CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
America's New War
Aired November 10, 2001 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're determined to fight this evil, and fight until we're rid of it. We will not wait for more innocent deaths.
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JONATHAN KARL, HOST: A president rallies support at home and abroad. Our guests will have the latest on the military and diplomatic challenges.
And from New York, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton talks about the past two months, her state and the nation.
From Capitol Hill, a debate on the airline security standoff. Is a solution in sight?
Our experts will look at the slumping economy, where it's going and what it means for you.
Plus, your phone calls and e-mails. All ahead as CNN continues special coverage of AMERICA'S NEW WAR.
Welcome. I'm Jonathan Karl in Washington.
We're looking for your phone calls and e-mails over the next two hours as we discuss the war on terrorism, homeland defense, airline security and the economy. Send our experts your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We'll be talking to my first guest, New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, in a moment, but first, here are the latest developments as America strikes back.
President Bush told the U.N. General Assembly today that every nation has a stake in the war on terrorism. And the president warned that those who think they can, quote, "pick and choose their terrorist friends" will pay a heavy price.
The Taliban admit they've lost the strategic town of Mazar-e Sharif to opposition forces, but they call it a strategic withdrawal. Opposition commanders say the U.S. bombing helped them capture the city. A Pakistani journalist claims he has conducted the first interview with Osama bin Laden since September 11. Two different versions of the interview were published this morning. The English- language "Dawn" published one version, in which bin Laden says that if the U.S. uses chemical or nuclear weapons against him, he will respond in kind. He's also quoted as saying he possesses chemical and nuclear weapons as a deterrent.
Local newspapers headlined the nuclear issue. But Hamid Mir, who claims he met with bin Laden in the mountains north of Kabul, says the more important thing for him was that, in the interview, bin Laden's apparently reversed himself on his thoughts about American civilians. It is this part of the interview that is causing concern with Western analysts.
Previously bin Laden has said any American is a target. Now, according to Mr. Mir's account of the interview, he says there are some good Americans.
There is no independent confirmation that the interview actually took place, and the audiotape Mr. Mir says of the interview that was made has not been released. CNN has spoken directly with Mir, and we are working right now to check out the details he provided.
In New Jersey, four post offices have reopened this morning after tests found traces of anthrax. The buildings were closed overnight for cleaning. Health officials believe the anthrax was a result of cross-contamination with mail from the Hamilton center, the facility that handled three anthrax-laden letters. None of the postal employees who work at the four offices have been put on antibiotics.
And in Washington, anthrax has turned up again at the Longworth House Office Building. Investigators have found minute traces of bacteria in a fourth congressional office. The bacteria was found Tuesday in the office of Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland.
The Pentagon has declared a missing Navy serviceman dead. Twenty- year-old Bryant Davis of Chicago had been taking part in military operations in Afghanistan on board the USS Kitty Hawk. He fell overboard Wednesday in the Arabian Sea. Despite two days of search efforts, his body was never found.
President Bush is in New York, where he addressed the United Nations General Assembly earlier today. CNN White House correspondent Kelly Wallace is traveling with the president and has details.
KARL: And in Afghanistan, the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance has gained control of the key city of Mazar-e Sharif.
CNN's Ben Wedeman is just to the north of Mazar-e Sharif in Dashtiqala, Afghanistan, with the latest.
(NEWSBREAK) KARL: Joining us now, a woman with a special perspective on the events of the past two months, both for her state and the rest of the country, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York.
Senator Clinton, thank you for joining us.
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: Thank you, Jonathan.
KARL: I understand you're in Buffalo talking about an idea for new public security grants to help localities like Buffalo, New York, deal with the homeland defense issue. How much is needed, and where do you think this money is going to come from?
CLINTON: Well, I announced today a proposal for a public safety block grant which would provide federal dollars to our first responders, who are largely under the control of our city governments, our county governments throughout the country.
I think this has to be part of what we finally do in Congress before this year ends, because we need to pump up the resources that are available.
Here in Buffalo, the mayor has told me that before September 11, they never received a single weapons-of-mass-destruction call on 9/11. Since then, they've received 150 or so.
Each of those costs about $600 to $700 an hour to respond to, and just by doing the math, you can see how a city like Buffalo is going to be in terrible financial shape. But cities across New York and the country are in the same fix, because they don't have the resources to step up and be able to provide the kind of first response we need without some federal help.
KARL: Now, is there a commitment to provide that help? As you know, the president has threatened to veto any additional emergency spending for this year. Where do you think the commitment stands in Washington?
CLINTON: Well, I would hope that the administration would take very seriously the concerns that I'm hearing from people all over New York and indeed the country. I met with a delegation from the Conference of Mayors.
You know, we expect our cities and counties to be on the front lines in the fight against terrorism here at home. They can't do it without the resources.
We certainly have done everything we could to support our men and women in uniform in the battle abroad in Afghanistan, Central Asia and elsewhere. I just don't accept the fact that we can't provide federal dollars so that our police, our fire, our emergency response teams are as well equipped. And I hope that that will be considered favorably before Congress goes home this year.
KARL: Well, Senator, we've got a lot more to talk about certainly, but we do have to take a very quick break. We'll be back in just a moment.
KARL: And there, live pictures of ground zero in New York City.
We're talking to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Senator, I don't know if you can see those pictures, but it has been two months now since the September 11 attacks. How has all of this changed you?
CLINTON: Oh, Jonathan, I can't even begin to tell you in all the ways that this has had an impact on me and everybody I know. I couldn't see the pictures, but I assume that they show what we know to be the continuing fires that are burning below ground and the work that is so dangerous that's proceeding above ground.
I think all of us have been moved to really look at our own priorities in life and to understand what we have to do to protect our country. And that's why this fight against terrorism has to be such a united effort, and it has to take place here at home as well as abroad.
I think we're in for, you know, some difficult times ahead, but I have no doubt we can be successful. And so, despite the work I do every day to try to help everyone I can, I'm very conscious of the fact that this is a long-term effort.
KARL: Well, in terms of preventing future terrorists attacks, the attorney general talking about extraordinary measures to prevent future terrorist attacks.
One thing, the latest proposal is allowing -- and he's actually made this a rule at the Justice Department -- allowing the FBI to listen in on the conversations of suspects who are into custody and their lawyers. This is, of course, attorney-client privilege has been something that's been important to everybody for a long time.
What do you think, is this step necessary in light of the current circumstances?
CLINTON: Well, I know it's going to be reviewed. Senator Leahy and the Judiciary Committee have already sent word to the attorney general that they're going to be taking a hard look at this. And I will, you know, wait to see what the evaluation is.
Obviously, we are living in extraordinary times which demand responses commensurate with the dangers we face, but we don't want to throw the rule of law out the window, and we don't want to in any way demonstrate that our values are not enduring and lasting in the face of this challenge.
So it's a balancing act. And I'm going to wait to see how Senator Leahy and my colleagues evaluate it. KARL: And Leahy's been extremely critical on that point. Others have been very critical of the administration in how it's handled the anthrax threat.
As a matter of fact, you've come out for a proposal for a single spokesperson to talk about the threat of bioterrorism. I mean, we've seen a dizzying array of spokespeople out there so far. Has the administration mishandled this so far?
CLINTON: Well, you know, we're all learning. This is an unprecedented challenge. And everybody's trying to figure out the best way to proceed.
I'll be going from Buffalo, where I am now, to Rochester to have a forum on bioterrorism and how we should respond.
But I do believe that we should consolidate the public- spokesperson role in one authoritative voice, preferably a doctor or scientist who is very familiar with the biological aspects of this new challenge, someone who, frankly, can come across well on television and offer honest assessments and good information, but, you know, not falsely either panicking people or telling them some things that aren't true in order to make them seem better than they are.
So I think this is a move that is under consideration, and I believe that the administration is settling on someone who would do that role.
KARL: Now, we've had some unity on the question of going about the war on terrorism, but when it comes to other domestic matters, we've seen -- I'm sure you were at the front row seat to all of this -- this week in Congress, some real partisan breakdown, especially on the question of what to do about the economy.
The Democrats have come out with a plan, a plan you have said you support. I want you to listen to what Senator Daschle had to say in defense of this plan. As you remember, the Republicans said that it was littered with special-interest pork-barrel tax breaks, essentially, including one for chicken waste.
Here's what Senator Daschle had to say about that.
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SEN. TOM DASCHLE (D-SD), MAJORITY LEADER: Poultry waste and waste of all agricultural products is something that continues to threaten our country. We've got to find ways with which to address the safety, the security of pollution and waste in various ways that have yet been addressed successfully in some parts of our country.
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KARL: Now, Republicans have seized on that, saying, "Poultry waste, a threat to national security, what are the Democrats doing?"
How do you defend against these charges of, you know, kind of pork-barrel tax breaks?
CLINTON: Well, you know, Jonathan, let me start by saying that I thought the plan passed by the House of Representatives was a fiscal disaster that would set our country back for years to come.
I don't understand how they passed it with a straight face, and it was really a giveaway to large corporate interests, even including a provision that encouraged businesses to take their jobs overseas. I don't see what that has to do with trying to put Americans back to work.
What the Finance Committee has tried to do in the Democratic proposal was strike a balance between those kinds of tax breaks for businesses that would truly spur new investments, not something that would go back 15 years like the House did and say, "Well, here's a bunch of money because you didn't like the tax you paid in 1985 and '86," but instead, really linking those kinds of tax breaks to investments and new job creation.
In addition, to try to provide unemployment insurance to those who have lost their jobs, to keep their health insurance by providing some help with that, to look at where we could spur the kind of investments that are future-oriented. And, you know, that does have to do with high technology, with energy efficiency, the kinds of things that people believe would make a difference.
My view on this, though, is pretty simple. We had eight years of prosperity because we paid down our debt and we got rid of our deficit. We hit a rough spot, and it was turned into a terrible bump because of the attacks of September 11.
If we hadn't passed the big tax cut last spring, that I believe undermined our fiscal responsibility and our ability to deal with this new threat of terrorism, we wouldn't be in the fix we're in today. But the fact is, we are.
And now we've got to figure out what's the best way out of it. I certainly don't think more tax breaks that are not linked to investment and job growth or turning our back on the unemployment and health needs of hardworking Americans who have lost their jobs because of the attacks is a very sensible proposal.
I'm also concerned that we're back into deficits, which we know from prior experience are, you know, job killers because they dry up private investment capital.
So I would say that, on balance, the Democratic alternative is far preferable. And any one of us could have written it differently, but, you know, in Congress you make necessary tradeoffs and compromises. The kind of balance that the Finance Committee struck under Chairman Baucus is a heck of a lot better than the Republican alternative or the House-passed alternative.
KARL: Well, we'll be talking to the other side shortly. We'll be talking to Senator Allen, who is kind of the champion for the Republican plan in the Senate. But as we look at stimulating the economy, look at what's already been done. I am wondering what your thoughts are on the aviation bailout. Five billion dollars in direct payments to the airlines. Now we learn that most of the $5 billion has already been spent; the airlines are still in trouble.
CLINTON: Well, I think the airlines are facing some really troubled times, understandably so. Nobody is flying.
And I would have to point to the fact that, again, the Republicans and now unfortunately, joined by the administration, won't do what I believe most people want us to do, which is to federalize airport security, send a very clear signal that the kind of outrageous security breach that happened in Chicago, which we also found out meant that convicted felons were employed by the security company, will never happen again.
And, you know, the Republican leadership will not accept that having that kind of government law enforcement run our security system so that people can feel safer is probably the best way we can get people flying again for the holidays.
Instead, you know, we're getting National Guards troops in our airports. I've been flying constantly for the last two months, and I must say I respect the role that the National Guard is playing, but they're not doing baggage screening and security checks. They're there in case something terrible or untoward happens.
But what we fear is someone getting through security like they did at O'Hare, with you know, with stun guns, knives and mace. And that's not going to be stopped by posting more National Guards.
So I would hope that the administration and the Republicans would go along with the 100-to-nothing-passed Senate version. Let's get about the business of making our airports safer, and people will start flying again.
KARL: Senator, we only have a few seconds left. Wanted to get your reaction to the mayor's race in New York. Somehow a Democrat managed to lose again, in New York City. How did that happen? What do you think of Michael Bloomberg?
CLINTON: Well, I'm looking forward to working with the mayor- elect. I've already spoken with him.
We're going to have a great need for a close partnership between federal, state and city government. We've got a lot of work to do to clean up New York and rebuild New York. And I think that he's going to be a great partner in that effort.
KARL: Well, Senator, thanks a lot for joining us, and I look forward to seeing you next week up in Capitol Hill.
CLINTON: Around the Capitol. Thanks, Jonathan.
KARL: Take care. On guard, on alert. Is President Bush's homeland defense team up to the job? We'll talk to two experts who know about the risks and preparedness. And we're looking for your questions by phone and e- mail to email@example.com.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM RIDGE, HOMELAND SECURITY DIRECTOR: We have not ruled whether this was an act of an individual or a collective act, whether it was a domestic source or a foreign source. And I think hopefully one of these days we'll be able to answer both questions.
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KARL: There's Tom Ridge, President Bush's homeland defender and a lightening rod for criticism about how the Feds have dealt with the anthrax attack.
Joining us now, two men with wide experience in security: from Dallas, the former associate deputy director of the FBI, Oliver Buck Revell. He now heads up his own security consulting firm. And here in Washington, Bill Daley of Control Risks Group, also an FBI veteran.
So, Buck Revell, I want to start with you. You've heard Tom Ridge saying, hopefully one of these days we will find out who was behind this anthrax attack. What are the prospects?
OLIVER BUCK REVELL, FORMER FBI DEPUTY DIRECTOR: Well, I think eventually the case will be solved, but of course it's not going to be solved in 30 minutes or 60 minutes to meet some TV template.
This is a very difficult situation. The forensic evidence has not revealed the perpetrator, so you have to look well beyond that. There's an absolutely extensive investigation going on -- FBI, postal inspectors, local authorities.
But until there is a break in the case, you cannot eliminate any of the possible perpetrators, which would include both domestic and foreign, both individuals and groups.
KARL: OK, but, Bill Daley, maybe not in 30 minutes or 60 minutes, but now we have the psychological profile that's been put out by the FBI saying this may be a loner, an angry loner. Sounds a little bit like the Unabomber. I mean, we never did find the Unabomber. He was turned in by his brother.
What do you think?
WILLIAM DALEY, FORMER FBI AGENT: Well, I do think -- and just building on what Buck said, is that this is something that's going to look at collateral information, collateral evidence, if you will. We're going to be looking at people who would have no interest or capability but perhaps have access to the machinery in order to be able to produce this type of anthrax. You know, it is something we've been concerned about in the intelligence and security communities, that we have these people called ad-hoc terrorists, the loners or the small groups, those that are not really on anyone's radar screen or connected to a larger group so they become much more difficult to ferret out.
But I do believe that, in the end, we will identify who this is. And at least for now, it looks as though we don't have any new cases.
KARL: And we don't even have a sense of whether or not this is domestic or international, or if it's tied at all to -- they say now it's perhaps not tied to September 11.
DALEY: Yes, exactly. I mean, I think this may have been an opportunistic person or persons if we look at, you know, the fact it could be some domestic, you know, small group or individual involved and not connected with al Qaeda or any other international terrorist organizations.
KARL: Now, Buck Revell, you saw the attorney general is now saying that what he wants to do is to be able to listen in to the conversations between suspects that are in custody and their lawyers, kind of breaking down attorney-client privilege.
As a practical matter, how much would this help possibly a case like this anthrax case or for dealing with future terrorist attacks? Is this a powerful new tool, is it significant?
REVELL: I think it's a very disconcerting situation. I frankly am concerned about it. We cannot break down our basic civil liberties in this process. Certainly, if you are monitoring, there won't be any information exchanged, and that may be the price we have to pay in this circumstance. But I think we ought to look at this long and hard as far as any precedent is concerned.
KARL: OK. Well, Buck Revell, Bill Daley, stay with us.
We'll be back in just a moment.
KARL: Let's take a quick look at the stories making news at this hour.
President Bush today urged world leaders to join the war on terrorism. In a speech before the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the president said, "Time for action has now arrived" and that threat of global terrorism is global.
Mr. Bush is planning to meet today with president of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf, who has given his support to the U.S.-led coalition despite protests at home.
In Afghanistan, the opposition Northern Alliance claims that 90 Taliban fighters were killed in a decisive battle for Mazar-e Sharif. The Taliban admit losing the strategic town. Taliban sources tell CNN, U.S. planes were dropping fuel air bombs on their positions near Mazar-e Sharif, producing huge explosions.
French police have detained five people in connection with a suspected plot to attack the Strasbourg Cathedral. The five are believed to be members of Osama bin Laden's terrorist network. French radio says that when they were taken into custody, police found documents in their possession pointing to a terrorist plot against targets in Strasbourg, including the cathedral.
Meanwhile, the FBI has released a profile of the person who likely wrote the three anthrax-tainted letters. Authorities are hoping to get tips from the public. FBI officials say the person is probably a man, a loner, who may be at work in a lab, a person who doesn't like direct confrontation and someone who knows the Trenton, New Jersey, area.
The USS Enterprise is now back at port in Norfolk, Virginia, following nearly seven months at sea. The aircraft carrier was the first to report for combat duty in the war in Afghanistan. Its mission at sea was extended after the events of September 11. More than 5,000 crew members were on board.
All right, and we're talking about homeland defense and the balance between public panic and public alert with Buck Revell and Bill Daley.
Now, Mr. Daley, we had heard today in the paper -- you probably saw in The Washington Post -- a story about how most of the rank and file in the FBI were against the latest terrorism alert issued by the FBI director and the attorney general. Does that surprise you?
DALEY: Well, I mean, I'm a bit surprised that we're hearing some dissension, but I guess the biggest concern that certainly we have and we have in the private sector, is not only just whether or not these alerts should come out but, if they do come out and the government qualifies as being credible, is that we need to have a single mouthpiece.
In the past few days I've been meeting with several hundred of corporate security executives that are concerned that we're not just getting the message from one place. We're getting it from the governor of California, we're getting it from the attorney general, we're getting it from Tom Ridge.
You know, who speaks for what, and are they all on the same level of credibility? There are some issues here that really need to be decided on going forward.
KARL: And, Mr. Revell, you have been in the middle of investigations like this, not of this scope...
KARL: ... but major investigations. Knowing what you know, where would you think you would have been about issuing this kind of broad public alert, warning about a terrorist attack without any indication of where or when or how?
REVELL: Well, I think the first FBI warning was absolutely necessary because there was a large number of credible bits of information being brought together, collated, analyzed and indicating that a terrorist attack was apparently imminent.
I think the latter one that was issued by the attorney general didn't add anything to it, and perhaps started discrediting the alert process.
And certainly the attorney general, Bob Mueller, Governor Ridge, have to look carefully at overusing this warning system. And it needs to be certainly used, but if it's not specific, it really doesn't add anything except confusion.
So they've got to work it out. Their intentions are good. Certainly one of the criticisms in the past has been that the government withheld information. I know of no instance where that occurred, where we had any specific information.
But they need to work it out so that there is in fact, if not a single voice, at least a unified message.
KARL: OK, I think we have a phone call now from California.
Phone call; caller, are you there?
CALLER: Yes. The question is, why don't we use biometric ID cards to verify the identity of employees and passengers and, for that matter, all citizens, to increase security and prevent fraud?
KARL: OK, well, Mr. Daley, maybe you can help me. Biometic ID card, what exactly is that?
DALEY: Well, a biometric ID card would be taking something that aligns a finger print or something else you carry with you. There's retina scan. There are several other techniques that are out there where you combine a card with an identity of a person, so you truly have that person's identity. Sometimes it's hand geometry.
These are technologies that have been used to a limited degree in the private sector and with the government as far as access control into buildings.
It does have some applicability going forward for screening people, whether it's coming into the country, when they come through Customs and Immigration or even gaining access into sensitive areas like places in the airport.
So it's a good question. I think it's something that takes a while to be implemented because you're talking about...
KARL: Expensive, too, I imagine. How much would it cost to do this as part of a national ID card? DALEY: It'd be difficult to say what it takes to do a national ID, but we're talking, you know, in the tens if not, probably, hundreds of millions to be able to get this to a point at which you could use it on a national basis.
But it's legitimate technology, but these things do take a long time. These are major capital investments and take a while to actually come to fruition.
KARL: Well, Mr. Revell, also we saw yesterday the attorney general talking about restructuring the FBI, really changing the way it operates so it's focused primarily on terrorism or more on terrorism. What else do we need to be thinking about in terms of fundamentally changing the way law enforcement works in light of this new war on terrorism?
REVELL: Well, first, I believe that the movement toward prevention is absolutely essential. One of the things that has been very disconcerting to me was that we had a situation a couple of months ago where there was a request to search a laptop, and it was turned down. Well, in a situation where you're mode has to be to prevent, you go forward, and then if you cannot use the evidence, at least you prevent.
And I think that it has been too much geared toward litigation rather than prevention. And I'm very glad to see it moving forward to the prevention mode.
I think we're going to have to do something about the whole federal law enforcement structure. We've got 140 different agencies. No one is in charge; no one is in control. There is no central strategy and so forth. I think we have to look at issues of mission, of strategy and of organization, because, after all, law enforcement now, in particularly in dealing with terrorism, organized crime and drugs at the federal level, you have to have at least a strategy and a unified mission.
KARL: And Tom Ridge had put out that flow chart of all the various organizations that are involved in homeland defense questions. How is he doing? Has he acted in bold enough strokes? He's obviously started to come under some criticism, at least up on Capitol Hill.
REVELL: Well, criticism is going to come with the job, and it's certainly to be expected. He's dealing with a situation where you have agencies that are statutorily created, which have budgets that are approved by Congress, which have legal authorities that transcend even the authority of the president, and he's trying to move them by persuasion and by coordinating activities.
And I think he's doing a very credible job. He's a very good man. It's just that it's a new circumstance, a new situation, and it's going to take a little while to get it set.
KARL: Is Ridge that one spokesperson? Is that who should be playing that role that you talked about?
DALEY: I think, naturally, it seems to be suggested that, as being leader of homeland security, he should be communicating to us.
You know, this is one of these issues that's difficult. It takes on some political issues, you know, as far as posturing of the agencies and people.
But I think right now what we've been told as far as what Ridge's responsibility is, it would seem to be naturally that here, at least domestically, that he be that mouthpiece, that he communicate to all of us these credible threats.
KARL: Now, Buck Revell, back to the anthrax question, and the thought now this is a loner, it's somebody who is operating on his own.
What did we learn from that Unabomber investigation? That was one of the most extensive, longest investigations in FBI history. What did we learn by our failure to -- by the FBI's failure to get a hold of Ted Kaczynski until his brother turned him in?
REVELL: Well, remember, his brother turning him in was part of the ultimate investigative strategy.
But what we learned is that you cannot rely entirely on profiles. Profiles are the collection of information that is, by its very nature, inexact and certainly not comprehensive. Profiles are investigative tools, and they are to help investigators focus. But they are not evidence, and they are certainly not definitive.
In this situation, there has been collected -- information has been collected from the notes, from the letters, from the handwriting, from the modus operandi, and they've come up with this hypothesis of who might be involved. But they cannot limit their investigation to only individuals who would match that profile.
That was one of the mistakes that was made early on in the Unabomber case. Ultimately, we had six different profiles on Unabomber, and the determination to release the profile -- I'm sorry, to release the manifesto led to the brother's identification. And I think that was the wise thing to do.
But we cannot simply rely on a profile. What the profile is meant to do is, hopefully the public will have noticed an individual who has several of these points and might call that information forward. But it's not evidentiary, and it's certainly not all- inclusive.
KARL: Bill Daley, we only have a few more seconds. But knowing what you know -- and obviously you don't know all the classified information here -- but does that profile of the angry, opportunistic loner ring true to you? Does that make some sense, kind of intuitive sense to you?
DALEY: Well, you know, looking at some of the -- and I'm not -- but some people obviously who are very skilled in this have looked at these letters. But, you know, there's words that are used in -- you know, if people use a lot of times, you know, the "we" many times in letters, you know, it's strongly suggesting that maybe there's not a "we" but it's a "me." There's some things in there that seem to indicate they're on the right track.
But again, as Buck said, these are general parameters, these are general profiles, but at least what it does is start to suggest to us that we're dealing with perhaps an individual here in the U.S. or someone that's not connected with a larger terrorist organization.
It takes a while, these things. These are not 60-minute melodramas or a miniseries. It takes a while. And in some cases, like the World Trade Center bombing, within a few days we had an (inaudible) and we identified suspects. Sometimes we're not that fortunate, but a lot of times, by putting information out to the public, it certainly helps the investigation. And I think that will be of assistance here as well.
KARL: All right. Well, Bill Daley, Buck Revell, I thank you both for joining us.
And from homeland defense to airline security. Congress has deadlocked on how to make it safe to fly. Up next, two congressmen, both central players in the debate, square off.
We want to hear from you. Send your e-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDRA HUGHES, AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION: We are seeing an increase in travel. But I definitely think that the increase would be much more dramatic if we could get some legislation passed that would make Americans feel there is consistency from airport to airport and that there are measures in place to make sure that there's as much security as possible.
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KARL: Well, we have agreement that air travel should be safer, but Congress is tied in a knot on how to make that happen.
Joining us to talk about that: New Jersey Democratic Congressman Robert Menendez, who is in New York, and Missouri Republican Congressman Roy Blunt, here in Washington.
Congressman Blunt, you have been the president's point man, one of them, on this issue.
He has now made the step of putting more National Guard troops at the airports. Is this a sign that the president does not expect this to get done by Thanksgiving?
REP. ROY BLUNT (R), MONTANA: Well, I think it's a sign that no matter what we did, it wouldn't be in place by Thanksgiving. You know, it was a false part of the argument that whatever we did on the House floor or on the Senate floor, might make travel safer by Thanksgiving or even Christmas.
No matter which direction we go, we're talking about a huge change in the way we deal with airport security. Everybody wants federal rules and regulations, federal supervision for the first time ever. That wasn't going to happen in two or three weeks.
And so, the president's decision this week, to announce what we'd be doing in the near future, and also to say that the secretary of transportation was going to start looking at the common parts of both the House and Senate bill, both approaches, and begin to get as much under way as possible so that the day we have a bill on his desk they've got a running head-start, is exactly what the president ought to be doing.
Hopefully, by sometime after the first of year, we'll see a substantial new plan in place in airports all across America.
KARL: Congressman Menendez, isn't that a good point? We've had all of this talk about "We've got to get this done by Thanksgiving." But this is a massive bill.
I mean, just even putting aside the question of the screeners, would anything really be in effect even if you passed it immediately? Would anything be in effect by Thanksgiving?
REP. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: Well, we've lost two months. It took us two days to bail out the airline industry. It's two months and we still don't have an airport security bill. And I think a lot of elements would have gone forth dramatically, that would have been helpful. Maybe not all of it, but it certainly would have been dramatically helpful.
And, you know, the question here at the core is when the nation's security is at stake, it is the federal government who is responsible for making sure that its citizens are protected, not some private screener with the lowest possible bid.
And in essence, what I think we need here, and why we have had a debate, which is unfortunate, is that we need federal law enforcement agents who are in essence screening at the airports, where we're more likely to get the cooperation of federal agencies with the intelligence-sharing of information that we need to make this work an even more effective system.
And, you know, if it's good enough for the Capitol to have federal law enforcement officers to protect it, if it's good enough for us to protect the borders of the United States with the Border Patrol and the Coast Guard -- they're all federal officers -- it certainly, I believe, is important in what is an arterial vein of this nation's commerce, which is the airline industry, and the importance to us as a country, to have federal officers providing the screening and giving that sense to Americans that they truly are safe.
I respect the president sending out National Guard troops, but I got to be honest with you, as someone who's been flying, those National Guard troops are standing by. And, yes, if there's an incident as you pass through the screening machine, they'll be of help. But they're not providing any screening protection in the process.
BLUNT: Well, I think, Jonathan, what we're looking for here is really the very best possible system. And I don't think it's unfortunate we've had a debate. We're talking about the federal government, for the first time in 30 years, taking responsibility for airport security. We should have a debate, we should have a discussion.
We should find the very best system in the world and what's worked the most effectively. I think the House proposal did that. It also went well beyond the Senate proposal, because we created responsibility for transportation security, not just airport security. And we have watched the transportation challenges.
You know, in Israel, in 15 European countries, they essentially had the Senate plan in the mid-'70s. By the decade of the '90s they had all gone to what turned out to be the president's plan, which is a combination of federal government responsibility and private-sector, performance-standard-based flexibility. At federal courthouses all over America, in our nuclear facilities, we have that combination that we've talked about.
MENENDEZ: Well, Roy, let me just tell you, yes, maybe this is the first time in 30 years that we're talking about federalizing the airport security, but September 11 happened. And it didn't happen in the last 30 years, thank God. And the reality is, we live in a different world.
And the fact of the matter is -- you refer to the Europeans. Well, just in the last couple of weeks over in England, you saw all of the breakdown of the security apparatus, people getting through with weapons. That certainly isn't a good example for us here at home.
You even saw the system very recently, over in Chicago, in the last week where a man gets through with over seven or eight knives. He gets through with a stun gun.
I mean, this is the same system. We just can't put a shield and a uniform on these people and now say, "You're federalized," and have the same system that didn't serve us well on September 11 and still doesn't serve us well today when the glare of the public spotlight is on us.
BLUNT: And, Bob, nobody is suggesting that. Nobody is suggesting the same system. The idea that anybody is for the status quo is just absolutely wrong.
And, you know, we have this Customs service, the Immigration service that you and I both would have concerns about. That person who was arrested in Chicago got here through the totally federal system of the Immigration service. We can change that, we can have a better system. You know, do you want the Immigration service or the people who run...
MENENDEZ: Are you ready to privatize the Capitol Police?
KARL: Let me jump in for one second, because we do have a phone call.
And, phone caller, are you there?
KARL: Where are you from?
KARL: Minnesota. What's your question?
CALLER: Well, first of all, I would like to agree that we do need to keep private sector in the security part of the airport because after last Wednesday they've already made changes to their personnel and it would take the federal government six months to change things.
My question to you is, what do you think about having stewardesses involved, not just giving stun guns to pilots, but having stewardesses involved in some kind of airline security, since that's where the problem is, inside the airplane there, with the public people?
KARL: And I imagine the flight attendants will be getting some added training on this.
BLUNT: Well, certainly I would think they should have added training, but I think the sky marshals plan is a much better thing even than the pilots being armed. I think pilots being armed as a last defense as they're making an effort to get that plane on the ground is fine.
But I think that we need to -- before people get on the plane, and then have sky marshals on the plane, I think we'll solve the problem with commercial air transportation, I really think that we're just as likely to have problems on the ground or at ports as well as airports, on railways as well as highways.
We've created a new deputy secretary of transportation for security in our proposal, the president's plan, that addresses all of these issues much better than the plan we're trying to negotiate with the Senate in the conference.
KARL: Now, Congressman Menendez, the caller also referred to the changes that were made by the security company Argenbright, the largest security company and the most criticized. They have announced they are firing their CEO and making wholesale changes.
Are you satisfied that that is a step in the right direction?
MENENDEZ: Argenbright has had million-dollar -- I believe they're one of the companies with the million-dollar fine against them. They've had plenty of opportunities. They have the glare of this national, international spotlight on them. They continue to fail.
The bottom line is, the same system that continues to fail us, that failed us on September 11, that continues to fail us today -- they keep saying they're going to make changes. At the end of the day, they find themselves with these security breaches. And that's why we simply cannot accept that.
I mean, they've had fines. They then go back to a system in which they are lax. I certainly don't see anything that, when I travel, gives me a sense of comfort as I travel. I travel because I want to make a statement, and I also believe the airline industry is an important part of our commerce. But I got to tell you, those private security entities at the airport, they give me no sense of security whatsoever. Everything I read about incidents across the country give me no sense of security.
And they haven't done anything in two months to stop that and to give the people of this country the sense of security they need. And that's why we need to federalize this system.
KARL: OK. We have to take a very quick break. Congressman Blunt, Congressman Menendez, please stand by.
When we return, your phone calls and e-mail question on air travel security.
KARL: Welcome back.
We're talking about aviation security with Republican Congressman Roy Blunt of Missouri and Democratic Congressman Robert Menendez of New Jersey.
Now we've got an e-mail coming in. Let's pose this to you: "Why isn't anyone asking us, the public, what would make us feel more secure and get us flying again?"
And here is this e-mailer's idea: "Have the National Guard completely take over the airports and leave the flying to private industry would really instill confidence in the flying public." That's John (ph) from New York.
So, get the National Guard into the airport business?
BLUNT: Well, you know, I think it's the same as asking highly trained law enforcement professionals to do every single thing that has to be done at the airport. I think that's a mistake. I think turning this over to the military, including the National Guard, would be a bad use of those resources in the long run.
The bottom line is that nobody is for the system we have now. And the privatized part of this system, based on performance standards, would for the first time be done with companies that were certified by the secretary of transportation with employees that were certified, and a much different level of employee that we've seen out there now and better compensated. And you know, people will begin to see a career in this whole area of airport security, instead of the only job that you might be able to get under the old system.
Nobody is for the old system.
KARL: And, Congressman Menendez, you talk about -- many Democrats and Republican talk about, you know, putting the federal government in charge of the screening.
Why are federal employees, why are government seem to be the magic solution here? I mean, sometimes you could think of the Secret Service or the Capitol Police, but you could also think of going to the Department of Motor Vehicles. I mean, government employees don't necessarily mean a magic solution here, do they?
MENENDEZ: Well, we're talking about security. We're talking about a law enforcement. We're talking about lives. And we're talking about the nation's security at stake. That's a big difference.
And I would simply say that, you know, the highly trained Capitol Police screen you when you walk into the Capitol. Yet we don't say that that's a diminished role.
So it's good for members of Congress to want highly trained law enforcement entities to screen the people who come into the Capitol, but it's not good for the nation's airline industry, where we travel -- hundreds of people on each given plane, thousands across the system.
And after we saw what happened on September 11, thousands lost their lives; $20 billion reconstruction in New York City. I think we're being penny-wise and pound-foolish when we say privatize.
And lastly, to say that we're going to have standards -- we have standards. The FAA has standards. And let me tell you what these companies do. They violate the standards, they get fined, and it's the cost of doing business. And we saw that with a million-dollar fine that didn't change anything in the system.
So when we talk about a federal law enforcement officer, we're talking about a highly trained, highly qualified, a person...
KARL: Congressman Menendez...
MENENDEZ: ... who has gone through all of the necessary background checks, and finally someone who has the keen eye to make sure that we're safe.
KARL: We're really out of time for this segment. Ten seconds to respond, though, Congressman.
BLUNT: Well, the plan that we proposed, the president proposes, has a federal person at every screening facility in America, every gate. That's the person in charge. Other people on a bid basis, on a performance-standard basis, are doing that particular work. But there is a federal official every where under the president's proposal. I think that's the job that needs to be done. It's worked in other countries.
I don't know why -- we want the safest best system. The facts indicate that every other country has decided the best system is the president's proposal.
KARL: Congressman Blunt, Congressman Menendez, good luck working this out next week. It's not going to be easy.
Straight ahead, an update of the news of the day. Plus, we'll talk about how terrorism has hit the U.S. economy. Also, the latest on the war in Afghanistan, as CNN's coverage of AMERICA'S NEW WAR continues.
KARL: Welcome back.
We're joined by two members of the U.S. Senate and, by the way, also two former governors: Democrat Evan Bayh of Indiana and Republican George Allen of Virginia.
I want to get right to the question of the economy and direct this one at you, Governor Allen.
The chairman of the Ways and Means Committee in the House sent a letter to Tom Daschle this week, saying -- I want to quote this -- "At this moment, the greatest obstacle to a strong economy is the U.S. Senate." And he went on to say that, for the sake of the United States, "I implore you," Senator Daschle, "to lead the Senate or step aside."
You're a member of the United States Senate. This is not some back-bencher talking -- the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. Is the U.S. Senate now the greatest obstacle to a strong U.S. economy?
SEN. GEORGE ALLEN (R), VIRGINIA: Well, that may be strong words. I think that we'll be voting on this this week. I think it's going to be a free-for-all.
In my view, we need to stimulate our economy. I think that, first, we need to agree on a definition. And I think an economic stimulus package ought to induce businesses and individuals to buy products or buy services that they would not do but for the change or the incentives or tax cuts that are made available by this effort.
And I think that the only place where I see much agreement right now is in the acceleration of depreciation, which I think would be good for anybody buying some equipment or some product in the short term.
Other than that, there's not much stimulus in what the Democrat Senate plan will be, but I think we'll have a nice debate on the Senate floor and maybe we'll find some common ground. But start acting and start making decisions now.
KARL: But the larger question here is also one of civility as we try to go through this. The Democrats rammed through their plan through the Finance Committee, party-line vote, just like the Republicans rammed their plan through the House.
Where are we going on this? Are we actually, really going to see this get done this year?
SEN. EVAN BAYH (D), INDIANA: Oh, I'm still an optimist, Jonathan. I think we will get it done. And I hate to see partisanship rearing its ugly head again, but I think we'll work our way through this. A lot of this is initial negotiating positions, as you know, which will ultimately get reconciled in a conference committee.
I think we'll pass a stimulus plan. And I hope it will focus on short-term stimulus, particularly dealing with the question of demand. We just don't -- businesses have enough capacity, there's just not enough people out there buying their goods and services. So we need to get the money into the hands of the people who will actually spend it and give it to businesses in a way where they'll actually invest it in the short term.
That, and combined, Jonathan, in the long run with fiscal discipline. We really do not want to fall back in the habit of structural deficits, higher interest rates and imperiling Social Security.
So, short-term stimulus, long-term fiscal responsibility. I think eventually we'll get there.
KARL: And part of the plan here is, of course, Senator Byrd's $20 billion plan for homeland defense. He says if you want to stimulate the economy, you've got to make sure people are confident and feel safe. Is that going anywhere?
ALLEN: I think they'll have a hard time getting anywhere, to be honest with you. If you even try to put that into what Senator Bayh, Evan, just said, that doesn't really fit into that definition.
KARL: Well, does it? I mean, is that fiscal responsibility, $20 billion in spending tacked on to what the Finance Committee did?
BAYH: Well, the president has said he'd veto it. I think some of it probably is necessary. The question is, all of it?
And as I said, a lot of this is initial negotiating positions that will get compromised later in the course of reaching a final agreement, and I'd look at it in that spirit.
KARL: And you've been the president's point man on this, Senator Allen. How important was his veto threat? ALLEN: I think it's important. It's part of what an executive needs to do to tell the legislative branches, the House and Senate, and Republicans and Democrats haggle through all this, what his bottom line will be. And I think it's important for an executive, when there are all these different points of view, to give his perspective on it.
But what I see right now is that there's a pretty large chasm, as far as what tax cuts ought to be put into place to spur consumer or business investment and spending.
The parts that I'm carrying for the president have to do with worker assistance, whether it's unemployment benefits or especially the issue of health care, which is a big concern for people -- to make sure that if somebody in their family gets sick, it's covered by health insurance.
And I think the president's plan, which I'm carrying along with others in the Republican Party, is a good idea.
And I think we really ought to be able to come together on that aspect of it. The tax aspects are going to be a lot of philosophical economic differences.
BAYH: Well, there are points of agreement out there. I think both sides agree on helping those individuals only pay payroll taxes, who didn't get any benefit from the tax cut that went into effect earlier this year.
KARL: That's in both plans?
BAYH: That's in both plans.
Both plans have accelerated depreciation somewhat different. The Democratic plan has one year, which I happen to think makes more sense. The other has three years. Well, in this climate of uncertainty, if you can wait three years to decline the depreciation and make the investment, you might do that. I think we want them to make the investment now to get this economy going today.
ALLEN: Let me...
BAYH: At least on the concept there's agreement.
ALLEN: Right. I thought the same way on that as -- make it for one year to induce those businesses to make those investments.
Now, there are some businesses, say a railroad company that may want to buy locomotive, some of those take more than a year to buy them.
And so, maybe we'll agree on two years. That's an easy one to -- three and two, and increase the amount of depreciation to make the inducement all the more attractive.
KARL: Well, we haven't exactly heard the debate on these terms. I mean, you saw the Republicans talking about the kind of pork-barrel spending that they think -- or pork-barrel tax breaks that are in the Democratic plan for things like cauliflower and blueberries and chicken waste, which Daschle defended.
I mean, would you be able to -- I imagine you'd vote for the Democratic plan, but are you very high on it?
BAYH: Well, you have to look at the different components, Jonathan. We've got the stimulus plan and then the spending homeland security part that you mentioned that Senator Byrd is championing.
I happen to think that the Democrat -- and I hate to talk in terms of Democrat-Republican here. It sounds like we're breaking out into partisanship again. But I do think the plan that has been put forward by the Senate Finance Committee gets most of the money into the hands of the people who are most likely to spend it today, to get demand up, to get this economy going. And it focuses on business tax cuts and incentives that are most likely to get the business community investing and spending today.
In the long run, it costs about half of what the other plan costs, so it's more fiscally responsible in the long run, which I think also is the right way to go.
KARL: Now I want to switch topics, but...
ALLEN: In all due respect, just for our point of view on that...
KARL: A couple seconds.
ALLEN: ... is there's more spending on that, and really the tax cuts are not sufficient to induce consumer spending or business investment.
KARL: And I imagine if Evan Bayh had written the Democratic plan, it would have been slightly different.
BAYH: We're both former governors who had to balance budgets. We've had to...
KARL: I do want to move on and get in touch on the latest developments. And we'll come back and switch topics.
Checking in on some of those latest developments, President Bush attempts to rally members of the United Nations behind America's new war, the war on terrorism. He told the U.N. General Assembly that the time for talk is now over.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: In this war of terror, each of us must answer for what we have done or what we have left undone.
After tragedy, there is a time for sympathy and condolence, and my country has been very grateful for both. The memorials and vigils around the world will not be forgotten.
But the time for sympathy has now passed. The time for action has now arrived.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARL: Mr. Bush plans to meet with Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf later today, but not with Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat.
Taliban officials confirm the city of Mazar-e Sharif is now in the hands of the Northern Alliance. The city is an important point on the northern supply route, and it could be a major blow to the Taliban. The Taliban say their forces withdrew for, quote, "strategic reasons."
Now back to the senators.
You know, we have an interesting story in the New York Times today. Since the president is at the U.N., the Iranian government, making statements to an interview to the New York Times, saying essentially that they're are open to the possibility of recognizing Israel, and they were very critical of Osama bin Laden, of the al Qaeda network.
What do you think is the significance of what's going on Iran?
BAYH: Well, it is significant, Jonathan, for the long term, because trying to get Iran to change their behavior in terms of supporting terrorists groups and pursuing weapons of mass destruction is very much in the interest of the United States.
Now, they have had a hostile relationship with the Taliban for many, many years for a variety reasons. So that comes as no surprise.
But their willingness to come back into the community of nations and to hopefully not support Hezbollah the way they have been. They've got a very aggressive program of pursing weapons of mass destruction. If they're willing to tone that down, give that up, that would be very significant.
KARL: Now, in Iran, we have seen these protests, public protests, actually pro-American protests, and also apparently protest after almost every soccer game that we see in Iran, that are seen to have a political implication.
Some have suggested that Iran may be on the verge of another revolution, but a more democratic revolution.
BAYH: Well, it's an interesting situation in Iran today. The popularly elected president is much more moderate; got over 70 percent of the vote in each of the last two elections. But the religious clerics still control the security apparatus, the military, the police, many other parts of the governing structure.
So there's a great groundswell of public support for a more moderate in Iran, but the clerics are still there holding them back. And eventually, they're going to have to work that out. The tide of history, though, is in our favor.
KARL: OK, I want to take an e-mail and, again, switch back to the domestic front with this question.
We'll direct this to you, Senator Allen.
This question from Joe in Illinois -- actually a statement. We'll get you to react. "I think the first thing they need to do," Congress, "to stimulate the economy is to federalize the airport security and charge the airlines for it. This will give the public more willingness to travel, which will help stimulate the economy."
Senator, you actually voted for federalizing the screening at the airports, but are we going anywhere?
ALLEN: I think we're going to get somewhere on it. I think the negotiations are very tough. There are those of us -- and the Senate voted 100 to nothing on the aviation security measure, because we all agree it needs to be done.
I personally prefer the House version, which gives -- and I agree with President Bush that we ought to be giving the president and transportation folks, justice people, the flexibility if they so desire, not to have every single one of the baggage screeners a federal government employee.
That is just a small part of a very good bill, which number one, secures the cockpits. It's absolutely essential that the cockpits are as a safe as a vault. And that's the key thing to make sure airlines never get commandeered again into a weapon.
The other thing that's important is the sky marshals, and also the higher standards, tighter standards and scrutiny of luggage and passengers.
The one question is whether they all have to be federal government employees. Personally, I don't think they need to be. I think there ought to be federal oversight. There can be marshals there and so forth overseeing them.
But in the end, that's not going to be a deal-breaker for me. I'm going to vote for the conference report, because I think, whether it's Joe in Illinois or Sam in South Dakota, I think it's very important that we increase the security on the airlines and aviation to give greater credibility to passengers and those flying, because that's an important component of our economy.
Plus, we're getting into the holiday season when a lot of folks travel. So let's get folks moving with greater safety.
KARL: Well, another e-mail, this one from Anton (ph) in Oaks, Pennsylvania. He says, "It seems to me the harsh debate over important differences in legislation produce better law. So why are people unhappy about partisan differences?"
And in fact, Senator Bayh, I mean, we've seen really a toned down partisanship since September 11. But that is all gone. That was a very partisan week up on Capitol Hill. Is that all right? I mean, these are serious issues.
BAYH: Well, in a democracy, I hope it's possible to have differences of opinion but express them civilly and still, at the end of the day, get things done.
I would take one issue with the caller's comments. The strident partisanship that prevailed here over the last several years, very often led to no -- led to nothing, led to gridlock.
And in an atmosphere of national crisis, when we have to secure the airlines, when we have to get on with prosecuting the war, stimulate the economy, put into place a meaningful economic strategy, gridlock won't do.
And we have to have people who are willing to find those areas that we can agree on, get that done, and then compromise on those other areas where there are still outstanding differences of opinion.
Rigid ideology, Jonathan, isn't going to get our country anywhere at this moment in time.
KARL: Now let's move from the domestic front to the war front.
Senator Allen, there was some pretty harsh criticism this week of the commanding General Franks and how the operation in Afghanistan is going, some saying it's been unimaginative, it's been slow, wondering why there has only been one commando raid apparently so far.
How do you think things are going? We have some progress today with the news from Afghanistan. But how do you think things are going?
ALLEN: I think things are going very well. We also have great support from our European allies. The French, the Germans, the British all want to put boots on the ground, not just the United States.
We have also indications that Turkey wants to assist, which is a very important aspect not just militarily but diplomatically, because they are a predominantly Muslim country.
Things are moving forward. We've had briefings, Evan and I, top- secret briefings as to how it's going. I think it is going very well.
One of the critics, though, in that article that I read was that there were comparing Colin Powell's day and General Schwarzkopf. Well, maybe this particular commanding officer isn't as media savvy, but that's the point.
KARL: Right, and it's certainly a different war.
ALLEN: That's the point. These are generals; they're not PR men. KARL: Senator Bayh, you're in the Intelligence Committee. We saw today at the U.N., the president seemed to be preparing the world for the reality of this is going to go beyond Afghanistan at some point. You've talked about the need to go after Iraq. I mean, where are we next? And how soon are we to seeing another theater in this war?
BAYH: I think we're going to take this one step at a time, Jonathan. First deal with bin Laden and al Qaeda, the people who attacked us. Remove them, make sure they're not a threat to us. Stabilize Afghanistan so the Taliban is not there harboring terrorists.
And then we're going to face in the intermediate term the critical question of what about other nation-states that harbor terrorists like al Qaeda and like bin Laden -- Iraq.
I personally think that we should seize that moment to remove Saddam Hussein if at all possible because I would predict, if we do not, we're going to have to deal with him somewhere down the road where he'll be even more dangerous and perhaps the world will not have been as motivated and unified as we are today to do something about this terrorist threat.
KARL: Now, you had talked in the past about how you suspected that the anthrax that was in Daschle's letter had a -- you know, was tied to al Qaeda in some way or was tied perhaps to Iraq or perhaps to the old Russian spies, but international was your hunch.
We are seeing now that the analysis of the letters, some of the FBI profiles are saying this looks to be a domestic situation not tied to September 11.
You're getting as good a briefings as anybody. What do you think? Do you think that we really know anything about this? Do we know this is a domestic source, or are we still at square one?
BAYH: Jonathan, I hate to come on your show and say "I don't know," but frankly, we don't know. We're continuing to follow leads, and we're going to have to continue that work until it leads us to the ultimate source.
But whether this particular incident was linked to Iraq or not, I still think you have got Hussein out there, weapons of mass destruction, harboring terrorists. He's going to be a threat to our country long-term, regardless of whether this particular anthrax episode can be directly linked to him. We have to confront that sooner or later. I suggest we do it now while we're at our strongest point.
KARL: So here's a Democrat we can count on supporting the president as he expands, if he does expand, the war.
I want to thank you, former Governor and Senator Bayh, former Governor and Senator Allen. Thank you very much for coming in on this Saturday and joining us. ALLEN: My pleasure. Take care.
BAYH: Thank you, Jonathan.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
KOFI ANNAN, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: ... greater cohesion and commitment. Indeed, I'm...
KARL: And there we have from New York, live pictures from the U.N. Kofi Annan talking, the president there as well.
All right, we are moving on. We've got with us -- joining us from Chicago, Professor John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago. He is the author of Tragedy -- "The Tragedy of Great Power Politics." And here in Washington, a familiar face, CNN military analyst General David Grange, U.S. Army retired. General Grange served as an Army Ranger and as a Green Beret.
I want to start with you, with a couple questions General Grange. We saw some very harsh criticism this week of General Franks and how the war is progressing in Afghanistan. We saw one former Special Operations person call his approach unimaginative and timid. Why are we seeing all this carping right now?
GEN. DAVID GRANGE (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, I don't think that's fair to say. Part of the delay in what people expect, maybe, in how this war is moving along has to do with, one, the buildup of logistics in order to support a fight, not only for the coalition forces, but also for the Northern Alliance. This is a band of tribes trying to be brought together in a cohesive manner, shifting from a defensive type of operation to an offensive operation.
And the first significant operation that they conducted in an offensive manner was Mazar-e Sharif, and hopefully they accomplished that. It looks like they did. They have a foothold. They're in the city, and hopefully they'll be able to control it.
But I don't have the sense that we're going too slow. I mean, what is fast?
KARL: Well, one specific criticism that's been leveled -- and you are a former Special Operations person -- one of the specific criticisms is that we've only seen, apparently, one commando raid so far; not especially successful, if we believe what we've been reading.
Should we have seen a more aggressive Special Operations activity on the ground in Afghanistan?
GRANGE: All tied to intelligence. Unless you have good intelligence, it's not smart to launch a raid. And you have to have some payback, and you have to -- you do the risk-benefit analysis, and if the risk is too great for what the payoff is, you don't execute that mission. And I don't think the last commando raid was insignificant. I think psychologically it had a tremendous impact on both sides.
KARL: It was certainly impressive seeing, you know, 100 people parachuting in, with those pictures. Do you think we'll be seeing more of that?
GRANGE: If the intelligence gives us a good target, I think that you'll see the international coalition execute more, yes.
KARL: Now Professor Mearsheimer, you have written an article in the "New York Times" which I'd kind of like to get you to kind of outline your argument, saying -- and the headline here is: "Guns Won't Win the Afghan War." And you're saying that -- regardless if we could second-guess how General Franks is handling this -- but you don't think that military action is going to win this?
PROF. JOHN MEARSHEIMER, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO: ... bombing and the Northern Alliance to fight the ground war can not achieve the three objectives that we've set out. Objective No. 1 is to defeat the Taliban, to decisively defeat the Taliban. No. 2 is to crush out al Qaeda. And No. 3 is to turn Afghanistan into a stable and friendly country. And we have to do all those things to achieve our objectives. And the question is whether you can do it with bombing and the Northern Alliance.
Now, there's no question that the Northern Alliance won a significant victory yesterday, but they still have yet to defeat the Taliban. And in fact what happened there, is that because of strategic bombing, the Taliban realized that it didn't make any sense to stay and fight because they would die from American bombs. So they disbursed, they melted away.
And, of course, the Northern Alliance captured the town, and they'll surely capture more territory in Northern Afghanistan. But that will not lead to a defeat of the Taliban. The Taliban has to be tracked down and defeated; and I don't think the Northern Alliance and American air power together can do that. And if you can't get the Taliban, I don't know how you get al Qaeda either.
So I think it's hard to see how we can do that with military force.
KARL: OK, Professor Mearsheimer, let me interrupt. We have President Bush right now live, speaking at the U.N. Let's hear what he has to say.
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BUSH: ... on your receipt of this year's Nobel Peace Prize. Secretary-General, you have been the leader of the United Nations at a time it needed leadership, at a time when your strong advocacy for peace and international public health and collective security was needed so badly. You've been a strong voice for human solidarity and vigilance against violence, and Americans deeply admire your strong defense of the universality of human rights.
We've been called to fight many times in the defense of human rights, and today we're called again, because today our very civilization is threatened.
Mr. Secretary General, we appreciate your support in this great struggle. I offer you this toast. Mr. Secretary General, to the continued success of your stewardship in the United Nations, to the institution you serve so ably, and to our common search for peace and justice in the world. God bless. Salud.
KARL: President Bush offering a toast to Kofi Annan at the United Nations.
Now we just -- before the president spoke, we heard the argument by Professor Mearsheimer -- doesn't believe that guns can win this war. What do you think?
GRANGE: Well, I agree a lot with what the professor says -- a fellow Chicagoan, by the way. I think it's guns and Wheaties. It's guns and other means. It's not guns alone, but it's not just bribery or just trying to convince people through psychological efforts to go ahead and surrender or change their means.
It's a combination. And it's going to take killing people, not just from the air, but on the ground. And it's going to take people on the ground, not just the Northern Alliance, but the international coalition with the Northern Alliance.
KARL: One of the points the professor's made is that, you know, even if the Northern Alliance wins, basically what happens is the Taliban retreats and we have guerrilla warfare. And Afghanistan is a place, as we have learned, that is ideally suited for guerrilla warfare. I mean, can you ever have complete victory in that kind of an environment?
GRANGE: Yes. It's very difficult to determine what total victory looks like in this regard, and guerrilla wars are very lengthy. It takes a long time. And that's why our leaders have said, we're in this for the long haul, because it is a guerrilla war.
KARL: Now Professor Mearsheimer, in your article you pointed out quite pointedly that the Northern Alliance has not launched -- in your words here, "despite recent talk about how the Northern Alliance would capture Mazar-e Sharif and Kabul, it has launched no major offensive."
Well now we've got one major offensive, and they have gotten Mazar-e Sharif. Are you rethinking this? I mean, do you have more confidence in the Northern Alliance in light of this recent, significant victory?
MEARSHEIMER: ... in the sense that they defeated the Taliban in combat, the Taliban basically disbursed. They melted away, because the Taliban understands that if they get involved in a fight from fixed positions with the Northern Alliance and American air power, they'll get hammered very badly, mainly because of American air power.
If you look at the reported casualties, the Northern Alliance only lost four people, and the Taliban is said to have lost 90 people. The reason for that is that there was very little fighting on the ground.
It wasn't that the Northern Alliance won a great victory, it's that American air power chased the Taliban out of the northern part of Afghanistan. And I think there are going to be more victories like that.
But the point I'm making is that the Taliban will ultimately melt away, and not be defeated. And the question is: How do we defeat the Taliban? And to do that, you're going to need a southern alliance. You're going to need the Pashtuns, that large ethnic group in the southern and central part of the country, to turncoat on the Taliban and ally with the Northern Alliance and ally with the United States.
And I think that bombing makes it less likely, not more likely, that will happen. Let's hope I'm wrong. Let's hope I'm dead wrong, and that the Pashtuns turn against the Taliban. But up to now, I've seen no evidence that that's likely to happen.
KARL: All right General, I know -- I want to get you to respond to that, but we do need to take a quick break. We'll have more on the military debate with General Grange and with Professor Mearsheimer when we come back.
And right now, we have live pictures from the Washington -- pictures from this morning at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington -- the Vietnam Memorial in preparation for the Veteran's Day celebrations that will be held there tomorrow, Veteran's Day.
We'll be back in a minute.
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GENERAL PETER PACE, JOINT CHIEFS VICE-CHAIRMAN: We have taken down their air defense system. We have taken their command and control communications equipment. We have disrupted their lines of communication. We have provided support for the opposition forces on the ground.
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KARL: And from earlier this week, there was the administration's military team claiming success so far on the war on the ground in Afghanistan. We're talking to CNN's military analyst David Grange and University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer. We're also going to be taking phone calls and e-mails.
Before we get to a phone call, I wanted to get you to respond to what Professor Mearsheimer said about the air war actually being, possibly, counterproductive.
GRANGE: Yes. Two things, first of all, his comments on a southern alliance is very critical to start another front, another front besides Mazar-e Sharif and Kabul, to keep the pressure on al Qaeda and the Taliban. The other is, of course, the Pashtun have to be a part of this thing. I agree with all of that.
Now, city fighting -- actually, the Taliban are safer in the city itself in a fight than leaving the city, because air support cannot be used in that proximity on two engaging forces; not very well at least. And so, in fact, air power would be negated and they would have a better chance to fight the Northern Alliance in the city, which they chose not to.
KARL: Well on that, we've heard the reports about the Taliban, possibly al Qaeda using what we call them, civilian protection. You know, actually putting munitions in mosques or in places where there are a lot of civilians. How do we deal with that from a military perspective? I mean, when you know you have a strong military target in a mosque, what do you do?
GRANGE: Well, it's obviously a decision that's tough to make, and normally we don't make decisions to take out -- in the United States of America -- to take out religious buildings, facilities like that, schools, medical facilities. We don't do that, and so it makes it tough. And a lot of times I think we pass up targets. The United States of America and our international coalition passes up targets because of that.
KARL: But if you knew that there were key al Qaeda leaders hiding out using a mosque as protection, knowing our reluctance to hit such a target, what kind of decision is made?
GRANGE: I don't know, I haven't been in that situation. The situations I've been in, we have not taken them out.
KARL: Professor Mearsheimer, do you want to jump into this?
MEARSHEIMER: Yes, I think there's also the problem of collateral damage if you use air power against cities. I agree with General Grange that if the Taliban decides to fight in, say, Kabul, it would be very difficult for us to use air power to hit the Taliban inside that city.
It would also be very difficult for the Northern Alliance in the hand-to-hand fighting that would ensue in the city, to take that city easily.
But the $64,000 question still is: If the Northern Alliance takes Kabul in addition to Mazar-e Sharif, how does it go about, and how does the United States go about taking the rest of Afghanistan and delivering a death blow to the Taliban?
I don't see how you can do that without getting the Pashtuns on your side. And nobody has really provided a good answer as to how you can get the Pashtuns to ally with the United States and create that southern alliance that, in a sense, puts the Taliban at the center of a pincer movement that destroys them and leads us to a position where we can then destroy al Qaeda. I just don't see how we do that.
KARL: OK, I want to move now to a phone call. We have a phone call from Maryland. Caller, are you on the line?
CALLER: Yes, for General Grange.
Some of the inference in the press reports has been that General Franks has not been as accessible to the press or as politically savvy in talking to the press as General Schwarzkopf. Would you please comment on that?
GRANGE: Well, I don't know if it really matters. I think it's important that military leaders can interact properly with the press, that they establish a trusting relationship and they understand each other; and there's a balance there on what can be said and what cannot be said because of operational security and what the need of the people are -- the American people to be informed.
But it doesn't take anything away from this tactical ability to fight this war. And I think it's a little unfair.
KARL: And that was General Frank's first appearance at one of those Pentagon briefings, going over the latest on the operation in Afghanistan. Do you think that was a good move to bring him out? Because that was brought out, I would imagine, as part of the response to this criticism, that he needs to get out there and talk to the public.
GRANGE: I don't know. I would have left him in the area of operations to fight.
KARL: We'll see more of him?
GRANGE: I don't know. It's hard to say. You know, leaders are high-visibility type people, and it's going to be hard for them to keep him under wraps, nor am I saying they should. But I don't know if there's a need to bring him up there, no.
KARL: Professor Mearsheimer, last word, we only have about 10 seconds.
MEARSHEIMER: Well, I think that the key question about General Franks is how competent he is as a tactical commander, not whether he's a good public relations spokesman for the administration. And I wouldn't be too critical of him up to this point.
I don't like the basic direction that the war is going in, because I have my doubts about military power. But to the extent that the administration's employed military power up to this point, I think they've done an excellent job.
I just don't think it will work out, ultimately, to achieve our stated objectives.
KARL: Professor Mearsheimer, General Grange, thank you very much for joining us on a Saturday. I appreciate it.
Thanks for watching CNN's coverage of AMERICA'S NEW WAR. I'm Jonathan Karl in Washington. Up next: CNN PRESENTS: "Soldiers of God."
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