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America's New War: Bush to Sign Executive Order Freezing Terrorist Assets in U.S.

Aired September 24, 2001 - 06:06   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.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: All right, from Islamabad let's go to the White House now where President Bush hopes to clog up the money pipeline right now feeding these terrorists.

CNN's Major Garrett joins us now. He's got the details.

Morning again, Major.

MAJOR GARRETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Leon.

As you mentioned, the President of the United States today is expected to sign an executive order that will seek to freeze assets in the United States that are linked to Osama bin Laden, the al Qaeda terrorist organizations and other terrorist organizations the United States believe receive some financial support of the United States. It's tricky business. Not really easy to cut off these finances because in many cases they're shadowy and hard to find. President Clinton signed a similar executive order during his presidency, it didn't turn out very well. Bush administration hopes this one will be a little bit more effective, but it is not the only action it is taking on the financial front.

It's having intensive conversations with nations around the world, particularly in the Middle East, and also looking at non- governmental organizations sponsored by the U.N. to see if money is funneled through them to terrorist organizations, all a part of a broad multifaceted campaign against terrorism.

And on the Sunday talk shows, there were many administration voices. Among them, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice who appeared on "LATE EDITION WITH WOLF BLITZER." And in that appearance, she said the United States should not be fixated only and the government of the United States is not fixated only on Osama bin Laden.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: It's not just Osama bin Laden, he has lieutenants. It's very important that they be handed over as well. The president made very clear that this isn't one man, this is a network. It is also extremely important that their financial sources be cut off. But the Taliban's role in this is to stop harboring this network, to stop harboring its training, to stop harboring Osama bin Laden and its -- and his lieutenants and it's time for them to get about going in line with those demands.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GARRETT: Early this Monday morning, the president is at the White House, but Sunday, he was at Camp David in the Maryland presidential retreat. And here we're seeing pictures of a very special ceremony at Camp David. The president and the first lady participated in the raising of the American flag to full staff, a position it has not occupied since September 11 when flags around the country began flying at half-staff. The raising of this flag to the full staff is a potent symbol the White House believes that if not the grieving, at least the sense of official mourning has passed in the United States and that some semblance of routine must be resurrected.

Clearly Americans will continue to grieve, continue to mourn, continue to be affected by the shattering events of September 11. But the president wanted the flags to fly at full staff as at least a visual symbol that many aspects of American life, at least as far as the flag is concerned, are returning to routine -- Leon.

HARRIS: Major Garrett in Washington, thanks again. We'll talk with you soon.

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