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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

America Strikes Back: U.N. Worker Deaths Could Jeopardize Coalition

Aired October 9, 2001 - 06:37   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.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: For more on how this diplomatic coalition -- a fragile coalition at best -- is holding together during these air strikes, let's go to Kelly Wallace at the White House. She's got more on that -- good morning, Kelly.

KELLY WALLACE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, good morning, Carol.

Still no reaction from the White House to word that four U.N. workers killed during overnight air strikes against Afghanistan. This development could complicate efforts to hold together that fragile coalition you mentioned.

Today, though, the president sitting down with a strong supporter when it comes to this international campaign against terrorism -- the president meeting with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. Germany has said that it would offer military troops to any part of this campaign if the U.S. asks for such a move. Also the Germans definitely providing some intelligence information to the United States and helping with the investigation as some of the suspected hijackers did spend some time studying in Germany.

Now, the president, while he'll be monitoring military developments, as well as diplomatic developments in this campaign, he is also focusing on beefing up his counterterrorism team. The president will be naming retired General Wayne Downing to be the new -- a new post: the Deputy National Security Adviser for Combating Terrorism.

Downing wrote a scathing report for the government back in 1996 about the terrorist attack on the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia that left 19 members of the United States Air Force dead. In that report, Downing said and blamed the entire military chain of command for not providing tighter security, and he said the United States government should consider terrorism an undeclared war against the United States.

The president also naming Richard Clark to a new position: Director of the Office of Cyberspace Security. Clark has been working for the National Security Council for more than a decade. He did serve as President Clinton's director for counterterrorism.

Now, both men will be working with Tom Ridge, who, as we know, was sworn in on Monday to be the director of another new position: the Office of Homeland Security. This is the agency that will be coordinating with more than 40 federal agencies, all designed to help Americans -- protect Americans from domestic terrorism -- Carol.

LIN: All right. Thank you very much -- Kelly Wallace with an update there from the White House.

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