CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Sessions, Murphy Debate Use of Military Tribunals; Willis, Frederick Discuss U.S. Recession; Frank, Hitchens Talk About Military Efforts
Aired December 1, 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: Make no mistake about it: We got a war here just like we got a war abroad. And we have a huge responsibility, and that's to defend America while protecting our great liberties.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONATHAN KARL, HOST: The terrorism war and impacts from the cities and caves of Afghanistan to the powers of the U.S. government back home and to the sagging U.S. economy.
Our experts will debate how far Washington can go to police the homefront.
On the economic front, our experts will answer your phone calls and e-mails. Will the U.S. bounce back? And what's the outlook for your job, your pocketbook?
And from New York, the group called "the widows." How families of September 11 victims face the future, and what they say should happen at terrorism's Ground Zero.
All just ahead, in our special coverage of AMERICA'S NEW WAR.
Welcome. I'm Jonathan Karl in Washington.
Over the next two hours, we'll take a hard, fresh look at AMERICA'S NEW WAR, at home and abroad. My guests and I will tackle the issues of civil liberties, the wartime economy, the political calculus for President Bush, and whether Iraq should be the next target.
And we want to hear from you. Give us a call, or message us. Our e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a moment, a debate over how far is too far in the law enforcement attack on terrorism, with Senator Jeff Sessions, a Republican of Alabama, and Laura Murphy of the American Civil Liberties Union.
But here's a quick look at the latest developments in the war on terrorism.
The Northern Alliance now says it may know where terrorist suspect Osama bin Laden is. The Alliance's foreign minister says he believes bin Laden is in southern Afghanistan making plans for guerrilla warfare. The Alliance does not believe that bin Laden is in the remote area of Tora Bora, where some reports have indicated he may be hiding.
A regional security chief in Afghanistan says 50 Afghan civilians were killed and five others injured in overnight bombing raids near Tora Bora. Tora Bora is a remote area with extensive cave and tunnel complexes located between Jalalabad and the Afghan capital, Kabul. U.S. Central Command confirms there were overnight raids near Jalalabad but could not confirm the report of civilian casualties.
About 1,000 U.S. Marines are now deployed at a desert airbase in Afghanistan. They are awaiting their next orders.
Our Walter Rogers is a member of the journalist pool accompanying those forces in southern Afghanistan.
KARL: Sources at the site of the Afghanistan talks in Germany say the Northern Alliance has made a new proposal for an interim government. The Northern Alliance sources say the plan is for 20 to 30 representatives to run the government for about three months until a traditional Afghan council can take power.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is warning that Afghanistan remains a dangerous place despite the retreat of the Taliban. In an interview with CNN's Novak, Hunt and Shields, Rumsfeld said, beneath the surface, the Taliban is still a serious threat. You can see the entire interview with Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld later today on Novak, Hunt and Shields at 5:30 p.m. Eastern, 2:30 Pacific.
While enjoying support from congressional Democrats in the war against terrorism, President Bush is having a tougher time getting them behind his plans to revive the economy.
CNN White House correspondent Kelly Wallace is near Camp David with more.
KARL: And right now I want to go to hear what President Bush had to say to the two teams in Philadelphia at the Army-Navy game.
OK, I guess we do not have that sound. When we do, we will bring it to you.
Meanwhile, President Bush says the U.S. is both an open society and a nation at war. Just how open and free will it remain?
Helping us talk through the issues are Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, and Laura Murphy, director of the District of Columbia National Office of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Senator Sessions, right to you, the president has been taking some heat from his friends on the right about his approach to the war on terrorism, including conservative columnist Bill Safire. He said the president is seizing "dictatorial powers."
What do you say to somebody like Safire?
SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: Well, I think Bill Safire missed this a good bit, frankly. I think his column meets that standard of a bit hysterical.
The president's proposal is consistent with the Supreme Court rulings in this country. It's consistent with historical precedent and legal and constitutional precedent.
It's not going to be taking over the prosecution of aliens in our country, or certainly no citizen's will be covered by it. Only people who are directly connected to terrorist activities would be tried in this fashion.
And I believe it's the right approach. I think he started out carefully. And at this very moment the Department of Defense is working diligently to make sure they develop a series of rules and procedures that would be made public, that people can look at to guarantee a full and fair trial.
KARL: Well, this is the issue of the military tribunals.
Laura Murphy, question to you. Let's say the U.S. military forces on the ground in Afghanistan capture senior members of al Qaeda, bin Laden or one of his top people, how would you -- what would you propose for them to do?
LAURA MURPHY, DIRECTOR, D.C. NATIONAL OFFICE, ACLU: Well, there is a way for them to be tried under a military tribunal consistent with the Geneva conventions. But that's not what the president put forward in his executive order.
The president put forward a process that is way too broad, that does not allow due process in hearings. It's very secret, does not allow jury trials. Allows the death penalty to be imposed with a two- thirds vote of the tribunal, and allows no appeal to any court in the United States including the Supreme Court.
We think that that's wholly unnecessary, that it skirts the Constitution, that it lacks congressional authorization.
KARL: But didn't President Franklin Delano Roosevelt really set the precedent here? I mean, he...
MURPHY: Well, he did set a precedent, but the precedent he set was terrible, because seven of those people prosecuted under those military tribunals also did not have access to the courts, and two of those individuals were naturalized U.S. citizens. So only with a stroke of the pen, President Bush could extend these tribunals to U.S. citizens.
So we think that the president needs to slow down, make sure that whatever he does it's constitutional.
And we think that the Congress needs to assert itself so that it gives the proper authorization if this goes forward. We don't live in a monarchy. The president shouldn't make these kinds of serious decisions unilaterally.
KARL: OK, but right now it does apply only to non-citizens. How important is that?
SESSIONS: Well, I think that's important. Although the Supreme Court did say it could apply to citizens who are involved in an attack against the United States as an act of war. That kind of thing could cover them, but the president excluded that.
I think he's made clear and his counsel has made clear that these trials will not be secret, they will be open, except as insofar as it affects our national security, our military ability to do the job and protect our citizens.
KARL: But he...
SESSIONS: I think it's a good, solid plan. And the Congress has already had one hearing on it. We'll have another one Tuesday and another one, I believe, Wednesday or Thursday. We'll be airing all of this so the American people can see precisely what is going on. And I think that's healthy.
KARL: But he's made much -- the attorney general has made much of the fact -- you've made much of the fact -- that this applies, at least right now, many of these measures, not just the military tribunal issues but others, apply only to non-citizens. Is the suggestion here that the Constitution's protections do not apply to non-citizens?
SESSIONS: Let me tell you what I understand the law to be on that. The constitutional protections, according to the Supreme Court, have been applied to certain aliens who have serious residency rights in this country. And so, they do get that.
But this would affect only citizens of that kind -- I mean, only resident aliens who are involved in terrorist activities, not any other crime. These people that have been arrested for criminal acts or immigration violations, they will be tried in federal district court with all the rights, unless they are proven to be connected to a terrorist activity.
KARL: You're shaking your head. We have to take a quick break, but do you have a quick response?
MURPHY: There's no guarantee that they won't be applied to longstanding, legal, permanent residents. And as recently as June, the U.S. Supreme Court said that the Fifth Amendment applies to all persons. So it's not as narrow as Senator Sessions would like it to be.
SESSIONS: But if they are accused of terrorist activities, not normal crimes.
KARL: OK, Senator Sessions, Laura Murphy, please stay with us.
When we come back, we'll get to your e-mails and phone calls about civil liberties and security. Does one compromise the other?
A sampling of editorial opinion from the morning newspapers:
From The Boston Herald, quote, "It's unclear how much useful information against terrorists the Bush administration will bring forth with its offer of visas, perhaps leading to citizenship for foreigners who volunteer it. That information could be beyond price if it prevents another September 11, and every idea that might produce it deserves a tryout."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I do not think it is responsible for us in a time of war, when our objective is to save American lives, to advertise to the opposing side that we have al Qaeda membership in custody. When the United States is at war, I will not share valuable intelligence with our enemies. We might as well mail this list to the Osama bin Laden-al Qaeda network as to release it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARL: Well, CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup Poll for Monday and Tuesday found strong support for restricting civil liberties to fight terrorism. Ten percent say we've gone too far; 26 percent, not far enough; 60 percent say the Bush administration has taken an about- right approach.
We're talking to Senator Jeff Sessions and the ACLU's Laura Murphy.
So, Laura Murphy, to you, the polls -- and that Gallup Poll is not the only one -- seem to show the American people agree with Senator Sessions, they agree with the president. They're willing to give up some civil liberties.
MURPHY: Right now they are. And I'm not unmindful of the fact that they are concerned about fighting terrorism.
But I think our leadership is presenting a false choice, that you have to have national security at the expense of civil liberties. And the president and attorney general, when they first decided to introduce these proposals, said that you don't have to chose between them.
And so no one is saying we shouldn't fight terrorism vigorously. The ACLU wants terrorism fought vigorously. But we want it fought in accordance with our longstanding traditions, the traditions we export internationally that allow due process of law, that allow fair trials, that don't allow people to be put to death by two-thirds vote of a tribunal.
And if the American people knew that 20 million non-citizens potentially, if they've helped or had any relationship to terrorism, could be tried, or that if the president, with the stroke of a pen, decided to extend this military tribunal to U.S. citizens, if the American citizens knew that, I don't think they would support it.
KARL: Well, Senator Sessions, the American people are supporting the president, supporting your position on this, but not all local authorities. You know, Portland, Oregon, has refused to go along with the Justice Department's request to interview men from Middle Eastern countries on visas in this country. And in today's New York Times, a story about the University of Michigan is not going to cooperate.
What do you say about that?
SESSIONS: Well, let me just say this. I don't see a restriction on civil liberties. I don't understand what -- we have a legal system, a constitutional systems, Supreme Court rulings on what the laws are and what our liberties are. And I don't see here that any -- there has been no restriction on American citizens. There's only been changes under the rules of war that have been established, long established.
The president has made clear how he wants to handle those who are involved in attacking us. And I don't see how that does anything but protect our liberties.
The president is concerned about a group of people who want to destroy liberty in America, who want to have a nation and a society that dictates to everybody else how they should live and how they should think and how they should worship.
KARL: But what do you say to those local authorities who don't want to cooperate?
SESSIONS: I will get to that in just a minute. I just want to make that point.
I feel like that if we're following the great constitutional and legal heritage we have, then we're not restricting the liberties we expect to have.
Secondly, with regard to this, I think any law enforcement agency does not work for the federal government. If they don't want to cooperate and do interviews, then they don't have to.
But to me, I don't believe that it's a restriction of American liberty to go to an individual and to interview them, to ask them questions. They can refuse to answer if they want to. We can't put them in jail if they don't answer. So just to ask questions and see if they have information that might help us defeat people who are attacking this country is not a violation of liberty.
MURPHY: Well, first of all, I can't disagree with Senator Sessions more.
What is being proposed also will affect American citizens. Innocent people who are arrested by the attorney general will have their conversations listened to without the court -- without a court order when they're talking to their attorneys.
Racial profiling and ethnic profiling is going on. And a year ago the president of the United States, running for the presidency, said, "Racial profiling is unconstitutional and a bad law enforcement policy."
Now, when you have former FBI directors like William Webster coming out and saying "You know, this government is going about fighting terrorism the wrong way. We've stopped over 131 instances of terrorism since 1981. You need to base your investigations in individualized suspicion, not based on national origin," it's not surprising to me that reasonable entities like the police in Portland and in Detroit and the University of Michigan will resist these kinds of racial and national profiling tactics.
KARL: OK. But a lot of -- the polls seem to show that people also are willing to give up some freedoms...
MURPHY: Well, you know...
KARL: ... take some extraordinary steps. I want to read an e- mail that came in, right on this point...
KARL: ... from Daniel of Garrison, New York. This e-mail says, if you have to violate the rights of 5,000 people to save 5,000 -- or 500,000 people's lives, wouldn't you have to do that?
MURPHY: Well, in a time of crisis, when thousands of people have died because of terrorism, I am not surprised at all by these polls. And I would say that the Bill of Rights, if it was subjected to a poll today, may not survive a majority vote.
So I think it's our responsibility to have these issues debated fully and fairly in the Congress, and not allow this president to unilaterally decide that he will no longer be subjected to checks and balances, he will no longer get a court order in order to listen to attorneys and their clients. I just think we need to slow down and make sure we don't give away precious rights.
SESSIONS: Let's go to this. The e-mailer raises an interesting point. Sometimes maybe you have to balance.
But I would ask, what right is being violated to interview a person who might have evidence concerning these attacks on America? What right is being violated? You tell me that.
MURPHY: No, when you round up people and you ask people...
SESSIONS: Well, they're not rounded up.
MURPHY: ... face -- yes, they are.
SESSIONS: They're being interviewed.
MURPHY: There's a dragnet approach, based on 20 people from 20...
KARL: Voluntary interviews, though, right?
SESSIONS: Voluntary interviews.
MURPHY: Oh, listen, this is coercive because, right now in Florida, the Florida police are doing background checks on people so that they can go around and arrest them for minor immigration violations. So these are not really voluntary interviews.
You think that if the administration encountered somebody who asked for legal counsel in these interviews, oftentimes they've been arrested because they've asked for attorneys. So I don't...
SESSIONS: That is not...
MURPHY: That is true. That is true. A doctor has been arrested...
SESSIONS: If that's true, then that is a violation of the law, and then they ought to be disciplined for it.
KARL: OK. Laura Murphy, Senator Sessions, obviously, a lot more to talk about on this issue.
KARL: I want to thank you both for joining us.
SESSIONS: Thank you.
MURPHY: Thank you.
KARL: When we come back, we'll turn to the U.S. economy and two guests with some insight into what impact the war on terrorism is having on your wallet.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: This country is waiting for action. And in the time that we've been waiting, more than 415,000 workers have lost their jobs. Further delay could put more Americans and more families at risk, so let's move.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARL: That's President Bush calling on Congress to boost the economy.
All the rest of us are worried about this new wartime economy.
Joining us are Gerri Willis, senior financial correspondent for "SmartMoney" magazine, and also in New York, Jim Frederick, senior editor of "Money" magazine.
Welcome back to you both.
And I want to start with some questions from people we ran into on the streets of Washington, including this mother and daughter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm thinking of buying a house next year, and I was wondering when you thought interest rates were going to come back up. If you thought they were going to spike back up in the spring, or if I have a little bit more time to buy a house?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And my question is, I was wondering if you could give me an estimate of when you thought the recession might end and when we would pull out of this period that we're in now?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARL: All right, Gerri, I want to go right to you and put you on the spot. That woman, should she buy her house now, or do we expect interest rates to spike up by the spring? Where are we with interest rates?
GERRI WILLIS, "SMARTMONEY" MAGAZINE: Now is a great a time to be buying a house. We've seen a little tick-up in interest rates already, but the really good news is that they're still below the long-term average of 8 percent.
I think there is a window here of several months where it's great to either, A, refinance or buy that new house. So go right ahead.
KARL: Jim, why is that we're seeing interest rates starting to creep back up? I mean, obviously, we've seen cut after cut from the Federal Reserve. What's causing this spike up -- if not spike, but general movement up in the interest rates?
JIM FREDERICK, SENIOR EDITOR, "MONEY" MAGAZINE: Yes, interest rates have moved up just in the past week, which has been quite surprising. I think it's because a lot of the forward indicators like the stock market, a lot of Wall Street and a lot of people in economic circles are actually bouncing -- they're betting on a bounce to occur sometime next year.
KARL: All right, I want to put both of you on the spot with the second question, which is, when does this recession end? When do we get out of this?
Gerri, why don't you start?
WILLIS: Well, I think that it's going to be in the second half of next year and possibly even sooner.
You know, the consumer hasn't totally dropped out now. They are spending, and we're starting to see glimmers of hope in some of the numbers. So I think you will see that economy, for sure, rebound in the second half. It could be a little bit earlier.
FREDERICK: There are some people who say that the recovery has already occurred. For example, the big news that came out this week was that the National Bureau of Economic Research, the official arbiter of business cycles, has said that the recession began nine months ago. And this is after 10 years of, really, unprecedented economic expansion.
So on the one hand, it's a business cycle that's to be expected. After long business expansions, using history as our guide, recessions tend to very short and very sharp.
FREDERICK: So things will probably get worse before they get better.
I'm sorry, go ahead.
KARL: Well, Jim, if it comes down to history and business cycles, all of this talk in Washington about an economic stimulus plan, does any of it really matter, or are we just in a natural economic cycle here?
Does Wall Street expect Congress to pass this, and what happens if they don't?
FREDERICK: Well, I think it is natural. I think it is to be expected, this business cycle. On the other hand, there's certainly economic stimuli that Congress could pass that would help.
The big question is, how much? My personal view, depending on what they pass, not that much.
There are differences in the Republicans and Democrats in what they're proposing. The Democrats are banking on -- they're similar and it's complicated, but more rebate checks and increased spending, while the Republicans are counting on tax breaks, especially tax breaks to companies.
And, I mean, there's some reasons that you could think that those won't have as big of an impact. For example, the rebate checks under Republicans that just went out this last year, a vast majority of that money people actually saved, did not spend, which was not the intention. And then the Republican plan of more corporate tax breaks, what began probably the catalyst for this recession in the first place, was corporate snapping shut their wallets. And if you're getting another tax break after you have bulked up, overspent on tech....
WILLIS: Can I just jump in here? I actually think this stimulus package may be more important politically than it is economically. They typically come too late to do anything at all for the economy itself.
And I think the president here has to make a stand, Congress has to make a stand; reassure the American public that they're really in the driver's seat and they're doing something. I mean, the last thing the president wants at this point is for his approval ratings to turn in the same direction as consumer confidence.
KARL: All right, Gerri, I want to direct to you another question that we found, talking to people on the streets here in Washington, this one seeking some straight financial advice.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've just enrolled in a 401(k) program, in a general 401(k) fund. And with the recession, my concern is, which fund should I put it in, a low-risk fund or an aggressive fund?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARL: So a time for hedging bets or a time to take a risk?
WILLIS: Now it's time to put all your money in a lot of different pots. I don't think that one specific strategy, low-risk or high-risk, makes sense here. I think you want to make sure that you're investing in bonds, you're investing in stocks, you're investing in both growth and value.
And especially at his age -- he looked very young. He's going to be in the market for a very long time, so he wants to make sure that his money is really diversified.
KARL: OK. I want to get a lot more questions to both of you, but first, I need to take a quick break. We'll come back in a minute.
KARL: We're talking about the wartime economy with Gerri Willis, senior financial correspondent for "SmartMoney" magazine, and Jim Frederick, senior editor for "Money" magazine.
Jim, one of the ideas getting traction on Capitol Hill last week or so is this idea of a payroll tax holiday, where essentially workers and employers won't have to pay their payroll taxes for a month, putting more money in their pockets immediately.
Will this be effective? Is this the kind of thing people will go out and spend this money and stimulate the economy, or not a good idea?
FREDERICK: Well, I mean, again, it comes back to what we were talking about earlier where, I mean, these stimuli, yes, it could help. But over the past year, it hasn't been demonstrated that putting more money in the pockets of consumers is actually going to make them spend more.
I think a lot of this particular economic cycle that we're going through has to do with confidence and has to do with uncertainty. I think that some of the numbers are coming up, yes, because it seems like the war on terrorism is going better than it did a month ago.
So again, the payroll tax, versus corporate tax breaks, versus personal -- you know, it's unclear how much that's actually going to stimulate things itself.
WILLIS: I sort of disagree.
KARL: OK. But, Gerri, help me out. Gerri, help me out with something on this. The issue always used to be we were concerned about the savings rate. People aren't saving enough. Now, all of a sudden, we're concerned that if we pass a tax cut, people aren't going to spend enough, that they might save it, and this would be bad.
What's wrong with saving all of a sudden?
WILLIS: Well, look, the priorities are all different right now. Job number one is getting this recession behind us, and consumers are two-thirds of GDP of the economy's growth. So we've got to get consumer spending again, so that the economy can expand again.
I actually think payroll -- cutting payroll taxes is probably the most direct way to impact the economy. Cutting taxes does not have as clear an effect on spending, so payroll may be a little faster.
KARL: Because it affects both, obviously, the employer and the employee. They each pay half of that -- of that tax.
Well, I want to go on this...
FREDERICK: ... very quickly.
KARL: Go ahead.
FREDERICK: I'm sorry. And it would take effect very quickly, also.
KARL: Right. Well, let's go to another question from the streets of Washington. Here's this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does the short-term consumer spending that we're seeing right now indicate that we're pulling out of recession? (END VIDEO CLIP)
KARL: OK, there's a question. We've seen some encouraging news, in terms of how much people are spending in the holiday season; some encouraging numbers coming from Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, big shopping day.
Is this a positive sign, or have prices been cut so much, companies trying to dump inventory and maybe it's not a positive sign after all?
WILLIS: Well, I think that's the problem, is that consumers are only spending when there are huge sales on -- 40 percent, 50 percent, 60 percent off. On the other hand, we have seen when there's incentive, people get out there and spend, and that's definitely good news.
FREDERICK: Yes, I think it's definitely a positive sign. But, you know, as the news about the official recession, beginning nine months ago, a lot of this stuff is viewed from the rear-view mirror.
And it's like going to a doctor. We feel like we're sick or we feel like we're better, and then somebody has to sign off on it months later.
It seems to me that, you know, that the short-term numbers, the week-by-week, the consumer confidence and the consumer spending are coming up. So I think that, you know, the recession, the end of the recession might well be under way.
KARL: OK. I want to take a phone call now from Ohio.
Caller, are you there? Do we have our caller from Ohio?
KARL: Hello. What's your question?
KARL: Yes, hello. What's your question?
CALLER: Yes. I was calling in regards to the -- if you're just getting in the stocks for the first time and you're looking towards putting in some money, investing, would you say that you go into the top 10 picks of some of the online brokers and stuff like that and just put some money in, diversify that way? Would you say that's a good way to go about that?
KARL: Gerri, you want to take that?
WILLIS: Well, I'll start out with that one. I would suggest doing your own research and making your own decisions, because you can probably come up with better information or as good information as the online brokers yourself.
And again, you're going to want to look for companies that are going to be able to take advantage of this recession ending. Maybe some consumer cyclicals, maybe some retailers out there might be a good place to start.
But at the end of the day, you're going to want to have a lot of different kinds of companies that do lots of different things that are going to turn around with this economy.
KARL: Well, Jim, the bigger question, is this the time to be talking about going into the stock market, or is it a time to talk about more conservative investments?
FREDERICK: Well, I mean, I think diversifying a portfolio is always the best advice. And if the past two years has taught us anything, it's taught us that, you know, you need bonds and you need cash along with your stocks.
I would follow up Gerri's advice to say that anybody who's, you know, thinking about starting in the stock market, you know, in the index fund that follows the S&P 500 or the Wilshire Total Market Index is really an outstanding base for any beginning portfolio, because it invests in every stock in the market.
And if research over 70, 80 years teaches us anything, it's more important to be in the market than to try to pick individual stocks, especially for those that are starting out.
KARL: But clearly, the approach -- I mean, that same advice could have been given, you know, a year ago, two years ago. I mean, how -- shouldn't we take a different approach now in light of what has happened? I mean, do still the same rules apply? I mean, we've seen the stock market fall from incredible heights.
FREDERICK: I'm a firm proponent of what is known as dollar-cost averaging, which means putting in a small amount of money every month without fail, the same amount in, say, an index investment.
Because we didn't know when the stock market was going to fall, and we don't know exactly when it's going to go back up. I think that trying to time the market -- I mean, the Nasdaq is up something like 30 percent since September 11. I don't think anybody would have expected that to happen -- or actually since the drop after September 11.
WILLIS: That's the real problem right now, as a matter of fact, is that the stock rebound is already under way. A lot of the real deals that were out there are now gone. So you have to look -- it's much more difficult to find cheap stocks now.
KARL: You know, stock rebounds seeming to be ahead of the economic rebound. Not sure what that means.
But I want to thank you both for joining us.
And just ahead, we're turning to talking about turning private pain into political action. We'll talk to two guests who lost loved ones in the September 11 attacks, when AMERICA'S NEW WAR continues.
KARL: As we said earlier, President Bush has been in Philadelphia today watching the Army-Navy game. And as I promised you earlier, now we can hear what he had to say to the two teams.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: ... letting me come by.
First, I want to wish you all luck today in the game. Go get 'em, and give it your best.
And I'm thrilled to be here for the game, but I've got to tell you my mind is with our -- with your fellow soldiers overseas. And first of all, I'm incredibly proud of how our military is conducting our operations.
The enemy made a mistake: They weren't sure who they were dealing with, and they're finding out.
And for those of you who end up in whatever theater you may end up in, I can assure you that the cause is just. It is right, what we're doing. And we will win, there's no doubt in my mind we will win.
And so, thanks for your commitment to your country. It is a fabulous country.
And may God bless you all. Good luck.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARL: That was President Bush a short while ago in Philadelphia talking to the teams before the Army-Navy game.
And now a live picture of Ground Zero in New York, where around- the-clock recovery and cleanup efforts have been under way since September 11.
More that 3,000 people were killed in the attack on the World Trade Center, including 343 firefighters.
With the remains of many of the September 11 victims yet to be recovered, New York's handling of the Ground Zero site and debate about its future have given birth to a new political force, those who lost loved ones in the attacks.
Joining us from New York, Mariane Fontana. She is the widow of a firefighter who was killed, and president of the 9-11 Widows and Victims' Families Association. And Jenny Farrell, she lost her brother in the attack and is chair person of a new group called Give Your Voice.
Now, Jenny, I wanted to start with you. I understand that your brother had a chance to say goodbye on September 11. And before we talk about what your organization is trying to accomplish, could you tell us about that?
JENNY FARRELL, BROTHER DIED IN WORLD TRADE CENTER: Yes, he actually made four phone calls that day. One phone -- two of the most critical phone calls, one to my brother John (ph), who also is an electrician, working in the city nearby. He called by brother John (ph) to say that Tower One had been hit by an airplane and that he needed to get to the tower to get my sister Michelle out.
And as John (ph) got to the building, my sister Michelle emerged from the building, and they truly just ran into each other through God's grace. And John (ph) was able to get Michelle out. But they had to run for their lives, knowing that my brother James was still trapped in Tower Two.
The second phone call and the last phone call that we received from my brother was to my sister, Marie. His message was to our family, first and foremost to my mom and dad. He told Marie, "Please tell Mom and Dad that I love them, and tell everyone that James said I love them." And that was the last time we heard from him.
KARL: And, Mariane, your husband of course was a firefighter; 343 killed at the World Trade Center. What's the support network been like among firefighters in New York?
I used to cover local politics in New York, and I know how close- knit a group New York City firefighters are.
MARIANE FONTANA, HUSBAND DIED IN WORLD TRADE CENTER: Yes, they're an amazing brotherhood. I've been very touched by firefighters that have come from literally around the world to attend services for firefighters, because, as you know, in the tradition of the fire departments, that all the firemen do attend one another's funerals.
And because of the, you know, massive loss of this tragedy, there hasn't been able to be as many firefighters attending each other's funerals, the funerals of their fallen brothers. So literally, firefighters from around the country are coming, and around the world. And it's been very touching and overwhelming to see that.
KARL: And there we see a live picture of the cleanup which has never stopped; still going on at Ground Zero.
Now, both of you have managed to, despite your grief, come together and form these organizations. What is it that you hope to accomplish, specifically regarding this effort that we're watching right now in terms of cleaning up the World Trade Center site?
FONTANA: Well, initially we were very upset by the cutbacks of the firefighters, and the civilians, as well, were concerned about the site not being handled in a dignified way. FONTANA: Essentially, we felt, the civilians and myself, felt that the site wasn't being handled -- it had turned more into a construction zone, rather than a retrieval effort. And we were concerned that we needed to keep it as a retrieval effort, with a lot of manpower down there, trying to recover our loved ones in a dignified way, in a reverent way.
KARL: And are you satisfied that that's happening?
FONTANA: We've really had to continue to be vigilant. Jenny and I and some other groups are in constant communication to make sure that that's happening.
There have been some issues that have cropped up, at the Fresh Kills dump that I've been -- I met with the mayor last night to address. And we've been fortunate that the administration has been open to communicating with us, and we hope he will continue to do that, and the transition into the new administration will also continue to communicate with us.
KARL: And, Jenny, what are you telling authorities, the mayor and other authorities, in New York about what you hope to see happen at that site once it is cleared away? What replaces the World Trade Center?
FARRELL: Well, I think that -- I need to just backtrack one point.
Our organization is seeking right now to create a platform to give voice to the civilian families that lost loved ones. There is such a platform in place, you know, for the families of the uniformed personnel. It's always been in place, it's always been there. And the families of the civilians applaud that, and we understand that that's -- it has always existed.
But we're asking now -- we are reaching out to our mayor and to the city to now create a similar structure for the families who lost loved ones that day. We don't have that forum, we do not have that platform to even raise our concerns about what should be done on the site. There's no direct pipeline of information going on with the families.
And we're reaching out to our mayor and to all those involved to help us to work together to create a platform so that the civilian families can begin asking questions, voicing their opinions about the recovery effort, about any future plans regarding the site, and also the issue of the funding that has come up. That's -- we hope to first establish that so we can at least get our voice expressed, as well.
KARL: OK. And the web site for your organization is www.giveyourvoice.com. And you can find Mariane Fontana and the Widows and Families Association at www.911wvfa.org.
Your phone calls and e-mails to Jenny Farrell and Mariane Fontana, when AMERICA'S NEW WAR continues.
KARL: We're talking about the handling of the Ground Zero site and its future with Mariane Fontana, president of the 911 Widows and Victims Families Association, and Jenny Farrell, chairperson of the group, Give Your Voice.
Now, both of you have been extremely busy since September 11, organizing, starting these new organizations, getting involved, making public appearances like this, meeting with officials in New York.
The response of a lot of people hit with tragedy is to kind of withdraw from the world and to build a wall. You've taken exactly the opposite approach. I'd like to hear from both of you, what it is that has made you take that approach.
FONTANA: Well, I basically feel like that once things started to happen that were disturbing to me and a lot of the families, I didn't feel like I could just sit back and just close the doors. Believe me, I'd like to. Jenny and I were just talking about how overwhelming it's been to take on such a monumental task and try to do right by the families and by everyone involved.
But, you know, it is overwhelming. We are basically two one- woman shows right now. She has the support of her family. I have some friends and other people helping me, but still, the real weight is on us. And it is heavy sometimes, definitely.
FARRELL: Yes. Well, I agree with Mariane. The catalyst was when the first initial announcement was made about the cutbacks over at the recovery effort.
My family and I and many other families that have joined with us immediately were awoken from our grief. And we said we need to get involved and we need to make sure that the right thing is being done for James, my brother, and for all the civilians, all of the firefighters that were lost.
And what keeps us going is my brother James. I have a picture of him on my lapel. My brother James is my -- our motivation. He is who fuels our passion in this cause. Ralph LaChartey (ph), who was with my brother, died with my brother, countless other people, they keep us going.
Because we want to ensure that every effort is being done to recover, to identify, to preserve any human remains so that they can be returned to their families so that a decent burial can be provided for the people that were lost.
KARL: Now, there has been a lot of money raised by non-profit organizations in your names, in the names of the victims of this tragedy.
I was wondering here, first from you, Mariane, how has your interaction been with these organizations, these funds that have been set up? Have you been able to benefit from any of these? Do you think they're working right? What should be expect from them?
FONTANA: Well, unfortunately, I've been so involved with getting a dignified retrieval that I really have not had an opportunity to take on the monumental task of funding.
I have received calls from a lot of civilians who are feeling neglected and disappointed that monies are not coming to them as quickly as they should be, that money is -- the paperwork is daunting and difficult and they don't have liaisons to help them.
And I want to help these civilians as well as anyone who needs help. But like I said, we're -- right now I'm a one-woman operation. And I'm really more concerned about the dignified retrieval than money right now.
But it is something we want to address and become informed about.
I did talk to the mayor briefly last night about that issue. And I know that some families are upset that the money is not coming quickly. The funds are kind of in disarray.
But really, this is an unprecedented event, and there's been no precedent. When you have a plane crash, for example, there is a cap on what families can get. And now you have someone for Cantor Fitzgerald making lots of money and a window washer making none. So you have to kind of weigh all of these very difficult decisions to decide where the money is going. That's going to take time, and that's what's happening.
KARL: All right. Well, Mariane Fontana, Jenny Farrell, I want to thank you both for being with us on this Saturday.
Coming up in the second hour of our special coverage of AMERICA'S NEW WAR, we'll explore the challenge of capturing Osama bin Laden, President Bush's political support as he wages the war against the war against terrorism, and the question, is Iraq the next target?
We're also looking for your phone calls and e-mails when AMERICA'S NEW WAR continues.
KARL: Welcome back to the second hour of our special coverage of AMERICA'S NEW WAR. We'll get to our next guest in just a moment, but first, a check of the latest developments with CNN's Catherine Callaway in Atlanta.
KARL: Well, the U.S. military campaign has successfully loosened the grip -- the Taliban's grip on Afghanistan. Finding Osama bin Laden is proving to be a much tougher task.
Joining us to talk about the next talk about the next steps in the hunt for the world's most wanted man, CNN's military analyst, Major General Donald Shepperd, and CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen. He's also author of the new book, "Holy War, Incorporated: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden."
I want to start with you, Peter. You're one of the few people that have been face to face with Osama bin Laden. With these various reports about where he is, one putting him still in Tora Bora, surrounded by as many as 2,000 of his most hardcore fighters, if that scenario is true, knowing what you know about bin Laden, what's it going to take to get him out?
PETER BERGEN, CNN TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, I mean, the accounts of Tora Bora seem that it is quite a well-defended place. There's also a place near Tora Bora in that area called, Jajee (ph), where bin Laden fought a lot of the key battle in 1986 against Russians, including Russian special forces. It's an area that he knows pretty well.
In fact, when we did the interview with him in 1997, Peter Arnett and myself met in -- somewhere, we weren't exactly sure, but somewhere in those mountains, the white mountains near Jalalabad.
It's an area -- when we went to that interview, interestingly, bin Laden's men had created a kind of rough network of roads and paths through the mountains. In an effort to go and meet him, we went along these roads. So it's a place that he has constructed various facilities for some time.
Now, if he's in Oruzgan in southern Afghanistan, again, that's a place which is rather desolate, mountainous, underpopulated. Both places are, you know, going to play to any kind of advantage for a guerrilla fight.
KARL: Your thoughts on -- I mean, he's surrounded by -- and obviously, what we've learned about al Qaeda is that these people are willing to die.
MAJ. GEN. DON SHEPPERD (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Oh, yes, they're willing to die. And they're going to get a chance, I believe, in this final effort for him.
There's some really good things happened here. We know a lot of places he's not. Because you start looking over all of Afghanistan, the size of Texas -- big problem. And now, as the Northern Alliance has taken over and assured us that he's not in southern areas, we're looking in smaller and smaller areas. We're able to focus all of our censors, the one from humans on the ground, all the way to outer space -- satellites, JSTARs, Rivet Joint -- all of these things that listen and look, and we're looking for signs. And wherever he is, he's got to leave a big trail.
KARL: But if he's surrounded by as many as fighters as some people think he is, if he's in these cave areas that are not easily hit from the air, I mean, what can be done?
SHEPPERD: Yes, everybody thinks we're going cave to cave. We are clearly not going to do that. There's too many caves, too many places. You're going to focus, again, your intelligence, and you're going to find out where he most likely is. And once you decide to go against the complex, you're going to do it with a significant amount of force.
And you're not going send a small special forces team to whistle into the entrance, seeing if he's in there. You're going to have a very complicated military operation, closing a lot of entrances, blocking the areas, and then going after him with some weapons we know about and probably some we don't.
KARL: Now, you've seen cave warfare, certainly in a different area, in Vietnam.
KARL: Vietnam War.
KARL: What can we learn, even though that was a much different -- the terrain was different? Any lessons to learn about?
SHEPPERD: Yes. Blinding flashes of the obvious. It's difficult and it's dangerous.
I was in Vietnam last year. I went back to Cu Chi tunnels northwest of Siagon and the Vinh Moc tunnels up in north Vietnam. Now, these are different tunnels than the ones in Afghanistan. These are not natural. These are man-made, and they are, indeed, tunnels. Whereas bin Laden's complexes are very sophisticated fortresses underneath very, very difficult rock and terrain -- much different than Vietnam.
But I've talked to a lot of people that did cave warfare in Vietnam -- some of my friends over there -- and they go into these tunnels with red-lens flashlights in those days and a 45-caliber pistol. And one of my buddies said, "You can't believe how big the head of cobra looks under a red flashlight and how loud the 45 is when it goes off." That's what we do not want to do in this case, and I feel we won't.
KARL: Well, if the U.S. manages to kill bin Laden by blowing up one of these for fortresses, will we ever really know, if we can't find him? And are we are going have a situation where he's already put videotapes out all over the world, ready to go, in case he is killed, claiming to be still alive. I mean, what do you?
BERGEN: Well, I think, you know, a corrolary of what the general has been has been saying is, I think that bin Laden has sort of decided to do his final last stand. He's made a number of statements, indicating that he's willing to die. So I think that he will do this on his on terms.
Certainly, he is going to die in this final battle, but I think, since he's willing to martyr himself, I suspect that he has some sort of plan in the offing.
He's going to just choose a well-defended place. Both of these places seem -- if he is in either of them -- are the sort of places that could be well defended. He's made a number of extremely discomforting statements about the possibility of having some kind radioactive weapon.
BERGEN: I think we need to take him extremely seriously. His words have been a very good road map to his actions. Unfortunately, when he said he had declared war on the United States in 1996, no one really took him that seriously necessarily.
So obviously he has been in a very serious war with the United States. When he makes these kinds of statements, we need to pay a lot of attention to them.
KARL: Well, what has he said specifically on that?
BERGEN: Well, he said I have radioactive -- I have nuclear and chemical weapons. Now clearly, he doesn't have an atomic weapon of the kind that we deployed at Hiroshima or Nagasaki. But he has some kind of crude radiological device. I think almost certainly he's made efforts to require this material.
We know from the discovery of documents of the safehouses in Kabul that they were very interested in this kind of thing. There's the suspicious meetings with Pakistani scientists, perhaps in the nuclear program. And then of course, his own statements.
So I think we need to be very careful about this.
KARL: Does this mean careful, General, in terms of not randomly bombing some of these areas for fear there could be radioactive material inside?
SHEPPERD: Well, we're not going to randomly bomb. And as Peter says, I think he's probably got some grand finale planned that theoretically would be on his own terms.
But remember Jonathan, that the whole idea is to get the other side to react to you. Bin Laden and the Taliban, the al Qaeda, are now reacting to the things that the United States is going to do.
And again, in every war, we have had weapons that you know about and weapons that you don't know about. I am sure we're taking the weapons that we already know about and they're improving them to do different things. And we probably have some secret things going on that none of us will know about until they're used.
So we're not afraid to go after him wherever he is, and we're going to pursue him to the end of the earth until we get him.
KARL: Now when you came face to face with bin Laden, you and Peter Arnett, you also obviously went through his people.
BERGEN: Right. KARL: What's your sense of the people around him? Is this the hardest-core of the hardcore al Qaeda?
BERGEN: Well, when we met with him, which was in the context of doing a television interview, there was still an extraordinary amount of security. I counted maybe about 30 men in total. They were reasonably heavily armed. They had rocket-propelled grenades. They had Russian submachine guns. They were quite disciplined. They were clearly in awe of their leader. One has to presume there would be a larger group around bin Laden right now.
KARL: OK, great. We have to take a quick break. We'll be right back with both of you.
When we come back, more of our discussion on the search for Osama bin Laden. And we'd also like to be taking some of your phone calls and e-mails.
And now another peak at this morning's paper: The Washington Post editorial says, quote, "Experience suggests two lessons for the Bush administration now: First, winning the war in Afghanistan is not enough unless peace is also won. Second, winning the peace requires a determined effort by the outside world, because a country that has spent two decades at war is too fractured to find its own way to stability."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUMSFELD: As the president has said, we are tightening the noose around the Taliban and the al Qaeda and reducing the amount of real estate that they have available to move around on. We will pursue them until they have nowhere else to run.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KARL: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
We're talking about the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan and the search for Osama bin Laden with CNN military analyst Major General Donald Shepperd and CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen.
So there you have heard, General, from the defense secretary that obviously still very dangerous on the ground in Afghanistan. If bin Laden has got this plan that we're speculating about, for a grand finale, how much of a danger is there for our troops, our Marines, that are there on the ground right now?
SHEPPERD: Extreme danger, but it's not just the danger for bin Laden. It's the danger of the chaos in the entire country. Whereas we've seen in Mazar-e Sharif, people willing to fight to the death, undoubtedly, many people have escaped. Other people have changed sides and gone to areas in the mountains and mountain redoubts where they have things stored in the way of weapons and munitions and this type of thing they are going to be able to get them. It's going to be a mopping-up campaign and a long period of getting stability across the country, where it's safe to walk around in a military uniform, especially a U.S. military uniform, where you become a target with weapons.
So it's not just the search for bin Laden, but it's a search for al Qaeda and operations throughout the country in areas that are not totally secured or lawful.
KARL: Well, we heard today from the Northern Alliance, Abdullah Abdullah, saying -- the foreign minister -- saying that he believes not only his bin Laden in the south, but that he's in the south preparing for guerrilla warfare.
Do you think that that -- is that the threat that our Marines there will become targets a la Beirut, that he will actually go out, or is this a matter of strictly a defensive position? What's your...
SHEPPERD: Clearly, that will happen. Maybe we will become targets of guerrilla warfare. But remember, what we have said in the very beginning is we do not intend to get tied down in a guerrilla war like the Soviets did, where the guerrillas are on the high ground and we drive through the valleys in vehicles and get ambushed. We are not going to do that.
Now, what General Franks has planned, I don't know. But clearly, the military moves have been very carefully considered into very careful areas. And I assume that we're going to continue to do that. We're not going to become easy targets for terrorists out there.
And routing these guys out will be difficult, but it's certainly not impossible, especially when you've got an uprising of the population in many areas clearly wanting to throw these people out. It becomes a easier problem now rather than harder, but a very dangerous time.
KARL: Well, Peter, what do you know about the quality of the intelligence that the Northern Alliance has? You have talked with them.
BERGEN: Generally, very good, because Dr. Abdullah, the foreign minister, I mean -- they've been battling against bin Laden's troops now for four years. Bin Laden had frontline troops along with the Taliban starting in '97.
So the Northern Alliance does have very good intelligence. I mean, still it's an open question exactly where he is. Vice President Cheney indicated he might be in Tora Bora. But at least there are only two areas that people are look at now rather than several.
But I do want to -- one thing that I think is important to recognize is the Afghan Arabs, the kind of Muslims who have recruited from around the world by bin Laden, a lot of them face prison sentence or certain execution if they ever go home. They've got nowhere to go. They're only choice is really to continue fighting, and that's what makes this situation particularly dangerous. KARL: OK, I want to take a quick phone call now. From Indiana, I believe we have a call on the line.
Indiana, are you there?
KARL: Your question?
CALLER: I'm a military wife and I have been for seven years. My husband is currently over in the Middle East.
And my question is, why is it so hard to find bin Laden? Every day I watch the television. I see the reporters who have interviewed him, people who wrote books about him. Why is it so difficult?
KARL: Well, Peter, this is a question that directly affects you. I mean, I remember after your interview, you and Peter Arnett, and also ABC had an interview with bin Laden, I remember Republicans on Capital Hill saying, "Well, you know, if ABC and CNN can find him, why can't we?" I mean, what's the answer?
BERGEN: Well, you know, we were invited by bin Laden and his folks to do the interview.
I mean, Eric Rudolph, who is the alleged bomber of Atlanta's Centennial Park, you remember during the Olympics? That was five years ago. Eric has disappeared in West Virginia. He was the subject of an incredibly intense manhunt, and it's gone on for years.
So, you know, as the general said, Afghanistan is the size of Texas. Bin Laden wants to avoid being captured right now. So it's just very hard to find somebody if they're trying to avoid you, particularly in a country like Afghanistan.
KARL: Is that right, General?
SHEPPERD: Yes, it's exactly right. We are going to find him, but it's no small deal. Just think of being one guy and all of the places you can go in Texas. I mean, if I didn't want to be found, I can put this off for a long period of time.
So we're really looking for him, and he really doesn't want to be found. He's really, really well protected. And we're not going to send people on suicide missions. As much as we want him, we are not going to send our soldiers in where they are clearly going to be killed just because we want this big prize.
So we're going to take our time. The outcome is not in doubt. We're going to take out time and do it right when we find him.
KARL: So could we be sitting here six months from now and saying we're still looking for Osama bin Laden?
SHEPPERD: We could. On the other hand, my prediction is it will be much sooner than that, much, much sooner. Again, because you've got so much of the population wanting to find him because his signature is so big.
The biggest danger in my mind is one of two things: One, that he does find some place to escape, and the other is that there is an uncertain end where we blow up a mountain with him in it and never know for sure. Those are the two big dangers in my mind.
KARL: Well, Peter, what about the award? You know, $25 million -- does this...
BERGEN: There was a $5 million reward for five years, for at least two years before the $25 million, and it didn't work. The people around bin Laden are not going hand him in for money. It may that some Afghan villager might.
But I do want to say something, looking forward, that is important. During Ramadan right now -- the 27th day of Ramadan is coming up. It's a very holy day. It's the day the prophet received the first verses of the Koran. Dying on that day is a special sign of Allah's grace. And al Qaeda has tried to mount operations on that day before.
KARL: So what date will that be...
SHEPPERD: Well, it will be, roughly, in mid-December. It's a lunar month. It depends where you are, but sometime, I don't know, between the 12th and the 14th approximately, somewhere in there.
And they've tried to attack or they tried to attack U.S. warship in Yemen, their sort of dress rehearsal for the later bombing of the USS Cole, on that day.
So it's a day that al Qaeda might try and launch an operation. It might even be a day that bin Laden decides is the right day for him to die.
KARL: OK. Well, thank you very much. Peter Bergen, General Shepperd, thanks for coming in on Saturday. Appreciate it.
Should Saddam Hussein be the next target in the war on terrorism? We'll get two views next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: And Saddam Hussein agreed to allow inspectors in this country. And in order to prove to the world he's not developing weapons of mass destruction, he ought to let the inspectors back in.
QUESTION: And if he does not do that, sir, what will be the consequences? If he does not do that, what will be the consequences?
BUSH: That's up for him -- he'll find out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KARL: This week saw President Bush raise the stakes in the long- running face-off between Saddam Hussein and the United States. His comments reflect speculation and debate over whether the war on terrorism should be taken to Iraq next.
Joining us to talk about that, Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana -- he serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee -- and Ken Pollack. He is deputy director for National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former CIA analyst.
KARL: Senator, it seemed to me, in that soundbite the president was saying, essentially, "Saddam Hussein, let the weapons inspectors in or else." What's the "or else"?
SEN. EVAN BAYH (D), INDIANA: Well, that's a pregnant pause, Jonathan. I think the "or else" is going to be a tightening of pressure upon Iraq to comply with the U.N., the request for inspectors. And, if not, then the real present possibility of U.S. action, physical action of some kind.
I think we're dealing a regime here that invaded Iran, that caused almost a million causalities, invaded Kuwait, caused thousands of causalities, has used weapons of mass destruction, is trying to develop them. And we have to decide whether to take this moment to do something about this rogue regime or not.
If not, then I suspect that we'll be dealing with Iraq at a later date, when it won't be as convenient or as easy to deal with him as it is now.
KARL: Well, Senator, does the president have congressional authority, based on that war resolution that was passed? Does he have congressional authority to take this war to Iraq if there is no specific evidence that Iraq was involved in September 11?
BAYH: Well, that's great question. As you know, the war resolution deals with the events of September the 11th and anything connected thereto.
Right now, we don't have clear a connection that Saddam was involved with the September 11 attacks or the anthrax or things of that nature.
But, you know, clearly, this is a rogue regime. Clearly, they are going present a threat to, not only their neighbors, but, potentially, the United States.
And whether the Congress would have to specifically authorize such action, I think that's an open question at this point, Jonathan.
KARL: Well, Ken Pollack, we have an e-mail question that gets exactly to where I wanted to take this next. I'll direct this towards you.
This coming from somebody identifying himself simply as a concerned citizen: "Isn't there evidence that Iraq contracted al Qaeda to commit these acts of terror?"
And I imagine what this e-mailer is referring to is, of course, we know that Mohamed Atta, one of bombers, met with Iraqi intelligence in Prague before the attack. Does that provide evidence?
KEN POLLACK, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: No, unfortunately, it doesn't. And I think you've heard administration officials say we wish we had evidence, credible evidence, that connected them.
It's clear that there have been some tentative contacts between members of Saddam's secret service and some operatives of al Qaeda in the past. But there is, unfortunately, no clear link that the Iraqis were trying to use al Qaeda to do anything in particular, certainly not September 11.
Believe me, if we had that kind of evidence, you would see the administration shouting it from the rooftops, because there's nothing that they would like better than be able to draw a direct link between September 11 and Saddam Hussein.
KARL: Now, a while back, Tariq Aziz, the spokesperson for Hussein, was on 60 Minutes, saying, oh, no way would there be anything between Iraq and between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda because we have totally different views. You know, Iraq's a secular nation, al Qaeda, Muslim fundamentalists.
I mean, are these two really on the same page?
POLLACK: Yes and no.
Look, these are both evil people. These are evil groups of people who are both looking to do great harm to the United States of America. And at different points in time, there have been members of both groups who've said maybe we can work with the other.
But there is also some truth to that, in that, Osama bin Laden -- in fact, your guest Peter Bergen, your past guest, would, I think, be the first one to say that Osama bin Laden been very, very reticent to get too involved with Saddam Hussein because he regards Saddam Hussein has a bad Muslim. He hates Saddam Hussein, and in his grand scheme of things, Saddam Hussein would be an ultimate target on his list as well.
So there has been tentative ties, but it's never been really consummated.
And just as a final point, I think the senator made a really wonderful point which is, Iraq constitutes a real threat to us. Perhaps not an immediate one, because right now the immediate threat is al Qaeda, but there is an ultimate threat. The threat from Iraq is principally its weapons of mass destruction and, to a lesser extent, its conventional forces.
On the list of terrorist-sponsoring nations, Iraq is actually pretty far down the list. POLLACK: And, you know, you wouldn't go after Saddam just for his actions on terrorism. There are a lot of much better reasons to go after Saddam Hussein -- you know, his slaughter of his own people, his use of weapons of mass destruction and other, and the fact that he is trying to acquire a nuclear weapon.
BAYH: The case to be made -- Ken, is exactly right, Jonathan. The case to be made against Saddam Hussein and Iraq is not related to September 11, at least as far as we know at this point, or in terms of sponsoring terrorist attacks against the United States.
The question is, do you want Saddam Hussein having chemical weapons, having biological weapons, possibly one day having a nuclear weapon? Do you want to have to deal with that? And if the answer is no, then what do you do about it and when do you do something about it?
And the president, very clearly in his comments, raised the possibility of U.S. military action at some point.
I think we're going to ratchet up the pressure, first calling for sanctions, looking cosponsor opposition groups within Iraq, the Shi'a in the south, the Kurds in the north, much as we've done within Afghanistan, tightening the sanctions.
And then, after having taken it step by step by step, see if that gets the job done. If it doesn't, then we have to answer the ultimate question, "Do we act against him militarily?"
KARL: OK, well, if this turns into a long-time war -- let's take a look. We have a poll that was out this week, CNN-USA Today Gallup poll. The question was, "Do you support a long-term war against terrorism?" Now that number is 62 percent, up just from October, where it stood at 49 percent.
Now, we had 500,000 troops on the ground in Iraq and in Saudi Arabia back in 1991, and we didn't get rid of Saddam Hussein. What would it take to get rid of Saddam Hussein today?
BAYH: We had 500,000 troops in Iraq, Jonathan. We didn't get rid of Saddam Hussein, but that was by choice. We decided not to get rid of him. In hindsight, well, you can always Monday-morning quarterback.
But I don't think it would take a commitment of that type. I'm not sure we're prepared to cross that bridge that yet.
KARL: Well, what would it take?
BAYH: Sponsoring internal opposition, yes. Looking at covert operations, yes -- although, that's a capability that we have to rebuild. We're not very well prepared right now within Iraq.
But taking it one step at a time, possibly special forces, things of that nature. But 500,000 troops, I think we're a ways from there yet. KARL: Well, what do you think it would take?
POLLACK: That's one where I actually would disagree with the senator on that.
I think ultimately we are going to have to commit a large ground force. I don't think it will have to be quite as big as we used in Desert Storm, because the Iraqi military is even weaker than it was in 1991. And as we found out, we probably didn't need all 500,000 of those troops even in 1991.
But I think the Senator is absolutely right that we don't yet have either the political support here or the diplomatic support internationally to make that kind of a commitment.
And I do believe that's ultimately that is what is going to be required of us to head off the threat from Saddam Hussein. And I think that's why the point earlier on about how we move from stage to stage with Iraq is a really important one.
I think we start by ratcheting up the pressure in terms often sanctions an containment. And we begin to prepare the groundwork for a major military operation against Saddam, assuming that he doesn't suddenly find religion and comply with all of the sanctions in the meantime, which I don't ever see happening.
KARL: So you don't think it's going to take that, a major ground offensive?
BAYH: The point I want to make, Jonathan, is, once we start down this road, which I think we should, we have to be prepared to finish the job. I hope it doesn't take a commitment of 500,000 ground troops, but if it does, Ken, I would agree with you. We have to be committed to getting the job done. That's what it will take, that sense of dedication, to keep the allies together in support of this effort and to ultimately be successful.
KARL: OK, we need to take a quick break. A lot more to talk about.
We'll be back with Senator Bayh and Ken Pollack in a short while. When we return, we'll also take your phone calls and e-mails on taking the war to Iraq.
KARL: This from the latest USA Today-CNN Gallup Poll: Should U.S. troops remove Saddam Hussein from power? Seventy-four percent favor, 20 oppose.
Now, big public support for taking the fight from Afghanistan to Iraq. We're talking about that with Indiana Senator Evan Bayh and Ken Pollack of the Council on Foreign Relations.
So big public support. You're supportive of this idea, Senator, but what would your Democratic colleagues on Capital Hill say if the president went -- took this war to Iraq without establishing a link to September 11, something you said might not even be there?
BAYH: Well, we're going to have a big separation-of-powers debate, much like we did before the Persian Gulf War when his father decided to come to Congress and to seek congressional authorization to take action against Saddam.
It's a gray area, Jonathan. My advice would be that I think he would find strong bipartisan support. I think there would be a strong element within the Democratic Party that would support this, because in the long run, we view this as being important to the American national security.
If he were to bypass Congress, then possibly that would create some problems. But I think if he came to Congress, he would have good support.
KARL: Now, I get the sense -- and it may be a subtle difference -- but that you two disagree about the nature of the imminent threat from Iraq.
Ken Pollack, do you believe -- you talked about the threat of developing weapons of mass destruction. How much of a threat today in the short term is Iraq?
POLLACK: Actually, I don't think there's too much of a disagreement on that. I think there is some threat from Saddam Hussein in the immediate sense, but it's not an overwhelming one.
The greater threat from Iraq is over the longer term. And this was exactly the comment that the senator started out with. The real threat is his redevelopment of the military power he had in 1991 and going beyond that to acquire a nuclear weapon.
KARL: Well, how far do you think he's gotten?
POLLACK: During the last 10 years his nuclear program has mostly been dormant. But back in 1991 we know that he was maybe 18 or 24 months away from getting a nuclear weapon. So if he were to restart it today, it probably wouldn't take him too many years to develop one on his own. And that's just assuming that he hasn't bought one or isn't going to be able to buy one on the black market from one of the Russian gray arms dealers, or somebody else who might have one to sell -- Pakistan, for example.
KARL: Well, how soon? How high a priority must this be? I mean, you have pointed out that in terms of terrorism, Iraq actually ranks pretty low on the list of terrorist-sponsoring countries. And how soon does this administration need to be talking about talking Iraq out?
POLLACK: I think we want to do this sooner rather than later. I don't think we want to keep playing Russian roulette with how long Saddam is going to take to get a nuclear weapon.
I think the one big constraint out there, and again I think the administration has articulated this really nicely, is the fact that we have a war right now against terrorism and against the al Qaeda organization that is going to require a great deal more effort. We talk about Afghanistan as if it's all over. It's not. There may still be a great deal more work and a great deal more fighting left in Afghanistan. And even beyond that, we're going to have to get at all of these cells around the world.
So we need to take care of that first. And in the meantime, I'd say we use that period of time that we're going after al Qaeda to build support both domestically and internationally to go after Saddam.
KARL: Well, how far away are we from phase two?
BAYH: As Ken mentions, Jonathan, we have some important work to finish in Afghanistan. We haven't apprehended Osama bin Laden or killed him. They're still going to be other Taliban elements that have to be brought to justice. We have to look at Yemen, Sudan, some other nations that have harbored terrorist activities.
I think we keep the momentum building. I can't put a month figure on it, but I'd say -- he mentioned a year. I think that's a reasonable estimate.
KARL: And you also mentioned the Iraqi opposition. And we've been talking about the Iraqi opposition, the U.S. has, since 1991, talking about, you know, developing, supporting the opposition in the north and the south and from exiles. Where has it gone?
BAYH: Well, the opposition isn't quite as robust within Iraq as it has been in Afghanistan. So it's going to take a longer period of time to build that kind of indigenous opposition to Saddam.
They made some attempts. Unfortunately, he was able to quash them. And so we're going to have to take some time here to rebuild that.
But it's a process step by step of increasing the pressure on him, calling for the sanctions -- or inspections, tightening the sanctions, supporting the indigenous opposition, developing our covert capabilities, then looking at the possibility of special forces and a commitment of ground troops. Step by step, bringing the allies along, you bring pressure to bear upon him. And ultimately, Jonathan, we have to remove him from power.
KARL: OK, we have a question that came in via e-mail from one of our viewers: Why was Saddam Hussein never charged with war crimes after the Persian Gulf War like Milosevic?
POLLACK: It is. And unfortunately, I wish we had an international lawyer to sit and go over that.
When I was at White House working on Iraq, we raised that question any number of times. And what came back to us was a complicated set of legal issues regarding actual killing of Americans, because for the United States to do it, there have to be American deaths involved. What...
KARL: Well, what about the Hague, the international war crimes tribunal?
POLLACK: What we did over the last few years was we went to a number of countries around the world who had their own nationals killed by Saddam Hussein within the requisite timeframe and tried to work with them to encourage them to go ahead and bring crimes against humanity against Saddam Hussein. And we found some receptive countries out there.
But the problem is that the Russians, the Chinese, the French to a certain extent, had made it very clear that they don't want to have any part of this. So it then becomes a diplomatic problem for us. And we have yet to be able to overcome their diplomatic opposition.
KARL: Makes you wonder how much of a coalition you can get in favor of military action, if you have a hard time getting a coalition in favor of simply taking a guy out on war crimes, doesn't it, Senator?
I mean, what about the coalition? Is Saudi Arabia going to allow hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops to assemble again?
BAYH: I suspect that what we'll see is a lot of negative commentary. But at the end of the day, if we're serious, the Saudis and others know that we're willing to see this to the end of the process and actually remove him, we'll see tacit support behind the scenes because, frankly, there is threatened or more threatened by this presence than are we.
So if we're willing to go it alone, if necessary, and the military front, much as we've done in Afghanistan, I think we'll see the kind of tacit, behind-the-scenes support that we would need to get the job done.
KARL: OK. We have a phone call now I want to go to. We'll try this out.
From Minnesota, caller, are you on the line? Do we have our caller from Minnesota? OK, I guess not. I guess we lost that.
But in terms of the coalition, President Bush took some heat from conservatives back in 1991, the first President Bush, because he spent too much time building international coalition, you know, and kind of ceding authority to other countries.
If this were to happen, you're saying that you'd like to see this president take a decisive United-States-leading-the-way approach to this, not necessarily worry so much about building a coalition.
BAYH: In a perfect world, you have a strong international coalition. It's important for some practical tactical reasons. You have to have airspace rights, you may have to have some land bases in other countries, things of that nature. So, for that purpose, you do have to have some agreement. But at the end of the day, I think what we've seen in Afghanistan, if we're prepared to go to it -- in some ways, it's easier and more effective, Jonathan. Fighting a war by committee is a tough thing. What we saw in Kosovo and some other places, if everybody has the right to veto individual...
BAYH: Yes, it gets to be impossible.
KARL: Well, Senator Bayh, thank you very much for joining us.
Ken Pollack, thank you. Hope to see you again.
And when we come back, how AMERICA'S NEW WAR has reshuffled the political deck.
KARL: We're looking at pictures, live pictures, again, from Ground Zero in New York, where that cleanup continues.
September 11 changed the way many Americans view their place in the world and their country. While polls show overwhelming public approval for how the war against terrorism is being conducted, the Bush administration's approach is getting criticism from some unlikely quarters. Some conservatives have voiced displeasure about the course of the war, while many liberals are voicing support for the president, at least in terms of the war on terrorism.
We get some perspective on this from two guests. Joining us from Boston is Massachusetts Democratic Congressman Barney Frank, and here in Washington, Christopher Hitchens, a columnist for Vanity Fair magazine.
Congressman Frank, I want to start right off with you. We've heard a lot of criticism of the president on the economy and on domestic issues. But where has the left been in terms of criticizing -- or where has the anti-war movement been in terms of the war on Afghanistan?
REP. BARNEY FRANK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Well, I have to question this assumption that somehow people who are on the left are supposed to be anti-war. They weren't in the war against Hitler, and they weren't, to a great extent, in the war to protect South Korea against the North Korean invasion.
And most of the people on the political left in the U.S., most liberals, most -- almost everybody in the Democratic Party in Congress is supportive of our -- not just our right -- I think our moral obligation to go after Osama bin Laden.
Remember, this is a man who hasn't just killed Americans. This is a man who, when he engineered the bombing of two embassies in Africa, killed 300 innocent Africans with no stake in this whole issue. So what you have is a support for the notion that we can defend ourselves. You also have the fact that the Taliban regime in Afghanistan has been one of the most brutal we've seen in recent years. The way the Taliban has mistreated particularly women, but not only women, is savage.
Now, I think there is a challenge for this country. I think we have an obligation to show that, having helped bring about the end to the Taliban, we can cooperate with others and give the people of Afghanistan the chance to have a better regime. And I think that's now the very difficult phase that we'd have to take on.
KARL: So, Christopher Hitchens, is there no room for an anti-war movement on the left?
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS, JOURNALIST: Well, can I just add to what the congressman said?
Some of us were opposed to the Taliban long before the Bush regime was. I signed a petition, I'm proud to say, my name even went out on a petition in June, on why does the U.S. government allow the impression that it has no disagreement with the Taliban regime, which was a client of our Pakistani client (ph), when it enslaves half its population.
I was one of those, also, who protested when Colin Powell gave the Taliban $50 million and some congratulations for its ridiculous war on drugs, a war that's as absurd in Afghanistan as it is here.
So we're delighted to welcome Mr. Bush and many conservatives to our coalition, but they came a little late.
As to anti-war, well, the question, in a way, answers itself. I'd never thought Vietnamese farmers were my enemy. I never thought that Chilean workers were my enemy. I've published a book that's still on the stands saying Henry Kissinger should go to jail for what he did in those countries and others.
But for the same reason, I do think of Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda network as my enemies. I've thought so for a very long time.
And I'm delighted that this form of fascism that's being -- that was being allowed to spread, was being paid for and endorsed and organized and armed by our Saudi and Pakistani false friends, is now an official enemy. That's progress of a kind.
KARL: So, Congressman Frank, you heard the president talk about, hinting that, perhaps, Iraq is a future target, saying that, you know, Saddam Hussein's got to let our inspectors in "or else," not specifying the "or else."
How long does this support last? I mean, does it last as this war expands and it goes beyond Afghanistan or if it drags on for a long time in Afghanistan and we start seeing American casualties?
FRANK: Well, it wouldn't -- let's take the latter one. If it drags on, if it turns out to be more difficult than it's been, no, that's not going to cause erosion from people on the liberal side.
Inevitably, there'll be some of the people in the country who will be less engaged, who, as things get tougher, may decide, well, it's not worth it. But that wouldn't happen ideologically. That would be the kind of usual problem you have when things become too costly.
As for expansion, I think there would be some opposition to expansion now. And I think -- and I want to stress this again -- we have culpability. Christopher Hitchens talked about this for the Taliban.
The Taliban arose out of the combination of circumstances that was U.S. support for an effort to throw the Russians out, which was perfectly morally acceptable -- the Soviets at that time certainly had no moral right to run that country. But we then walked away with others and paid very little attention. And the result was this terribly oppressive regime.
Now, we have once again been successful in getting rid of a very bad regime in Afghanistan, an even worse one than they had before.
FRANK: I think we've got a moral obligation to participate in trying to put a better regime in place. We can't do it singlehandedly. We have to let the Afghan people do it.
I'm disturbed by suggestions that the Northern Alliance, which never could have gotten to where it got in Kabul without our support, is now going to act as "Well, this is our country and we're going to run it." I don't think that's acceptable. There are women's rights that have to be vindicated. There are other things that have to be done.
And so I think the next thing for us to do, frankly, before we go in and overthrow -- help overthrow another regime, albeit a regime that well deserves to be overthrown, it does seem to me from the moral standpoint, we've got to show that we can leave the people of that country better off than they were before.
KARL: OK, we've got to take a quick break. I know you want to jump in.
We'll be back in just a minute. When we return with Congressman Frank and Christopher Hitchens, we will take your phone calls and e- mails.
KARL: We're talking about politics in the midst of AMERICA'S NEW WAR with Democratic Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Vanity Fair columnist Christopher Hitchens.
Christopher Hitchens, it wasn't long ago that those on the left were questioning whether or not Bush was a legitimate president, given the recount in Florida. Now, with so much praise for President Bush, what do you get the sense -- are we better off with Bush in the White House than Al Gore?
HITCHENS: I must say I was not one of those who would've voted for Mr. Gore and Mr. Lieberman. I was a solid Nader supporter, and I would cast that vote again if I voted.
KARL: So who are we better off with?
HITCHENS: I recommend him with as much enthusiasm as before. I don't miss the idea of Gore-Lieberman running the country in a crisis, I'm bound to say.
However, that doesn't mean one has no criticisms of the president, by any means. I mean, for example, a network of al Qaeda gangsters has just been arrested in Spain, put in preventive custody by the man who arrested Pinochet, Judge Garzon (ph). Wonderful guy, much disliked in the United States because of his attitude on international humans rights. But he's grabbed the al Qaeda gangsters.
However, he says, he won't deliver them just to any old court. The European Union has certain standards. You can't deliver prisoners to a court that is a military tribunal that has secret evidence and that can impose capital punishment. So the United States has to make up its mind. George Bush has plunged himself squarely on the wrong side of that argument.
We were just getting to a point of universal jurisdiction. Pinochet gone, Milosevic...
KARL: So Al Gore...
HITCHENS: ... gone, Kissinger going. And bin Laden obviously a perfect candidate for a trial of international jurisdiction, and that's all been spoiled by the president for a lot of people. And I'm pleased to see a number of conservatives taking this view, as well.
So by no means do we baptize the president as our grand national war leader, dear leader behind whom people must rally. We don't think like that, and should not.
KARL: So, Congressman, do you agree that Al Gore -- you wouldn't necessarily feel as comfortable with an Al Gore-Joe Lieberman White House right about now?
FRANK: Oh, no, I think that's silly. In fact, Bush has been successful to some extent because he has repudiated previous Bush policies.
In fact, Colin Powell, who I think has played a useful moderating role in all this and a sensible role, really became secretary of state September 11. They had him on bureaucratic life support before that, because the right wing was so unhappy with him.
For example, Bush mistakenly ignored the Middle East peace process. He so wanted to be the anti-Clinton that he backed away from some constructive efforts Clinton was trying to make in the Middle East, and now has had to, as a result of September 11, get back in. Which is unfortunate that you have to do it as if you were forced into it, which in fact he was.
HITCHENS: This is just Democratic loyalism, just Democratic loyalism.
FRANK: Well, excuse me, Mr. Hitchens...
HITCHENS: The Clinton peace process was...
FRANK: I'm sorry, wait a minute, wait a minute...
HITCHENS: The Clinton peace process was the...
FRANK: Excuse me, Mr. Hitchens.
HITCHENS: Nobody, nobody...
FRANK: Excuse me, excuse me...
HITCHENS: No, I don't excuse you...
FRANK: This is just silly.
HITCHENS: ... actually, Congressman.
FRANK: I'm sorry, wait a minute.
HITCHENS: The air outside is full of Democratic loyalists, all right?
FRANK: I don't understand the ground rules here. Let's have the ground rules here.
HITCHENS: Give the left a chance...
FRANK: Mr. Karl...
HITCHENS: ... that's what we were supposed to do here.
KARL: Let's give the congressman a chance to...
HITCHENS: Give the left a chance, that's all we're supposed to do here.
KARL: Let's give the congressman a chance, and then we'll get to you, Christopher Hitchens.
FRANK: Mr. Hitchens' contempt for legitimate debate is unfortunate, but I hope you're not going to allow it to interfere with...
HITCHENS: ... interrupt the congressman.
KARL: You've got the floor, Congressman.
HITCHENS: The uninterruptible congressman.
FRANK: No, not uninterruptible, Mr. Hitchens.
HITCHENS: Go ahead, go ahead.
FRANK: Please, why don't you stop being silly? Why don't we -- let's have an adult conversation with you not heckling this way.
The fact is, there are other areas where Bush has repudiated -- the whole question of nation-building. One of the most important challenges for us right now is to say that, once we have succeeded in getting rid of the last vestiges of the Taliban, we're going to construct, with help obviously, we're going to help the Afghans construct a real country. That's nation-building. Bush was contemptuous of that. He's backed away from that.
The whole notion that the U.N. was to be dismissed, the Bush administration has completely reversed itself. And of course Mr. Hitchens' contempt for the peace process that Bill Clinton started, I disagree...
FRANK: ... with completely.
Mr. Hitchens, Mr. Hitchens, can you not allow serious conversation without this kind of heckling? That's not useful conversation.
HITCHENS: Well, wait a minute. When is it my turn? Or is this just another harangue for the Democratic Party?
FRANK: It's your turn when Mr. Karl...
KARL: Go ahead, Mr. Hitchens.
FRANK: Mr. Hitchens, it's your turn when the moderator says it's your turn.
KARL: Christopher Hitchens, your floor here.
HITCHENS: Thank you, sir.
Nobody has any nostalgia, except perhaps Congressman Frank, for the Bill Clinton farce at Camp David, which led to the Marc Rich peace process and to a totally unrealistic set of proposals.
My criticism of the Gore-Lieberman ticket was that, not unlike some other forces in the Democratic Party, it was a wholly owned subsidiary of General Sharon. The great thing about the Bush program has been, and it's to their credit I think, the way Mr. Sharon tried to take -- General Sharon tried to take a free ride on the war and say, oh, well, that means you will have to endorse my line on the indefinite persecution of the Palestinians. The administration said, no, that's not what we mean by solidarity at all.
I don't think Gore-Lieberman would have taken that line. I think, if they'd been in charge, either Baghdad would've been nuked by now or Pakistan would've been taken over by the Taliban. They would either have been too hawkish or too dovish.
But I'm -- nobody, no serious Democratic -- I say nothing about the congressman from Massachusetts -- no serious Democratic even wishes that those people had won the election.
KARL: Is that remotely true, Congressman Frank? No serious Democrat wishes...
KARL: ... wishes that Al Gore were president?
FRANK: Do I get to talk?
HITCHENS: Who can stop you?
KARL: Go ahead.
FRANK: That's just typical of Mr. Hitchens' unwillingness to have a serious conversation.
Yes, most Democrats...
HITCHENS: You keep saying that.
FRANK: Yes, I do, because you keep giving me reason to.
FRANK: The fact is that the Bush foreign policy has been successful recently to a great extent because he has reversed many of the criticisms he made of the Clinton and Gore foreign policy.
This notion -- and I think it's illustrated -- Mr. Hitchens, just, I know he, I guess, is trying to sell books as the great contrarian so he wants to be contrary.
Here's the -- look at the way he just posed this. Either Bush and -- either Gore would have been too dovish or too hawkish. Well, there's no logical basis for that. What he's saying is he wants to be abusive of them, so he will take this position that has no logical coherence because he's sure they would've either been too soft or have been too hard.
In fact, I think, again, it's clear that the elements of success in the Bush foreign policy have to some extent been because he's embraced the U.N., having repudiated it; because he's talked about nation-building, having repudiated it; and because he has indicated an interest in a Middle East peace process when, for 10 months, he said we're going to have nothing to do with it.
KARL: OK. Congressman, we only have 15 seconds left. Christopher Hitchens, has Bush been...
HITCHENS: My 15 seconds.
KARL: ... better than you expected?
HITCHENS: Fifteen seconds is better than I expected.
It is true that the Bush people made some adjustments that were overdue -- the U.N. The congressman is quite right about that. And it's true that they have begun to internationalize their policy.
But that doesn't, seems to me...
KARL: OK, Christopher Hitchens, I...
HITCHENS: That's it?
KARL: Thank you very much. Our 15 seconds is...
HITCHENS: Well, it's been real.
KARL: Barney Frank, thank you very much for joining us from Boston.
FRANK: You're welcome.
KARL: I appreciate it.
Thanks for watching CNN's continuing coverage of AMERICA'S NEW WAR. I'm Jonathan Karl in Washington.
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