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Giuliani Talks About Bin Laden Tapes

Aired December 13, 2001 - 14:01   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.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: It is now 2:00, just after 2:00 here in Washington; 11:00 in the morning on the West Coast. And as we begin this hour we want to go to New York City. Mayor Rudy Giuliani may perhaps commenting on the Osama bin Laden tape.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

MAYOR RUDOLPH GIULIANI (R), NEW YORK: ... delights in having destroyed innocent human life. Whether he's telling the truth or he isn't about his anticipation of how many people would die or how many he would kill, he seems delighted at having killed more people than he anticipated, which leaves you wondering just how -- just how -- just how deep his evil heart and soul really is.

But it indicates that the effort of the United States government to try to find him, either to bring him to justice or to -- if it turns out that in the effort to find him, he's killed, it seems that it's more than justified. For anybody with any doubt as to the justification of the military effort of the United States in defense of ourselves, this tape removes any doubt among anyone that would have any common sense at all that the military effort that the United States has undertaken to try to find him and either eliminate him in the effort to find him, or bring him to justice if, in fact, he's caught alive is justifiable, absolutely necessary, and necessary so that he doesn't do this again.

When you read what he says, you see that until and unless he is brought to justice or eliminated, he is probably going to kill a lot more human beings -- a lot more innocent human beings.

QUESTION: Mayor, what do you think about this claim that some of the people involved in the high jacking didn't even know that they would be killed? What do you think?

GIULIANI: I suspect that's partially true. It is hard to know with a man like this how much of what he says is true and how much is not true. So, you have to use your own common sense and judgment in trying to figure out what parts you are going to accept and what parts you are going to reject.

But it was a -- very much our thinking, by our thinking, I mean the police commissioner (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and some of the FBI agents we worked with early on, that it is inconceivable that everyone on the mission knew exactly what it was going to be and they would be able to keep it that secret. So, this is just our own guest.

Probably the person leading the mission obviously knew what was going to happen. You could not have carried out an operation like that if the person in charge didn't know what was going to happen. But it was quite conceivable that the other people that were involved in it didn't know, thought that it was just a hijacking and didn't realize that all of them were going to be giving up their lives.

QUESTION: Mr. Mayor, there are reports that the U.S. government was producing anthrax very similar in grade to the anthrax that's created such a crisis in our country. Do you have any thoughts of (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

GIULIANI: I don't know. First of all, I don't know that that's true. And I would need someone to explain to me, if the government was producing it, why were we doing it, you know, what the purpose of it is. Was there a legitimate scientific purpose for it, in order to understand it better, in order to understand what antidotes are necessary to deal with it.

Yes, there could be reasons for doing it that are quite justifiable. But I would just be speculating.

QUESTION: ... nuclear facility in view of the fact that it is so close to New York City?

GIULIANI: Which nuclear facility?

QUESTION: Indian Point.

GIULIANI: Oh, Indian Point.

QUESTION: And whether it's safe?

GIULIANI: I think it's safe. You have to -- you know, you can't go back into a prior age of human existence because you're -- because terrorist can do -- you know, can do bad things to you. The World Trade Center was not a nuclear facility. It was just a building, a big building, but just a building. So, no matter what you have or what you do, there are going to be certain vulnerabilities. So, you know, we can't take steps backward in human progress because we're, you know, because we're over concerned about them.

QUESTION: ... decide to the release of the bin Laden tapes?

GIULIANI: I think there was legitimate debate about whether it was wise or not to release it. I think it was wise to release it. I think that it -- we're all very much affected by this. So, we really do have a right to make own judgments about it, understand it better.

I think it serves the purpose of the United States in a legitimate way in demonstrating to any of those doubters that we were quite correct in the military action that we've taken. Maybe it will convince a few more people to cooperate with us and to not be as reluctant and to not worry as much about things like the death penalty and some of the government that aren't cooperating with us because they are worried about the death penalty.

Maybe if they pay attention to this tape they would get a sense that the use of the death penalty under the right circumstances, in a situation like this is certainly justifiable. If for no other reason than these people remain a clear and present danger to other innocent human being so long as they're alive.

QUESTION: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

GIULIANI: We just had a meeting about that this morning. You must have been snooping or listening in or something. We have a very, very elaborate security plan for New Year's Eve that goes back actually five years, and then was very intense for new year's 2000 -- 1999/2000.

So the police department will take another look at that plan and see how much, if anything, has to be added to it. But to be perfectly honest, we have a tremendous amount of security for New Year's Eve anyway, and we have had for the last two years at least, made it very, very intense in 1999 for the 2000 New Year's celebration.

We went through elaborate preparations. We sealed down the area. I think it was 30 hours before. We checked all different parts of it. We prohibited people from getting in there for 24 hours before the actual event took place. We used magnetometers in certain places. So, if people see that, again -- they should think -- if they think of -- this is just reaction to what happened on September 11, they should recognize that we used a tremendous amount of security for the millennium celebration.

So, we will certainly do that level. Whether we increase it somewhat more than that, I don't know yet.

QUESTION: Mr. Mayor, are you disappointed by Mike Bloomberg's lack of Republican appointments to his administration thus far?

WOODRUFF: New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani expressing his revulsion as so many others have today of the tape of Osama bin Laden expressing his in the September 11 attacks.

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