's a big fundamentalist movement in Pakistan, the government leaders are worried about that.

If the fundamentalist where to come to power, as they did in Iran, say, would it be the same as Tehran in Iran? Perhaps, but with one importance difference, Pakistan has nuclear weapons, about 20 nuclear bombs at its disposal. And, makes two or three new ones a year.

Something to keep in mind, Jack.

CAFFERTY: Yeah, nuclear weapons, biological weapons, I mean, this a tinder box in many ways over there. And, how we're going to go about prosecuting this campaign, I don't know. It boggles the mind.

We'll get some insight, Garrick, as we move forward in the program, we have a retired general of the Army, the former NATO Commander with us in Washington, General Wesley Clark.

Joining us first though, from UCLA in California is Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl, who is an Islamic Law Professor, Scholar at UCLA. Dr. Apotal it's nice to have you with us.

Let's begin with the meaning of the word Gihad. The Taliban declares a Gihad against the United States. What does that mean?

DR. KHALED ABOU EL FADL, UCLA ISLAMIC LAW PROFESSOR AND SCHOLAR: Well, as is often stated, Gihad, in Islamic theology and law, simply means, to strive and exert ones effort.

Now, of course, what Taliban means by it, is something different. Not just simply striving and exerting effort, but a notion of, their conception of, just war.

Importantly in the Islamic tradition there is no concept equivalent to the Christian notion of Holy War. There is no war that can be holy. War can either be justified or unjustified. But, it cannot be holy.

CAFFERTY: What is the meaning of the quote, "repel those who attack you, but do not transgress", that is, as I understand it, out of the Koran, right?

EL FADL: Right. That is in various text that require interpretation and understanding. And often the meaning, or the value of the text is as good as the moral probity of the reader.

What the Koran is talking about for a reader with moral probity, and moral perception, is that, numerous pulses, even to an injustice, even to a perceived or claimed injustice, must be proportional, must be measured. Do not go beyond a measured response and do not use, as the Koran says, elsewhere, in a separate verse, do not the injustice of others to excuse your own injustice.

CAFFERTY: How then is it that Osama bin Laden can come up with justification for terrorism and the kinds of acts that he is suspected of committing, based on his interpretation of Islamic Law

EL FADL: Well I think it's very important to keep in mind the logical paradigm from which such as Osama bin Laden come from. It is, it's not too much an exaggeration to say that it is a puritan paradigm, a dogmatic worldview, a black and white of good and bad, without shades of gray, without nuances, without much complexity to the formula.

And, so what, temperative that people like Osama bin Laden use goes something like this, "repel those who transgress against you." And, then they stop. And, they say, well, first we repel the aggressor, whoever they perceive to be the aggressor, and when we get done with that, when we that accomplished, then we'll worry about the second part, not transgressing.

In my view, and in the view of the mainstream juristic tradition, it's a, it's a segmented and non-defensible way of understanding the text.

CAFFERTY: But, never the less, it's an interpretation of the text. Not unlike, for want of a better way to draw the parallel, the bible being used as an excuse for all kinds of behavior. If you look far enough into the bible you can find passages and quotations that will either justify or seem to justify almost anything.

So, it gets down to a matter of how you read the scriptures.

We have a caller in Georgia, Kamal, what is your question?

KAMAL: Hello, yes, first of all I want to let you know that I as an American citizen have my figure on the pulse of this country to my friends and clients throughout this country. And, we would like somebody in the government to know, we don't need that much proof from the government.

We understand that you can't look at a single government group to place the blame. We understand there may be hundreds or even thousands of these cells, with 50 or more people in each group. That they function on their own, with assistance or guidance or spiritual zealousness from their leaders such as bin Laden.

But, that there are many more than just bin Laden. That we don't care what their zealous reasons are.

CAFFERTY: Excuse me, who is we?

KAMAL: As American citizen, as people who I talk to day in and day out.

CAFFERTY: Well, one of the things we have, one of the things that we have in this country is the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Now, granted there's a consensus emotionally, that Mr. bin Laden is probably involved in this, but I haven't seen any hard evidence yet.

And, I don't think anybody else has either, and is it not unreasonable, to at least, to have them do what they are doing, which is to collect the evidence that he may be involved in this. And, present the evidence that would suggest his involvement. Before we simply leap to -

Do you remember the Oklahoma City bombing?

KAMAL: Yes, I do sir.

CAFFERTY: Remember what everybody said the minute that happened?

KAMAL: Exactly.

CAFFERTY: And, you remember how wrong everybody was?

KAMAL: Exactly, again. But, there is another item to this. In as far as, retaliatory actions against people in this country. My names come out, I am actually, my father is in the L.A. Trinidad, he is Moslem by birth. His great-grandparents were --

CAFFERTY: I guess you're going to have to get to the point.

KAMAL: OK. I understand. And, I'm also Jewish, so, I'm one of these people that can speak to both sides of the event. But, if you want proof then I guess you can look at the fact that it was reported, I believe by your station or another station. That bin Laden short sold stocks on assumptive insurance companies in Europe and,

CAFFERTY: Once, again, not to get in the middle of your thought but there are, there are suspicions once again, that perhaps associates or people with ties to bin Laden, sold short stocks and insurance companies and airlines alike, ahead of the bombing of the World Trade Center.

But, once again, it hasn't been proved. They are in the process, there was a tremendous number of short orders placed to sell these stocks down ahead of the event.

What they are trying to find out is, who placed these orders to sell the stocks, and what are their ties, if any, possibly to Osama bin Laden.

We're going to have to leave it there, Kamal, and I appreciate your call. When we come back we'll talk to Dr. El Fadl at UCLA about what events, perhaps occur, that would cause bin Laden and his followers to apply such a twisted interpretation to the law of Islam?

We'll be back after this.

We've got Ken on the phone in Tennessee, what's your question Ken?

KEN: I guess my main question is, just the fact, I spoke to about 15 or 20 other fellows last night and I would like to know, how they would like a, I guess, you want to say a force, put together that would cover your public and private air fields. And, the only thing that they would have to do with them, is pay for their uniforms.

CAFFERTY: These are you friends? KEN: Oh, no sir. I'm talking about, all these are basically Vietnam vets. The ones I've talk to, they'd be more than happy to do it.

CAFFERTY: There was another idea, there was another idea about, we had a retired cop call the other night and say until they have time to train these sky marshals, how about if they ask for volunteers from the ranks of retired police officers?

And, that was an interesting idea. There are a lot of resources in this country and people are willing to help and that's another idea to file in and perhaps work on in the future.

Our guest in California is Dr. Khadled Abou El Fadl and I was curious Dr. El Fadl, what are the events that caused this radical interpretation of Islamic Law, to the point where we have these kinds of terrorist operations going on around the world.

EL FADL: Well, I don't believe that this level of radicalization. This level of immorality, and ugliness is produced by one or two events.

Believe it or not, it takes quite a long time to create the type of cultural setting that is capable of producing such terrorists. And, in this particular case, one is the historical fact of the disintegration and grumbling of the Islamic civilization.

The fact that Muslims go from civilization, at the top of the world, the source of sciences and enlightenment and literature and art and, so on, to being divided into nation states among the third world countries.

Of course, the systematic processes of colonialism, which undid, deconstructed many of the established social institutions and religious institutions.

And, then, the mere fact that the third world, particularly, the Arab part, was all the dreams of grandeur and rebirth of their civilization came to nothing. And, the United States as the leader, the big, the sort of father figure, of the world, becomes the object or the scapegoat for the projection of many social, political and historical frustrations.

It is has to be understood within this process.

CAFFERTY: That's interesting. How big a piece of the Islamic population feels this way, roughly. What kind of percentages are we talking about here.

EL FADL: Well, there is a difference between feeling frustrated and defeated and becoming a criminal. And, there's no mincing of words about this. Those individuals moved from frustration, social, political, historical frustration to committing inhuman and criminal acts.

And, what percentage of Muslims feels a degree of frustration about the state of Muslim nations, a very high percentage. What percentage transforms this frustration into criminal act is very, very small percentage.

The difference is, one person can feel frustration and make it a source for a striving to improve their own condition -

CAFFERTY: And, then, there's the criminal mentality that takes the same frustration and lashes out and projects it on someone else, and it doesn't have to be an Islamic fundamentalist. It happens among all races of people, all over the world.

Let's get a question in, and I want to get to the general, General Wesley Clark in Washington in a couple of minutes.

Clinton's on the phone in Kentucky, Clinton what's your question?

CANTON (ph): Well, actually it's Canton.

CAFFERTY: Canton, I'm sorry.

CANTON (ph): Before the question I'd just like to say that I hope Osama bin Laden is found and punished severely for what he has done. But, if he is brought to American how would stand a fair trial?

CAFFERTY: That's a very good question. I guess it would depend in large part on the body of evidence that was brought to bear against him. And, beyond that I don't know. Maybe you've got to be tried by the world court in Hague or someplace like that.

But, maybe it would not be possible in this country to give him a fair trial. Thanks Canton.

CAFFERTY: Is General Clark available? Let me ask you this -- all right you want to do a break. We'll do a break and then we'll come back. Stay with us.

CAFFERTY: All right. Our guest in Washington, D.C. tonight is former Commando of NATO forces in Europe. He's a retired General of the Army, Wesley Clark. He's also CNN military analyst and I would like to welcome you sir to Hotline. Nice to have you with us.


CAFFERTY: What about this suggestion on the part of the Islamic fundamentalist that we, sort of, brought this on ourselves over time.

CLARK: Well, there's no question that there's been a three century struggle on the part of Islam to adapt to the west. Beginning really with the voyages of discovery, the move into the Persian Gulf by the Brits.

The discovery of oil on the Arabian Peninsula, and so forth. There have been many, many forces of the west impacting on Islam.

Islam has struggled for centuries to try to adapt to this. This is just one of the latest, unfortunate, adaptations that's emerging. And, as the scholar said, that there are many different factors causing this.

Afghanistan has been in such turmoil for 20 years. It's such a tragedy. And, it's been the breeding ground for, I think, this strongest sense of radicalism. That then goes back and affects others.

But, some of it comes from Saudi Arabian teaching doctrine, too.

CAFFERTY: All right. Dr. El Fadl, I want to ask you about anti Arabic sentiment in this country, more specifically, anti Islamic sentiment.

I'm almost embarrassed to tell this story, but I was coming home from dinner tonight, and I was driving my car, and I glanced in the review mirror and behind me in a rather large and imposing SUV, was a guy right out of central casting.

Probably a 50-ish year old man, with a turban, a long flowing beard, dark skin and for just a split second, it was an almost involuntary reaction, but I reacted.

I was ashamed of what happened, but it happened just that fast and there is such emotion in this country now. You're getting reports of attacks and all kinds of things going on around the country.

What, if anything can be done about all that, in light of the horrific nature of what happened?

EL FADL: Well, first we have to keep in mind that a hate crime, is a hate crime, is a hate crime. Terrorism is a hate crime. That is, basically, a sense of terrorism.

Now, the response to terrorism through hate crimes is another form of terrorism. You know, I don't believe that -- I believe that a bad act, a hate crime or terrorist act is immoral. Regardless of the reason or justifications or causes.

And, so, unfortunately, yes there have been fatalities, there have been fatalities, there've been people who are either Arab or look Arab, but are not, who have been killed. There've been beatings, there've been threats, there've been numerous kinds of backlashes. But it's important to keep in mind that those who perpetuate these acts are engaging in the same type of hateful logic that the terrorists use.

Now, that's one. The second, I -- if I might just jump in and maybe be a bit unusual in saying that I am not impressed in the least with the efforts of the -- of either Bush or his administration in trying to deal with this form of egregious crime...

CAFFERTY: Can you be more specific?

EL FADL: Well, I believe that, basically, the response has been to say, listen, don't attack Muslims, don't attack Arabs because they're peace-loving people. I believe that put you money -- put your resources where your mouth is.

We've got a new anti terrorism bill that is being proposed that greatly expands the powers of the -- of the Federal government. We know how the secret evidence, the anti terrorism Bill of '96, what type of impact it had. It's, basically, impacted disproportionately Arabs and Muslims. And how about a new hate crime bill? How about toughening -- how about sending out the message of zero tolerance for hate crimes? As a society, we will not stand for it.

We put -- we're putting in a lot of resources in terrorism in terms of dollars and I'm all for it. In fact, I believe that the most effective way of fighting terrorism is infiltration and penetration ...


EL FADL: ... within terrorist organizations. However, how about putting in resources in prosecuting and going after those individuals that commit hate crimes. I don't believe that...

CAFFERTY: All right, I'm going to have to -- I've got to interrupt, Jim. I'm very sorry about it. Got to get a station break in. We'll continue this in a moment.

You're watching HOTLINE. We'll be right back. Stay with us.


Welcome back to CNN's HOTLINE, I'm Jack Cafferty.

12:34 in the East. Let's get a news update now from our friend Garrick Utley. Gary?

GARRICK UTLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Jack. There are a lot of ramifications, repercussions of this bombing of the attack down here at the Trade Center, which we don't really see. They're not the headline stories. They get lost. But I just want to note a couple of them in these early morning hours here in New York.

First of all, over on the East River, near the east side of the headquarters the United Nations now. End of September, Jack, about, oh, the third or fourth week of September, big meeting, general assembly. World leaders come from all over the world, 150 nations or more. They talk about making this imperfect world a better place, a lot of talk. Sometimes they actually take some action. Not this year.

First time in the 56-year history of the UN, no general assembly. They're not going to come here, the UN, the police can't handle the security. Also, financial leaders; bankers meeting in Washington for the World Bank sessions, international monetary fund, key organizations; that's already also been cancelled.

Let's go downtown and look at the -- check in at the site here. This is our live pictures of the disastrous site. The rescue workers are continuing to search, as we know, but not much hope is being held out following the disaster. 218 people are confirmed to be dead but 5,422 still missing. New York's Mayor Giuliani says the likelihood of recovering anyone else alive from the rubble is now very, very small but he isn't giving up all hope.


RUDY GUILIANI, MAYOR, NEW YORK CITY: We have search and rescue teams here from Los Angeles, from Chicago, from Indianapolis, from Tampa, from all over the country, and they're good, they're enormously effective, and they're relieving our firefighters. And this is -- and New Yorkers have the feeling -- not just a feeling, the reality that we -- you know, we're one nation ...


UTLEY: Meanwhile, President Bush is doing what he can for those affected by this horrible tragedy. Just a few hours ago, he signed a $40-billion emergency spending package to help pay for the relief recovery and early investigative costs. Bush also signed a joint congressional resolution, which gives him the authorization to use military force to retaliate.

Meanwhile, the President is looking at ways to help the airline industry. You might call that the flying wounded rather than the walking wounded. Sources tell CNN the White House and congressional leaders are entering an agreement to spend $15 billion to help the industry survive. The package could reach the House floor as early as Friday. Why is this happening? Well, airlines officials and industry analysts say much of the industry could go bankrupt if Congress doesn't help. Congress agrees the nation needs an airline industry.

Well, the ripple effect continues, speaking of airliners. Example -- big example -- they don't come bigger than this in the US -- that's Boeing commercial aviation division. The company's announced just a few hours ago they're planning to lay off 20 to 30,000 workers in their commercial section by the end of next year. The reason, simply a slight -- slighted by the company, a drastic drop in orders for new planes. And, as we look at these ripple effects, the collateral damage, so to speak, we look at all kinds of industries, Jack.

Take ours, the television industry, not just because we work in it, but viewers watching this show are looking for the fall season. It's been delayed a week. It'll start -- the most programs will start next week but what's the public going to be watching? How are tastes going to change? How would you like to be the producer, for example, of Survivor? A big hit, but, hey, what's Survivor? What's reality television after this has happened?

Let's say you're the producer or the writer for West Wing. Most of these shows are in the can. Well, the West Wing in Washington these days is about retaliation of Afghanistan. How do you work that in? How do you handle that? At least there's one series about the CIA. Maybe that's a program whose time has come. A good guessing on their part. Back to you, Jack.

CAFFERTY: These reality shows, though, they really do seem pretty trivial all of a sudden, don't they?

UTLEY: They do.

CAFFERTY: "Big Brother," I mean, what is that? The other -- the other thing that's kind of hard to believe, Gary, I was reading the paper this morning. There's a 1.5 million people in New York City that cannot see us, for example, on CNN because they didn't have cable. This is 2001 and a 1.5 million people in New York City still don't have cable television and the broadcast stations that would carry this, all their antennas were top of the World Trade Center.

UTLEY: A lot of those stations went dark a week ago, Tuesday morning.

CAFFERTY: Yeah. All right, Garrick Utley, thank you. We have a caller in North Carolina.

Will, what's your question?

WILLIAM: Yeah, I was pretty curious as to the national climate. It seems that people expect to see this man paraded in front of US courts in handcuffs. I don't think that's going to happen. When you're talking about counter terrorist organizations, they're going to go in there and I don't think -- I think there's only one outcome to this. I don't think the US justice system applies to terrorists.

I believe that -- I believe that the law of war applies to terrorists. And if General Clark will address that.

Also -- yeah, you mentioned these reality shows. I don't -- you know, I don't ...

UTLEY: Amazing.

WILLIAM: ... see -- I don't see a pudgy naked man as a -- as a survivor as compared to some of these people coming out of this rubble.

UTLEY: No, I agree. None of those shows seem to have any relevance at all. But, you know, somebody made the point that it was a kind of reflection on where we've come in the last 10 years as a society. We have the end of the Cold War. We've prosecuted the Persian Gulf War; very clean, surgical, a lot of casualties over in a reasonable period of time.

The stock market went on the greatest bull run of this century. And for the last 10 years this country has gotten fat living the good life and have taken a whole lot of things for granted and gotten lazy and gotten lazy in terms of even, perhaps, stimulating their minds, which is why these meaningless kinds of programs became so very popular. We didn't want to have to think any harder than, what's that guy you were talking about, walking around out there looking for a fish. Thanks for your call.

Let's get some thoughts on General Wesley Clark, former NATO commander and panelist, CNN military analyst joining us from Washington, DC.

Why does the President make such a point of talking about patience? I mean, we hear that word over and over and over every day.

CLARK: Well, I think it's a very important point because we're all angry, America's angry, and you can tell it in the call-in shows and just people on the street. But this is not a campaign that can be conducted by firing off a few tomahawk missiles and slamming into terrorist training camps in Afghanistan.

We know where those camps are, or, at least, where they were. Reports are most of them have been evacuated right now. Rather, we're trying to go after, not facilities, but the terrorists themselves. To do that takes a lot of intelligence. Now, we have a lot of intelligence. We have a lot of information. We've been watching them for years, but we haven't backtracked all of the leads that are coming out of this terrible tragedy. We haven't had the fullest information from some of our close friends.

CAFFERTY: We have ...

CLARK: We want more and that takes time to build.

CAFFERTY: We have a lot of intelligence and we have a big budget for intelligence gathering but there were indications three weeks before this happened that hints had been planted in some publications overseas. And then this story I picked up earlier that, apparently, authorities in the Philippines got wind of this plot to blow up buildings using hijacked airliners in 1995.

They claim they gave the information to the FBI and that's the end of the story. Nobody seems to know what happened after that. Do we have the intelligence capability to do this kind of operation? I mean, there are some signs around that we're not real sharp at this game?

CLARK: Well, anytime you look in depth at intelligence, you'll find oversights or missions and mistakes, and it'll be interesting to track this back and find out why we didn't get those warnings and why we didn't understand them. But I think it also indicates the fact that we've had a lot of effort put into this. We've tried very hard to continue life as usual, continue business as usual, while dealing with these terrorist organizations.

I think that's over. I think it's clear now that we can't tolerate the existence of the terrorist network. It has to be taken down. That requires patience in building up the information that's required to take it down. It also requires time to pull the coalition together. This is an international problem. In fact, it's primarily a domestic problem about 20 -- between 25 and 60 states where there are terrorist cells working. And the first line of attack is really the law enforcement agencies in those states. So they've got to be mobilized. They -- some of them have to be trained. Some of them have to be convinced to take action. Some of them may need information on what's going on in their soil, and some of them may be complicit with the terrorists. That all has to be sorted out and put together in a work.

CAFFERTY: Some of them are ...

CLARK: ... and that's what's underway right now.

CAFFERTY: ...being blackmailed by these groups, too, aren't they?

CLARK: There's no question about it.

CAFFERTY: Some of them are just being blackmailed. I mean, the Taliban -- I mean, it's -- the quid pro quo is leave us alone, we'll leave you alone. Let us do -- let us blow up the World Trade Center and do the rest of our heinous behavior, and we won't be blowing up, you know, the buildings in your Capitol.

CLARK: Well, Osama bin Laden's been deeply involved with the Taliban and there's no doubt some of them will feel they owe him. He's brought them reinforcements. He's actually put his spiders in to help them in some of the battles, and he's probably brought them money, as well. So there's a symbiotic relationship where.

CAFFERTY: We have a caller in California. Peter, what's your question?

PETER: Thank you, Jack. General, I think this question can go towards you. Basically, I've heard a lot of reports -- previous reports that we're spread real thin around the world militarily, that our military is somewhat weaker now. We do have our fingers in a lot pies around the world.

My question's really two things. Why are there no reports about how we're being protected here in the homeland? Are there vaccines for smallpox? Are there vaccines for Anthrax? And what's being done about it?

CLARK: Well, OK, first with respect to the -- to the spreading of the military. Yes, we've got troops deployed al over the world. We, typically, keep about 100,000 troops in Europe, about 100,000 in the Pacific. We have another 25 to 40,000 in the Persian Gulf at any one time. And, in addition -- and that's from a total of about 1.4 million men and women in the active armed forces. We have about a million more in the reserves. We've got plenty of strength and it's mobile and we can pull it together and we can do things.

Could we be stronger? Sure, but we're adequate to this task with the training and the reinforcement and the extra money that's being appropriated now by the Congress. So I think we'll be all right in that.

With respect to the vaccines for smallpox and Anthrax, there is Anthrax vaccine. There was a problem in the quality control of its production. There were political, legal questions about how effective it was and there were some people in the armed forces who didn't want to take it and it became an issue here. I think that issue's about to go away.

As far as smallpox is concerned, smallpox was eradicated from the world several decades ago. It was a fantastic work to track it down and isolate it to some villages in Africa where it was completely contained and then there was no more. There -- the smallpox virus is kept in at least two locations, that I know of, but the problem with smallpox is that those of who have been vaccinated, that vaccine has worn off -- gone out of our bodies in the 30 years since there's been no smallpox. And, in addition, smallpox can be created in different strains. And, so, it's not clear that even if you had the old vaccine, it would necessarily protect against some bio-engineered smallpox.

There's a lot of work being done. The work is highly classified, obviously, but there's -- everybody acknowledges that this is an area of high risk and it's something our government's going to have to work on very hard.

CAFFERTY: We're talking to General Wesley Clark who's a retired General of the Army and former NATO commander. We're going t take a break. The number will be on your screen. It's there now. If you have a question, call us.

Coming up in the next hour, we'll talk to Rick MacCarther. He's the publisher of Harper's magazine. The Pentagon says they're not going to let the news media go along on this venture when they start battling terrorism around the world and he's got some interesting ideas on why he doesn't like that idea at all. Back after this.


Let's check in with our Washington correspondent Kelly Wallace at the White House to get a rundown on the President's day.

Good evening.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Jack. Well, Wednesday will be a day of -- excuse me -- coalition building; really trying to see what the US allies are willing to do in what Mr. Bush is calling a war on terrorism. On Tuesday, of course, the President meeting in the Oval Office with French President Jacques Chirac. They met for about two hours, the French pledging solidarity with the United States. Also, the French leader saying it is conceivable that France could provide military troops in any international fight against terrorism.

Privately though, Jack, U.S. officials pressing the French to sever business ties with Iran and Iraq, two countries believed to be involved in states' sponsored terrorism. On the agenda Wednesday, the President to meet with the Foreign Ministers of Germany and Russia. On Thursday, he will meet with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Again, tomorrow, he'll also be meeting with the Indonesian president. The big focus there, Jack, is, obviously, getting the support of Muslim allies. That would be very important to the administration trying to send a message that this is war against terrorism, not a war against Islam. So lots of diplomacy while the military planning continues. And, also, Jack, as you know, big focus on the economy. The President expected to meet with House and Senate congressional leaders on Wednesday to focus on kind of finalizing a deal for that bailout package; a package for the airline industry, which we know is struggling right now -- Jack?

CAFFERTY: You know, France has been an ally for a long time but I wonder, and others do, as well, what you can count on from them in the final hour. Remember back when Reagan was President and he ordered some air strikes against -- Colonel Moammar Khadaffi in Libya. They asked permission to over fly France because it cut down the route of the bombers from bases, I think, in the British Isles, and permission to over fly was denied by the French.

So those planes had to go all the way around Spain and up through the Straits of Gibraltar and down the Mediterranean in order to get to Libya. And, as I recall -- I'm not sure if this right, but it seems, if memory serves me, we lost a plane or two due to fuel problems because of that situation. So I don't know how much they can count on there.

WALLACE: Well -- I mean, you know, you're sort of touching on an important point, which is, of course, the US looking for actions, not words. Lots of kind word exchanged between the President and President Chirac, the French leader pledging solidarity. But, again, obviously, the US definitely looking, not really probably for military support from the French, but definitely going to press the French to stop these business contacts with Iran and Iraq, and, obviously, it remains to be seen if that will happen in the days ahead -- Jack.

CAFFERTY: All right, get back to you in a bit. Thanks, Kelly.


CAFFERTY: Kelly Wallace at the White House. Let's go back out to California where Dr. Khadled Abou El Fadl, who's an Islamic law scholar at UCLA, has been kind enough to join us this evening.

Why do the Islamic countries put up with the ilks of a Bin Laden and his like? Why don't they round him up themselves and do away with this kind of nonsense?

EL FADL: Well, I don't think they do. The -- as you know, Bin Laden, who is Saudi by birth, his Saudi citizenship was revoked, he was denaturalized or expatriated. So he's no longer a Saudi citizen. Bin Laden followers cannot step foot in a country like Egypt or in a country like Morocco or so on and -- or Jordan.

But there is a -- there is an important point here that should not escape us and that is these countries, themselves, they have their own problems with extremists. And we cannot ignore the very real issue of the fact that when they act against these extremists, their human rights records tends to plummet. And do I care even under these circumstances about the human rights records in these countries? Absolutely, I think that's really what it's all about ...


EL FADL: ... the rights of human beings.

CAFFERTY: Right. Fair enough. Listen, I appreciate very much your spending the first hour on Hotline with us tonight. We are a nation that could use, I think, enlightment when it comes to the countries and the religions and the cultures of the Middle East.

I, as a journalist and reporter for the last 40 years, am guilty not doing enough homework, even back a number of years ago when these things first began to break out around the world, so I appreciate very much you lending us your expertise tonight. Thank you, sir.

EL FADL: You're quite welcome.

CAFFERTY: Dr. El Fadl from UCLA. A quick question. Lisa's in California then we got to do a station break.

Lisa, what can we do for you?

LISA: Yes, I was wondering if the President -- how it is that we know that the other countries that are stating that they were going to support us, how do we know that our troops aren't being set up when going out there?

CAFFERTY: Well, depending on which countries you're talking about, it's probably a legitimate question. When you get propostations of support from certain, shall we say, borderline regimes? I mean -- I saw a picture in the paper in the other day of Yassar Arafat giving blood for American victims and -- I don't know.

I mean, I'm -- what do you do with that? I mean, how do you -- how do you -- how do you put that in the file? So it's a good question and, obviously, the safety of our troops -- is the General available? Maybe he can address that?

What about this idea that we risk putting troops into situations where the political rhetoric has led us to believe one thing when the actuality may be something else, General?

CLARK: Well, I think we'll be very careful about that. Every nation in this coalition's going to have different national interests. We have a special relationship with Israel. Other countries have special relationships with their neighbors. They've got specific problems.

So some people call this an idea of a -- of a floating coalition but it won't be a lock step. And, so, we'll have to be weary everywhere we go exactly what the conditions are, what we can count on, what we can't count on, and that's part of the order of putting this coalition together. I know that our governments working very hard on this right now. CAFFERTY: All right. Coming up -- thank you, General -- in the next hour, more with General Wesley Clark, retired Army commander and former NATO commander.

Also, we'll be joined in the next hour by Rick MacCarther who is the publisher of Harper's magazine.

We're going to talk about how the press is -- what kind of job they've done in covering the World Trade Center and the Pentagon disasters.

And new restrictions on the possible use of the news corps in the upcoming military. Back after this.



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