CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
CNN HOTLINE: America's New War, Second Half
Aired September 19, 2001 - 01:00 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.
JACK CAFFERTY, HOST, CNN HOTLINE: Welcome back to the second hour of CNN HOTLINE. I'm Jack Cafferty. The program's coming to you live from New York City. It's 1:00 Eastern Daylight Time.
And, for a roundup of the latest news, let's go now to Garrick Utley - Garrick?
GARRICK UTLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Jack, and let's cast a quick look at the Middle East, not the part around the Persian Gulf or Afghanistan but that long running horrendous dispute and violence with Israel and the Palestinians. That's sort of - we sort of lost sight of it has jumped up the radar screen, if you will. But there's some encouraging news.
Right now, there's a cease fire in effect between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The Prime Minister of Israel, Prime Minister Sharon says if it holds for 48 hours, he will allow talks to resume between the two sides. They haven't been talking for a few months right now.
This is very important for President Bush because if they try to put the coalition together to go after Osama Bin Laden, then use perhaps military force, the Arab nations aren't going to get onboard unless they see the United States doing something to bring about peace in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and we'll see what happens; a very important story.
Let's go downtown right now. Here we are at the site in lower Manhattan, a look very familiar by now. And President Bush is going to give some help for the effort there. He signed a $40 billion emergency aide package on Tuesday. That money will help, in part, to rebuild the World Trade Center once they decide how they want to rebuild it and how high they want to rebuild it. It'll help pay for relief and recovery efforts and some of the preliminary work in these terrorist investigations. 218 people are confirmed dead in New York. Another 5,400 are missing.
Live now to the Pentagon. The Defense Department today began releasing some of the names of some of the victims in Tuesday's attack there. Among those killed at the Pentagon: three ranking members of the US Army. Those are the guys, and sometimes women, with stars or eagles on their shoulders, ranking members of the Army, along with several Army and Navy civilians who are -- have perished there. The death toll is now near -- nearing 200 at the Pentagon, another 124 are missing and are presumed dead.
Well, still on the military subject, the Navy is weighing anchor. There it is. The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt will soon depart Norfolk, it base. Its mission remains top secret. The Pentagon says it'll not release any more details about ships locations or movements because of wartime reporting restrictions. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the Pentagon is now planning for what is expected to be a long war against terrorism.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: The people who committed these acts are clearly determined to try to force the United States of America and our values to withdraw from the world, or to respond by curtailing our freedoms. If we do that, the terrorists will have won and we have no intention of doing so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
In Afghanistan, the grand Islamic council -- that's made up of 600 clerics -- are scheduled to meet that must decide what Afghanistan will do with Osama Bin Laden. Are they going to hand him over or not? The Taliban says that meeting could go on for days. Why does it take so long? Well, the council's decisions have to be unanimous, which isn't easy with 600 points of view.
Let's turn to one other story in another part of the world right now, a weather story in Taiwan. Tropical storm Nari is its name. It's turning away from Taiwan after leaving 66 people dead on Taiwan. Nari is the worst tropical storm in decades to hit Taiwan there in the western Pacific.
Jack, just a moment ago we were talking about building coalitions. You're talking about that with General Clark there. The Secretary of State Powell said today that things are going well. It's coming together, the coalition. Of course, it's not going to be easy because, unlike the coalition 10 years ago with the Gulf War -- or 11 years ago when the elder President Bush put it together, that was one clear target: get Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. This is much more difficult to hold them altogether.
An example of what the State Department is doing -- it's interesting. Listen to this. We've reached out -- the State Department has reached out and contacted Sudan, which ranks high up on the list of terrorist states. The list pit out by the State Department -- the administration -- and where Osama Bin Laden has been known to live. He has contacts there. We're asking Sudan -- the United States is asking Sudan as to -- as to whether they could provide any information. Will they concede?
Second country contacted, believe it or not, Cuba. The United States has sent a message to the Cuban government, which condemned the terrorist attack, saying, hey, can you help us? Do you have any information? Let us know, please.
Thank you. Jack. CAFFERTY: Unbelievable. I -- you know, what was it President Bush was saying the first day or two of this, that any country who has had any association with, harbors, feeds, clothes, financially supports, or, in any way, embraces the terrorists is as guilty as the terrorist themselves and will face the wrath of the US and global military coalition that is mounted against all of this.
UTLEY: Absolutely, but if you can give any help, we say -- the United States says...
UTLEY: ... give it to us.
CAFFERTY: On the other hand, yeah, would you mind giving us a hand here?
CAFFERTY: OK, the other -- the thing about the Navy -- and they're not going to talk about where the ships are anymore -- apparently, if you go to the US Navy Web site -- I was reading this is in the paper today -- they would, on a daily basis, post, not the specific location but the general location of all the warships scattered around the world.
I don't know why they would do that to begin with. I mean -- I mean, it seems kind of silly. It may be purposes of, you know, people that have relatives aboard those ships. But that thing has not been updated I was reading since September the 10th, the day before this happened.
We've been hearing that any war that the US does wage will be a secret one. The press will get only limited access to information and, in fact, the rules for this engagement stand to change rather dramatically, as does the military prosecution of this campaign, if we can believe what we're being -- starting to learn about the plans that may be underway.
Joining us to talk about all of this is John MacCarthur (ph) is -- goes by the name of Rick. He's the publisher of Harper's magazine. He's also the author of a very widely read book called "Second Front Censorship and Propaganda." Is the story of propaganda in the Gulf War.
Rick, it's nice to see you. Thanks for coming in.
JOHN MACCARTHUR, PUBLISHER, HARPER'S: Thanks for having me.
CAFFERTY: What do you hear about how tight it might get in terms of being able to cover whatever military response we mount?
MACCARTHUR: Well, I've already heard what you've all heard, which is that it's going to be even tighter than it was during the Gulf War, which was already very bad for us -- that is, us in the press -- and I speak both as a reporter and as a publisher. I'm in an unusual position.
And during the Gulf War what we saw happened was that our rights as reporters to cover a war and to practice what we used to call, I guess, sentimentally informed consent for the American people, or help the American people indulge in informed consent was absolute -- practically eradicated. However, even in the Gulf War, the Bush administration -- the first Bush administration permitted pools of reporters...
MACCARTHUR: ...to accompany operations, carriers of various divisions. They didn't get to see anything. They didn't get to see much of anything at all but there was the chance that you might bump into something by accident and be able to report it even though there was censorship within the pools. Everything had to clear security review once it was shared among all the reporters.
CAFFERTY: When did that whole...
CAFFERTY: ...attitude change? I mean, I can remember...
CAFFERTY: ...you know, the great news reels of World War II; the Ernie Piles and the...
CAFFERTY: ...great photographer who, you know, landed on the beach at Normandy with the invasion and went with the campaign all the way through and you got these great photographs...
CAFFERTY: ...and accounts. How come we don't get that anymore?
MACCARTHUR: And that's even with official censorship in World War II. You had pretty good war reporting. Some of it was pretty good.
MACCARTHUR: But with Vietnam, when there was wide open reporting and anybody could report anything, go anywhere with any battalion, any division, and all sorts of horror stories and photography came out of Vietnam, the military and some unscrupulous and cynical politicians decided to pin the blame for Vietnam on the press, which was preposterous. And I can assure you that reasonable people in the military -- if you talk to anybody serious in the military, they think that's a preposterous theory. They'll tell you that privately.
But, publicly, there is now a well propagated myth that the press had a great deal to do with losing Vietnam, as opposed to helping people understand what was wrong with Vietnam.
MACCARTHUR: ...which is...
CAFFERTY: Why it was...
MACCARTHUR: ... what it was not winnable to begin with and a waste of lives, and money, and so on and so forth.
But coming out of that and into Grenada, which is where the press restrictions really started -- we weren't informed that the invasion of Grenada was going to take place. Nobody was invited along for the initial landing. And, as a result, we still don't know a lot about what happened in Grenada.
This was followed up with the invasion of Panama where the reporters were kept essentially imprisoned on an airbase in Panama after they arrived late to begin with. And then it was codified in the Gulf War with this crazy pool system. And, now, the press, in part, because it gave in to the pool system is in a position where it has absolutely no leverage.
CAFFERTY: Is it possible that the reason that they're going to put the clamps on any coverage here is maybe twofold. One, the President keeps asking for patience. This maybe a long and difficult...
CAFFERTY: ...campaign. The quickest way for the American public to lose patience is to start seeing body bags with these kids coming out of these engagements and being brought home.
CAFFERTY: If there's no press, they're not going to see that.
CAFFERTY: So maybe -- I mean, this is a cynical idea but maybe that's one way to keep the public behind the war effort.
The second thing that occurs to me I can't remember right now. And I had it right here, and I'll get it in a second.
But what about this idea that it's away to manipulate public opinion at home? If they can't see the bad part of this -- oh, I know what the other part of it was. I'm -- how sure is the Pentagon of what they're going to actually be undertaking here. I'm not sure there's a real good idea yet whether they've got all their ducks in a row about what kind of operation this is even going to be.
So the possibility that mistakes could be made -- because it's a new kind of war effort -- once again, maybe they don't want that kind of thing exposed. I mean ...
RICK MACCARTHUR: That's precisely the situation. They were -- anything can happen in a war or when you start bombing. You could bomb the wrong people, to start with. You could kill people with friendly fire -- your own people.
MACCARTHUR: All sorts of terrible things happen in war that demoralize the public or make the public question the decisions made by the generals and the politicians. And this is precisely what they want to avoid.
They did it brilliantly in the Gulf War, and they did it to manipulate public opinion, keep morale up, and minimize the possibility that someone might say, "Let's call a halt to this." Or, "What are we doing there in the first place?" Or, "Why were we backing Saddam Hussein, in the first place, against Iran?" And we'll get into that later, I know.
But all sorts of uncomfortable, unpleasant questions don't get asked ...
MACCARTHUR: ... as a result of this kind of manipulation.
CAFFERTY: All right. Let's take a call from Tom, in Ohio.
What's your question, Tom?
TOM: Yeah, I was just wanting to know -- well, first of all, to answer your questions when you were talking about World War II ...
TOM: ... and the Vietnam era, those were recordings that by the time the American public saw any kind of operation or anything going on, it had already been done.
CAFFERTY: That's a good point.
TOM: Now we're in a real-time situation now ...
TOM: ... where if you report something -- we've already known that they've got people all over the world. There's going to be someone there with a laptop and someone else at the other end of the cell phone. CAFFERTY: Yeah, that's a good point.
MACCARTHUR: Well ...
CAFFERTY: Go ahead, Rick.
TOM: And when people -- when people are asking, you know, "Why is it so hard to find Osama bin Laden," he doesn't have an entourage of cameras behind.
MACCARTHUR: Well, for starters, this is not new. Real-time reporting started, I think, with Edward R. Murrow on the rooftops of London during the ...
CAFFERTY: The blitzkrieg.
MACCARTHUR: ... the blitz, by the Nazis. And nobody, at that point, complained about Murrow reporting what was happening in real- time, because it was good for morale. At that point, Roosevelt wanted to get into the war and hoped that Murrow's dramatic evocation of the blitz would encourage Americans to side with the British.
But, presumably, Nazi agents in the United States could have been listening to Murrow's broadcast figuring out where the bombs were hitting or where they were missing. This was a propaganda issue. And, certainly, the same is the case with Vietnam, where you've got a situation where you get loads and loads of bad news coming out that cannot be controlled. And the military and the politicians say to themselves, "Gee, we wish we could control that information so that we don't have people complaining about the war effort." It cuts both ways.
CAFFERTY: Let's get our Pentagon Correspondent, Mark Potter, into this discussion. He's live in Washington.
Mark, what are you hearing down there about just how tough it's going to be to cover the military when this campaign gets underway?
MARK POTTER, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, I believe it's going to be very tough. And the veterans who have covered this building for years say they haven't seen anything like this in a very long time, if ever.
The Pentagon is making it very clear that it is going to play this very close to the vest. The White House has said -- President Bush has said that his administration will not be talking about any of its plans. Pentagon officials are not talking. Sources are drying up.
Clearly, the concern here is that information -- a broadcast publicly -- could be picked up by the terrorist groups who watch television, and there is a concern that that could tip their hand and affect the operations and, also, threaten the lives of U.S. military personnel.
That's always a concern. It has been with us for years. But this time, more than probably any other in recent years, they are really cracking down, keeping it very close to the vest, making sure that this is done in secret. And that's clearly the design this time. They do not want any information leaking out early.
In fact, there was even a discussion, we understand, from some of the people that we are talking to about what to do with the press at the time. Whether they can report from the scene even after the fact. These discussion, we are told, are underway and it is unsettled at this time.
CAFFERTY: All right. Thank you, Mark.
Is this one of those cases, Rick (ph), that the facts may suggest that the argument is on your side, that the emotion of the time is going to cause it to go the other way?
If you look back through history, there is no hard evidence of the press betraying any great battle plans. I can't think of ever.
MACCARTHUR: I'm glad you said that. There is not one example -- and I've studied this very carefully ...
MACCARTHUR: ... there's not one example of a reporter committing treason, essentially. Giving away the game before the attack takes place.
MACCARTHUR: Giving away the plans. It's never happened.
Although, I should have mentioned Peter Arnett. My goodness, I'm on CNN. Ted Turner made a very courageous decision during the Gulf War, when all the real -- the argument about real-time reporting was going on, was hot and heavy. And, does anybody today say that the fact that Peter Arnett reported live from Baghdad gave Saddam Hussein an advantage?
CAFFERTY: That's a good point.
MACCARTHUR: Gave anyone -- gave him an edge? Or, it resulted in the deaths of any American servicemen? I'm not aware of anybody making that argument. I don't think it's certainly not true.
So -- but there's also something you have to get, which is a -- there's a -- it's a kind of a liable against the press. That the press is interested in subverting the war effort if there is a war effort. The press is supposed to be there on behalf of the people. It's supposed to bear witness to what the government or the politicians or the generals do in the name of the people.
And if we still believe in informed consent in this country -- which is implied in the constitution, not enshrined, I'll admit -- then we have to encourage our publishers and our media broadcast executives to fight this censorship before it starts. CAFFERTY: We have -- Dinah (ph) in Maine has a question.
Dinah (ph), what can we help you with?
CAFFERTY: Are you there?
DINAH (ph): The first one is: how and why did our U.S. intelligent government fail to see the warning signs?
Some of our allies have told us over the years that there's going to be possible foreign threats on American soil. For example, your newscast just mentioned about a Philippines official who gave documents to the FBI in 1995.
DINAH (ph): I also heard another report two or three years ago, when the Russian president took office, I heard he also warned the U.S. about possible foreign terrorist threats. And it was just last year, the explosion of the USS Cole in Yemen. The writing has been on the wall. Why have we been blind to it?
MACCARTHUR: Well, I'll tell you, it's worse than that. And, again, I've heard a little bit of history on this show, actually. I started watching around 12:00-12:15. And Jack, for example, knows that the French didn't let us over-fly (ph) in the bombing of Libya, for example.
MACCARTHUR: But, for the most part, I'm hearing absolutely no history on the news. And your question is very much to the point. What's worse, is the CIA support of bin Laden and the Taliban during the war against Soviet occupation in Afghanistan.
CAFFERTY: We folks put them in business.
MACCARTHUR: We put them in business. Nobody's talking about it -- or hardly -- it's been mentioned in passing. I don't want to exaggerate.
CAFFERTY: Well, no, it has been.
MACCARTHUR: It's been mentioned.
MACCARTHUR: But it's not being discussed systematically; it's not being explored any further than this CIA official -- or ex CIA official -- saying, "Well, I never saw bin Laden."
CAFFERTY: Yeah. MACCARTHUR: Well of course they say they never saw him or they don't know him. That's their job; they're in the spy business and they're trained to lie. But we have to get -- as reporters and as journalists and as citizens -- a little bit beyond the immediate heat of the moment and understand the history of this.
But I'm not sure if I'm off your point now.
MACCARTHUR: Yeah. Yeah?
CAFFERTY: Well, actually, the other part of the discussion I wanted to have with you ...
MACCARTHUR: Right, right.
CAFFERTY: ... is about the coverage of this situation ...
CAFFERTY: ... and we'll do that. We're told to go to a station break or a couple of commercials.
We're talking with Rick MacCarthur. He's the publisher of Harper's Magazine. And we're going to get into the whole way that the media has covered the events at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon as CNN HOTLINE marches forward.
It's 1:20; we'll be back.
CAFFERTY: Welcome back. I'm Jack Cafferty.
We're going out to Islamabad, Pakistan, where Tom Mintier is standing by with a live report for us.
Good morning, Tom.
TOM MINTIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Jack.
We're about 10 hours away from the President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf, making a nationwide radio and television address to explain his decision to provide unstinted support to the United States of America in its war on terrorism.
We'll have to wait and see what the president has to say, because the last three days he is bringing people to his house: scholars, religious leaders, press people, just about everyone. Somebody even said in the meeting yesterday he was having that he was possibly considering even bringing a group of children in to explain to him -- to them -- the decision.
But we expect that address at about 10 hours -- on nationwide TV and radio -- to explain Pakistan's position and the reasoning behind the government's decision to side with the United States.
Now we saw some of the effects of that yesterday. On the streets of Karachi, the port city, more than 3,000 people turned out for anti American demonstrations. These were led by religious extremists opposed to Pakistan, basically providing any kind of support to the United States if there is, indeed, a military conflict with Pakistan -- with Afghanistan and the Taliban.
These people saying that they do not support the decision by the government of Pakistan to support the United States in this effort. So it was a very loud and noisy demonstration. And probably the first of many in the large cities around Pakistan that we're going to see in the coming days.
But, again, the presidential address tonight may answer some of the questions of some people, but it seems these people in Karachi already have their minds made up.
Now the borders have been closed to Afghanistan for the past two days. A limited amount of materials passing through there. When I was at Khyber Pass, only a few trucks loaded with grapes and melons were able to come out of Afghanistan. No people at all. They were turned back at the border, and nothing going into Afghanistan now.
The border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is extremely porous; it's about 1,000 miles long. And most of the rugged terrain has small footpaths through where people of the same family, sometimes, live on different sides of the border. So one part of the family may live in Pakistan, the other across the top of the mountain in Afghanistan. So while the people are not able to use the normal routes, people are saying that it's quite possible that they will move over land if the situation becomes more dire.
Now relief agencies are concerned. The amount of food positioned in Afghanistan -- in the refugee camps that already existed -- may be running low very fast. As people move out of the large cities and into the border areas, they may move into the camps and also take some of that food. The relief agencies told me the other day they put two weeks of food in stockpile there, but that may go down to two days if people from the outside come in and take it -- Jack.
CAFFERTY: Tom, sit tight with us for just a second, if you would. We've got a caller in Alaska who has a question about Pakistan.
Brian, what can we help you with?
BRIAN: Hey, Jack. How are you doing?
BRIAN: Yeah. God bless America, for number one.
Yeah, Tom Mintier, it sure doesn't look like a very friendly place. What are the repercussions of troop movements in Pakistan, like the Pakistanis say? What can happen to our troops there? I mean, they can overthrow that government at any time, it looks like. It doesn't look like they're on our side.
Jack, real quick, number two is: I think we need to route them out in this country, first. I think we need to check their visas and get them out of this country. This is our country.
CAFFERTY: All right. Let's ...
BRIAN: Go ahead.
CAFFERTY: Let's -- let me get Tom Mintier response to the potential reception that American military forces might receive inside Pakistan, first.
Tom, what can you tell us? You know, we've heard a lot of rhetoric out of Pakistan about how they intend to support us, but I watched an interview with the Pakistani foreign minister a couple of nights ago, where he flat-out dodged every question about, "Will you allow American military to use Pakistan to stage operations into Afghanistan?" You know, will you do this, will you do that? And he just flat-out would not answer any of them.
What about the potential risks to our forces under the guise of we support America.
MINTIER: Well, I think if U.S. forces are indeed stationed on Pakistani soil, then we have to point out that nothing like that has been agreed or announced. The airspace is what we keep hearing talk about. But if you're going to wage a campaign inside Afghanistan, you can't fly all your fuel in by air. So there is the possibility that some of the logistical support may have to come through Pakistan.
So that is, of course, a concern. I'm sure it's a concern for the military planners. But you have to remember that this is not a democratically elected government. This is a military government in Pakistan. And they would provide security to any operation they support.
U.S. military personnel probably would not be walking down the streets of Karachi or Islamabad or another city. They would be in a secured area. If, indeed, a decision like that is made.
Now there is a delegation coming from Washington, from the State Department, the Pentagon, and other agencies, that's going to be meeting with Pakistani officials over the next few days to decide exactly what type of logistical support, what type of help, the United States -- if it indeed launches a military operation -- can expect from the Pakistani government and the Pakistani military. It's not a forgone conclusion that any U.S. troops would be stepping foot on Pakistani soil. It's something, I think, the Pakistan government really wants to avoid, because as we saw in Karachi yesterday, the feelings are quite strong here of anti-Americanism.
CAFFERTY: All right, Tom, thanks very much. Tom Mintier live in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Time for a station break. On the backside of that, Garrick Utley with the latest news. And then we'll continue our discussion with Rick MacCarthur, who publishes Harper's Magazine, about the clamp down inside the Pentagon on the coverage of any upcoming military operations, and how he views the news media's handling of arguably the biggest story of perhaps the last 60, 70 years.
We're back after this.
CAFFERTY: Welcome back.
It's one-thirty in the morning in New York City eastern daylight time. And as we had into the home stretch on CNN's HOTLINE, let's get the latest news from my friend Garrick Utley -- Garrick.
GARRICK UTLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Jack.
Well we want to report on the body count and the U.S. economy that's going up since the terrorist attacks here. And also the fact that we're in a slowing economy, if not yet, a recession.
It's going to be a sad day in Seattle, Washington. Boeing -- Boeing, the giant aircraft manufacturer -- says it's going to have to lay off 20,000 to 30,000 employees in its commercial airplane division by the end of next year. That's a big, big hit. Obviously, it's because airline are in critical condition. They're just flying very low, financially, these days. They're cutting back on their aircraft orders.
Earlier today -- or earlier on Tuesday, I should say, because it's already Wednesday morning here -- we got some new pictures at ground zero, the damage there in lower Manhattan. We're looking at footage tapes shot by FEMA. That's the federal agency that handles emergencies like this one. Some of their -- a different perspective, we see there, of that same tragic sight and view.
Meanwhile, in Washington, at the White House, President Bush met with the president of France. President Jacques Chirac promised France's full support in the U.S. war on terrorism. He said, "France is prepared and available to discuss all means to fight and eradicate this evil."
President Bush said this about their meeting ...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's the first formal visit I've had with any world leader since the terrible day a week ago. After the incident -- after that day -- I got a lot of phone calls, and one of the most meaningful phone calls of all was from Jacques Chirac, who expressed his concern for the American citizens. He expressed his desire to stand solidly with America during this terrible, terrible day. President Chirac understands that we have entered a new type of war. It's a war against people who hate freedom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UTLEY: And now we're back live in these early morning hours in New York at the disaster sight one week after those attacks. The hunt for victims continues.
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is now saying that the chance of recovering a living person there under that pile of rubble is very, very slim.
Finally, a story we think has some interest, this 3,000 pound bronze memorial as a tribute to firefighters was commissioned by the state firefighters association of Missouri, and it was at JFK Airport en route to the show me state last Tuesday, when the disaster struck New York.
Because airports are closed down, the statue, like passengers, was stuck in New York at Kennedy. Now the Pittsburgh company that cast it says it wants to give it to the city of New York. The company's president says it's New York for a very, very good reason.
Indeed it is. Just one of the tributes to the firefighters here, so many of them who have lost their lives, about 300.
Jack, a footnote on this: obviously, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has been playing a very strong role as leader; bringing the people together; making sure the things operate; that New York functions as well as it does. He's nearing the end of a second term the end of this year, as you know. Term limits, here, in New York are in effect, can't run again. But now there is some talk that maybe something should be done so that he can stay on for -- if not a four-year term -- for two more years.
Interesting question, isn't it Jack? Because what we're doing here is -- do you change the rules of the democratic electoral system just because this is a man who has performed so well and the city needs this kind of figure right now? They'd have to get the state legislature, the governor, to go along. It could be done. Nobody's saying it will be done. And then Giuliani earlier -- last night, on Larry King's show -- said well, he's aware of this, but he hasn't really made up his mind whether he wants to take it seriously.
You know New York.
CAFFERTY: Oh, yeah. No, New York is an interesting place for a lot of reasons.
He -- there was a primary election, of course, Garrick, scheduled for the day of the -- the day of the collapse of the twin towers. That's been rescheduled now. And I had read something the other day where Mayor Giuliani said that he wasn't interested in trying to, you know, stay beyond his -- the end of his second term. But what is being discussed with the -- in a lot of the editorial pages and columns I've read -- is putting Giuliani in charge of some sort of governmental agency charged with rebuilding the city. He is a giant among the eight and a half million people, just based on his leadership qualities, his calm under fire. Here's a guy who's been battling prostate cancer, involved in arguably one of the messier divorces in this town in a while, and he rose literally from the ashes of this thing after almost losing his life. His command center was rendered inoperable. And his stoicism and determination were something that I haven't seen in my lifetime.
But I think they're saying, "Let's name him and put him in charge of rebuilding the city." And that would be a nice way to ...
UTLEY: It's a nice way to do it, Jack. But you know New York, and we don't want to bore our viewers with Giuliani or New York's problems. But just imagine, New York gets a good -- new mayor -- and it has Giuliani as sort of the recovery or rebuilding czar. I don't even know if New York, with eight million people, has enough room for those two egos.
CAFFERTY: Yeah, no.
And the other question is, Garrick, is -- you know, the job the incoming mayor is going to be faced with. I mean, the whole job assignment and description's changed dramatically in the last 10 days. I don't -- you know, they said it was the second toughest job in the world before this.
UTLEY: Who wants the job now?
CAFFERTY: Yeah. Thanks -- Garrick Utley.
Betty, in Texas, can we help you with something? Good evening. Good morning.
BETTY: Yes. I want to god bless America 100 times, a million times.
CAFFERTY: There you go.
BETTY: I am from Georgetown, Texas. And I ...
CAFFERTY: Yeah? How do you think your former governor's doing?
BETTY: ... I would just like to know, if the terrorists wanted to bring us to our knees, why didn't they bomb the nuclear plants?
CAFFERTY: Right. Let's don't ...
BETTY: Do we have ...
CAFFERTY: ... let's -- don't give them any ideas that they might not already have. The nuclear power plants, sadly, are vulnerable. Not necessarily to attack from the air. As I understand it, the cooling systems are vulnerable, and if those would be attacked, then perhaps the reactor rods inside would overheat and that could cause a meltdown and that, in turn, could release some radioactive steam. But that's another subject for another time, Betty. And we'll pursue that with you on some other occasion.
We're talking with the man who publishes Harper's Magazine about the press coverage of the events that have unfolded here. And this is -- may be a trite question, but on a scale of one to ten -- and this is a story that the media has not been confronted with. I can't remember anything like it, and I've been rattling around the business 40 years.
On a scale of one to ten, what kind of a job did they do? Ten, being an A plus?
MACCARTHUR: Well, on a -- on a straight spot news reporting level, it's been a 10. It's been spectacular. And I speak as a former police reporter. I've been in the -- I've covered disasters; I've covered major cataclysms. Obviously, nothing like this. And I thought it was outstanding.
And television -- particularly in this case -- did what it does best, which is to show real images of something that's really happening that's absolutely stunning and shocking. I watched the World Trade Center collapse. I watched both towers collapse on television as it happened.
CAFFERTY: Yeah, Ellie -- Ellie, roll that tape while we're talking here. Just ...
MACCARTHUR: And I don't think I'll ever see anything like it again.
CAFFERTY: How do you write that?
MACCARTHUR: You can't write it.
CAFFERTY: You can't write that.
MACCARTHUR: And this is where television is at its best. And I -- and I'm a print person. You just can't compete with this. But, also, there were some very courageous reporters -- print and television -- who ran right to the scene, did exactly what they were supposed to do, and reported what was happening.
A guy named Mike Sheehan (ph) -- I've forgotten which station he works for ...
CAFFERTY: Yes, I saw some of Mike's work.
MACCARTHUR: ... did a spectacular job with his cameramen. And some -- "The New York Times" metro desk, which used to be a joke, really turned it on and had spectacular coverage -- local coverage -- of everything that happened.
Where the press has not been good, and the television has not been good, is what I alluded to earlier, which is on the historical plane. The problem with television is that if you look at these images over and over and over again, as we've been doing, you get the sense that we're living in a kind of perpetual present.
MACCARTHUR: No past, no future, no context. And that's where the Gulf War analogy comes in handy -- which is the book I wrote.
CAFFERTY: What's the name of that book, by the way?
MACCARTHUR: Because of its -- "Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War."
MACCARTHUR: Because in that case, you saw -- I think everyone who's old enough to remember will remember -- that we saw a cruise missile hitting a building, actually turning a corner and hitting a building, over and over and over again until people got the phony impression that all the bombs in the Gulf War were smart bombs and all of them hit their targets.
After the war, we found out -- unfortunately because of censorship -- that 93 percent of the bombs were dumb bombs, just ordinary gravity bombs ...
MACCARTHUR: ... that got dropped from B52s. But the real story of the Gulf War was carpet bombing. I'm not saying it was good or bad or it was the right thing to do or the wrong thing to do, but we were fed an inaccurate portrait of the war by the Defense Department run by -- in those days -- George Bush's father; Dick Cheney, who was secretary of defense; and Colin Powell ...
CAFFERTY: Colin Powell, Norman Schwarzkopf.
MACCARTHUR: ... who are now in charge -- and Normal Schwarzkopf. There -- I have many other examples of inaccuracy ...
CAFFERTY: But that was a case -- that was a case where the government got into the way of the flow of information.
MACCARTHUR: Got into the way ...
CAFFERTY: This is different.
MACCARTHUR: This is different in the sense that we, at this point, have free access to these images. I'm only talking about television as a medium in this case, where seeing the same images over and over again -- which I think are tremendously powerful, tremendously effective, and should never be censored -- including people jumping out of the buildings. Because if you want to understand the full horror of this, you have to understand how desperate these people were.
CAFFERTY: It was those pictures that rendered the story almost incomprehensible.
MACCARTHUR: Incomprehensible, but also gives rise to genuine outrage among the American people. I mean, as a justifiable outrage that something so terrible could be done. But you have to see it to understand it. You have to be exposed to it. But you can't have it both ways. You've got to be exposed to the war images that follow, if there's going to be a war. And that's where I object to the Pentagon's censorship.
CAFFERTY: At the end of the day, on the Persian Gulf War ...
CAFFERTY: ... did the censorship -- did the censorship detract from the truthfulness of what went on? You suggested that 90 percent of the bombs that went off ...
MACCARTHUR: Right. Right.
CAFFERTY: ... were not the smart weapons. I mean, we had these briefings, and they would show us ...
CAFFERTY: ... the smart weapons. There were some reporters, as I recall, on the ground when the ground troops went in. When they liberated Kuwait and all of that. It seems like I recall seeing some ...
CAFFERTY: ... reporters on the ground. But up to that point, it was very closely managed. Did we miss anything of vital importance as a result of the censorship in that war?
MACCARTHUR: Well, the percentage of smart bombs versus dumb bombs, certainly. We also missed any pictures of Iraqi soldiers being killed. And there were plenty of pictures of them. At one point, a Los Angeles Times reporter accidentally was able to view it -- view a gun camera shot -- of Iraqi soldiers being mowed down. He reported it in the Los Angeles Times with no pictures.
And even in Los Angeles, based on a print story, people were so horrified by what was being described, that they shut this guy, John Balzar (ph) down -- he's till a working reporter ...
CAFFERTY: I remember that.
MACCARTHUR: ... and wouldn't let him see anything from then on. And no one has ever seen those images of the Iraqi soldiers being killed.
Again, you don't have to be pro Gulf War or anti Gulf War ...
CAFFERTY: No, that's a different issue. MACCARTHUR: ... to feel that it's -- as a citizen -- it's your responsibility, even, to know what we were doing there. Who we were killing; how we were killing them.
MACCARTHUR: Too much of this has come out after the war. Seymour Hirsch's (ph) expose in The New Yorker -- I hate to mention a competing magazine -- but Hirsch's ...
CAFFERTY: Give credit where it's at.
MACCARTHUR: ... expose was brilliant. So you've got no sense of what the war was about or what it was like on the ground. And that's a terrible disservice to the American people.
CAFFERTY: Speaking of credit where credit's due, Sheehan (ph), I'm told, works for channel five here in New York ...
MACCARTHUR: Yeah, right.
CAFFERTY: ... so, FOX.
Let's take a call from Tennessee.
Omar, what can we help you with?
OMAR: Hi. Good evening.
CAFFERTY: Good evening.
OMAR: First, I'd like to congratulate you on your excellent program.
CAFFERTY: Well, thank you.
OMAR: I've enjoyed watching you for the past couple of days.
CAFFERTY: I'm glad you've tuned it in.
OMAR: The first -- well, what I have to say is kind of -- does tie into what Mr. MacCarthur's saying in terms of how things -- the need for context in terms of TV portrayals. What comes to mind, for myself, is how CNN reported those Palestinians celebrating at this horrific news of the attack.
CAFFERTY: Yeah, little kids dancing in the street.
OMAR: Yeah, exactly. But what a lot of people didn't -- you know, first of all, the pictures made it sound like all the Palestinians were celebrating, as opposed to such a -- you know, a bunch of -- a handful of kids. But you don't hear how -- how so many different Arab and Muslim groups have condemned this terrible act from the beginning.
CAFFERTY: Sure. OMAR: And I think, you know, television needs to take -- be a little bit more responsible in delivering the context of serious problems because people's lives can be effected.
CAFFERTY: I got to do a commercial break, Omar. I appreciate your call; I'm glad you like the program, and I'll talk to you again at some point. But I've got to do some commercials. We'll be back after this. You're watching -- CNN HOTLINE is the name of this program.
CAFFERTY: A couple of quick pieces of breaking news in conjunction with the ongoing investigation into last Tuesday's events. We understand that three people in Detroit have been arrested on visa and identity charges. And that a Pakistani convenience store owner in rural southern Texas also arrested in conjunction with the investigation into the World Trade Center events. The charges in Texas had to do with some sort of ammunition violations.
We want to go back to our Pentagon Correspondent, Mark Potter.
Mark, you were talking earlier about how it's drying up down there. The Pentagon's drying up. You can't get people to answer. But what happens when you try to reach out and get information? What's the response?
POTTER: Well, the response is pretty clear. They're very quiet. There's not much of a response, to be honest with you. The ...
CAFFERTY: Do they tell you, like we've been told, not to talk to you? Are they that forthcoming, saying that we've been told not to speak to the press or ...
POTTER: They're just not available. The word is out here. There are people to talk to, but the word is out here. Obey, by almost all, that this is to be kept quiet, kept close to the vest. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, has said categorically that he doesn't want people talking about classified information. The president has said it. The world is very clear, and the concerns have been expressed clearly, too.
They don't want to tip off the terrorists who watch television. They don't want to do anything to harm U.S. military personnel. So it is difficult, and as I've said before, the reporters who cover this as a regular beat all the time say they haven't seen anything like this. It is difficult. And sometimes it involves even more mundane things that you wouldn't expect to have trouble with: ship locations, thing like that that are on the Internet, are not there now ...
POTTER: The last entry was September 10. So this is a very different scenario. There's an argument for it. But it's -- you know, very objectively, I could just say it's different than what has been seen here in the past.
CAFFERTY: Kelly Wallace, of the White House, is anybody asking administration officials about what kind of directives are going out before there's any kind of military action at all concerning talking to the news media?
KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well -- I mean, just following up on Mark's point. I mean it is very tight within the west wing. Senior administration officials not really talking about anything, keeping everything close to the vest as well. So obviously it's a directive that's coming down from the top, from the president.
And you're seeing this, Jack, with a variety of things. You know the White House has asked us as well to not report the president's schedule until it is out there, not to report that he's going to be traveling from point A to point B, because of the concerns, the security threats out there.
So we're really operating in really a new environment right now. Information about the president's schedule being closely held, and then these details. Again, it's really coming from the top, that senior officials are not to talk about anything until, of course, this operation is underway.
CAFFERTY: All right, thanks Kelly.
There was one person talking at the Pentagon today though. The prospect of a major U.S. military campaign against terrorism comes, this according to the Associated Press, as the Pentagon grows closer, running out of vaccine to combat the deadly Anthrax virus.
When asked about it, a guy named Jim Turner, he's a spokesman for the Pentagon, said, "I'm not going to talk about it." That's a quote.
Rick MacCarthur, Harper's Magazine, wrote a widely-read book, "Second Front Censorship and Propaganda in the Persian Gulf War." The citizens of this country have been asked, and this is a philosophical question I suppose, to be agreeable to giving up, perhaps short term, perhaps not, some of their freedoms: Heightened security at the airports; John Ashcroft, the attorney general, is asking Congress for a broader wiretap legislation to allow them to do increased surveillance on people that they're interested in looking at.
Why shouldn't the news media be asked to go along with what could arguably be said is in the national interest, and in the national security, which is to protect the confidentiality of battle plans that could compromise the lives of soldiers?
MACCARTHUR: Well, as I've said earlier, they have. I mean they would. Nobody is talking about giving away the battle plans before, or the invasion plan, or the arrest plan, before it happens, and it doesn't happen in war time. American reporters don't do that sort of thing.
And this is a lot of hot air and propaganda from the government, from the Bush administration, which learned from the Gulf War that it's very easy to manipulate the press and to manipulate public opinion if you restrict access to the battlefield, or to the area of military engagement, whatever you want to call it, whatever euphemism they decide to use.
But all of this runs counter to the democratic notion of an informed citizenry. Suppose things go wrong? Suppose Congress has second thoughts about giving Bush unlimited power to do whatever he wants to do militarily, or unlimited authorization. Suppose they bomb the wrong place and a lot of civilians get killed? Aren't we, as citizens, don't we have a right to know that, don't we have a right to change our minds, don't we have a right to ask our elected representatives to change their minds? The media's essential in this.
The other two things you'd talked about, airport security, we're all for tighter airport security. I don't consider that unreasonable search and seizure, a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Wiretapping goes back and forth...
CAFFERTY: That's a civil liberties issue.
MACCARTHUR: That's a civil liberties issue that goes back and forth, depending on the mood of the country. And we should beware of excessive invasions of privacy. But in this case, I think most people would agree.
CAFFERTY: The rational that they use, of course, is that they have these disposable cell phones, and that the way that the law's written now, you could get permission to wiretap a phone number, not a person. And all they have to do is discard the phone, get another one, and you're out of business.
MACCARTHUR: But again, making the Fourth Amendment a scapegoat for what happened for the intelligence failure to stop these guys, or the political failure of the last 20, 25 years of supporting people like bin Laden, or allying ourselves with people like bin Laden in the name of anti Communism, or whatever, or Saddam Hussein in the name of anti Iranianism in the 80s, which is something that people are not talking about either anymore, makes me angry. Because the First Amendment, or the people's right to know, or whatever you want to call it, should be sacrosanct in people's minds no matter what the emergency, otherwise what are we defending? What makes us different from the horrible people who have attacked us.
CAFFERTY: Let me..
MACCARTHUR: I'm sorry, I know I'm on my soapbox, but...
CAFFERTY: That's all right, that's what this is about. We're going to let Karen in Tennessee get on her's. Hi, Karen, how are you doing?
KAREN: I'm fine, how are you?
CAFFERTY: Good. What can we help you with?
KAREN: I have two statements, one question. My first statement is, anyone who commits these hate crimes, please use your anger in a constructive manner and go join the military, the national guard, your police force.
CAFFERTY: You're talking about the hate crimes against Arabic Americans?
KAREN: Right, absolutely. I mean go at the people who deserve, not our citizens.
My second one is, I really think the press has a responsibility to cover this, because it's going to be closure for a lot of families who are never going to see their loved ones again.
And my other, now my question...
KAREN: I'm sorry.
CAFFERTY: No, I said, yes, go ahead.
KAREN: Am I the only person who...
CAFFERTY: You've got to turn your TV down. There you go, now it works. What's the question?
KAREN: My question: Am I the only person that feels like Pakistan is trying to blackmail us with helping us, saying if you'll help us with India, we'll help you with this problem?
CAFFERTY: Well you know, everbody's got an agenda in this world. I mean the old expression is, I guess there's no free lunch, and I don't think the United States is probably looking for a free lunch. If they can make a deal, they'll make a deal, and that will include not just Pakistan but all other countries that will -- may ask for something in return for their cooperation.
But in the grander scheme of things, I suppose it's worth remember that the stuff that happened here in New York City a week ago today is a threat to everybody on this planet. So, that in mind, we'll have to see where it goes.
Thank you for your call.
Where does this story go next, Rick?
MACCARTHUR: Well, we're in the area now of public relations, we really are, and propaganda, which is something people have to think about. I'm reminded of another specific, I want to be as specific as I can, very quickly. When people were panicked during the Gulf War, the SCUDs were supposedly raining, going to rain down on Israel. We rushed the Patriot missiles, anti SCUD missiles, to Israel, and fired them in the air.
And there was a belief, which was propagated by the government, that this was protecting Israel. It was all public relations, it was all designed to reassure people. As it turned out after the war, the Patriots did more damage when they hit a SCUD than when the SCUD hit Israel, and they missed most of the time. It was a completely phony attempt to reassure people.
I'm urging your viewers and people not to take things at face value from the government, because they are engaged in a public relations exercise, designed to reassure people.
CAFFERTY: All right, we've got to go. We're all out of time. Thank you for coming.
MACCARTHUR: Thank you.
CAFFERTY: I appreciate it. Rick MacCarthur, he publishes Harper's. Read his book, "Second Front Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War."
And join us tomorrow night for CNN HOTLINE. I'm Jack Cafferty. Good night from New York City.
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