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Powell Discusses Military Efforts; Bayh, Lugar Talk About Anthrax Anxieties; Kissinger, Albright Address Coalition Building

Aired October 21, 2001 - 12:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, HOST: It's noon in Washington and New York, 9:00 a.m. in Los Angeles, 8:30 p.m. in Kabul, Afghanistan, and midnight in Shanghai, China. Wherever you're watching from around the world, thanks for joining us for this special three-hour LATE EDITION.

Our third hour belongs to you. We'll be taking your phone calls for our military and intelligence experts, as well as our reporters covering the war on terrorism.

We'll get to our interview with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in just a moment, but first, there's been a major development here in the U.S. capital: a third confirmed case in the United States of inhalation anthrax. That's the most deadly form.

Let's go live to CNN's Kathleen Koch on Capitol Hill for details.


BLITZER: And this note: We'll be talking with the U.S. surgeon general, Dr. David Satcher, and the chief U.S. postal inspector, Ken Weaver, later on LATE EDITION.

Meanwhile, President Bush is now on his way back to Washington after meeting with Asian Pacific leaders at their annual economic summit in China. The war on terrorism was of course at the top of the president's agenda. CNN's Kelly Wallace is at the White House. She has some details.


BLITZER: The Pentagon meanwhile says U.S. military operations have significantly weakened Taliban forces in Afghanistan. We go now to northern Afghanistan, CNN's Matthew Chance, for the latest from there.


BLITZER: And even as the United States escalates its military operations, the Bush administration continues to pursue diplomatic avenues to bolster its international coalition on the war on terrorism.

A short while ago I spoke with the U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell just before he left Shanghai.


BLITZER: Mr. Secretary, thanks for joining us, and let's get right to the issue at hand.

This is now entering week three of the U.S.-led military campaign. A new phase over the weekend, ground troops, special operations forces. The American public is asking, how much longer is this going to take?

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: Until the mission is accomplished. I think the president has made it clear from the start, and Secretary Rumsfeld has made it clear from the start, that we shouldn't be expecting this to be over immediately, that it is a difficult campaign going after entrenched individuals. And we'll stick it with until the mission has been accomplished.

There are some constraints that are coming in front of us in the form of winter arriving in about a month, which might change the tempo of our operations. But we also are noticing that the Northern Alliance, which we are supporting, has become more aggressive in their actions up north and moving toward Kabul in the very near future.

And so, let's hope the campaign comes to an end soon. But the most important thing to remember is we will pursue it until our mission has been accomplished.

BLITZER: Are you encouraging the Northern Alliance forces, the anti-Taliban forces in the north, to go in and take Kabul?

POWELL: It's a subject of discussion. We're very interested in seeing them take the town in the north, Mazar-e-Sharif. And I'm quite confident that they want to at least invest Kabul. Whether they go into Kabul or not, or whether that's the best thing to do or not, remains to be seen. It's a issue that is under continuing discussion.

BLITZER: That's because the Pakistanis are nervous about the Northern Alliance, with which they don't have a good relationship, taking the lead in overthrowing the Taliban regime?

POWELL: No, there are others who wonder whether or not it would be the best thing for a group, however effective it might be, that really only represents 15 percent or thereabouts of the overall population, actually going in to the capital -- would that crystallize opposition elsewhere? Even the Northern Alliance recognizes this problem, and they have been rather candid in discussing it with us, as to whether it makes the best sense or not for them to go into the city.

BLITZER: There were suggestions -- some say that you were saying that earlier in the week that perhaps so-called moderate elements of the Taliban could be part of some new regime that could replace the current Taliban regime. Are there moderate elements of the Taliban?

POWELL: I'm not sure that's quite what I said, but I would have to check my transcript. I was with President Musharraf of Pakistan, who did talk about moderate elements of the Taliban.

My position and the United States position is rather clear. There is no place for any element of current Taliban leadership in a new Afghanistan.

But at the same time, there are many people within the Taliban movement who have not been in the leadership position, have not been active, and who may well want to become part of a new Afghanistan. And unless you're planning to ethnically cleanse them all or ship them off to other countries, they are going to be there, and they will have to be accommodated in what we hope will be a new arrangement that represents all of the people of Afghanistan.

But there can be no place in a new regime for the current leaders of the Taliban regime.

BLITZER: Will the beginning of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month in mid-November -- you were talking earlier about constraints on the U.S. military like winter beginning. Will Ramadan be a factor, as well?

POWELL: We'll have to see as we get closer to Ramadan. It is a very important religious period, and we would take that into account. We'll have to see where the mission is at that point and what needs to be done, and I would yield to my colleagues in the Pentagon as to what we will do as we approach the season of Ramadan.

BLITZER: Clarify for us, if you will, what the U.S. military mission is as far as Osama bin Laden is concerned. Is the U.S. military authorized to go ahead and kill him if they spot him?

POWELL: Our mission is to bring him to justice or bring justice to him, as the president said.

BLITZER: Does that mean the president would go ahead and authorize the kind of, I guess what some would call, assassination or targeted killing of Osama bin Laden?

POWELL: Well, I'm not going to speculate on what the president might or might not authorize. But I think it's quite clear that we are anxious to see Osama bin Laden brought to justice or justice brought to him.

BLITZER: Some have criticized your administration on the Hill, some pro-Israeli senators, many in Israel, for having a so-called double standard, criticizing the Israelis for their policy of so- called targeted killings of suspected terrorists, but the U.S. in effect now going about doing the same thing.

POWELL: What we're trying to do is to bring people to justice. We understand that the difficult situation in the Middle East and Israel and the Gaza and the West Bank have created a great deal of turmoil, especially in recent weeks.

And the United States position over a long period of time has been to point out that targeted assassinations of the kind that we have seen there is not in the best interest of trying to find a way to move forward with the peace process.

And so, it has been a continuing discussion with the Israelis, and we will continue to discuss it with them.

Right now I'm just anxious to see the violence go back down again, hopefully to zero, and to see if we can not get back to where we were a week or so ago when we began to see a little progress toward the Mitchell plan before we had the terrible terrorist attack, which killed a cabinet minister, an Israeli cabinet minister, and got things all off course again. So I'm hoping we can bring the violence down.

Hopefully the Israelis will be able to leave the territory that they have occupied recently. I talked to Prime Minister Sharon this morning and he said he did not plan to stay in those areas. And I hope they will finish what they're doing, remove themselves as quickly as they can so that we can get back to a process that hopefully will lead to a cease-fire.

Elimination of violence is our goal, although it's a hard goal to achieve. And then get into the Mitchell plan and the confidence- building measures and ultimately get back to negotiations, negotiations that will be on the basis of U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338, so we can find a way for these two peoples to live in peace together.

BLITZER: Some here in Washington, the former CIA director Jim Woolsey, some members of the Congress, are pointing a finger at Iraq in looking at the anthrax-laced letter attacks here in the United States. Do you suspect Iraq, because of its supply of its known quantity of anthrax that it does have, may be involved in this?

POWELL: I just don't know. I think we've had a lot of stories over the past four or five days. First, it was weaponized anthrax. Then it was highly refined. And then when it was analyzed, it was discovered it was none of the above. But it was fairly high-quality.

So rather than speculate as to what kind of anthrax it was and what the possible sources of such anthrax could be, I think I will just leave that in the hands of the very qualified people, the FBI, Center For Disease Control and the Army's laboratories at Fort Detrick, Maryland, and let them figure it out.

Once we know exactly what we're dealing with, then you're in a position to make an informed judgment with respect to where it might have come from.

I don't put it past Iraq. We know they have been working on this kind of terror weapon, and we keep a very close eye on them.

And, as the president has said, it's in the first instance we're going after Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden and that's the principle focus of our attention. But we recognize there are other regimes that give haven, harbor to terrorist activity, and we will turn our attention to them in due course.

BLITZER: But your primary suspect in the anthrax attacks would be Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda organization? Is that what you're suggesting?

POWELL: I don't -- no, I didn't come anywhere near suggesting that. What I'm saying is, I don't know, and I'm not sure our law enforcement officials yet know, who the primary suspect is. I think that investigation, that analysis is still ongoing. And it's premature to make any judgments yet because we don't know.

I think, frankly, with too much speculation and wild rumors flying all over the place, it would be wise for all of us to take a deep breath and let our investigative agencies figure this out before we go rushing in front of television sets to present these rumors and to present this speculation and get the country all excited.

BLITZER: On that note, I want to thank you very much, Mr. Secretary. Have a safe trip back to the United States.

POWELL: Thank you, Wolf.


BLITZER: And just ahead, the anthrax scare disrupts Capitol Hill. We'll talk about that and more with two members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Lugar and Evan Bayh.

LATE EDITION will be right back.



SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MAJORITY LEADER: We will not let this stop the work of the Senate. I am absolutely determined to ensure that the Senate continues to do its work.


BLITZER: Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle speaking Wednesday after it was determined that more than 30 Senate staffers had been exposed to anthrax. That anthrax was traced to a letter sent to Senator Daschle's office.

The newest information today reveals that a Washington D.C. postal worker was diagnosed with inhalation anthrax, the third confirmed case of this most serious form of the disease in the United States.

Joining us now to talk about that and more are two senators, members of the Intelligence Committee. Republican Richard Lugar is the senior senator from Indiana and Democrat Evan Bayh is the junior senator from Indiana.

Senators, good to have two Hoosiers on LATE EDITION. Thanks for joining us.


SEN. EVAN BAYH (D), INDIANA: Thank you, Wolf.

BLITZER: Let's begin -- I want to get to the anthrax investigation in a second. But you just heard Secretary Powell say that Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden's forces, the Taliban in Afghanistan, first. Perhaps Iraq down the road. But they're looking for hard evidence.

Some are saying, like Joe Lieberman and others, look at Iraq right now. What do you say, Senator Lugar?

LUGAR: One at a time. I think we really have to be very thoughtful about who is responsible, and we think bin Laden clearly is. Therefore, eradicating the Al Qaeda business keeps us in Afghanistan until we get that job done. It doesn't eliminate other targets down the trail, but it means that we work with the coalition.

Many people say, well, forget about the coalition, this is our defense. But we can't forget about the coalition. They are there as an integral part of our ability to fight whoever it is, and we've got to enlarge that responsibility and cooperation.

So I think we ought to concentrate on the job at hand, keeping in mind that others may follow, because we have got to separate the terrorists, whoever they are, from weapons of mass destruction.

Iraq may have a program. And if so, they're going to have to cough it up at some point.

BLITZER: Do you know for sure whether or not Iraq has anthrax? Because the widely held assumption is, and former U.N. weapons inspectors have said, that they have stockpiled anthrax.

BAYH: Well, we haven't inspected in three years, Wolf. So it's impossible to know with absolute certainty. But the balance of opinion holds that they have had a very robust effort to develop biological weapons, other weapons of mass destruction. And I think the best judgment is that they probably do.

BLITZER: Isn't this anthrax that was delivered to Senator Daschle's office -- some confusion: weaponized, very potent, significant. How significant militarily was this anthrax?

BAYH: Well, there's good news and bad news there. The good news is it's not the state of the art anthrax, the type that was genetically altered to make it more resistant to antibiotics. So this is more treatable than the most advanced type of anthrax.

The bad news is that it was not the kind of anthrax that you would have someone making in their garage, suggesting at least some level of expertise that would make it more susceptible to being spread and inhaled, as happened in the case of this unfortunate postal worker.

BLITZER: And some individuals, Senator Lugar, have pointed out that even getting that anthrax in a letter, in the form that it was put in, where it would go up into the air, that in and of itself is a very sophisticated operation.

LUGAR: Well, it apparently created a plume, which means the spreading. And the real problem then was inhalation because of the ventilation system.

There are 12 Senate offices, mine included, that are attached to that system with Senator Daschle's. So obviously we're all interested as to whether it got into the vents and what have you.

Now, apparently it did not, or in such insufficient quantities as to not harm anybody. But that raises beyond the problem of touching it, which is fully treatable, to inhalation, which we have found can be fatal in some situations and is more dangerous.

BLITZER: Now, you've been tested, and you're taking the antibiotics?

LUGAR: Well, I took the antibiotics for three days. Now, a determination has been made that those that were not exposed -- 32 that were exposed -- should not continue on that course, and I accept that.

BLITZER: To stop taking the Cipro?

LUGAR: Yes, I have.

BLITZER: And you feel comfortable about that?

LUGAR: Yes. I didn't feel very comfortable with the Cipro. I think...

BLITZER: Did you have some side effects?

LUGAR: Well, some stomach problems, and those are anticipated. This is no easy course. And people thinking about going out and taking Cipro just for the sake of it ought to be advised that there are side effects. They should be thoughtful about it.

BLITZER: Have you started -- have you been tested, Senator Bayh?

BAYH: No, I have not. My office is not in the Hart Building. It was, but we moved earlier this year. I've had one staffer tested who attended a meeting close to the site of the incidents, but I personally have not been tested.

BLITZER: So you haven't started taking any antibiotics yourself?

BAYH: No. An occasional Advil, but that's for aches and pains.


BLITZER: The whole nature, though, the whole suspicion of who's responsible for these anthrax attacks -- there are some who -- could be domestic, homegrown terrorists, a la Timothy McVeigh. Or it could be Al Qaeda; it could be others. Where is your suspicion pointing right now? BAYH: You know, Wolf, one of the hardest things in public life, as the secretary of state was just indicating, is to say, I don't know. We need to take a little time here to find out.

We do know that Al Qaeda was attempting to develop biological capabilities. There are some interesting facts around that might suggest some outside involvement.

But we don't know. We need to follow up.

As your previous question indicated, there are some aspects of this type of anthrax that suggest a level of expertise. And why were these suicide bombers looking at crop-dusters if they had no capability? These are all things that need to be followed up on, but we don't know.

The final thing I'd say is there have been a surge in reports involving potential biological or chemical attacks, many of them hoaxes. People domestically just sort of piling onto the situation trying to create fear and panic, and so we need to guard against that.

So we don't know, we're following up. But until then, let's try and keep as calm as we can.

BLITZER: Are we going overboard with this anthrax scare, Senator Lugar? You've been around Washington for a long time. When I see we, the media, Capitol Hill, federal government, are we getting the American public, you know, overly crazed right now because of this?

LUGAR: Well, the conventional wisdom is say yes. And many Americans would say, even as they listen to this program, stop talking about it, stop trying to create fear and difficulty.

But the fact is that we're at war, and this may be, as Bayh suggested, a manifestation of that war; it may not be. But the refinement here goes beyond, for instance, the envelope sent to abortion clinics. This has been going on for quite awhile, stuff spilling out, people threatened with death.

This time it was the real stuff, which is different. It was refined, if not war grade. And the fact is that somebody is sending it to well-known people so that the word will get out.

It doesn't mean people should panic throughout America, but they should realize that, as some have said, more Americans may be affected by this war at home than soldiers that are lost abroad. That's a different kind of war, but it's a war on the homefront.

Governor Ridge has been appointed to try to help coordinate, and we all ought to help very swiftly.

BLITZER: And homeland security obviously being a major issue right now. Senator Bayh, does the U.S. government, the U.S. intelligence community have a sense where Osama bin Laden is? In other words, narrowing down his location, assuming he's still in Afghanistan? BAYH: Well, that involves sensitive information, as you can understand, Wolf. Suffice it to say, the ring is tightening. We're looking for information all the time.

If the old adage that there's no honor among thieves is true, there's even less among people who would harbor terrorists. So as the domestic situation within Afghanistan changes, you may have people step forward with information with regard to his location.

So the ring is tightening, but we're not there quite yet.

BLITZER: But it does suggest, Senator Lugar, that the U.S. is getting closer to finding him. Would you conclude that his days are numbered?

LUGAR: Yes, I think he will be found. I think the leadership will be found. I would just counsel patience on the part of the American people, the American Congress, everybody else. It seems to me that the war is being prosecuted as well as possible, given the fact that we are working with allies that have great problems of their own. But we have the forces to do that, and we'll be successful.

BLITZER: Would you be happier if he were found dead or alive?

LUGAR: Dead. I see no particular point in capturing Osama bin Laden. I want the certainty that he is either dead or captured, however. And likewise, the network of Al Qaeda.

BLITZER: And what about that?

BAYH: I agree wholeheartedly, Wolf. There's no reason to have him in a jail some place serving as the inspiration for further attacks or hostage takings.

And if I could follow up on a very good point that Dick just made, patience is important here. The Taliban and Al Qaeda have headed for the hills. They're literally going to try and wait us out. They look at Vietnam, other recent experiences, and they think that our willingness to be patient, to take casualties is limited, and if they can just hold on long enough, we'll give up and go away.

And so, I think we need to demonstrate the national resolve and patience to see this out to a successful conclusion, which I think we will.

LUGAR: And this is even more important because we're being counseled by the Russians and the Chinese to get it over quickly and all the rest of that. Now we've got to put that aside and go after our objective.

BLITZER: OK, we're going to take a quick break. We have a lot more to talk about when we return. In addition, your phone calls for Senators Lugar and Bayh. LATE EDITION will continue right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLITZER: Welcome back. We're continuing our conversation with Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, Democratic Senator Evan Bayh also of Indiana.

We have a caller from New York. Please go ahead with your question.

CALLER: Well, good afternoon, Senators.

Right now we have the moral high ground, I think, in most countries as a result of the World Trade Center attacks. Along with that, if we are faced with the difficult choice of having had to capture bin Laden and suddenly finding him on our hands alive, not dead, what happens then? Would you recommend that the venue of justice be an international tribunal, such as the war crimes tribunal, or do you think it's more appropriate to put it in American courts, specifically...

BLITZER: All right, all right, that's a good question.

Senator Lugar?

LUGAR: American court. It seems to me that we're self-defense, we're after bin Laden because of the attack upon World Trade Center. I think it's a clear case. I appreciate others might argue, but that'd be my call.

BLITZER: What about other suspected terrorists in Afghanistan, or perhaps elsewhere around the world, and the Taliban leadership itself, Mullah Omar, what do you do with all of them?

BAYH: Well, clearly, those that were implicated in the attack on September 11 will have to be brought to justice. I suspect that the top leadership of Al Qaeda, we probably won't have an opportunity to bring them to trial. I think that they may be taken care of in the course of other operations.

BLITZER: What...

BAYH: But going beyond Afghanistan and Al Qaeda and the Taliban, that's the difficult question. As Dick was suggesting, this is a progressive operation. First bin Laden and his group, then the Taliban, then the important question of, where next. And that raises the issue of Iraq and possibly other cells and organizations elsewhere.

BLITZER: The effort be has been to keep this international coalition in place, Senator Lugar. You're one of the most knowledgeable members of the Senate on international affairs. But if the U.S. does expand and go into Iraq, it's going to lose Russia and China and much of the Arab and Muslim world, and probably even some allies in Europe, won't it?

LUGAR: Well, we'll have to see. In other words, one of the tests for the president and Secretary Powell is to work with these allies and the coalition to try to see what they're prepared to do. That's been the request all along. Not all are cooperating fully. Some with intelligence, some with overflight, some just with sympathetic statements, that's about it.

But, nevertheless, we've got to make a case as to why they are in danger. For example, if terrorists get weapons of mass destruction, whether it's in Iraq or anywhere else, the world is in danger, Russia is in danger, China's in danger. They understand that, in a way, for the moment.

They're worried about our military might, expansion of that in their territory, which they see over as their backyard. So they want to limit that until they're sure that they are at risk, and that's the point we have to make.

BLITZER: Is it a mistake for the U.S. to be engaged militarily, directly right now, entering the third week, strictly by itself?

The British contributed some missiles on day one, but since then, to the best of my knowledge, it's been largely, it's been almost exclusively a U.S. military operation against targets in Afghanistan.

Where is the rest of the coalition, as far as the military contribution is concerned?

BAYH: Well, the Australians are committing a few troops and some equipment. There have been reports about the French possibly joining in.

But this was an attack upon America, Wolf, and so if we need to carry forward, we have the bulk of the modern equipment, the latest technology, that sort of thing. We saw that in the situation in Kosovo. We have some unique capabilities that others don't have.

BLITZER: Are you concerned that it's largely, almost exclusively a U.S. military operation?

LUGAR: No, I think our military people probably want it that way, but that may not always be the case. As we expand this situation, we may call on others for a lot, and I think we ought to be preparing that. I presume that we are both in terms of weapons, but also money, the logistics support.

BAYH: Can I make one other point, Wolf? Again, there are good things and bad things about coalitions. We want the coalition to be as broad as possible with the support. But as we've seen in the past, when you try and wage war by coalition, you have a least-common- denominator phenomena that takes place where any of the members can cancel even a specific operation, which does not tend to very effective war-making.

BLITZER: To get back to what's happening here in Washington, Capitol Hill, this coming week it's obviously not going to be business as usual in the U.S. Senate this week, is it?

LUGAR: I hope it will be.

BLITZER: How can it be if those offices -- is your office still going to be closed?

LUGAR: I hope not. I'm hoping to enter Monday morning. If the leadership is listening, I hope that we'll be able to do business. We need to do business.

Now, I understand Senator Daschle's office, the fifth and sixth floor of the Hart Building may still be under decontaminant. But the rest of it should be open. We have work to do and we cannot do this from hide away offices or couches or what have you.

Now, we did so, I think, fully adequately on Thursday and Friday, and I think the public needs to know that. We were answering constituents, we were dealing with the problems of government with actual votes on the Senate floor and debate and committee meetings and what have you. But it's not the way we ought to be doing it.

And at this point, it seems to me that we've cleaned up the mess, at least in the Hart Building, Dirksen, Russell, the Senate, the Capitol.

I think this new post office business is very serious. And I underline that because criticism has come of the House, but the fact is the speaker and Senator Daschle knew of potential, and that's what they wanted to investigate. And that postal business really needs to be cleaned up.

BLITZER: With hindsight, the House leadership, Speaker Hastert, Dick Gephardt, they may not have been wrong in deciding to shut down business a day early.

BAYH: Wolf, I have no criticism for the House. The facts were changing so quickly, the situation was potentially very perilous, they have found this exposure over in the House complex.

So, an abundance of caution under circumstances like these probably in order, but now, as Dick said, back to business. This is as much a psychological context as anything else, and we need to let them know that we're not going to be deterred from the normal course of events would be any more than absolutely necessary.

BLITZER: OK, we're going to leave it right there. Senator Bayh, Senator Lugar, two senators from Indiana, a Republican and Democrat, thanks for joining us.

BAYH: Bipartisanship.

BLITZER: Thank You.

And when we return, will the war on terrorism force the United States to change its attitude toward various countries around the world? We'll ask two former secretaries of state, Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright. LATE EDITION will be right back.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) POWELL: The United States is not looking for enemies. We don't want any enemies. We don't need any enemies. By heavens, when they show up we will protect ourselves and we will defend ourselves, and we will defeat our enemy.


BLITZER: Secretary of State Colin Powell expressing confidence about the war against terrorism.

Welcome back LATE EDITION.

We're joined now by two distinguished guests who have been at the center of U.S. international policy. Henry Kissinger served as secretary of state under Presidents Nixon and Ford. He joins us now from Kent, Connecticut. And here in Washington, former Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

It's good to have both of you on LATE EDITION.

And, Dr. Kissinger, the final statement that the Asian -- the APEC summit -- the Asian Pacific economic forum, put out supported the war on terrorism, but fell far short of endorsing the U.S. military strikes against targets in Afghanistan. Should that be seen as a setback?

HENRY KISSINGER, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: No, I think it should be seen as a reflection on the domestic institutions of various countries. Countries which have a very large Muslim population like Indonesia, Malaysia, which were present at this meeting, find it difficult to endorse the military operations, even though probably they're secretly hoping that they will succeed.

BLITZER: Dr. Albright, do you think that should be a problem for these countries, Malaysia, Indonesia, countries Dr. Kissinger referred to, in holding them back from supporting the U.S. military coalition?

MADELINE ALBRIGHT, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, I think it clearly is an issue because they have their own domestic problems. But I think it also signals what many of us have been saying, that while it is wonderful to have a very large coalition, we have to keep our own goals in mind and not be forced to change our process because of a coalition. So there's obviously some equation, the larger the coalition, the harder it is to hold together.

BLITZER: In other words, Dr. Kissinger, the bigger the coalition, as Dr. Albright says -- the bigger the coalition, the less maneuverability that the United States has to get the job done depending upon what the objective is.

KISSINGER: Well, it depends how you interpret that coalition. Both the president and the secretary of state have repeatedly said that every member of the coalition can do those things that he finds -- that they find most compatible with their domestic situation. And if that is true of allies who are lagging behind, it is also true of allies who are in the lead. If you're going to have an a la carte coalition, then those countries who want to take firmer position ought to be free to conduct those measures that are necessary, because this is a war that cannot be won in Afghanistan. And it's not a war that can be ended with one operation. And in my view, it is not a war that can be made subject to the veto of a very large coalition.

But it's helpful to have many people endorse the fight, and then we can form smaller groups to conduct those things that are essential.

BLITZER: Do you think, Dr. Albright, the U.S., the Bush administration, has been hampered so far -- has been restrained in doing what it really wants to do in fighting terrorism because of the nature of trying to keep this international coalition together?

ALBRIGHT: I don't get that impression at this stage. I think the question comes down to whether, if there is a widening of the military part of it, which there's been some speculation about that, that that would then break down some of this coalition.

But also, I think it's very important for us to remember, is that we may not necessarily know everything that is going on. That there may be more support among countries that are not actively speaking about it than we know, and there may be less support among those that are speaking out actively.

And I think the question, also, that we have to look at is, what kind of quid pro quos are made to have a coalition like this? And I think it's more important to get the job done. I think that the administration is doing a very good job militarily. And the question is now, how it will be carried out in other arenas, whether there will be economic cooperation in stopping the money, follow the money part of this.

Also, another message that President Bush had at APEC was the economic one, that it was important to make sure that our markets continued and that there would be a way to make sure that there was not any international economic consequences beyond the ones that already exist.

BLITZER: Dr. Kissinger, as you know, the debate here in Washington over whether Iraq and Saddam Hussein should become a target of the U.S. military once again, that debate has been intense.

Senator Joe Lieberman was on Meet the Press earlier today. And he's been outspoken in saying that the United States eventually is going to have to go after Saddam Hussein once and for all. Listen to what Senator Lieberman said earlier today.


SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (D), CONNECTICUT: There is some evidence to suggest that Saddam Hussein may have had contact with bin Laden and the Al Qaeda network, perhaps even involved in the September 11 attack. That raises my suspicions. But the more important point is, we know that Saddam would like to do us the worst kind of ill. We know that he has worked on chemical and biological weapons and, in fact, has used them against his own people and against the Iranians.


BLITZER: Dr. Kissinger, where do you stand in this debate between those who say yes, include Iraq in the U.S. target list right now, or wait, perhaps, down the road?

KISSINGER: Let me make two points. In the second phase of this anti-terror war, we have to break the nexus between states and terrorist groups, wherever they are, whether that's Lebanon, Yemen or elsewhere.

Iraq is in a very special position, as Senator Lieberman pointed out, in that we know they have been producing biological and chemicals weapons.

We know they've been using chemical weapons against their own population, and we cannot wait until we see whether they might repeat the experience of the Twin Towers with biological weapons.

So I would have great sympathy for a policy that puts Iraq under total inspection and prevents the development. And if that requires military action, I would support it.

BLITZER: Dr. Albright, as you know, the inspections of Iraq ended during the Clinton administration, when you were secretary of state. And since then, the U.S. and the other members of the international community have not been able to find out what, if anything, Saddam Hussein is doing in these various aspects of weapons of mass destruction.

ALBRIGHT: Well, first of all, I wish that the first Bush administration had finished the job in the Gulf War, which is a lesson about what we're doing now, is to make sure that we actually complete what we begin.

It was very hard, in fact, to hold a coalition together during the sanctions aspect of this and to keep the inspectors there.

But you also have to remember that the U.S. has been and was taking military action against Saddam Hussein during the Clinton administration, in terms of making sure that we could continue to patrol the no-fly zones.

I have always believed that Saddam Hussein is part of a major evil aspect in the world, and we should continue to deal with him. But I don't think that we should be, really, diverted at the moment from the primary mission, which is to go after the Taliban regime and Osama bin Laden and Afghanistan. And we can talk about where the trail leads later.

BLITZER: OK. We're going to pick up that thought when we come back, but, Dr. Kissinger, Dr. Albright, we have to take a quick break.

Coming up, the second hour of LATE EDITION. We'll continue our conversation with the two former secretaries of state.

Then, sorting out the facts on anthrax. We'll hear from the U.S. surgeon general, Dr. David Satcher, and a top official from the U.S. Postal Service. It's all ahead in the next hour of LATE EDITION.


BLITZER: Welcome back to LATE EDITION. We'll get back to our conversation with former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright in just a moment.

But first, let's go to CNN's Donna Kelley in Atlanta for a quick check of the latest developments.


BLITZER: We continue our discussion now with the Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and another former secretary of state, Dr. Henry Kissinger.

And I want to alert our viewers, as well as our guests, we're standing by for news conferences here in Washington on this third case of inhalation anthrax now diagnosed in the United States, a U.S. postal worker here in Washington, D.C.

And indeed, the Capitol Hill news conference is about to begin. I believe Lieutenant Dan Nichols of the U.S. Capital Police is speaking. Excuse me, this is Anthony Williams, the mayor of Washington, D.C.


BLITZER: Dr. Ivan Walks, the chief health officer of the District of Columbia, providing details of the new cooperation between the District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland, in dealing with this latest anthrax case, the anthrax scare, the investigations going on in Washington.

Mayor Anthony Williams of the District of Columbia telling all of us that the postal worker, unidentified in a hospital in Northern Virginia, in Fairfax, Virginia, is, in his words, gravely ill.

And outlining new procedures that going into effect today. Some 2,000 postal workers at the Brentwood facility here in the District of Columbia will be tested and treated for potential anthrax infections. One hundred and fifty other postal workers at the airmail center near Baltimore-Washington International Airport, about halfway between here and Baltimore, actually closer to Baltimore, will also be tested and treated, presumably receiving at least some days of Cipro, the antibiotic that has been effective in dealing with anthrax.

We're going to continue to monitor this news conference, have more as it becomes available. Later on LATE EDITION we'll be speaking with the surgeon general of the United States, Dr. David Satcher, as well as Ken Weaver, the chief postal inspector of the United States, as well.

But I want to continue now our conversation with two distinguished guests, the former secretaries of state of the United States, Dr. Henry Kissinger -- he joins us from Kent, Connecticut -- and here in Washington, Dr. Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state during the Clinton administration.

And, Dr. Kissinger, I want to begin with you. As you hear this news conference, hear about these anthrax cases, the inhalation anthrax being much more serious than the cutaneous or skin form of anthrax, what goes through your mind as someone who has dealt with international issues and crises over so many years?

KISSINGER: Well, of course, no previous administration has had to deal with this scale of attack. But what goes through my mind is to try to understand where this anthrax can possibly be produced. And there are not that many countries in the world which are producing anthrax that is of weapons grade and that you can deliver.

And so, I believe that it will become essential to set up some international system by which you can keep track of production of anthrax, and in which there are the severest penalties for countries that are violating this, including military penalties.

And obviously, Iraq is one of the countries that is producing anthrax and has concentrated on biological weapons, so this is something on which we should focus.

I would also like to call attention to something that Madeleine has said. This started with an attack on the World Trade Center, and we must not lose focus on the groups that did this. And we must be able to do both of these efforts, to get on top of the anthrax scare, of the anthrax challenge, but at the same time not slacken our effort against the countries that have committed terrorist camps engaged in terrorist propaganda and which provided the means for the networks out of which the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks evolved.

BLITZER: Dr. Albright...

KISSINGER: ... but I would...

BLITZER: ... I was going to bring in Dr. Albright, Dr. Kissinger.

You told me that you're planning on going up to the Hill, up to the U.S. Congress later this week. Tuesday, you're going to be in the House side. Are you scared? Are you worried about going up there, given what's going on?

ALBRIGHT: Well, first of all, I have been invited to go up there, and I'm going to go. Because I think that something that Senator Bayh said earlier on your program is, this is psychological, that the enemies are trying to foist on us, and I think we have to be calm.

What troubles me is that we are all somehow entering into some form of hysteria here, when what is very important is to remain very calm, to know the facts. I wish that we had one voice speaking for the administration on this so that we really knew what was happening.

But my sense here, Wolf, is that we have to be calm, that -- you know, you're asking secretaries of state about domestic issues. But the bottom line that I learned as secretary of state was that you cannot carry on a foreign policy that the American people don't understand, that they're not a part of.

And so, it behooves all of us to remain calm and to get the facts and to keep our eye on the ball.

BLITZER: And let me just bring in Dr. Kissinger, briefly.

Dr. Kissinger, how does an administration do that, send a signal, "Go ahead, keep your day jobs, work as usual, try to be back to normal," but, at the same time, warn the public that there are threats out there?

They see the Congress going in to recess prematurely. They see the vice president of the United States refusing -- being told by Secret Service, "Don't be at the same place where the president is."

The mixed messages that are going out there can create a kind of nervousness, a jittery nation, that Secretary Albright was talking about.

KISSINGER: Well, I think that public officials should keep in mind the impact of some of the security measures on the public, such as closing down the Congress or keeping the vice president out of view.

But as a general proposition, I agree with what Madeleine has said.

The government ought to explain what is going on and what measures the individual can take to protect himself. But it is also necessary to put before the American public a program that makes clear that the government is dealing with the source of this, and that it will overcome it, and that it will not stop until it has overcome it.

And I think with these two elements, we are going to overcome the immediate crisis and win the conflict.

BLITZER: And, Dr. Albright, you'll have the last word. Is the Bush administration handling this crisis since September 11 well?

ALBRIGHT: I would agree with Henry that they are handling it well. I think that they have got us all focused on this. And the question is, how things will proceed from now on. I think that, as former secretaries of state, we are doing what is appropriate, which is trying to explain to friends here and abroad about what is happening and the desire and willingness and strength of this nation and that America will never be shut down.

BLITZER: Dr. Albright, thanks so much for joining us. Dr. Kissinger, always a pleasure to have you on our program, as well.

KISSINGER: Good to be here.

BLITZER: Thanks to both of you very much.

And when we return, sorting fact from fiction when it comes to anthrax. We'll talk with America's top doctor, the U.S. surgeon general, David Satcher, as well as the chief U.S. postal inspector, Ken Weaver.

LATE EDITION will be right back.



JACK POTTER, U.S. POSTMASTER GENERAL: If you receive something that's suspicious, we want you to isolate it, put it in a plastic bag, don't let other people touch it, don't shake it, don't taste it, don't sniff it.


BLITZER: Good advice. Words of caution from the U.S. Postmaster General Jack Potter on Thursday.

Welcome back to LATE EDITION.

There have now been eight confirmed cases of people infected with anthrax in the United States. One of them, Robert Stevens of Florida, has died. In addition, there have been more than 30 confirmed cases of exposure to anthrax.

Joining to us now to talk about the health and security concerns are two guests: the U.S. surgeon general, Dr. David Satcher, and the chief U.S. postal inspector, Ken Weaver.

Gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us.

And before we begin, I want to report to our viewers that Lieutenant Dan Nichols, the Capitol Police spokesman, just told reporters that later this afternoon the House and Senate leadership will decide whether and when to reopen those House and Senate office buildings that have confirmed traces of anthrax. We will, of course, provide details when those decisions by the House and Senate leadership are made known.

In addition, Dr. John Eisold, the chief U.S. physician for the U.S. Capitol, says that there have now been 4,500 to 5,000 tests for anthrax exposure. The results have been known and all of these -- among these 4,500 to 5,000, no additional positives, other than the 30 or so that were reported in recent are days.

Dr. Satcher, what does all this mean? We heard Mayor Anthony Williams report live on CNN a few minutes ago that the postal worker in Fairfax, Virginia, in the hospital, is, in his words, gravely ill from anthrax inhalation.

DR. DAVID SATCHER, SURGEON GENERAL: Well, inhalation anthrax is a serious disease. We haven't seen a lot of it. The last case before Mr. Stevens in Florida was 1978. Our experience is that it has a very high mortality rate.

We believe, however, that we can do better than that today. And so, we are very optimistic that if we really are aggressive and identify symptoms very early, that we in fact can get on top of it.

I haven't seen the latest hospital results on this patient, but it is not yet hopeless.

BLITZER: Apparently some have suggested that when it comes to inhalation anthrax, as opposed to the cutaneous or skin form of anthrax, which is a lot less severe -- can be easily treated with antibiotics -- the inhalation anthrax, once you start getting real symptoms, heavy coughing, difficult time breathing, that it might be too late by then.

SATCHER: Well, in the past, it's been like 80 percent fatal or more. But that's in the past. We have different technology today. So, I wouldn't think that we're going to be held to those figures in the future. So, we're optimistic, we're going to be able to treat more aggressively.

We hope we don't see many cases of inhalation anthrax, because it is very serious. But by the same token, I think we have technology today to do better than we have done in the past.

We must, as Dr. Walks said in that interview, we must monitor symptoms now. And so, when we find patients who have the earliest stages, we must get right on top of it, and that's what we're trying to do.

BLITZER: Mr. Weaver, as you know, the individual now confirmed with the third inhalation anthrax is a postal worker, worked here at the Brentwood facility in the District of Columbia. And as we reported earlier, another 2,000 or so postal workers who work at that facility are going to be tested and treated, another 150 at the airmail center near BWI, Baltimore-Washington International airport.

Is that it? Is that what the postal service is going to be doing in dealing with anthrax? Or will this be going across the country now?

KEN WEAVER, CHIEF U.S. POSTAL INSPECTOR: Well, I think we are going to do whatever we have to, Wolf. I mean, the postmaster general is committed that the well-being of our employees is top priority right now. So he's going to take every action necessary.

And as you've seen at the press conference and so forth, we're working very closely with CDC, the mayor's office, the public health officials in doing what needs to be done to take care of our employees.

BLITZER: What does it say to you that this individual -- and he's not been identified for privacy reasons -- this individual has come down with anthrax inhalation, although presumably, he never actually opened up a letter, he was just touching the mail. What does that say to you?

WEAVER: Well, that's still under investigation, too. And we're trying to trace that down and get to the bottom of this. We don't know if there was anything that may have broken open. We don't know if he touched whatever he did touch. But we are -- that's part of the investigation, and we will get to the bottom of it.

BLITZER: It sound to me, Dr. Satcher, like this could be a very potent form of this deadly bacteria.

SATCHER: Inhalation anthrax is very serious. I mean, any time you get to the point of inhalation anthrax, it's very serious. The fact that we've have had only three cases, however, Wolf, suggests to date that we can't prove it's any more potent than others.

I think what we have found to date, in terms of these strains, they have been very similar in all three places that we have looked at so far. But we still are investigating this, and this is very early.

We must all admit that we're still learning in this outbreak. I mean, this is very unusual. We haven't had a lot of experience with inhalation anthrax, and hopefully, we won't have much more.

But by the same token, I think so far we have been able to identify very early people who are victims and to move. Very fortunately, the second person in Florida, Mr. Blanco, did survive his episode so far and is doing fairly well.

BLITZER: Is it time to start giving vaccinations for anthrax to postal workers, to others? Right now, only the U.S. military have been receiving those anthrax vaccinations to prevent anthrax. But is it time to move aggressively to start providing those vaccinations across the board?

SATCHER: Well, I think what we're going to do is look very critically at the postal service now and to see what extent we're going to have a continuation of this. We just don't know whether this is continuing. We know that several things have happened in the past two weeks.

The decision to immunize is, as you point out, based on the risk of the individual. And certainly, if we were to find that postal workers are at very high risk, then we certainly would use the vaccine. That's how we've used it in the past. It is more than 93 percent effective. And so, it would make sense that if people are at very high risk that we use it.

SATCHER: Just like we've done with people who work with cattle and goat and sheep. BLITZER: Those postal workers in New Jersey, at that facility near Trenton, there have been some exposures confirmed there. Would you want all postal workers, all of your people, to be given that vaccination?

WEAVER: I think the doctor offers some good advice, Wolf, that we just have to study this a little more.

And we should keep one thing in perspective here -- and I don't want to minimize the incidents because they are very serious. But we have three reported pieces of mail that we have identified. Now, there may be others, but we've only identified three out of 20 billion that we've processed since September 11.

So the point there, the chances of the average citizen coming in contact with anything like this is very, very remote.

BLITZER: I know that the Postal Service has put up a $1 million reward as well for information leading to the arrest of any anthrax mailer.

But this is going to scare a lot of people who just get their mail and look at some letter they may not know the individual who mailed them that letter. What should people out there be doing when they just go through their regular mail?

WEAVER: Well, I think, and we've given this advice over and over, but I think every individual has a good idea what their mail looks like and what they receive on a routine basis.

And I'd like to go to the third piece of mail that we received, the one that went to the New York Post -- and this is encouraging, because this piece was identified, somebody looked at this and said, "Hey, this is suspicious. It doesn't have a return address on. It looks like the same piece that was mailed before." They did not open it.

So I think we're getting the message out to the American people on what to do. Be alert, be vigilant and pay attention to your mail.

BLITZER: OK, we're going to take a quick break. We have a lot more to talk about.

When we return, your phone calls about anthrax and mail security. LATE EDITION will be right back.


BLITZER: Welcome back to LATE EDITION. We're talking about concerns over anthrax and mail security with the surgeon general of the United States, Dr. David Satcher, and the chief U.S. postal inspector, Ken Weaver.

Let's take a phone call from North Carolina. Please go ahead with your question. CALLER: Hi. The inhaled anthrax spores, is it an invisible substance like air that you breathe in and never know what hit you, unlike cutaneous form of anthrax, which gives you a skin infection and seems to come from powder?

BLITZER: Dr. Satcher, the form that you get in inhalation, can you see it, can you feel it?

SATCHER: No. It's very small. I mean, the size of a spore that can infect a person probably averages about 5 microns. Consider the fact a human hair is about 100 microns. So this is very small, and you can't see it; I wish we could. If we could see it, I think could do a much better job of preventing, but you can't see it.

BLITZER: And is that is enough to give you inhalation anthrax?

SATCHER: Yes, it is, without question. But there are so many, I mean, it requires about 8,000 to 10,000 spores to give a person inhalation anthrax, but, still, you're not going to necessarily see those spores.

BLITZER: So the postal workers, Mr. Weaver, they had no idea, perhaps, that they were being infected.

WEAVER: Well, that may be the case. And, again, you don't know what happened. You don't know if something broke open on a belt, and, again, that's under investigation at this point.

BLITZER: Let's take another caller from Canada. Please go ahead with your question.

CALLER: Yes. Hello there. I was just wondering in what milieu do the anthrax spores multiply the best, and how long is there a danger of infection from them?

BLITZER: In what milieu, in what environment, do these anthrax spores multiply the best, and how long are they are a potential danger?

SATCHER: Well, once the anthrax spores get into the body and certainly into the blood and into the lymph nodes, they can do great danger, because then they really vegetate, if you will, and release the bacteria. And so, that's why we are afraid of that, because, once they get in, they can multiply and grow. So that's the environment that we are trying to prevent.

Obviously, they can also grow go in the skin, not as well, but they can grow. And they have a much lower fatality rate with skin. And if we on top of it, we can control skin anthrax almost 100 percent.

BLITZER: Mr. Weaver, you said there were only three letters confirmed to have had anthrax in those letters or somehow contained...

WEAVER: That's correct. BLITZER: ... in those letters. But we heard about all sorts of other letters -- a letter going to Kenya, for example, the letter went to Nevada, the letter that went to the New York Times bureau in Rio de Janeiro. What about all those other letters?

WEAVER: Well, we're seeing a lot of other mailings coming out, too, Wolf. And unfortunately, there are people that are using this or taking advantage of this situation to send out hoaxes or to further their own cause, and we take those very seriously.

In fact, we're up to about a half a dozen or more prosecutions that are pending for people that are sending hoaxes through the mail. And every day since this episode started, we're receiving, on average, 600 to 700 incidents that are phoned into us that our agents have to go out and investigate.

BLITZER: And these are hoaxes, is that what you're saying?

WEAVER: Well, not necessarily hoaxes, but suspicious items or things that people want checked out, and some of that's good.

BLITZER: And if one is involved in a hoax and involves the postal service, what are you going to do to that person?

WEAVER: Well, it's the same -- the attorney general commented on it the other day also. And the penalties are up to five years in prison, for just...

BLITZER: So this is a very serious business...

WEAVER: Absolutely.

BLITZER: It's not a laughing matter.

WEAVER: Absolutely.

BLITZER: And let's take another caller from Virginia. Please go ahead with your question.

CALLER: Hey, Mr. Blitzer, I appreciate your taking my question, sir. What I would like to know is, with the spread of anthrax, although somewhat limited, do either of you fear or feel the possibility of a wider spread throughout the general public and the threat to the children of America during the upcoming Halloween celebration?

BLITZER: Now, what about that, Dr. Satcher? Halloween's coming up. Is anthrax going to be a problem for kids going out trick-or- treating?

SATCHER: Well, we hope not. I think we have said that we need balance here. On the one hand, we need a state of high alert, being careful how we handle things. Those things that we talk about in public health, like washing hands and being careful how you handle foreign things, like in the postal service. Those are very important now -- cooking thoroughly meat that you eat. All of those things are important.

We believe that if we persevere and use the public health system and follow the guidelines, that we can be safe. Now, we may issue some special guidelines for Halloween, because it is true that, as a nation, we must be on high alert.

We don't need to panic. There is no reason to panic. I think we're responding very well to this challenge, but we do need to be on high alert and everyone needs to know what that means at any given time.

BLITZER: And I know from our previous interviews, even long before the anthrax scare erupted here in the United States, you were warning people, wash your hands with soap and water often.

SATCHER: Right. The basic public health interventions are critical. They have always been. They are especially important now. We can beat this if we adhere to the public health infrastructure intervention.

BLITZER: Should postal workers now, before there's any major activity, should they be wearing rubber gloves, latex gloves, just as a matter of doing their day-to-day job?

SATCHER: Well, we've made that available to them, Wolf. Anybody that feels that they need to wear them or are in a position to where they need to wear rubber gloves -- and we want to make sure they wear the right kind because there are some that can really give you an allergic reaction if you're not careful.

So we are getting the right kind of gloves and filtration, if they so desire and so far as it doesn't present a safety hazard to the employee.

BLITZER: Are you looking at various new technologies that can zap the mail, if you will, or provide some radiation technique that would kill this anthrax bacteria just as a matter of routine?

WEAVER: Yes, we are. And, we've got people that are at different vendors right now analyzing that, looking at it. We want to make sure whatever it is we do get to sanitize the mail, that's it safe and that we do it right. But I think in the very near future, you're going to see some of that.

BLITZER: All right. Let's take another caller from California. Go ahead please with your question.

CALLER: Yes, hi, this is Sarah (ph) from San Francisco. I'm wondering about skin exposure with anthrax. Do you have to have a break in the skin in order to come down with it?

And, number two, if it is absorbed in the system, do you always have a lesion?

And I guess my third and last one is, if the lesion does not appear, would it become fatal if untreated? BLITZER: All right. Those are three aspects of cutaneous anthrax.


BLITZER: The first question involved, do you have to have a break in the skin in order for the anthrax bacteria to enter your body?

SATCHER: Well, certainly a break in the skin increases the risk, but clearly we have cases where people had not identified a break in their skin who have developed sores from anthrax. So you don't have to have an identifiable break in the skin in order to get cutaneous anthrax.

I do want to say again that cutaneous anthrax is very treatable.

BLITZER: It's the Cipro and other antibiotics.

SATCHER: Right. Very treatable with Cipro, with penicillin, with tetracycline. And the fatality rate is less than 1 percent. It's almost 100 percent treatable with cutaneous...

BLITZER: And all of these antibiotics are equally as effective?

SATCHER: Not in all people. Now, it is true that there's resistance on the part of some organisms. That's why we start everybody on Cipro, and then after four or five days, we get the results back, and we see if they're sensitive to penicillin or tetracycline. Then we generally change.

So, if it is sensitive to the antibiotic, they are equally treatable. But there are some organisms that are resistant, and that's what we want to know about.

BLITZER: OK. We're going to take another quick break, but we have a lot more to talk about, including more of your phone calls on anthrax and mail security.

LATE EDITION will be right back.


BLITZER: For a more in-depth look at what you need to know about anthrax, including facts on the antibiotic Cipro, go to our Web site at

Meanwhile, we're continuing our discussion with the U.S. surgeon general, Dr. David Satcher, and Ken Weaver, the chief U.S. postal inspector.

I want to begin, Dr. Satcher, by pointing out that the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have warned that anthrax, yes, is a problem, but maybe there are other biological terrorist threats out there as well, not only anthrax, but we'll put up on the screen some other potential problems, including the plague, botulism, smallpox and others.

The Republican senator from Tennessee, Bill Frist, who himself is a medical doctor, was on TV earlier today. He noted this, and I want you to listen to what he had to say.


SEN. BILL FRIST (R), TENNESSEE: What we need to do is establish a public health infrastructure that can address each one of these, not just one, not just concentrate on a vaccine for just this one, because the terrorists will move to the next element to the next element to the next element.


BLITZER: Last week on this program Senator Carl Levin said his nightmare scenario that keeps him up at night is smallpox.

SATCHER: Well, let me say I agree with Senator Frist. And I must say that the stockpile that we have at the CDC is not limited to anthrax. The stockpile has vaccines for smallpox; we don't think enough, so we're going to increase that. But all of those other agents that he mentioned, where we have agents to deal with them, we have included that in the stockpile. For example, we have antidotes to botulinum toxin in the stockpile.

So, he's right. There are other agents, other things that we're worried about, other than anthrax, but we've also tried to prepare the system, not just the stockpile, but the people who are trained in all of these cities to deal with those.

BLITZER: Is it time to bring back the smallpox vaccinations, which of course disappeared in the early '70s, when it was believed there was no more smallpox.

SATCHER: You're going to get debate about that. I would say that it is not time to start immunizing everybody against smallpox. Some people would disagree with that.

I think we have to look very critically at this issue. We don't have a single case of smallpox anywhere in the world. And as a rule in public health, you do not immunize against something for which there is no definable risk.

But also, we know, for example, if there were an attack with smallpox in this country, if we could identify it very early, we could provide vaccines for people very early and prevent the development of smallpox in those persons.

So, we're going to continue to study this issue, but as of today, we would not recommend immunization against smallpox as a routine.

BLITZER: All over the country, Mr. Weaver, in mail rooms at businesses, small businesses, big businesses, people are wondering what should they be doing right now as lots of mail comes in. What should they be doing, if anything, differently? WEAVER: Well, some of the same advice that we give to the American citizens: Be wary of what you're receiving. Set up a protocol in your mail room. I think every mail room should have some type of protocol on what happens if they do see something suspicious.

And knowing what to look for. We have sent out, just last week, we put together, a video, that we're sending to all mail rooms, on what to look for and how to address it, who to report it to, just to allay some fears.

Because, right now, you've got to understand, this has been an attack on the mail system of the United States, the people's mail system, and using the mail system to attack some innocent people. And we're not going to stand for that.

BLITZER: And the U.S. Postal Service, as you well know, was having some financial problems to begin with. This is only going to make that matter so much worse.

WEAVER: Well -- and, again, we're more concerned about the well- being of our people, the well-being of our customers, but certainly, since September 11, everybody has run into some financial difficulties. So we're not alone in that venue.

BLITZER: Dr. Satcher, explain one thing to me. The 4,000 to 5,000 individuals here in Washington on Capitol Hill who were tested for anthrax exposure, the nasal swabs. They came back negative. They had originally been given a small dose of Cipro, three, four days. Should they just stop taking the Cipro right now?

SATCHER: No, they should follow the guidelines of the physicians there, because it's very important to understand that a negative nasal swab does not mean that you shouldn't take Cipro for 60 days.

And our guidelines are that, if you were on the fifth or sixth floor in the southeast wing of that building Monday, October 15, even if you visited for only an hour, we recommend that you take the drug for at least 60 days.

It's very important to understand that a negative nasal swab does not say that you should not take Cipro.


SATCHER: We use the nasal swabs to help determine where there was exposure, but not everybody's going to have a positive. Even somebody who could have inhalation anthrax later might well have a negative nasal swab.

So it's very important to follow the dictates of the public health people there. My deputy surgeon general is now full-time on the Hill. They will be giving advice to individuals. And many of those individuals who were on the fifth and sixth floor will be taking Cipro or some other agent for 60 days.

BLITZER: Same advice basically for the 2,000 postal workers who are going to be tested, treated at the Brentwood facility here in the District of Columbia. Even if their nasal swabs come back negative, they may want to...

SATCHER: Right, unless we find that it was not the Brentwood facility but the other facility where the person contracted it. That's the only way I could see that we would decide they don't need to take it for the full 60 days. Because what you want to do is identify, where was the exposure? If you can say that the exposure was at Brentwood, you want them to take it for the full 60 days.

BLITZER: OK. Dr. David Satcher, Ken Weaver, thanks to both of you for the excellent advice. I'm sure our viewers are grateful to both of you.

WEAVER: Thank you, Wolf.

BLITZER: Thank you.

And just ahead, grading Congress on the anthrax scare. We'll go 'round the table on that and more, with Roberts, Page and Lowry, when LATE EDITION returns.


BLITZER: Time now for our LATE EDITION roundtable. Joining me, Susan Page, the Washington bureau chief for USA Today; Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review; and out in Los Angeles this week, Steve Roberts, contributing editor for U.S. News and World Report.

And, Steve, let me begin with you, even though you're way outside the Beltway this weekend, you probably saw the headline in The New York Post right after the House of Representatives decided to call an early recess. I'll put it up on the screen. The headline was, "Wimps, Wimps." There it is, with Dick Gephardt and Dennis Hastert on the front cover, front page of The New York Post.

But now it looks like maybe they weren't wimps at all, that there was some anthrax discovered, indeed traces of it in the Ford House Office Building, and now we hear about this postal worker who's come down with inhalation anthrax, so maybe the House was right.

STEVE ROBERTS, "U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT": Well, look, I think it's easy for us to sit here and criticize Speaker Hastert and Dick Gephardt, who had enormous responsibility to take care of the safety of their colleagues and their workers, so I understand what they did.

But I do think we have to be very, very careful. There's a line between precaution, which is reasonable, and paralysis, which is not. I do think they wound up sending a bad signal. I understand why they did it.

But I think Senator McCain is right on this. Senator McCain pointed out, he said, look, more people have been hit by lightning in the last few weeks than have contracted anthrax. And let's put it in perspective. Let's, as he said, settle down and take a deep breath, and let's not panic. And I do think that -- understandable decision, but it did send a signal that was unfortunate.

BLITZER: Rich, did the House do right thing?

RICH LOWRY, "THE WEEKLY STANDARD": No, they didn't. I agree with Steve, it's understandable what happened. But it's a little bit like, you know, the Senate gets a case of anthrax, so the House shuts down. It's a little bit like NBC having its case of anthrax and then CNN evacuating. It just makes no sense.

It was a panic reaction. And our political leaders have a responsibility to conduct themselves with some modicum of calm and dignity, and the House did not do that last week.

BLITZER: You won't be surprised to hear that Congressman Tom DeLay, the House majority whip, disagrees with you. And I want to put that soundbite on the air right now and get Susan to react. Listen to this.


REP. TOM DELAY (R-TX), MAJORITY WHIP: The Senate has to do what they have to do. Quite frankly, it's about time they worked longer than we did so get some things done. The House has done most of the work that they need to do for the year. We've passed all but one of our appropriations bills. The Senate still has six more to pass. So maybe they need to work longer than we do.



BLITZER: He was speaking to a certain degree with a little tongue-in-cheek.

SUSAN PAGE, "USA TODAY": Well, maybe not that much. You know, the Senate and the House long have had, you know, kind of reasonably hostile relations. And I think, people in the House, House leaders felt they had gotten kind of sucker-punched. They thought the Senate was also going to shut down.

I do think this one of several examples this week of the message not being very consistent or authoritative or credible when it came to the problem of terrorism on the domestic front, in contrast to the message we're getting from the war that's being fought in Afghanistan and out of Pakistan.

You know, there you have Secretary Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Powell, offering some reassuring messages, very authoritative. And I think we've had different voices speaking about the issue of anthrax, offering different stories that then get changed.

This is something that Tom Ridge was appointed to do. Now, he's just new in office, so we perhaps should give him a little more time to settle into that role. But I think it's important that somebody be offering credible, accurate information in a way that people can -- and then maybe we'll have a little less of this mixed message. BLITZER: As you know, Steve, an enormous amount of confusion during this past week on the initial reports, subsequent reports, confusion that could, in your words, paralyze the nation's capital, if you will.

ROBERTS: Well, Susan points out, you know, we have a military structure set up already to provide information. We anticipated the military problem. And it's all in gear.

The anthrax, as Surgeon General Satcher said, was a surprise. There have been only a few cases in the last 20 years. And so the confusion about that is understandable, but it is also unfortunate.

And I do think that it's not just a question of emotions in this country. A lot of nerves are stretched very thin. People are very anxious. But also there is a strong economic dimension to this. If people -- if the sense of alarm, if the sense of anxiety gets out of hand, people are not going to spend money, they are not going to go back to, quote, "normal." And that's going to have another impact, and that does the terrorists' work.

As Senator Lugar pointed out, this anthrax was sent deliberately to high-profile people in the media, in Congress, so they would become a megaphone of panic. And we have to be sure that we do not do their work for them.

BLITZER: Rich, how does the federal government, the Bush administration in this case, avoid sending out a mixed or confusing signal? Because, yes, there are potential threats out there. At the same time, they want the country to go back to business as usual. But it's hard to avoid that kind of mixed signal.

LOWRY: Yes, it's very difficult and I think that's why Dick Cheney calls it a new normalcy, which -- it isn't going to be normal the way it was before September 11. Everybody is going to have to live with a certain degree of being on edge. That's just the way this is going to be.

But, you know, Tom Ridge and Tommy Thompson and others have come in for a lot of criticism over the last week, but I think it's important to realize, ultimately, this is a foreign policy problem. And it's not going to be solved by seizing nail clippers at airports or guarding people against anthrax. It's going to be solved by destroying our enemy overseas, and that's the main job here. And we shouldn't lose sight of that.

BLITZER: And you think that they're succeeding in that mission?

LOWRY: I think so far it's going pretty well. The special operation seemed to be a tactical success, that they conducted over the last two days. You know, getting guys in and out at night was pretty impressive.

But I doubt that they're going in really just to get documents, you know, to get expense reports from the Taliban or whatever. I think they wanted to seize or kill some leadership of the Taliban or Al Qaeda, and it seems as though they just weren't there in this case.

BLITZER: Both Senator Lugar and Senator Bayh, both members on the Intelligence Committee, were relatively confident that the U.S. was going to get the mission done, as far as Osama bin Laden is concerned, fairly soon.

PAGE: Yes. And, you know, Secretary of State Powell has also talked this morning about getting this done before Ramadan starts in the middle of next month, and that is a relatively short time frame.

But of course, something that they all go on to say is that that's not the whole job. If Osama bin Laden was killed today, does not take care of the terrorist network that he's set up, and it doesn't take care of terrorists elsewhere, and, most notably, Saddam Hussein in Iraq. So we've got someplace to go.

Now, in terms of -- let me just go back to anthrax. In terms of spreading -- and I've got to say I was in Kansas this week for my mother's 80th birthday -- I know you join me in wishing her a happy birthday...

BLITZER: Congratulations. Happy Birthday.

PAGE: And I've got to say, people there were not paralyzed by fear of anthrax. Now, there is concern about terrorism, more security at the Wichita Airport. But this sense of great concern about the mail, I'm not sure it extends to places other than the coasts.

BLITZER: Well, let's ask. We have somebody in Los Angeles, Steve Roberts, our man on the scene. Right now here in the nation's capitol, as you well know, a lot of people are focusing on this anthrax scare. Is that your sense out in Los Angeles?

ROBERTS: I think the sense of anxiety is a lot less. I do think people feel removed form it. I was struck when I walked into the CNN bureau here in Los Angeles on Sunset Boulevard and there was a big sign indicating you had to go around the back, and it said, "The terrorist episodes on the East Coast." They were drawing a significant distinction that this was not in our backyard -- clearly, CNN and everybody else being more cautious.

But I do have -- I agree with Susan. I think that the hot house atmosphere of New York and Washington is not necessarily shared by the rest of the country.

BLITZER: Rich, you saw Vice President Cheney while the president was overseas in Shangai, China. The president's now on his way back. He went out. He went to ground zero in New York to inspect the site of the World Trade Center. He went to that Al Smith dinner, gave a very serious -- although a few jokes -- pretty serious, somber speech about this situation.

Now that the president's going to be back in Washington, does he go back and become invisible once again?

LOWRY: I hope not, because this to me, symbolically, this is where the mixed message is most mixed. Where you have Bush telling people to go back to normal, but he never sees his vice president apparently and it's a big, big event when he's in the same room with him.

And it seems to me also at a time like this Dick Cheney has the perfect presence for talking about these things with authority in a way that is very serious and in a way that's very reassuring.

So it seems to me he should be out there, front and center, especially at time when the administration has been sort of thrashing around for a spokesman to put out there to talk about the domestic threat.

BLITZER: He does have that background, given his Gulf War experience. He did have some comments, I don't know of how reassuring they were, in the interview that was published in The Washington Post today, with Bob Woodward, in which he basically said that this war could go on throughout our lifetime.

PAGE: Well, don't you think it will? I mean, I don't -- you know, initially, President Bush talked about getting rid of evildoers in the world. Well, that's not going to happen.

What we can do is cripple their capability to do terrible deeds that kill thousands of Americans. We can tighten our borders; we can improve our intelligence operation. But we're not going to changing the nature of human beings around the world, and that's just the reality.

BLITZER: OK. We're going to leave it right there.

Susan Page, Rich Lowry and, out in Los Angeles, Steve Roberts -- we hope you'll be back in Washington next Sunday -- thanks to all of you for joining us.

And coming up next, the third hour of LATE EDITION. We'll take more of your phone calls for our military and intelligence, as well as our bioterrorism experts, and we'll also be speaking to our reporters covering the war from around the world. Stay with us.


BLITZER: This is the third hour of LATE EDITION, "Target: Terrorism."


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Sometimes the American people and our allies will see actions we take, and sometimes people won't see the actions we take.


BLITZER: The Pentagon releases the first pictures of U.S. combat troops operating in Afghanistan. But what's going on behind the scenes in this war on terrorism? We'll take your questions for our experts, former CIA Director Jim Woolsey, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander General Wesley Clark, and CNN bioterrorism analyst Javed Ali.

Plus reporters from around the globe will take your phone calls. And Bruce Morton has the "Last Word" on how adaptable Americans are.

Welcome back.

This hour of LATE EDITION belongs to you. We'll take your questions regarding military operations, counterintelligence, bioterrorism and other matters. We'll also be taking your questions for our reporters covering the story.

You'll hear from our guests in just a moment, but first here is CNN's Donna Kelley in Atlanta with another quick check of the latest developments.


BLITZER: We now get some insight into three areas of the war on terrorism. Joining us from Little Rock, Arkansas, CNN military analyst, the former NATO Supreme Allied Commander General Wesley Clark; here in Washington, the former CIA Director James Woolsey; and the CNN bioterrorism expert Javed Ali.

Gentlemen, thanks to all of you for joining us.

General Clark, let me begin with you with the latest on the military front. First, over the past 48 hours, U.S. forces, special operations forces were on the ground in Afghanistan, going after two specific targets. The Pentagon says the mission was basically accomplished. Was it?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK, FORMER NATO SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER: Well, as far as we know, it was. This will be one of a series of missions. And it's a warm-up mission. It's one that was against limited resistance. We knew that, we hopefully got intelligence out of it. We got in safely and out. We demonstrated the capability. I think that's what we set out to do.

BLITZER: Were you surprised, General Clark, by the amount of information that was provided by the Department of Defense, including the videotape of U.S. special operations forces, the Rangers, actually being dropped in Afghanistan at a time when they're always telling us, you know, be careful about compromising sources and methods or military operations? This was some specific information, wasn't it?

CLARK: I was delighted to see that information come out. I think it's a very important part of this campaign. The public has a need to know what's being done over there, and not only the American public, but the world.

And this showed the skill of our forces, but also it showed a measured response. And I think that it's going to be imperative that the Department of Defense from time to time release information from this and keep people apprised of the progress. It's just part of the way you wage war in a democracy.

BLITZER: You used to work, Mr. Woolsey, over at the Pentagon before you worked at the CIA. Some will say these pictures are designed just for propaganda purposes, to sort of gloat that the operation sort of worked well, really have no need except for just bragging.

JAMES WOOLSEY, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: I don't think that's the case. I think they do give people confidence. It was a warm-up move, I think, as General Clark said.

The one thing I would say is that I hope publicity about some operations is not a substitute for taking really effective action against those Taliban troops north of Kabul. I'm glad we saw some strikes today, the F-14s and F-18s, but it looked sort of limited. I'd very much hope that we're going to take those troops out before Ramadan starts November 17.

BLITZER: Are you are suggesting that the administration, the Bush administration's reluctant to go on that front, fearful the Northern Alliance, which has been at odds with the U.S. ally Pakistan now, might go into Kabul, the Afghan capital, ahead of schedule, if you will?

WOOLSEY: There have been press reports to that effect, that we may be going slow in the north in order, you know, not to offend the Pakistanis. But there comes a point at which we're going to have to decide whether we're going to have a victory before winter or not. And Ramadan starts in mid-November. A month later, winter, and it's clearly there, and it's very, very hard for the ground forces to fight during the winter.

BLITZER: I want to bring Javed Ali in in a moment, but back to you, General Clark. What about the point that Jim Woolsey just made about the sort of going slow against the Afghan, the Taliban positions north of Kabul, below where the Northern Alliance, the anti-Taliban forces, are, what's your take on that?

CLARK: Well, Wolf, this is a very, very complicated operation. And the United States government has to line up the overall diplomacy. The strategy, the operations and the tactics on the ground, all of them have to fit. And you can't let the operation be driven just by a couple of Ranger raids in there on the ground.

And so it may well be that there is some delay as the United States is trying to work the diplomatic piece of what comes next if the Taliban falls apart.

And this is normal in an operation like this. Got to get it lined up from top-to-bottom to be success. Success is not just being able to take an airfield on the ground. It's being able to really run that terrorist network out of business. And that's going to take diplomacy.

BLITZER: I want to bring Javed Ali in, our CNN bioterrorism analyst. Even as the military campaign continues, here domestically in the United States, the bioterrorist attacks continue as well, presumably. This third confirmed inhalation-anthrax case today in Washington, D.C.

What's your take now, if you look at all the pieces that you've been trying to analyze? Is this domestic terrorism, or is it some international terrorist group?

JAVED ALI, CNN BIOTERRORISM EXPERT: I still think it's too early to say definitively one way or the other whether it's domestic or international, but the patterns are -- sort of three major patterns are shaping in my brain.

One, the fact that the mail or the letters, the packages are being used as the delivery method. And yet, on the other hand, we're seeing a relatively sophisticated form of the material, the dried- powder anthrax, and that we've never seen before in the world of terrorism.

And then the third sort of point is the fact that these attacks don't appear to be designed to cause mass fatalities, but more mass disruption or panic or fear or hysteria.

BLITZER: What does that say to you, Jim Woolsey, a former CIA director, that analysis, what does it point to to you?

WOOLSEY: Well, I think what we have to do is pay very careful attention to the type and the processing which this anthrax has undergone. Because the fact that it's powdered and can be inhaled may suggest that it's been weaponized to some extent, perhaps not fully.

But this is really very deadly stuff. And there aren't too many places in the world that can make it. Unfortunately, the United States exported anthrax in the mid-1980s, the Commerce Department permitted some exports to Iraq, as well as other strains to other countries.

And it may take some real detective work to track down exactly what strain or strains are involved here, if we exported any of it, where it may have come from, what type of equipment was used to get the spores to this size. All of that is hard work, but it may give us some leads.

BLITZER: All right, let's take a caller from Georgia. Please go ahead with your question.

CALLER: Thank you. My question is, what will the U.S. do once Osama bin Laden and his network is gone?

There are two reasons for the issues in the Middle East have still not been resolved. Mainly, Israel/Palestine and the U.S. support of unjust treatment of Palestine by Israel, and, furthermore, the United States pursuing to expand its sphere of influence where it's not wanted.

BLITZER: All right. Well, let me bring General Clark in, because I know he's been looking at the big picture on the whole strategic reasons.

The fundamental question is, the sources of the anger of Osama bin Laden, his Al Qaeda organization towards the United States. So you heard the caller. What do you say about that?

CLARK: Well, I think Saudi Arabia is really the key to this. And the Saudis have got to reconcile their state policies, which are supportive of the United States, reliance on United States, for military protection from Iran and Iraq, with the fundamentalist Wahhabi religious sect that they have and that they've been spreading around the world, which is preaching anti-Americanism.

So, this is really what's at the root of this. It's not even Israel versus the Palestinians. It's more fundamental, and it's coming from Saudi Arabia.

So the Saudi government really is going to have to come to terms with this. It's a very difficult problem for them, and the administration has been very, very careful about trying to avoid putting too much pressure on Saudi Arabia.

But we have understand that we're not going to solve this problem just by eliminating this network. We're going to have to change the way the United States is perceived in the world, and that's going to require actions not only by the United States, but by other Islamic regimes and governments to move their societies more in alignment with the United Nations charter and the bill of rights and all the other principles that are pretty much enshrined in international institutions.

BLITZER: Javed, when you listen to the statements of Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda organization, they point to the U.S. presence on Saudi soil or holy soil. They point to U.S. support for Israel and the Palestinian question. Lately, they've also pointed to the Kashmir issue, the fight going on between India and Pakistan.

Are those the real, legitimate concerns of Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda, or are those smoke screens?

ALI: I mean, it's hard to say. You'd have get into the mind of Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants to try and figure out precisely what, you know, their true motivations are. It may be those, or it could something radically different, in the sense of a more aggressive form of promoting their brand of Islam to different parts of the Muslim world.

BLITZER: And, you know, as you know, Mr. Woolsey, a lot of people say that it's just their hatred of the West and that all of these other things are simply excuses.

WOOLSEY: Well, the hatred of the West is certainly there, particularly among the Wahhabis and among the real extremists, the Islamists, as it's called.

But I -- you know, if I keep coming back to the fact that some aspects of September 11 and some aspects of this anthrax, as well as some aspects of previous terrorists incidents against us, appear to me to be sufficiently well-coordinated, sufficiently sophisticated that I can't get out of my mind the possibility that there's a government back there somewhere, working with the Al Qaeda and with the Islamists.

There was cartoon in Mexico City a few days after September 11 in their biggest newspaper. It has a picture of Saddam Hussein standing and holding a poster of bin Laden up at arm's length, and he's -- Saddam is grinning at you and saying, "Aim well."

I don't know if it's Iraq. But it's a worth a very vigorous investigation to see if there is some state intelligence service behind one or more of these things that have happened to us recently.

BLITZER: All right. We're going to take a quick break.

We have a lot more to go through, more of your phone calls for General Clark, Jim Woolsey and Javed Ali, when LATE EDITION continues.



DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: The military role be over there when the Taliban and the Al Qaeda are gone -- gone. And that's what this is about.


BLITZER: U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld speaking Friday about the goal of the U.S. military in the war on terrorism.

We're continuing our conversation and taking your phone calls for CNN military analyst General Wesley Clark; former CIA director James Woolsey and CNN bioterrorism analyst Javed Ali.

General Clark, you may have heard Secretary Powell say on this program earlier that with the winter months coming quickly in Afghanistan, that could hamper, in his words, the entire military operation. If it is uncompleted by the time winter comes along, how much of a problem could that be for the U.S. military operation?

CLARK: Well, it will certainly change some aspects of the operation. For example, if there's cloud cover in some of the higher areas, we won't be able to use our aircraft as easily.

But we've got alternate means. We'll put people on the ground, we've got helicopters that could come in under the clouds. The weather makes it harder to stay outdoors, but the U.S. soldiers got a lot of cold weather gear. We're probably better equipped than the people there are. I've heard a lot about how hardy the Afghans are, but our Rangers and special forces and Army personnel are awfully tough too.

So, I think that this is a mission that's got to go forward. It's going to go forward despite the weather. We'll make the adjustments that are necessary. But there should be no doubt about this thing, winter's not going to stop this.

BLITZER: Javed Ali, as Ramadan approaching mid-November, the Muslim holy month, is that a major problem for the U.S. military?

ALI: I'm not sure if it's major problem militarily, but it'll be a problem, I would suspect, politically, in the sense of if military activities do continue forward then trying to hold together the coalition that includes the Muslim countries and Arab countries, how will their own populations react to military activities that do go on during Ramadan.

BLITZER: Mr. Woolsey, is it realistic to assume this operation could be over by Ramadan?

WOOLSEY: Well, I don't know. It may depend on how hard and how soon we hit those Taliban forces North of Kabul. Every day that goes by, I think, makes it harder because although the U.S. military can fight in winter fine, the Afghans in the Northern Alliance and hopefully some of the Pashtuns who would be with us and the like, are not equipped for cold-weather fighting. They tend not to fight in that part of the world up in those high altitudes in the Afghan winter.

So I suppose we could get lots and lots of cold weather uniforms and cold weather gear to our Afghan friends, both the Pashtun and the Northern Alliance, and maybe that would do it. But that's a rather substantial logistical...

BLITZER: Just to be precise, are you suggesting, implying that the Bush administration is deliberately avoiding those targets north of Kabul that could be of use to the Northern Alliance because it fears, what?

WOOLSEY: Well, I imagine it has to do with what Wes Clark said, is that they're truing to get all of their ducks in a row, diplomatically, and make sure that the Pakistanis are happy and everybody is happy, and that's important.

But it's also important, I think, not to leave Taliban in control of Kabul for the winter. And if Ramadan starts in mid-November and winter starts shortly thereafter, we're going to have some serious trouble, I think, unless we can get these politics and diplomatic issues sorted out within the next few days and then move forward to take out the Taliban units north of Kabul.

BLITZER: All right. Let's take a caller from Pennsylvania. Go ahead please with your question.

QUESTION: Yes, if the terrorist activity would increase in the U.S. to probably, you know, a 100,000 people involved, what point would the United States consider a tactical nuclear weapon?

BLITZER: General Clark?

CLARK: I don't think the United States would consider tactical nuclear weapons unless there were targets that would require tactical nuclear weapons.

The use of tactical nuclear weapons wouldn't be warranted just in response to American casualties. There would have to be an objective that required the -- it might be, if, for example, there was a deeply buried-underground command center that we thought contained the stocks of these chemical weapons that Osama bin Laden may have or his bioweapons and it took a tactical nuke, well, then under those circumstances we might well feel that the constraints were off, and we would us it.

But it would be based on a target-by target requirement, not on the basis of what would happen to us.

BLITZER: Javed Ali, a lot of Americans focusing on the threat of anthrax, but there are other bioterrorists agents out there as well including smallpox, of course. How worried should the American public be?

ALI: I personally don't think the American public should be that worried about the other higher-range threats, the smallpox, hemorrhagic fevers, plagues, things of that nature. While they are deadly diseases, there is still no indication that any of these terrorist organizations, even Al Qaeda or other terrorist organizations, have acquired those capabilities.

So until we see that capability actually being employed, I don't think we have to -- I think it's too soon to say that that's next thing that's coming down the road.

BLITZER: Does Iraq have those other agents?

WOOLSEY: Iraq has probably been, outside the old Soviet Union, the most vigorous country in the world in developing biological agents. Have a huge biological weapons program, which the UNSCOM, the U.N. inspectors only saw part of. They got some useful documentation and hold of, I think, some pieces of equipment. But they never really got hold of the biological agents themselves, and they -- Saddam said he destroyed them, and of course he's lying.

So we need to worry substantially, I think, about the potential Iraqi involvement in biological attacks against us, working with terrorist groups.

BLITZER: All right, let's take another caller from Florida. Please go ahead with question.

QUESTION: Hi, yes, I'd like to know, please, that if letters that have anthrax and that have made postal worker contract the disease, what's the possibility that those same letters will affect other pieces of mail to become anthrax spores also?

BLITZER: Javed Ali?

ALI: I think the key to answering that question is trying to figure out if the bacteria or the material was on the outside of that particular piece of letter or mail or on the inside. If it was on inside of the letter, I would suspect that it would be much more difficult for material to get out unless it was opened somehow. If it was on the outside, I think it wouldn't stand a very good chance of surviving successive chains of custody to get from point A to point Z. So, I don't necessarily think that's a huge threat, but we can -- you never can say never at this point.

BLITZER: And, caller, just to reaffirm what we've been saying now for days and days and days, anthrax itself is not contagious. You can't catch it from someone else who might be infected or may have been exposed to it.

We're going to take another quick break. We still have a lot more to go through with our guests including more of your phone calls. Stay with us.


BLITZER: Welcome back. We're taking your questions for CNN military analyst General Wesley Clark, former CIA Director James Woolsey and CNN bioterrorism analyst Javed Ali.

We have a caller from Iowa. Pease go ahead with your question.

CALLER: Yes. My name is Roy Lavick (ph) from Delmar, Iowa. I'm sitting here calling and -- you know, they sent out messages saying, you know, go ahead and bring on your ground forces. We sit there, we're ready to fight, we're ready to attack. What about -- I mean, they're not afraid to die. So, what about a secret bomb -- A-bomb, chemical bomb, something like this -- in one of those mountains, to where they're sitting there, coming back at us, try to, you know, bring us into a trap?

BLITZER: What about that, General Clark? Is Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda Taliban supporters, are they trapping the U.S.?

CLARK: Well, they haven't yet, but it's one of the considerations that will play into every operation. I don't think anybody in the United States military has forgotten what happened in Mogadishu in 1993. I think those lessons are very clear. It says you can't repeat the same pattern of operation.

And when you do go in on one of these operations, you've got to have lots of backup. You've got to be prepared for what happens, if it don't go quite right the first time.

And we're going to be very, very careful. The idea of moving into a trap, sure. I mean, everybody knows that that could happen. It's why these operations have risk, but we've got great commanders and pretty good intelligence over there. And I think that, if any organization could avoid putting its foot in the wrong place, this organization can.

BLITZER: Jim Woolsey, former CIA director, you agree with General Clark that the U.S. has, quote, "pretty good intelligence" about what's going on there? WOOLSEY: Well, I think, if we do right now it's probably heavily derived from liaison contacts with the Pakistanis, perhaps the Iranians, the Uzbeks, Northern Alliance and others.

BLITZER: You mean the Iranians are helping the United States in intelligence?

WOOLSEY: I hope so. I see no reason why they shouldn't. They certainly probably won't talk about it, but I hope that, behind the scenes, there's some intelligence trading go on. There often is between countries, even when they are overtly at odds with one another. If they have some common cause and can do it behind the scenes, there may be trading of intelligence.

I think that, certainly, our own technical collection capabilities are excellent. And in time, I imagine we'll have some of our own assets in Afghanistan and so forth. But for the foreseeable future, a lot what we get will be information from other intelligence services with whom we trade information.

BLITZER: General Clark, is it your sense that the next stage, between now and winter, now and Ramadan, the next stage of the military campaign is going to be more of what we saw over these past 48 hours, special operations, Rangers, commandos, going in there taking certain targets, while the air war continues?

CLARK: Right. The air war will continue as long as they are targets. If you only want to destroy things, if you can target them from the air, why not do it from 15,000 or 20,000 feet? Why take risks to go in there and blow something up? But if you need information, then you put the troops in on the ground, you get the information, you exploit it, you follow the leads.

There are probably several groups in there right now, either developing leads or following them up. And much of that, as the president and secretary of defense has said, the public will probably never see.

But it's going to be an information-led, intelligence-led, reconnaissance-led operation. And so, it's hard to predict exactly where it'll go, except that it'll develop information, and we'll have to follow that information and exploit it very, very vigorously.

BLITZER: And, Javed Ali, very briefly, U.S. troops on the ground, once they go into Afghanistan, do they have to worry about bioterrorism, biological warfare or chemical warfare or gas, if you will?

ALI: I'm sure they're prepared for those possible contingencies. I mean, they -- and I think in their daily training or routine training, they are exposed to those various contingencies. So I'm sure we are prepared to deal with those.

BLITZER: OK. Javed Ali, Jim Woolsey, General Clark, always a pleasure. Thanks to all three of you for sharing your expertise with us and our viewers here in the United States, as well as around the world.

And up next, your questions for the reporters covering the war on terrorism. LATE EDITION will be right back.


BLITZER: Welcome back.

Joining us now to take your questions are a panel of reporters. From the CNN Center in Atlanta, our medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen; CNN's John Vause, he's in Islamabad, Pakistan; and here in Washington, Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor at large for United Press International.

And we're going to take a lot of viewer phone calls. But I want to go John Vause.

First of all, you're on the scene over there, what's happening from your monitoring post nearby in Pakistan, as far as what's happening in Afghanistan, John?

JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, what we're being told is that in fact it is all quiet in Kandahar. Has been quiet all quiet for most of the day, since 8:00 a.m. this morning is what our people tell us there. Very different to the scenes to what we have been having for quite some time, those continual air strikes. But indeed, it does seem that in fact it is quiet in Kandahar.

The word from Kabul though, also quiet from air strike point of view. But our people in Kabul tell us that they're hearing what appears to be loud explosions to the north of city. And that would fit in with those reports of the fighting, which the Northern Alliance -- the offensive which they launched over the last 24 hours on those Taliban positions. What they're hearing is what they say are two sets of explosions, which would indicate the to-ing and fro-ing of the artillery fire -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right.

Arnaud de Borchgrave, you've been looking at this region for a long time. You were recently there. What's your take? How is the U.S. military-led campaign going both militarily as well as politically?

ARNAUD DE BORCHGRAVE, EDITOR AT LARGE, UPI: Well, politically, I think we're about to run into serious problems. It seems to me that General Wes Clark touched on the most important part of all. And that is the role that Saudi Arabia has been playing in radicalizing the Islamic world, including all those schools in Pakistan that they've been paying for, whence all these terrorists have sprung. The ones that are the most gung-ho have been selected to go on for further training in Afghanistan in Osama bin Laden's camps.

We may not think we're at war with Islam, but radical Islam is at war with the United States. I have attended many of those madrases, as they're called, in places like Peshawar and Khatak (ph). BLITZER: Those are the religious schools.

DE BORCHGRAVE: Religious schools. One was called the University for the Education of Truth. A total misnomer.

And you hear all these Koranic messages interspersed with hate America and hate Israel messages.

BLITZER: But Saudi Arabia is considered a very close friend and ally of the United States.

DE BORCHGRAVE: Yes, they are suffering obviously from an acute attack of schizophrenia. The Saudis officially are close allies of the United States. They're the gas station for the entire Western world. But at the same time they have managed to silence any criticism of the royal family by giving a lot of money to the clergy. And the clergy then dispenses that money all over the world, including the United States, where they have set up a lot of mosques.

And I heard, incidentally, at dinner in New York two nights ago, one of these Iranian-American clergymen who was telling me that Mossad and Israel had caused the twin towers and the Pentagon. I mean, that canard was put out originally by General Gul in Pakistan as a piece of brilliant misinformation. It is now being repeated in mosques all over the world.

BLITZER: Yes, we've heard that.

Elizabeth Cohen, as you're looking -- you're our medical correspondent. As you're looking at these anthrax scares, these cases, the exposures, the actual infections out there, what are the main points that you're looking at right now, trying to understand what the U.S. public health service should be doing?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, everyone has commended the public health authorities in all the different places where this has happened, in Florida, New York, and in Washington. And said that they really reacted well. They did what they were trained to do. They did what they were supposed to do. They went down there. They identified the problem. The identified the Cipro quickly. They gave it to people.

We have had only -- thank goodness, we have had only one person die so far. We've had only three cases of inhalation anthrax. The other six cases have been skin anthrax, which is a much less serious form of the disease.

I've also heard people say, you know, it was handled very well, now. But are a little bit concerned, what if this had been bigger than it was? This really wasn't so huge at this point. What if it had been more than just a place here and a place there? What if it had been the -- sort of the doomsday scenario of, you know, hundreds of thousands of people at one time. And I don't think the public health system has been challenged to that point yet. So we don't really know.

BLITZER: All right.

Let's take a caller from New York. Please go ahead with your question.

QUESTION: Hi. Once you get skin anthrax, can you get it again? Or is it a one time infection?

BLITZER: All right. Elizabeth, what about that?

COHEN: I believe that you can get it again. I mean, from what I've heard, you can get it again. And I think there are stories of folks who work on farms who've had it more than once. Remember, this isn't the first time we've seen skin anthrax in this country. Not at all. There have been hundreds of cases before of farmers who were dealing with animals who were infected, got skin anthrax and were treated. So I do believe you that can get it again.

BLITZER: All right.

Texas, go ahead with your question.

QUESTION: My question is as follows. Now that we have learned that the special operations forces have been authorized to kill Osama bin Laden if they find him in a defensive position -- my question is, would it not be better as an objective of the mission to try to take him alive, put him on trial for the international community to see and once and for all the doubt in the Muslim communities about his guilt and not make a martyr out of him?

BLITZER: All right.

Arnaud de Borchgrave, sounds like a good question for you.

DE BORCHGRAVE: Yes, that would be the worst possible outcome. He would be on trial for a year. His propaganda would be listened to by all his followers all over the slums of the Moslem world. He is a sort of combination Che Guevara, Robin Hood figure today for millions -- countless millions of youngsters. We forget that 60 percent of the Muslem world's population of one billion people is under the age of 25 today. And Osama bin Laden is their hero.

BLITZER: Is that -- in Pakistan -- John Vause, you are in Islamabad. You've been there now for a while. You heard Arnaud de Borchgrave talk about the madrases, those religious schools, financed, he says, by Saudi Arabia, at least in part. Is there that widespread hatred developing inside Pakistan now that we're hearing about elsewhere?

VAUSE: I don't know if developing is the right word. It certainly is there. And from all observations here, it's been pretty much at a sustained level, especially since I've been here anyway throughout this air strike campaign. It certainly hasn't increased in intensity to any level, but it certainly is there.

The other day at the largest madras here in Pakistan it was graduation day. A thousand students who stopped and prayed for the continual good health of Osama bin Laden and also for Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader. That same school then also vowed to march to the border and go into Afghanistan and fight with the Taliban.

And certainly we are seeing Pakistani men who are crossing the border into Afghanistan to fight and to fight alongside the Taliban against what they see as this American aggression.

BLITZER: Have you seen any evidence in recent days, John, that there's any potential threat to the government of General Pervez Musharraf, the president of Pakistan, as a result of the anti-American feelings that are being generated there in Pakistan?

VAUSE: I think generally President Musharraf, I think it would be safe to say, has got a fairly tight lid on the situation at the moment. We've seen him put those Islamic hard-line clerics under house arrest a few days ago. One was actually charged with sedition and incitement, a very serious charge which carries the death penalty. In many ways, that was a message to all the other hard-liners, basically, to demonstrate but keep it down, pull your head in, if you like, that he is not going to tolerate any sort of violent protest on the street. He is sending out messages.

And for the most people that you talk to on the streets here, they understand what Musharraf has done. They don't agree with it, but they know that they must put Pakistan first, because in many ways this country has been suffering for quite some time. The economy is in a very, very difficult place. There's huge debt. They're now looking towards the United States and to other Western countries to try and have that debt relieved. We heard today the United States relieving something like $380 million. But the word here, what they're saying is that this country has a $32 billion debt. And they need billions of dollars of debt relief.

So many people on the streets know that Pakistan is in this very precarious position and they must go along with the United States, even though their religious beliefs and their sympathies may lie with the Taliban and with the people of Afghanistan, they understand that the position that Musharraf has taken is one which, in their views, is in the best interests of the country.

BLITZER: All right, stand by, we're going to take another quick break. When we return, more of your phone calls for John Vause, Elizabeth Cohen, and Arnaud de Borchgrave. We'll be right back.


BLITZER: Welcome back.

We're taking your phone calls for CNN medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen, CNN's John Vause's in Islamabad and UPI's Arnaud de Borchgrave. Arnaud, I know you met recently earlier this year with Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan. You were there...

DE BORCHGRAVE: In Kandahar, yes.

BLITZER: Well, tell us what happened.

DE BORCHGRAVE: Well, I was going to see Osama bin Laden. I had three different confirmations for an appointment between June 1 and June 4. I got there by June 1. And then when I got there, Mullah Omar wouldn't let me see him.

Mullah Omar is a rather impressive fellow. He's six-foot-six, has one eye, he's been wounded five times, while fighting Soviet forces between 1979 and 1989. And I also saw his command-and-control center. We keep talking about destroying the Taliban's command-and- control operation. It's basically, Mullah Omar on a sideband radio, with walkie-talkies and all sorts of electronic paraphernalia and I assume that he is not using it very much these days and that they communicate by messenger.

That's -- as they preparing, in my judgment, to go back a guerrilla mode, rather than fighting U.S. forces.

BLITZER: All right. Elizabeth Cohen, you're in Atlanta, the home of the Centers for -- the CDC -- the Center for Disease Prevention -- Centers for Disease Prevention -- Disease Control and Prevention -- excuse me.

Do they feel -- and you speak to those scientists, those doctors there all the time -- do they feel that they have a good handle right now on the strain of anthrax that was used -- was sent to New York, here to Washington, to Florida, because the assumption is it came from the same source?

COHEN: Right. The assumption is that it came from or they know, actually, from doing many tests, some 30 tests, they found out that the strain that they saw in Florida, New York and Washington was all the same strain. And what they knew, even before that, was that it was susceptible to antibiotics and that was the important part. Which strain it was, less important than whether or not it was susceptible to antibiotics.

And the other question that they've now answered is that it does not seem to have been genetically altered. If it had been a genetically altered form of anthrax, that could have been really bad news, because the reason why you alter it, is so the antibiotics can't hurt it. And it seems that that did not happen, so that's good news.

So yes, they seem to have a good handle on that. They know that it, at least, looks like it was all from one strain and that it's susceptible to antibiotics. So in that way, that's a good-news scenario.

BLITZER: All right. Let's take a caller from California. Please go ahead with your question.

CALLER: Yes. I would like to know why we're being so considerate of their homes and their people? They didn't attack our military, when they hit the Trade Centers and I like to know why we're being so considerate and so humanitarian to their home?

BLITZER: All right. Arnaud.

DE BORCHGRAVE: We have Muslims opinion to consider. We know that it's very anti-American. We know that President Musharraf has problems with his own domestic opinion and with his military generals, who feel that's over-committed to the United States so, it's very important for us to be able to prove that he's a bet on the winning horse, the United States.

But insofar as civilian casualties are concerned, obviously, we're leaning over backwards to avoid them, because of possible repercussions in the streets of the Muslim world.

BLITZER: John Vause, on that point -- that specific point, is it widely known within Pakistan, where you are, that two or three bases are being used as staging points for U.S. military operations against targets in Afghanistan-- within Pakistan, those bases are being used?

VAUSE: Yes, indeed. Yes. It has been widely reported here in most of the major newspapers. In fact, there was some disinformation which was put out earlier that caused a few protest down in Jacobabad, where one of the air bases is. That was when we saw some very violent demonstrations. The reports got out, those bases were used to launch strike forces against Afghanistan, as opposed to the search and rescue, the logistics which President Musharraf has been talking about it, in which he has been going out of his way to highlight the fact that these bases are not being used to launch strikes Afghanistan.

A very important point, which was made earlier, in fact, that President Musharraf is keeping this country in check. He is keeping those hard-line Islamic fundamentalists in line and not keeping the -- and basically, dampening down those anti-U.S. feelings by ensuring the people here that, firstly, that he is saying this is going to be a short and targeted war. We heard him say that over and over again.

He's also saying that Pakistan soil will not be used to launch a strike against Afghanistan. All these things are very important. And also the fact that from that point of view about going after and being very careful about civilians.

Well, every time you had those pictures coming out of Afghanistan of civilian casualties, there are, indeed, problems on the streets here in Pakistan, albeit a minority, all very small problems. But if there was, indeed, widespread civilian casualties and deaths and destruction in Afghanistan, certainly President Musharraf here in Pakistan would be facing a much more difficult time, than he is already.

BLITZER: Arnaud, you've been covering world of diplomacy, international intrigue, intelligence for a long time, ever since I was a young reporter going back to the early '70s.

When you heard Jim Woolsey say -- the former CIA director on this program -- only a few minute ago, that he would not rule out the possibility that Iran and their intelligence services are sharing information about what's happening in Afghanistan with the CIA, with the U.S., that enemies sometimes do trade in intelligence, even they make some strange bedfellows. Were you surprised by that?

DE BORCHGRAVE: No, I wasn't, because I know, for a fact, that it's true. And I know the contact in Iran we now have -- a very important contact within the regime. There's a whole new geopolitical ball game going on between the United States and Iran behind the scenes. As for Iraq, I've heard many people suggest that we should be taking on Iraq at the same time as Afghanistan. My personal view is that that would be geopolitical folly and would touch off a general war in the area.

BLITZER: But what if the U.S. had hard evidence that the Iraqis were aligned with al Qaeda and planning the September 11 attack?

DE BORCHGRAVE: Wolf, there's hard evidence that Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, all these groups, are as interchangeable as the Cold War groups were, the Red Brigades, the Batameinhauf (ph) group. Not only were they interchangeable, they had the same safe havens in East Germany and Czechoslovakia, Kallo Revarii (Ph) and in Yemen.

So, if you take on Iraq, you've got to take on all these groups. And Hezbollah and Hamas are just a much involved in all of this as Iraq.

BLITZER: All right. And they're supported by Iran and Syria. We have to leave it right there. Arnaud de Borchgrave, thanks for joining. Elizabeth Cohen in Atlanta, John Vause in Islamabad. Thanks for all the excellent work. We appreciate it very much. And just ahead, Bruce Morton's "Last Word."


BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): So we will live with the war on terror, more security in airports, armed marshals on planes, more security at work, probably.


BLITZER: Adopting to a new reality in America, when we come back.


BLITZER: Welcome back. Time now for Bruce Morton's "Last Word" on adjusting to post-September 11 life in America.


MORTON (voice-over): What a week. The Congress half in session, half out. Police every where or at least every where around the Capitol. The speaker of the House warning that anthrax was in the ventilation systems, others saying later it wasn't.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At this time there has been no evidence of spores in the ventilation system.

MORTON: And not just in Washington, the State of Vermont grounded an airplane, white powder in the baggage. Wasn't quarantined, officials said.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have not quarantined the plane.

MORTON: But it couldn't leave until tests were completed which took some days. Northwest promptly announced no Sweet and Lo on its flights. That of course is a white powder too.

Lots of weird stuff but one thing we know for sure is we'll get used to it. We'll get used to being potential targets. We may be as scared as we were this week, but we won't be as flighty, we'll adapt.

I worked in London for a few years in the 1960's when you still met Londoner's who had lived through the Blitz. When they talked about it which was seldom you learned that it was always frightening but that routines developed, take shelter in the subway station, help the wardens. Try to shelter families who had lost their homes. They lived with the Blitz and in the end, of course, they beat it.

So we will live with the war on terror, more security at airports, armed marshals on planes. More security at work probably, badges to get into the building to make the elevator work and on so. We will get used to more restrictions and to looking over our shoulders more.

The trick is to manage all this without losing what's really important, basic freedoms. American Muslim ideally will go to their mosques without feeling threatened. Pacifists who want to protest the war will be free to do that.

The Quaker's in fact have an anti-war banner on their building just a block or so from the Capitol. That's their right.

America proved during the Vietnam War that we could tolerate a lot of angry dissent about a war. Some demonstrations sparked violence but most, the huge majority did not even when the demonstrators did provocative things like burning a U.S. flag.

If we can keep free and keep our respect for one another we'll be fine. And hey, if there's no artificial sweetener for your cup of bad airplane coffee, you're probably healthier without it.

I'm Bruce Morton.


BLITZER: Thanks Bruce. Time now for a look at what's on the cover of this week's major news magazines here in the United States.

"TIME" magazine is "Going in," with a U.S. soldier in camouflage on the cover.

"Newsweek" has special ops: "Can U.S. commando's finish the job?" on the cover.

And on the cover of "U.S. News & World Report": "High Anxiety on Capitol Hill; are anthrax scares just the beginning?" And that's your LATE EDITION for Sunday, October 21. Please join us again next Sunday and every Sunday at noon Eastern for the last word in Sunday talk. I'll be back tonight, 8:00 p.m. Eastern for a special edition of "WOLF BLITZER REPORTS" and tomorrow and every weekday twice at both 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. Eastern. Until then, thanks very much for watching. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington. CNN's coverage of the war on terrorism continues next.




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