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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Strike On Iraq: With War Under Way Security in U.S. Continues to be Stepped up

Aired March 20, 2003 - 17:56   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: With the air and ground war under way right now, security in the United States continues, even at this moment, to be stepped up. CNN's Greg Clarkin is over at New York's LaGuardia Airport. Tell us what's happening there, Greg.
GREG CLARKIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Wolf. We've been here all day. And up and down these terminal halls, we've seen a number of National Guardsmen usually moving about in pairs of two or three, rifles over their shoulders.

Also, a heavy presence from the Port Authority Police Department canine unit. So it's a lot of post-9/11 measures that appear to be beefed up, today especially. A lot of, again, the measures that we've seen over the last year-and-a-half, but today, definitely much in evidence.

Back here on the wall, the monitors for the flights, really not a lot of change, in terms of schedules, from the domestic U.S. carriers. They're pretty much sticking to their schedules in terms of the U.S. flights. But we have seen a lot of European, a lot of overseas and international airlines canceling flights.

Now, as far as the domestic situation goes, the major airlines say, at this point, they're sticking with their schedule. But they do hold out the possibility that they're taking things on a minute-to- minute basis, and, at some point, they may have to cancel some flights if this war were to go on for any prolonged period.

Back over here, we have the American ticketing area, and we've spoken to a number of travelers today. And again, these, we should point out, are domestic travelers. But really, to a person, we found that these folks are not changing their plans. They are very encouraged by the security measures here, and, for the most part, they're saying they're going about with business as usual. And again, that to a person that we've spoken to today, not a lot of change in their plans. Wolf, back to you.

BLITZER: All right, thanks very much, Greg, at LaGuardia airport in New York City.

Meanwhile, the defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, says as many as four oil wells may be burning along Iraq's border with Kuwait, bringing to mind the environmental disaster, of course, that followed the first Persian Gulf War. CNN's Ed Lavandera is in Houston, Texas, with more on the people whose job it is to put out these kind of fires -- Ed.

Unfortunately, we don't have Ed. We'll try to pick him up later and get his report. I want to show our viewers these live pictures of Baghdad right now. It's eerily quiet in Baghdad, as our Nic Robertson has been reporting now for the past couple of hours.

It wasn't very quiet earlier in the evening as U.S. Tomahawk Cruise Missiles and other bombs hit selected targets in the Iraqi capitol. We don't have any kind of full bomb damage assessment, but certainly, we're going to continue to watch what's happening in Baghdad.

We're going to continue to watch all of these developments. I'll continue to be here in Kuwait City. I'm Wolf Blitzer.

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