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America's New War

Aired September 26, 2001 - 22:00   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.
AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening again, everyone.

It's been two weeks and a day and it has come down to this: hundreds of families in New York began applying for death certificates today for missing victims whose bodies may never be found. What can take three years under normal circumstances will take as little as three days. Mayor Giuliani took care of that.

A compelling picture today from the scene of the disaster, compelling for what was not there, most of the South Tower of the World Trade Center gone. One writer called it a hand reaching to heaven, a symbol of the tragedy that will surely live on as part of a memorial.

Also in New York today, traffic is backing up. Seems normal for the city, but this is not normal. Security checkpoints have been made even tighter after the government warned of a possible attack using trucks. And now we learn of arrests across three states in the broadening investigation.

And in Afghanistan, Taliban supporters lashing out, setting fire to the U.S. embassy, an embassy that has been empty, abandoned for a decade.

But we begin at the White House. Tomorrow the president is expected to lay out his plan for improving airline security. Tonight Washington sources are laying out much of what the president is expected to say, and among those working the story, as you would expect, our senior White House correspondent John King -- John.

JOHN KING, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Aaron, a great sense of urgency on this issues for obvious reasons: profound questions about passenger safety raised by the terrorist hijackings of two weeks ago. But that urgency all the more magnified because of the mounting evidence that the trouble in the airline industry is having a dramatic and quite negative ripple effect on the broader U.S. economy.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(voice-over): More layoffs in the airline industry have the president in an urgent mood. Sources tell CNN the White House is asking Congress to pass new airport and airline security measures by the end of next week. GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This terrible incident has said to many Americans -- convinced many Americans to stay at home, and one of the keys to economic recovery is going to be the vitality of the airline industry.

KING: Administration and Congressional sources say the president wants action in three major areas: airport security screening -- the president opposes a full federal takeover of airport security checkpoints but favors federal standards, training and testing for security workers -- and an increased federal law enforcement presence at those checkpoints.

Air marshals -- Mr. Bush wants marshals on most, if not all, flights for now, and will borrow agents from the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, while full-time marshals are hired and trained. Cockpit security -- the president firmly opposes a proposal to allow pilots to carry handguns, but he backs security bars and other immediate cockpit security measures until new fortified cockpit doors can be installed.

Sources say installing cockpit cameras with a live feed back to ground controllers is another administration recommendation. And airport workers with access to planes and baggage will face new background checks and new security checks -- perhaps, a fingerprint scan.

CHARLES SLEPIAN, AVIATION SECURITY EXPERT: We need to know the people who service the airplane, the people who supply the airplane, the people who have access to it. We need to put in place the kind of technology which now exists.

KING: Training of sky marshals is under way at an urgent pace, and a role for the National Guard is on the table, too. Many in Congress believe a strong uniformed security presence will help calm passenger jitters.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: Now, the president will unveil his plan in Chicago tomorrow in a speech to airline workers. He will get there, as always, aboard Air Force One, but the Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta will fly to Chicago aboard a commercial jet, a symbolic move designed to convince the American people the skies are safe again -- Aaron.

BROWN: John, thanks. Senior White House correspondent John King tonight.

You might think that two weeks and a day since the attack that airline security would be so tight you couldn't get a toothpick past the screeners -- wrong -- at least, based on the wire reports we've seen. Though some of these, we've been unable to confirm.

For example, at both Newark Airport and Seatac in Seattle, passengers claimed they were able to carry box cutters past screeners undetected. At Boston's Logan Airport, a man says he realized he'd left a large corkscrew in his carry-on bag, but it, too, got through security. And at Hartsfield International in Atlanta, CNN has confirmed that a man passed through (UNINTELLIGIBLE) carrying a loaded 22-caliber pistol in his pocket.

We suspect these stories are not surprising to Mary Schiavo, the former inspector general of the Transportation Department, a longtime critic of the airline industry and airline security. And she joins us again tonight.

Mary, good evening.

MARY SCHIAVO, FORMER DOT INSPECTOR GENERAL: Good evening.

BROWN: Just in a general way first, and then we'll look at some specifics -- do you think the president's plan is enough or too much?

SCHIAVO: Clearly not too much, and I think it's not quite enough, but it truly is. It's hard to overestimate the importance of this. It's probably going to be most important announcement, quite frankly, in the history of aviation, because this really will determine if people have faith that the government is going to restore their security on airplanes.

It's a great move forward, providing on who is tasked to do it, but it is a tremendous movement forward if it comes to fruition.

BROWN: When you say who is tasked to do it, I hear in that that you don't want the FAA to be involved in it.

SCHIAVO: No, I think literally the future of the confidence of the airlines hangs the balance with the announcement tomorrow. I know that sounds ominous, but that's also potentially the best news we have heard, literally, since the formation of the FAA. This is a law enforcement national security function, and the Federal Aviation Administration has not been able to deliver.

And if the president is going to take this very serious law enforcement and national security function and put it in trained law enforcement and security hands, we will have much greater security than we have ever had. This will be a clear signal to the American public that the president is absolutely serious about delivering us safety.

The flip side is if more of the same, the same old news, we're going to put more money in the hands of the FAA, who has failed us miserably, clearly, since Pan Am, and forgotten the Pan Am 103 promises, then I truly do fear for the financial future of the airlines.

BROWN: I want to talk about a couple of the specifics here. Cockpit doors -- I'm not clear if that means they're going to retrofit all those planes that are already in the sky, or just the new planes that get built get the new secure doors.

SCHIAVO: Well, I would assume immediately, they talked about the secure bars and retrofitting some of the doors. On a going forward basis, it truly would be possible to build new planes coming off the line with absolutely bulletproof doors or bulletproof screens between the cockpit and the passenger. That would be a tremendous retrofit, so I would assume they're going to fortify the existing doors and eventually put even stronger doors on the older planes. But new ones could be built with bulletproof material between the cockpit and the passenger compartment.

BROWN: Ann, are we talking about all jets, and does that mean even those small, regional commuter jets? Or are we just talking about sort of 737s and up?

SCHIAVO: Well, they didn't stay in the announcement so far. It is possible to reinforce the doors on the planes that have doors, but on very small planes in this country, we have just curtains. The regional jets do have doors, and those could be fortified. The CRJs that people are so fond of could have fortified doors.

BROWN: And one sky marshal on an airplane, enough, and do we actually have to put a sky marshal on every plane, or is just the idea that there might be one enough?

SCHIAVO: Well, I think for now the president is wisely borrowing the model from Israel and from El Al, which has not one but two on every plane. Unfortunately, the American public knows that if they promise spot checking, like their spot-checking our bags, things get through at an alarming rate. And if we have just some air marshals, we will suspect that there aren't really many, so by a promise of a marshal on every plane, we really do have a dramatic increase in security.

And quite frankly, once they are trained, the federal air marshals and federal law enforcement do have significantly better training than just about anything else out there going. And I think it's a real improvement.

BROWN: Mary, thanks. Good to talk to you again. Mary Schiavo joins us tonight to talk about the president's plan.

A couple more airline notes here. Today Delta became the latest airline to announce layoffs. The airline says its planes are flying about 1/3 full. The third-biggest airline will cut as many as 13,000 jobs and reduce flights by 15 percent.

Delta is also cutting some fares and offering 10,000 free or cut- rate tickets to New York. The other carriers laying off workers: American, United, Continental and U.S. Airways, plus Northwest, British Air, SwissAir And America West. If you throw in Boeing to the mix, well over 100,000 jobs are gone in an astonishingly short amount of time, two weeks and day.

And the car rental business is being hurt as well. Some firms get 90 percent of their business from airline travelers. The CEO of Dollar rent-a-car told CNN today that business plunged as much as 60 percent in the days following the tragedy. It has improved a bit since then. But to see how bad it is, for some companies, at least, you can look at the specials they're offering these day. Alamo rent-a-car, for one, is offering a compact car for as little as $20 a day with unlimited mileage.

And then there are the cruise ships. If you call Renaissance, you get a message saying they have ceased all cruise operations. The company is removing all passengers who are currently onboard ships and sending them home. Other cruise companies are responding to both the slump in travel and concerns about security as well. Royal Caribbean is redeploying two of its ships to North American routes, and Princess Cruises is canceling routes that would have gone to the Indian Ocean, the Middle East and Africa.

We have much more coming up tonight. We'll take a look at the investigation as it goes on, and more.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: Arrests tonight in three states -- at least 10 people charged with trying to get fraudulent commercial licenses to move hazardous materials. These arrests come a day after the attorney general warned that there was a threat of a terrorist attack using trucks.

More on the investigation now from CNN's Susan Candiotti.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The alleged plot to sell commercial hazardous material licenses was hatched in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania two years ago. Ten people, of 20 charged, now under arrest in Michigan, Washington state and Kansas.

(on camera): According to the criminal complaint, a Pittsburgh driver's license examiner was selling permits under the table for as little as 50 or $100. The alleged buyers revealed so far have Arabic- sounding names. None so far is linked to the terrorist attacks.

(voice-over): The middleman in the deal is identified as Abdul Mohamman, known as Ben, who helped the suspects buy haz-mat licenses. The arrests come as the FBI begins reviewing records of anyone who handles or transports hazardous materials, making sure terrorists may not be trying to infiltrate a legitimate company to get their hands on a potential weapon.

In Queens, stepped-up cargo inspections going in and out of New York City, backing up traffic, in some cases, for hours. The FBI is taking new steps after last week's arrests of Nabil Almarabh. Sources say he has possible ties to Osama bin Laden. Agents search his Michigan apartment. Almarabh has a legally-obtained license to haul hazardous materials, issued September 11th, 2000, one year to the day before the terrorist attacks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you would, go ahead and open the back up. Let's check your security of your load. CANDIOTTI: In Texas, routine searches of truckers at highway weigh stations take on added significance.

SGT. MICHAEL BISHOP, TEXAS DEP'T OF PUBLIC SAFETY: We look at their log books, we look at their paperwork. We also look at the driver through the inspection process, you know. If we see something that is out of the ordinary, then the troops delve into it a little deeper.

CANDIOTTI: In Florida, the owner of a school that trains commercial drivers admits he'll be looking at applicants more closely following the attacks. Earning a hazardous materials license can cost as little as $800 for an experienced driver to about 5,000 for a rookie. Drivers first must first pass a 160-hour course. That includes learning the ins and outs of driving a big rig potentially loaded with lethal chemicals, then passing a multiple-choice written test. All you need to qualify for the course: a valid driver's license.

ALBERT HANLEY, CDL SCHOOL: That's your benchmark -- and to be 18 years of age.

CANDIOTTI (on camera): You need not be a U.S. citizen?

HANLEY: Correct, but you do have to be a resident alien or have a valid social security number.

CANDIOTTI (voice-over): The problem, of course, is catching fraudulent I.D.s, a problem already plaguing the FBI in its attempt to nail down the real identity of the suspected hijackers.

Susan Candiotti, CNN, Miami.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: Tonight there are hundreds if not thousands of leads, criss-crossing several countries, scores of suspects. That's what the FBI and other investigators face as they try to unravel this web of international terrorism. And what about our country? How different will life be in this new and different time?

We're joined tonight by former assistant FBI director in charge of New York, Bill Gavin. Gavin was part of the first Trade Center bombing case back in '93. He joins us from Boston. And Weldon Kennedy, former FBI deputy director. Mr. Kennedy ran the Oklahoma City investigation and he joins us tonight from Memphis.

I want to talk about the investigation, but, Mr. Gavin, let me start on this. I wonder if I saw the future today in New York -- these checkpoints set up, traffic backed up, literally, for hours at the bridges. Even when I pulled into the garage today, they wanted to see the trunk of the car.

Is that the America we now live in?

BILL GAVIN, FORMER ASSISTANT FBI DIRECTOR: I believe it's starting to be the America that we live in. I think what you have to remember is that while it does cause some inconvenience for everybody at this particular point in time, I believe everybody is happy that it's occurring.

We can't paralyze the city, we all know that. But for the time being, we have to really take some extra precautions to look at how we do business. America today is a lot different than it was on September 10th, and that's simply because of this incident. America has to tighten up the way we operate. We have to look at how we let materials into our cities. We have to be a little bit more considerate of our fellow Americans and how we do these kinds of things. So it's going to take a while for us to get used to it, but we will get used to it.

BROWN: But that's the future?

GAVIN: That's correct.

BROWN: OK. Let's talk about the investigation. Mr. Kennedy, we hear all the media reports on the investigation all the time. How much do you actually think we know right now, that investigators know?

WELDON KENNEDY, FORMER FBI DEPUTY DIRECTOR: I think, as far as the public is concerned, we probably only know a fraction of what is known by the FBI and the other investigators working this case. It's extremely complex, and it's international in scope. As you already are aware, there's considerable investigation has taken place in a number of countries: Germany, France, England, not to mention everything that's going on here in the United States.

The intelligence agencies throughout the world are cooperating very closely and no doubt furnishing volumes of information to the investigators, so there's no question. But there's a tremendous amount that we, the public, do not know, and at this point aren't entitled to know.

BROWN: Mr. Gavin, do you think you can break a case like this without a big break? You know, somebody gets stopped at a traffic light and they turn up something, that sort of thing?

GAVIN: I think in all of these cases, what the investigators actually do is look at every single bit of evidence that they come across. Nothing is too small and nothing too large. And they look at it, they examine it in the light of day. They examine it in the harsh light of a laboratory. And then they turn it around and let somebody else look at the same thing. It's absolutely essential that we operate like that. Is it going to take one big break? It could -- a big break could occur that could help everybody.

However, most of the time in these cases, what happens is it's the taking of these little pieces of the puzzle and putting them together. Lots of times you don't see the linkage to begin with, but after the pieces are put together and various investigators talk to each other and, as Weldon Kennedy said, not only from this country, but from across the oceans at the other countries, the same things do happen. So we put all these pieces together, and collectively law enforcement can arrive at a conclusion.

BROWN: Mr. Kennedy, I hear the attorney general every day talk about, literally, thousands of tips that are coming in. You can't investigate 40- or 50,000 tips. How do you know what's good and what isn't?

KENNEDY: Well, you don't. You have to investigate them all. To say that they're going to ignore some of them would be foolhardy, because you never know which one of those is going to be very valuable and a key part of the investigation. So quite simply put, no matter how long it takes, every single one of those leads, every single one of those tips will be investigated to the fullest extent to the get to the bottom and get to the facts.

BROWN: And is this just good old-fashioned police work that has done on so far? I mean, if you look at the truck stopping that was going on, the checking in New York, is that just the logical extension of a piece of evidence that was developed?

KENNEDY: Of course it is, because you have that information developed that a number of people who are suspects had obtained these hazardous material licenses. That doesn't really mean to say that -- what exactly they intended to do with those licenses, but it's very prudent they would go to the next step and begin this close checking of this type of material as it's being transported around the United States.

BROWN: Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Gavin, nice to talk to you both. Again, we appreciate you coming in tonight. Thank you.

KENNEDY: Thank you.

GAVIN: Thank you.

BROWN: A look at the investigation, we have much more coming up. It was nothing she could have prepared for. When we return, an exclusive interview with one of the World Trade Center survivors, one of the last people pulled from the rubble.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: Jenelle Guzman (ph) is lucky to be alive. It is as simple and as profound as that. She was one of the very few people rescued from the Trade Center after the towers collapsed. Her story has not been told nationally until tonight. And just to be on the safe side, we tell you now to Gary Tuchman's report includes pictures of the plane hitting the tower.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Five people have been found alive in the wreckage of the World Trade Center complex. Jenelle Guzman was the last of the five.

(on camera): Jenelle, tell me how you're feeling right now.

JENELLE GUZMAN, SURVIVOR OF WTC ATTACK: I'm feeling a bit -- more of a relief that its over, but still a bit scared.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): When the 757 crashed through the first tower, Jenelle, an employee of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, was on the 64th floor. She says instructions were given on the loudspeaker.

GUZMAN: They said stay put. Everything will be all right. Everything's under control.

TUCHMAN (on camera): So they told you everything's OK? Don't leave the building.

GUZMAN: Don't leave until further instructions. I was scared.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): After more than an hour, Jenelle and 14 coworkers decided they'd better evacuate.

GUZMAN: We were passing firemen who were coming up the stairways, and then were going down. And they were just saying, you know, keep on the side, be careful, and stuff like that.

And I and my girlfriend were holding hands all the way down. And when we reached the 13th stairs, I asked her to take off my shoes. I told her to hold my shoes. And then, boom.

TUCHMAN: The boom was the building imploding. Jenelle, who had made it to the 13th floor, flew through the darkness, still holding her friend's hand.

GUZMAN: We fell to the ground. We were still together, and then she kind of moved away, and I moved away, and then everything started crumbling faster and heavier, and I just stood there. Everything was just falling. I just stood in a corner and everything just keep falling.

TUCHMAN (on camera): What happen to your girlfriend?

GUZMAN: I don't know.

TUCHMAN: She's still missing?

GUZMAN: Still missing.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Jenelle found herself buried under rubble in utter silence.

GUZMAN: And then I go to move my head, and my head was stuck between the two concrete pillars, and I couldn't get it out. I tried to move my legs, and all the concrete from the staircase had my legs stuck. I couldn't move my legs.

TUCHMAN: At first, she just prayed.

(on camera): You were there for 27 hours, right? With no food, no water. Did you start yelling for people to come find you?

GUZMAN: Yeah.

TUCHMAN: And no one heard you?

GUZMAN: No one heard me on that day, the Tuesday. No one heard.

TUCHMAN: And did you think you were never going to get out of there alive?

GUZMAN: Yeah, I think I was going to die. When I saw that it become dark and no one came, and I'm not hearing any noises, nobody around, I thought I'm not going to make it. I'm going to die here. I'm going to see myself slowly die here.

TUCHMAN: The 31-year-old fell asleep, and then shortly after 12 noon the next day...

GUZMAN: I asked God to show me a miracle, or show me a sign that I'm going to get out of here today or the next day, and it so happened that I heard noises, like people moving stuff. And I yelled out, and someone answered back, and then I yelled again, and someone did answer. They told me, "well, do you see the light?" I couldn't see any light. They were flashing their lights, I guess. I couldn't see any light.

And then I took a piece of concrete and I knocked the stair above me, and then they heard a knocking. And then they started to come closer. And I put my hand through a little crack in the ceiling, like, in the wall, and I felt the person hold my hand. They finally found my hand. And he said, "I got you."

And I said, "Thank God."

TUCHMAN: All 14 of Gennelle's coworkers are presumed dead. Her legs were partially crashed, and she suffered multiple abrasions to her face, torso and hands. But Gennelle is out of danger.

GENNELLE: I look at it on TV everyday, and just get a lot on my mind, but I don't have nightmare about it. I think I pray too much and just keep thanking God.

TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: Let's go to ground zero for a second live. Just, take the picture, a live picture of ground zero. That's where she was, in that mess down there somewhere. We see these pictures all the time and over the last several days FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has been sending us pictures as they do their work and we've watched them All and shown them all to you.

Today we spent sometime listening to the tape, to the interviews FEMA shot of it's workers and the other people down there, over the last couple of days.

Listen now to one of the FEMA workers about the task at hand. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE FEMA WORKER: You can't even begin to describe it. As far as I'm concerned there is no words in the dictionary that can really describe what, what you're seeing here. Nobody can understand what it looks like unless they stand here and look at it.

As far as I was concerned, all our tools and all our training is thrown out the window. It doesn't even compare to what this is. This is all heavy steel girders, columns, heavy structure, something like you couldn't even cut through.

So, basically, that's why all this heavy equipment is here. They're moving it, they're cutting it, they're sawing, and then picking through the little pieces underneath and moving heavy stuff again.

This is totally different than probably any FEMA team has ever trained for before.

You try to concentrate on your job and do what you're here to do. You know, you're looking for a void, you're looking for spaces. You're looking for anything that you can identify, and it's pretty hard to identify anything out there. I don't care what is. It's hard to identify. It's hard to even pick out an office chair because it doesn't look like an office chair anymore.

So, just stay focused on the job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: On the job at ground zero.

When we come back, the CAPITAL GANG joins us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: We thought we'd try something a little different tonight, so we invited CNN's CAPITAL GANG to join us to hear what they have to say about some of what's been going on. Al Hunt, Bob Novak, Mark Shields and Kate O'Beirne. Welcome to you all.

I thought we'd play a little word association here. I'll say something, you guys talk about it. I'll stay out of it unless I don't. Here we go. Airline security. Go.

MARK SHIELDS, CNN'S "CAPITAL GANG": Airline security. Confidence. I think that that is, that is the immediate sense of urgency right now, Aaron, politically, is to restore confidence in flying and Americans returning to air travel.

And I think for that reason, all of philosophical misgivings about a larger federal role in that airline safety, whether it's more marshals, which the president will advocate, or even federalizing the entire safety operation with federal personnel, becomes a lot less important than that visible, tangible sense of confidence and safety that is so necessary for Americans to return.

BROWN: Mr. Novak?

SHIELDS: Bob Novak.

ROBERT NOVAK, CNN'S "CAPITAL GANG": Mark, I think that they made a big mistake at the -- in rejecting pilots offer to carry guns. I that, that was something that would increase confidence, by -- and people say, well the people don't want that. The polls indicate that was a very popular move. And getting these $85,000 a year air marshals and trained is a typical bureaucratic procedure.

I think there is one thing that is counterproductive, though. I was on a plane, a round trip plane, Monday and Tuesday. And there was, there were so many petty aggravations they have -- you have to get your tickets before you go through the gate -- that had nothing to do with preventing this kind of tragedy that we had before.

They want people to be confident, they shouldn't put on unnecessary hindrances to effective air travel.

SHIELDS: Gun control in the cockpit, Kate O'Beirne.

KATE O'BEIRNE, CNN'S "CAPITAL GANG": Well, we have an example of what best practices look like with Israel's airline. I found, when I had to fly, I regretted the fact El Al doesn't fly domestically, because we know how they have prevented anything like this for the past 20 years, owing to their own practices.

One thing they do is completely seal off the cockpit, completely. I understand the pilot can't even communicate with the back of the plane, there is no use trying to get onboard a plane with the intent of doing much with it if you can't even communicate with the pilot.

I'm not so -- I think there would be reservations about the pilots themselves being armed. I mean, if you've got the pilot in charge of flying the plane in gun battle, I think that could be nerve racking for passengers.

NOVAK: What if they had armed pilots on September 11th?

O'BEIRNE: What if they had pepper spray on September 11th? And one thing these hijackers have lost now is the element of total surprise. I mean, passengers are not going to sit by and let somebody armed with a box cutter make -- have their will with planes in future.

BROWN: This is the two-minute warning, OK? Al? All right.

SHIELDS: Thanks, Aaron.

AL HUNT, CNN'S "CAPITAL GANG": Mark, you're absolutely right about confidence being the key, and Bob's idea about letting pilots have guns is positively looney. It would scare me half to death to go on a plane...

NOVAK: Well, everything scares you half to death. HUNT: Well, you know, let me just say, armed marshals is an absolutely good idea. That's what makes sense. That's what El Al does. That's -- that, No. 1, is what has to be done to restore confidence.

No. 2, we have to federalize airport security. Airline executives believe that now, or many do. Many Capitol Hill Republicans believe that. I'm sorry. Before -- we've privatized it, Mark, and you know what it was? It was kind of rent-a-security-guard. Pay them minimum wage, less than hamburger flippers make. It doesn't work. It has to be federalized.

And, thirdly, we have to open Reagan Airport in Washington because you can't tell people it's safe to fly out of Seattle or Denver if you say it's not safe, however, to fly out of Washington.

NOVAK: That's the big symbol. As long as that is closed and the Secret Service says it's only 30 seconds from Reagan National -- it's two-and-a-half minutes from Dulles Airport, big deal.

As long as you listen to Secret Service on that, people are going to be frightened to fly. If they close the airport outside Washington, that has to reopen to regain confidence.

HUNT: You've regained your sanity with that comment.

(CROSSTALK)

BROWN: Time out. I knew this was going to happen. Time out.

Let me take a break. We'll come back and we'll talk about Rudy. We'll be right back with THE GANG.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: We're back with CNN's CAPITAL GANG.

OK, now, listen to this. This is New York mayor Rudy Giuliani talking to reporters late this afternoon about his future plans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI (R), NEW YORK CITY: There are now three candidates for mayor. We don't know which one of them is going to be the mayor. So, I'm going to present them with proposal that as the current mayor, who has, I think, the best interest of the city at heart, that I think will help to unify this city. And I want to see if I can get their agreement.

It has nothing to do with me, and it has to do with the city. But the objective is to come up with approach that the candidates will agree with, I will agree with, and that will allow us to provide the best mechanism for getting ourself, getting ourselves through this, getting ourselves in a position where the city is secure, the city is safe and everything is handled seamlessly. And I believe this, this will -- it is -- having been the mayor for last seven-and-three-quarter years. It's the best judgment that I can come up with as to a way to handle this and also to make the people of the city feel confident that their concerns are going to be put first and not anybody's particular desire to be in office, the three candidates or mine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: That was the mayor tonight. He obviously has some plan up his sleeve. What do you guys think is going on here?

SHIELDS: Well, let me just say, I think that Rudy Giuliani, throughout the days since September 11th, has had perfect pitch. At no time did he seem to have a false step. It seemed natural, his sense of leadership, his sense of compassion. Everything about him was expectation, encouragement. It was perfect.

This is a misstep. This is false. This is a man who, for some reason, is not going to go quietly. The law is clear. It's unequivocal. It's the third -- no third term. It ends December 31st and those are the rules.

And this is a guy who came to public office as the mayor emphasizing that he went after those that didn't play by the rules, who broke the rules. And I don't think a secret plan is the answer right now. Bob Novak.

NOVAK: Well, obviously, there is a -- he is open to running on the conservative ticket, getting the -- whoever the guy is, who is a good friend of Al's, who is the conservative nominee. What's his name, Al? To get him off the ticket and Rudy runs.

He wins the election. I guarantee you he wins the election. If he ran on the vegetarian ticket, he'd win the election. And then there is a problem: does the legislature confirmed that by repealing term limits? Who knows? I think they'd have to.

I think it's a very bad idea. I agree with Mark. I believe in term limits. There is no indispensable man. Mark Green and Freddy Ferrer may not set your heart out to beating, but they'll do it because that's the democratic way. You follow the rules and I like term limits.

SHIELDS: What about Mike Bloomberg?

NOVAK: Mike Bloomberg, poor little fellow.

O'BEIRNE: I'm not sure -- I'm not sure what the mechanism would be, but he clearly does not want to leave office on December 31st and I am not a fan of term limits and I believe the people of the city of New York have a right to vote to for whomever they want and it would clearly be Rudy at this stage.

I think it would even be good for the city if Rudy Giuliani stayed in office. I think it would be bad for Rudy Giuliani. You'd think the mayor of Broadway would recognize, you always leave them wanting more.

But I don't think he can help himself. The city he loves finally loves him, even people who voted for him and reelected him, many of them voted for a guy they didn't even like, which has been Rudy Giuliani's relationship with the city.

But I think he ought to avoid the temptation. He ought to leave on a high note and move on.

HUNT: Amen, Kate. I agree with you 100 percent. Rudy Giuliani has been an inspiration not just to the city but to the nation. He has become a genuine American hero, the way he has handled this, and this is just a dreadful idea.

I agree with Kate. I think term limits, Bob, is a dreadful idea. It's a terrible -- but you don't change the rules with 40 days to go. You don't say that in a democratic system there is an indispensable person, no one else can do it.

I would hope that Mike Bloomberg or one of the two Democrats would agree, that they would have put Rudy Giuliani in charge of rebuilding New York for the next yea, or whatever. But there ought to be a new mayor, because that's what the rules say.

NOVAK:: Oh, you can't have -- you can't have Rudy Giuliani looking over the shoulder of the new mayor. What -- I got a good job for him.

HUNT: OK.

NOVAK: CIA director. You need somebody who is tough, who knows, who knows Washington, and he does know Washington, and can shake up the place and we do need a better CIA.

O'BEIRNE: He doesn't like operating out of the spotlight, though, Bob, which is part of the job description for chief of CIA.

SHIELDS: Both the president and the vice president have endorsed -- I didn't know there was a vacancy at the CIA. George Tenet, they both said he's doing a good job.

But that's not -- let me just add one point on term limits. Kate O'Beirne is not the only even minded or even insightful Conservative I know. Henry Hyde, distinguished chairman of the Judiciary Committee, now the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the House, makes a wonderful speech against term limits and he turns to all of his Republican colleagues, his Conservative friends like, like Bob Novak, and says you are being wheeled in for that major surgery. And they've shaved your head and they've marked the point of incision, and the surgeon comes in and they say, all right, now -- you turn to him and you say, I hope this is your first day out of medical school because I don't want anybody who as done this before. You don't want...

O'BEIRNE: Mark, excuse me

(CROSSTALK) HUNT: It's those that don't have confidence in democracy that favor term limits. That's what it's all about.

(CROSSTALK)

NOVAK: Politics is not brain surgery and thanks to term limits we don't have president Bill Clinton now giving a lot of gas when we should have some calm in the White House in this war against terrorism.

BROWN: Gang?

SHIELDS: Yes?

HUNT: In 1959, you might have had a different view.

BROWN: You guys can continue this Saturday at 7:00 Eastern time.

SHIELDS: OK.

HUNT: Thank you, Aaron.

BROWN: Thank you for joining us, it was fun to...

SHIELDS: Good being with you.

BROWN: ... fun to have you with us, thank you.

When we come back, it takes tragedy to show you who really in fact deserves to be called a hero. A hero story in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BROWN: You don't have to tell anyone in New York that life is different. There's an example. 24 hours a day, seven days a week, they are working down at ground zero and there are many other signs.

Take traffic, for example. The usual bad traffic in the city was much worse at the security check points that have been set up and people seem torn about what they have to do to stay safe in this new and dangerous world.

Well, we had a problem. We'll try and fix it.

Finally, for this, for this hour, we typed the words "Michael Jordan" and "hero" into our search engine earlier tonight, and we got 48,000 hits.

But when you look at a sample, it's clear that most of those entries were put up on the Web before September 11th.

Hero, we think, has always been a word used too much and used too loosely. And so maybe one of the good things about this awful tragedy is that we've all been reminded what heroism really is: average people who show extraordinary courage in unimaginable moments.

With that said, here's CNN's Maria Hinojosa.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARIA HINOJOSA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They were the would-be heroes of the 20th century. The high-tech billionaires, so brave for risking all of that money. And the million dollar homerun hitters. The heroes of dunking a ball. Even Hollywood had reached a cosmic high. They weren't real heroes, but played them a TV, fought in fake wars, flew fake planes.

This was the America's where rich guys finished first. September 11th changed all that. Perhaps it was the true beginning of the new millennium, the day the century turned. The time when real bravery reclaimed the definition of that word "hero."

BRUCE NUSSBAUM, "BUSINESSWEEK" MAGAZINE: People who risk their lives, who are self-sacrificing, are true heroes. People who go out and, you know, they trade on the market and make a lot of money, or even participate in a lot of sports, they're OK, they're fine, but it's not same thing.

HINOJOSA: Even the sports stars seem to think so, who pay homage to those who put their lives on the line.

RICHARD SANDOMIR, "NEW YORK TIMES": You know, a ball player who hits a homerun or catches a pass to win a football game, that's not heroic. That may be great, that may be magnificent, but these are sport greats. These are not heroes

HINOJOSA: Suddenly, the icons of pop are worshipping the guys on the big red trucks. And Hollywood's so-called heroes have grown a bit more chaste.

TOM HANKS, ACTOR: Those of us here tonight are not heroes. We are not healers nor protectors of this great nation. We are merely artists and entertainers.

HINOJOSA: The protectors, it turns out, are civil servants, invisible and overlooked.

GIULIANI: In this war, the first large casualties are being experienced by the fire department of New York City.

HINOJOSA: "Businessweek's" editorial writer calls it the day the big, beefy, working class guys replaced the masters of the universe.

NUSSBAUM: I call it the shift in the zeitgeist. The shift in the spirit of the country. And for a moment the old America was peeking out from behind the new America, from behind the me, now America. An America where people were sacrificing themselves in a true fashion.

HINOJOSA: A sacrifice being recognized at fire houses, by the men in the suits, and littlest ones.

GLENN FOLKES, FIREFIGHTER: I wish the guy who aren't here now, you know, -- I hope wherever they are, they're looking down and they're seeing all this and realizing how much people appreciate what they did.

HINOJOSA: Appreciate what it really take to be a hero, like the firefighters prayer says: When I am called to duty, God, wherever flames may race, give me the strength to save some life, whatever be its age.

Maria Hinojosa, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: So, let's take a look at some heroes here, and talk about heroes a little bit longer.

Back at ground zero, 24 hours a day, these construction workers and FEMA officials and fire and rescue officials are prowling and digging their way through the rubble. It long past the time when anyone realistically believes they will find anyone alive, but they will find something of the people who died there. They'll find a picture that a family will cherish. They'll find something.

And then there are the 300 -- more than 300 firefighters who are buried underneath there somewhere and there is no hope for them. They went into those buildings on September 11th. Dozens of New York City police officers did the same thing. They went to work, they got a call, they went down to the Trade Center and helped people out. And how many other people of the 65 -- nearly 6,500 people missing, how many other people are buried in that rubble because they heroically tried to help other people out?

That's all for this hour. CNN's continuing coverage of AMERICA'S NEW WAR is back in just a moment.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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