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9/11 10 Years After: Interview With Andy Card; Interview With Michael Hayden

Aired September 11, 2011 - 12:00   ET


BLITZER: How has the Muslim community in America changed as a result of 9/11?

GENEIVE ABDO, AUTHOR, "MECCA AND MAIN STREET": Well, they have become much more involved with Islam. They identify more with Islam. And this is true particularly, Wolf, of the younger generation. They're involved in their mosque communities.

So what's happened, I think that what we see not only anecdotally from all the communities I have visited, but also according to polling results, what we're seeing is that as Muslims have become more identified with Islam, a majority of Americans actually have more negative feelings towards Islam and Muslims is since 9/11.

BLITZER: And that has sort of sparked this reaction because you would think that maybe after 9/11, younger American Muslims would become less religious, more secular, if you will. But what you're learning is that it's just the opposite.

ABDO: Well, I think that this is true among religious Muslims and among young Muslims, that they feel that they have comfort now in Islam because they are joining organizations, Muslim students associations, for example, on campuses, on college campuses. Even a college in the middle of the Midwest in a very remote area has a now Muslim students association. And this wasn't true 10 years ago.

BLITZER: Congressman, you're in the Midwest. You're in Minnesota right now. Is that your experience, as well, that younger American Muslims -- younger women, for example, they're wearing head scarves, a more traditional look -- is that your experience, as well, Congressman?

ELLISON: Yes, it is common. But I want to just caution viewers that this is not necessarily -- this is not a bad thing. I mean, these are -- what I'm seeing is Muslims who want to do more volunteer work at clinics, to serve people of all faiths, that they want to get more civically engaged and offer leadership and volunteerism to community organizations and get more involved in the process.

So while it is true, I think that Geneive is right, there is a greater identification, it's not an "us versus you" identification. It's people saying, You know what? This is my country, and I'm going to do something about it through the vehicle I know best, which is my faith. But this is not necessarily a thing that anyone should be worried about. In fact, the people who commit acts of terrorism generally do these things for political grievances, and the people who reject them reject them because religiously, it's an immoral, wrong thing to do.

BLITZER: Let me bring Geneive back into the conversation. Do you agree with the congressman?

ABDO: Yes. I didn't hear all of what he was saying, actually, but I think that, you know, the Muslim community has -- is much more cohesive now than they were before. I think that their leadership, for example, like Congressman Ellison, their leadership has become much more involved. They've empowered themselves after 9/11, and that's the positive side.

BLITZER: Are you worried, Congressman, about American attitudes here towards the Muslim community not only in the United States, but indeed, around the world?

ELLISON: You know, Wolf, I'm really -- I'm really -- I'm worried, but I'm not overly distressed. And the reason why is that the people who are driving Islamophobia are a fairly small group of people who spend night and day trying to whip up anti-Muslim hatred. They're identifiable. They're small. They're well-known.

And my experience is that even if Americans who are of other faiths, you know, may have a not positive attitude toward Muslims, when they meet them, when they meet people of the Muslim faith and they see that people are just like them -- generous, loving people, good neighbors, good co-workers -- that a lot of that fear dissipates and goes away.

I just think that, you know, our whole country needs to be reminded about the importance of religious tolerance, that religious tolerance is enshrined in the first clause of the 1st Amendment in which the Constitution says Congress shall make no law establishing a state religion or abridging the free exercise thereof.

BLITZER: Geneive, as you know, we're seeing really dramatic changes unfold throughout the Muslim world, in North Africa and the Middle East. How is this going to play out here in the United States as far as American attitudes towards Muslims? There's concern in the U.S. relationship with the Muslim world.

ABDO: Well, I think what we've seen from the Arab awakening, as we call it, is that Muslims all over the world want some form of pluralism, some form of democracy in their countries. I mean, it could take much longer than we expect for there to be, for example, a democratic system in Egypt. But I think that it shows Americans that Muslims are -- you know, they want to become part of the modern world. They don't want to be alienated from the West.

And so I think that that's a very positive story that, with some luck, will show Americans that maybe the kinds of negative feelings they've had about Muslims are incorrect.

BLITZER: Geneive Abdo with the Century Foundation here in Washington, thank you very much.

ABDO: Thank you.

BLITZER: Congressman Ellison, as usual, thanks to you, as well.

ELLISON: Thank you.

BLITZER: And our coverage continues right now.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: September 11, 2001. A brilliant morning turns dark with terror and a nation comes together. Ten years later, if only for this morning, the sense of unity, determination, and sorrow is back. We've seen it, heard it and felt it, a morning with tears, memory, and still a morning that looks to the future, a day filled with anticipation.

Welcome to our viewers in the U.S. and around the world for CNN's continuing coverage of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks.

All of us have indelible memories of the day's events. We've see more remarkable things this morning, as well. The day is far from over. Right now, President Obama, who was here earlier, is at the memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the crash site of Flight 93. Later, he will visit the Pentagon.

Joining us now here is Andy Card, the former White House chief of staff to President George W. Bush.

I guess you'll always be remembered for that whisper in...

ANDY CARD, FMR. W.H. CHIEF OF STAFF: Iconic picture, but I am not an iconic person.

CROWLEY: Well, you know, so much has been made of that picture in terms of the president's reaction, and did he look like he didn't know what he was going to do. And I know you've been all of over that, and I thought maybe I'd ask you something this way. Is there anything that this president did that day that surprised you?

CARD: Well, I was a little bit surprised that he reacted so calmly when I said words that were so outrageous. But I actually was pleased with how he reacted.

CROWLEY: And tell us the words again, just for people...

CARD: I said, "A second plane hit the second tower. America is under attack." And then I stood back from him so that he couldn't ask me a question. And I kind of thought he might turn and look at me and start to talk, and I did not want him to do that. So I was pleased that he focused on...

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Why didn't you want him to do that?

CARD: First of all, it was a very, very public forum, and I think that any dialogue would have been misinterpreted probably by both of us. And it was also contrasting to me that there were these very innocent young students and a very mature, seasoned, skeptical press corps. So there were two very different audiences sitting in front of the president.

COOPER: How much did you think about what you were going to say to him, with the words -- the actual words?

CARD: I thought -- I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about it, but I did give careful thought to it. I tried to be very efficient. I tried to build on what he already knew. He'd been told that a small twin-engine prop plane crashed into one of the towers at the World Trade Center. So I tried to build on what he knew, be very efficient with my words, and then end with a statement that was unambiguous, "America is under attack."

COOPER: We've heard earlier today from Mary Matalin and other folks who were around, Ari Fleischer, who talked about not that it wasn't an emotional time but that a sort of a workman-like -- that they were surprised there wasn't more emotion. It was very much everybody had a job to do. Was that your remembrance of it, as well?

CARD: Absolutely. In fact, I thought the president himself was extremely task-driven, and he was cool, calm, collected and was ready to do the homework to make tough decisions. I tried to be cool, calm and collected, and I tried to make sure that he staff was not allowing emotions to get into the way of their responsibility to help the president meet an awesome responsibility, beyond comprehension, actually.

COOPER: Was there a time, then, when it -- sort of the reality of it all dawned on, not the technical reality, the logistical reality, but what this means?

CARD: I think the most searing image for me was the image we saw as we were leaving off an Air Force base to come back to Washington, D.C. And you saw the images of the towers collapsing, and the images before that of people jumping out of the World Trade Center. And it was just searing.

So this day, I don't want people to remember me whispering in the president's ear. I want them never to forget the innocent victims and the first responders that answered the call to duty and then they themselves became victims, and those heroes on that flight that prevented a lot of other Americans from dying probably at the U.S. Capitol.

CROWLEY: We talk a lot about how September 11 changed America and changed the world. Personally, did it change Andy Card?

CARD: Oh, yes. I mean, it did change me. It changed -- it -- I was much more serious about the obligations I had to be the president's chief of staff. I never viewed the job the same way I did after September 11 as I did before it.

Before, I was focused on the president's agenda. After September 11, I was focused on, What does the president need to do for America? It did change me. And obviously, it changed all of our lives in the context of new bureaucracies.

But think of the change immediately after the attack, America united. The world actually united with America. We were chanting "USA, USA, USA, USA." (INAUDIBLE) so paranoid. We saw enemies in our neighbors. So we had conflicting feelings of unity and suspicion.

And that was a hard thing to overcome, both the unity and the suspicion. And so relatively quickly, we got back into the partisan divides and the philosophical debates that make democracy so exciting. And I miss the unity. We're still a little bit more paranoid than I think we need to be.

COOPER: Certainly, in New York, there was this remarkable time after -- the day after September 11, and even on that day of unity. I remember going by a firehouse and just people gathering there just to kind of -- they wanted to do something to show solidarity, you know, with firefighters.

CARD: I was struck. The president visited this site on September 14th, 2001, and the crowd was chanting, "USA, USA." I looked over and I saw some rescue workers chanting "USA, USA," and they had Japanese flags on their uniform. And there were a team of search-and-rescue dogs and the handlers were chanting "USA, USA," and they had Canadian flags on their uniforms.

COOPER: It's interesting. You said a moment ago, though, you feel like we're maybe still more paranoid than we need to be? I don't want to...


CARD: Well, I think we still look very skeptically at our neighbors inside the United States because we were told to be vigilant. And we are vigilant. And remember, a lot of the attacks that have been thwarted were thwarted by the vigilance of American citizens. Someone on a plane says...


CROWLEY: "See something, say something" sort of...

CARD: Yes, we...

BLITZER: ... makes you suspicious of your neighbor.

CARD: Why are you lighting your shoe on fire? You know?


CARD: You know, what's that van doing in front of a stand in New York City? Those...

COOPER: So how do you walk that line between vigilance and yet not unwarranted suspicion?

CARD: I think you -- first of all, don't live in fear. Live with respect. Respect all of your fellow citizens, while you may have a question. So I guess it's a fine difference between being paranoid -- in the Washington, D.C., area, we were particularly paranoid, as was New York, over anthrax three weeks after the attack on September 11. And then in Washington, D.C., we had is the so-called white van sniper.

So those were the particularly paranoid times in the community that I was living in around Washington, D.C., after September 11. And I was glad that that kind of paranoia had disappeared. We now let our kids go to the soccer field to play soccer.

CROWLEY: You were with former president Bush last night, I know, down here.

CARD: I was...

CROWLEY: Down here and then saw him.

CARD: I saw him last night and watched his speech on...

CROWLEY: And what can you tell us about how he viewed these days?

CARD: Well, I honestly believe these days are not about him and that he doesn't think they're about him. He was trying to focus on the real heroes and the real victims. And the real heroes were the men and women that were on that flight that ended up crashing into Shanksville, Pennsylvania. And the real victims and heroes were the ones who were at this site and at the Pentagon, who said, I just showed up for work, or, I answered the call to duty and was willing to give my life (INAUDIBLE)

CROWLEY: Andy Card, thanks very much. Appreciate it.

CARD: Thank you.

COOPER: Good to have you on. Thank you for (INAUDIBLE)

CARD: Thank you.

BLITZER: Actor Tom Hanks narrates a 9/11 story that you probably never, ever heard before. Did you know that 9/11, on that day, we witnessed the largest sea evacuation in history very close to where we are right now?


TOM HANKS, NARRATOR: Boats -- usually an afterthought in most New Yorkers' minds -- were for the first time in over a century the only way in or out of Lower Manhattan.



(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... is in Los Angeles with us. Frank, what can you tell us about what's going on there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Aaron, we just saw what appeared to be the worst possible situation, the last thing that we want to show you, in fact, people arriving here at the airport, apparently friends or family members of some of the...


COOPER: That was our coverage at this time exactly 10 years ago. Although a decade has passed, we are still hearing new stories about the events of September 11, 2001. A lot of you probably didn't realize that the largest sea evacuation in history took place on September 11, 2001, in New York.

Watch now as Tom Hanks narrates the world broadcast premiere of that story. "Boatlift" was produced and directed by Eddie Rosenstein (ph) for the Center for National Policy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought I was watching a movie, "Towering Inferno," at first. And then I looked real close and I noticed it was the World Trade Center. I was compelled because I'm the type of person that can't stand by and watch other people suffer. And to me, they were suffering. They wanted to get off the island. And there was no way for them to get off the island other than the water.

And I had noticed when I was watching the television, I saw a lot of -- you know, the ferries going up into the slips and taking people off. I says, Fine, we can do the same thing. I can take people on my boat, get in there, take them where they have to go. And that's what we did.

HANKS: On the morning of September 11, when the towers came down, millions of people ran for safety. Hundreds of thousands of them ran south to the water's edge. That's when they realized that Manhattan is, indeed, an island and that they were trapped.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were feeling helpless, and that's the worst feeling in the world. What was a person on the ground going to do? Buildings were down. There were people laying under the rubble of the building, firemen, civilians.

My wife was there, and I turned around, I says, I have got to go do something, just like that. She looked at me, she says, What are you going to do, you maniac? I says, I'm going to take the Amberjack up into the city and help.

She says, But what if they're attacked again? I Says, well, then that's something I have to live with. I says, I have to do what I have to do, I says, and nobody can stop me right now. Even if I save one person or I rescue one person, that's one person less that will suffer and die. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were trying to evacuate Manhattan because nobody knew what was going on. You know, you didn't know if something else was going to happen. It was just a -- you know, a madness on one side and -- you know, and wanting to help people on the other side.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were just streaming out of the buildings, and the first mode of transportation they saw was a ferryboat. That's when they knew, This is how I'm getting out of here. They didn't even care where the boat was going.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There wasn't panic in New York in the beginning, just volume. It wasn't until the first building fell that there was panic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We heard the building go down, but we were in the slip so we can't see it. That's when we saw it had let go. And then, all of a sudden -- engulfed. You couldn't see anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People were actually jumping into the river and swimming out of Manhattan. Boats were very nearly running them over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These people wanted out of Manhattan no matter -- any way they could.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Somebody wants you to go over there!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every mode of transportation out of Manhattan was shut down. All the subways were shut. The tunnels were all closed. They closed the bridges. They closed everything immediately.

HANKS: Boats -- usually an afterthought in most New Yorkers' minds -- were for the first time in over a century the only way in or out of Lower Manhattan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Start evacuating people. Anybody can get over here who wants to evacuate!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The process had actually already started. There were some boats that were grabbing people and people were lined up at the walls.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the left! On the left! On the left!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just human nature. You see people in distress on the seawall in Manhattan, they need you to pick them up. You have to. You have to pick them up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They didn't know what was going on. They seen the building getting hit with these two planes. As far as they was concerned, you know, we were being bombed. I was wondering if they were going to come on the boat, if they had people with bombs on, if they were going to come on. We're a big orange target in the middle of that harbor. My job is to keep the boat safe, my passengers safe, my crew safe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody was in shock, running around. They didn't want to leave their families. They had loved ones running around the city.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does anybody have the baby? Nobody has it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was one guy ran from the apron and jumped onto the boat. He grabbed onto the metal, climbed up right next to the pilot (ph). So I'm going out there to say something, and he slides down to the next deck so that the deckhands got him, and go, you know, What are you doing? He goes, I'm jumping for my life. So you know, you couldn't argue with him there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was a small boat that was at the lower tip of Manhattan. I thought the boat was going to flip over because so many people were trying to get on. And as I looked behind, they were just 10 deep. That's kind of what gave us the idea.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We decided that this has to be a better organized and we better do it, and that's what we did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we decided to make the call on the radio.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All available boats, this is the United States Coast Guard for (ph) the pilot boat (ph) in New York. Anyone who wants to help with the evacuation of Lower Manhattan, report to Governors Island.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When that call came on the radio, they were coming.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was uncertain of who was going to respond. About 15, 20 minutes later, there were just boats all across the horizon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Literally, a hundred targets converging on the lower part of Manhattan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we came out of that dust cloud, tugboats -- I've never seen so many tugboats all at once.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nearly (ph) just like a fleet of tugboats headed to Manhattan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it floated and it could get there, it got there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All different size, shapes (ph) of boats (ph). I mean, and they were zooming across this water.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ferries, private boats, party boats.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I worked on the water for 28 years, I've never seen that many boats come together at one time that fast. One radio call and it just came together just that fast. HANKS: Hundreds of boats converged on the city, leaving the sun- bathed harbor behind them. Dead ahead, the unknown.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That was something I won't forget. It was just low, dark, acrid, black smoke. It's like there was a big chimney in Manhattan. When we pulled in to Pier 11, the dust was unbelievable.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And then out of nowhere, you just kept on seeing people coming.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looked like zombies coming through the fog, and you knew that those were human beings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't leave us. Please don't leave us here. Take us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need help! We need help! We need help!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At that point, the Coast Guard said not how many people are you allowed, how many people can you fit?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, guys! Anybody coming, get your ass over here now! Now! Come on!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boats started hanging -- literally would take a bed sheet off a bunk, and then a can of spray paint and paint their destination on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some of these people never been on the water, never been on a boat before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Housewives, workers that do windows, we had executives. And the thing that was the best, everyone helped everyone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want you to hold my hand. Come on board. Step inside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw four businessmen lifting up an old woman with a seeing-eye dog, a German shepherd, and they lifted her up like a surfboard and passed her over the handrails.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we would carry a lot of people over and there was somebody standing there that seen a husband or wife, you know, that made us feel even better, you know? Well, at least we got two back together again. You know, let's keep on going, you know?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The guy that works at the ferry, he's a welder. His son was on my boat. He actually came up -- he thanked me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We went back and forth all day long carrying boat loads, as many as our boat would hold. And it's a lot of people. A lot of people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You couldn't have planned nothing to happen that fast, that quick.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No training. This was just people doing what they had to do that day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You forget all about what you're supposed to do, what they teach you in school, and you say, You know what? Morally, this is the right way to go. And deep down, this is what I'm going to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Average people, they stepped up when they needed to. They showed me, you know, when the American people need to come together and pull together, they will do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do feel in a way honored that I was part of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's the greatest thing I ever did with my life.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The greatest day that I've ever seen in all my boating, I mean, my life on the water.

HANKS: The great boatlift of 9/11 became the largest sea evacuation in history, larger than the evacuation of Dunkirk in World War II, where 339,000 British and French soldiers were rescued over the course of nine days. On 9/11, nearly 500,000 civilians were rescued from Manhattan by boat. It took less than nine hours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe somebody has a little hero in them. You got to look in, and it's in there. It'll come out if need be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have one theory in life. I never want to say the word, I should have. If I do it and I fail, I tried. If I do it and I succeed, better for me. And I tell my children the same thing. Never go through life saying you should have. If you want to do something, you do it.


COOPER: For more on this story and others like it, you can go to Remarkable story. It is (INAUDIBLE) something we've seen all around the world in the wake of disasters and in conflict, of strangers reaching out and literally saving the lives of others. And to know that -- you know, that happened here 10 years ago today is just -- it's an extraordinary thing.

CROWLEY: And we kind of -- I mean, there was so much going on that day. That's why I love the "asterisks" story that Drew Griffin is doing, this story, just things that now sort of give us a more and more complete picture of what went on.

COOPER: Yes. In the decade since 9/11, a tattered flag found here after the collapse of the World Trade Center towers has been repaired by people who have lived through other disasters. That flag is in Joplin, Missouri, today. We're going to take you there next.


COOPER: Welcome back to our continuing coverage of the memorial ceremonies at the World Trade Center site here, the World Trade Center memorial. It's the World Trade Center number one, World Trade Center, the tower still being built.

Hundreds of family members spending time around the two reflecting pools and the footprints of the twin towers that once stood. Now these enormous extraordinarily beautiful fountains, each some 200 feet, each side 200 feet with plunging water that actually have two levels of waterfall, a center square in the middle that also has water pouring into it.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: It's beautiful. It really is hard to describe, and it's even hard to take a picture of it and do it any kind of justice, I think.

COOPER: It's going to be open to the public starting tomorrow, today the first time it's open to family members and family members only who are still here.

Several hundred of them still waiting on the outskirts, probably about 100 or so listening to the names of the fallen being read. Those names have been read since early this morning and the readings continue probably for another half hour to 45 minutes or so.

Most of the family members now are inside the memorial park and walking around these fountains.

CROWLEY: And sort of overshadowing this day, as I guess, you know, from here forth may always be the case is current security threats. We know from some of the stuff that was taken out of Osama Bin Laden's home in Pakistan that they were obsessed about 9/11, that anniversaries are a big time to make a big splash.

Want to welcome Fran Townsend, our Homeland Security expert here, a former Homeland Security adviser to George W. Bush. How do you make -- I was watching the traffic yesterday in New York and, you know, they squeezed it down to one lane so they could check all the trucks and some of the cars.

And it was complete chaos in New York City, which will surprise people who think New York City's always in complete chaos. I wondered at the time as we were sitting there how and when the decision is made to say to the public, and take what are pretty extreme measures to disrupt a big city in the middle of rush hour.

FRANCES FRAGOS TOWNSEND, FORMER BUSH HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISER: Part of it, Candy, is do you think that you can get an investigation and get more information yourself? But there is a time constraint here, remember. This became public about 48 hours before, because of how late they got this information, how soon it became available to them.

So they had the time constraint. They wanted to help the American people if they had information. And then, you know, third what you hope is when the bad guy is here you're aware of the plot. It's sort of what I call a brush-back pitch.

Maybe they'll decide not to launch something they've been planning because they know about the police presence. There were two or three stolen trucks they were searching for, hence all of the searching on the George Washington Bridge and tunnels.

They seem to have done an extraordinary job. We've heard some threats of lone wolves, but even that, you know, they have license plate readers, they have leads to look for those people, and none of that has disrupted this very important memorial.

COOPER: Two days ago when this story broke, this terror threat, there were reports that one could be a U.S. citizen, then two, may have been on the Pakistan border and tried to fight in Afghanistan.

If an American is going to Afghanistan or going to Pakistan, how quickly would they show up on the U.S. radar? I mean, if a U.S. citizen suddenly decides to go to Pakistan and disappear for a long period of time, then returns to the United States, I would think that would automatically raise red flags.

TOWNSEND: It does, Anderson, and your instincts are exactly right. I mean, there are a myriad of ways in the intelligence community that you track worldwide suspicious travel and travel patterns.

So don't think you'll only come up on the radar with if you go directly to someplace like Pakistan. There are other ways by using formulas in the intelligence community that you can identify people with suspicious patterns of travel.

COOPER: My passport is always gleaned over very carefully when I come back.

TOWNSEND: You look very suspicious.

COOPER: Press I.D. to pre-empt any questions.

CROWLEY: Exactly. You know, there's always a phenomenon I know when murders took place when I did a lot of local TV. It was always about copycats. So when you say you're hoping to brush back a would- be terrorist by sort of making it public, do you also worry about the other way?

TOWNSEND: Yes, you do. You worry about other people who are looking --

CROWLEY: That's a great idea.

TOWNSEND: Look, I'll have my 15 minutes of fame. You do worry about that. But that's why you've seen the perimeter here, the inner perimeter is very tight. And even -- I walk from canal and chambers, right, to get in here. We walked and had office of emergency management passes. The copycats are why you push the perimeter so far out.

CROWLEY: Fran Townsend, our CNN Homeland Security adviser, thank you so much for your time.

TOWNSEND: Thank you.

CROWLEY: Today, we are seeing ugly reminders that global terrorism does remain a threat. In Sweden, a SWAT team backed by local police arrested four people overnight on suspicion of plotting terror attacks.

A top security analyst tells CNN, quote, "we have been able to prevent a situation." In Afghanistan this weekend, two civilians died and 77 NATO personnel, mostly U.S. troops, were hurt when militants detonated a truck bomb at a NATO base.

Across the United States, especially here in New York and in Washington, there's very heavy security because of the government's warning of specific and credible yet unconfirmed information about a possible plot. Former CIA Director Michael Hayden was director of the National Security Agency on 9/11.


GENERAL MICHAEL HAYDEN (RETIRED), FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: I would say it's probably stronger as a threat in terms of its ability to inspire rather than its ability to organize.

CROWLEY: And that gets us to lone wolves.

HAYDEN: Right.

CROWLEY: Is that the biggest -- I mean, this was an amazing number of people.

HAYDEN: Right.

CROWLEY: Very coordinated, the 9/11 attacks. But since then, it's been people whose ties certainly philosophically, if you want to call it that, were evident, but whose organizational ties were not, the attempts.

HAYDEN: Right. As a measure of our success, we've made it far less likely that they're going to conduct the kind of attack they want to conduct -- complex, well organized, mass casualty, against an iconic target, never say never.

But their ability to do that is very much reduced. So now we're faced with this al Qaeda inspired, the lone wolf, the individual, the self radicalized.

That's far more difficult for us to detect and stop, and we're going to have to shift our weight in the American allied intelligence communities to be better able to detect that kind of threat.

CROWLEY: Let me get some personal reflections from you. At what moment on 9/11, normal day you drive to work, but it was, you know, at the beginning of the day -- what moment did you think, al Qaeda did this? HAYDEN: Second plane into the tower. I was holding a normal meeting, as you suggest. Plane hits World Trade Center. Like most of us, horrible accident, probably believing it was a sport plane or a small aircraft.

When the second plane hit the tower, it removed all doubt from me, and frankly I think for all people like me in the intelligence community that this had to be an attack, and we all immediately went to, this is the work of al Qaeda.

About midmorning that day, George called me, George Tenet, said, Mike, what have you got? I said, George, it's al Qaeda. We can already hear the celebratory phone calls in the network.

CROWLEY: And were you in a room full of people that you were watching this on television?

HAYDEN: No, I wasn't on my screen. I was having a meeting. My executive assistant came in, told me, when the second plane hit, when I got word of that, I certainly turned to my E.A., executive assistant, and said get the head of security in here.

A few minutes later, he comes walking into my office, my executive assistant is coming in the other door and she's saying there are reports of explosions on the mall. That turned out to be the Pentagon aircraft.

And I didn't even allow my security chief to say anything. I said all nonessential personnel evacuate immediately.

CROWLEY: There had to have been a time when you saw what was happening, you saw these people jumping from buildings, parts of planes in the Pentagon, when you thought, did we miss something, did we miss something or how could we miss something this big. Did you have a moment of self-doubt through any of that?

HAYDEN: Sure. Sure. We all did and in one sense we were responsible for stopping this kind of event. I've reflected on it, Candy, and let me share with you how I've kind of summarized it in my own mind.

The 9/11 was both preventable and inevitable. Preventable in one or another specific, if we'd have done this or done that, we may have disrupted this plot.

But it was inevitable in the sense that if the United States did not concede itself as a nation being at war with al Qaeda and taking the necessary steps because we didn't self-identify into that category, this is going to happen sooner or later.

CROWLEY: Was there also a moment when you sat either by yourself or with someone in your family and thought, my God, look at what's happened?

HAYDEN: The evening of September 11th. I told you we had nonessential people leave the building. We tried to move all of the other personnel into a three-story building and out of the high-rises for reasons that were obvious then.

One shop we couldn't move was our counterterrorism shop. It was still in one of the high-rises, actually near the top floor. As we're getting to dusk, I decided I need to go over there and talk to those folks because they had both a professional and personal impact with which they had to deal that day.

A lot of these folks were Arab-Americans. And so I walked into the shop and kind of a presence thing, no speech to be given, just kind of walk through, a handle on the shoulder because they were really busy. They were working very hard.

And I looked up, and as I was there, as I said, it was dusk. I saw our logistics force putting up blackout curtains on those windows. I had the thought. We're putting up blackout curtains in eastern Maryland. This is going to be different.

CROWLEY: Was there ever a point when you cried?

HAYDEN: Woke up in the middle of the night. At some point the first week after 9/11 and was sobbing.

CROWLEY: And finally, what scares you now for this country?

HAYDEN: In terms of this topic, it's the one-off, it's the lone wolf. That's the real danger. Let me add on to that, this might be a bit surprising, it's not just the attack, which obviously is going to be bad enough.

And you notice I didn't use any conditional voice there, it's going to happen. We need to be careful about our response. We've got these guys in a bad place. They aren't capable of doing a lot of things they want to do. We have to be careful when the next attack takes place that we don't give them that, which they are incapable of achieving themselves.

In other words, that we don't take at best would be a tactical success for them and by our response turn it into some sort of strategic defeat for us.


COOPER: Michael Hayden a decade after the 9/11 attacks. Hundreds of firefighters and rescue workers who breathed that toxic dust and the noxious fumes amid the wreckage of the World Trade Center are having health problems.

Our chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, has been looking at what was in that dust and what's ahead for the people who breathed it. Sanjay joins us now. Obviously, we've seen new reports just in the last few months about cancer in -- elevated levels of cancer in firefighters in New York.

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right. I think the way this has progressed in the last 10 years has been interesting. I think people who breathed in that dust and smelled al that acrid air knew that it probably wasn't good for them.

There were anecdotal cases of it making people sick. Then there was more evidence about it causing respiratory problems specifically. The cancer question has always been pretty elusive.

And it does remain that to some extent, although this new study showed that there was a relationship between the dust and cancer. Exactly how significant has been in dispute depending on who you ask, but it's possible this dust that we have over here.

You've seen it, could potentially be causing cancer seems to be proven out by the study, not just how many people were affected and how significant are those numbers.

CROWLEY: So when you think about it, and I know you know what's in this dust, there's concrete particles or whatever that make the dust, then it captures bacteria and the fuel, the jet fuel and -- I mean, what's in it?

GUPTA: You know, the way that it was explained to me, just about everything in the periodic table in some ways is in this dust when the plane's jet fuel collide with these buildings, you had sort of these throwing together of all these various chemicals.

So benzene and titanium, things you normally wouldn't seen together suddenly forced together under very hot temperatures, and then sort of collecting in the air and attaching itself to this dust, which is why it stayed in the air for so long.

Then it slowly drifted down, people breathed it in. You could smell it. There was something different about it. Firefighters said to me it was unlike anything they smelled before. Obviously they're in these types of situations all the time.

This isn't even all of it, Candy, because there were volatile gases, as well, that people breathed in for a couple days. Those subsequently evaporated. This was collected. This was analyzed. It's been studied over the last several years. And it's part of what people are using now to draw some of these conclusions.

CROWLEY: So it was first there's just the dust and inhaling that much, but it's really what attached itself to it.

GUPTA: I think more so, yes. We looked at some of this dust under electron microscopes, really detailed images. It's jagged dust with all these various chemicals attached to it. Dust was like a carrier or a vehicle for all these chemicals into the body.

COOPER: Extraordinary and where is the dust now?

GUPTA: It's really interesting. There were a few people who decided to collect it at the time. I think they had the foresight to recognize this is toxic stuff, we should collect it, analyze it.

Rutgers University is one of the places that has stored several pounds of it. It's in a cold room. It has to be stored under specific conditions. This is dust they've given to us and the documentary we're working on.

They keep a lot of it under specific conditions to analyze again if any new evidence or new techniques of studying it should ever come out. Again, that particular study about the fire department and this dust was, you know, based on looking at the dust and looking at these firefighters and recognizing there was an increased risk of cancer.

CROWLEY: Sanjay Gupta, thank you.

GUPTA: Thank you.

COOPER: You're looking at President Obama talking to family members. Less than a month after 9/11, U.S. and British forces were at war with Afghanistan's Taliban and hunting down al Qaeda terrorists.

But 10 years later, would you believe some Afghans know nothing about 9/11 as a connection to their country? We'll show you next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Let me tell you this. We also lost American 77.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The White House is being evacuated.


BLITZER: Ten years ago today everyone remembers basically where they were, if they were alive, they certainly have a vivid memory looking at these live pictures from here at the Pentagon.

I'm Wolf Blitzer. We're reporting from the Pentagon, the memorial service now over with. The president, though, of the United States getting ready to come here with the first lady to lay a wreath at the Pentagon remembering those Americans who died here aboard that American Airlines flight as well as who were inside the Pentagon.

I had a chance earlier in the week to sit down with a former vice president, Dick Cheney, and he reflected, together with me, on lessons learned from 9/11. Could it have been prevented? What was going through his mind?


BLITZER: Did you ever think your life was endangered?


BLITZER: Did you think your family's life was endangered?

CHENEY: No. BLITZER: Did you ever say to yourself, I wish I would have done something that could have prevented these hijackers from committing this atrocity?

CHENEY: Such as?

BLITZER: When the summer of 2001, when you got a report, the presidential daily brief, saying al Qaeda was planning on launching attacks in the United States, did you take any specific action after you got that report?

CHENEY: Wolf, you need to go back and relook at all the commissions that studied all of this.

BLITZER: They've all reported--

CHENEY: The fact of the matter was that we did not receive any actionable intelligence prior to 9/11.

BLITZER: But you remember that presidential daily brief.

CHENEY: There was one brief, but it did not give us any information or intelligence of sufficient validity that we could mount an operation --

BLITZER: I mean, everybody is smarter with hindsight, obviously.

CHENEY: Of course. You're one of the best at that.

BLITZER: Believe me, trust me, I appreciate that.

But at the time, when you got that brief saying al Qaeda is planning an attack on the United States in the United States, did anyone say, you know, maybe the CIA and the FBI should coordinate so that the left hand of the government could talk to the U.S. government, that there could be steps taken that might have prevented 9/11?

CHENEY: Wolf, my attitude on it has always been that we had a lot of good people out there working very hard trying to track down the various elements in the terrorist community, if you will. There was a lot of reporting coming in.

The very first report we received after we got elected, sworn in, talked, for example, about WMD in Iraq. There was constant reporting on al Qaeda, on terrorist threats. I talked about terrorists in an interview I did in April of 2001 before we ever got down there. But we never had a piece of actionable intelligence. It doesn't -- just to say, well, there's going to be an attack in the United States, that doesn't tell you anything.

BLITZER: So you didn't do anything after you got that report.

CHENEY: I didn't say that. I think there was a lot of work done by the intelligence community that created the alert posture, the alert system. If anybody had had intelligence that would have let us intercept or interfere with that attack, obviously we would have acted.

BLITZER: Because some of the --

CHENEY: We had -- we had no such intelligence.

BLITZER: Some of the analysts, Richard Clarke, who was the counterterrorism adviser at the White House, said, you know what, I presented this report and everybody basically ignored it.

CHENEY: No. I don't agree with Mr. Clarke. I don't think he provided that kind of thing. I think that's after the fact on his part.


BLITZER: The former Vice President Dick Cheney speaking with me last week about stuff that might have occurred if the U.S. would have taken action after that presidential daily brief.

Anderson, Candy, I know you remember all those events. I know all of us have gone through the 9/11 commissions, all the other articles and books, studies that have been done on if 9/11 could have been prevented.

On this day, though, we remember those who perished, those 3,000 people who died on 9/11. There will be plenty of time to do some additional postmortems in the years to come. Guys, back to you.

COOPER: And family members here continue to not only read out names, but spend a lot of time around the name of their loved one, those names now in bronze, etched and placed near other friends they had from work or other family members who might have died alongside them. But the name sort of etched by association at the request of individual family members.

CROWLEY: So basically what this means is -- and I think what's interesting here is we talked earlier about people taking a piece of paper and then doing a rubbing along so that they can -- the imprint of their loved one's name comes up.

And they're doing it on the programs for today. And, you know, earlier we spoke with one of those who lost her husband. And this really is the only resting place at this moment. That 1,100 -- the families of 1,100 victims have because there are still unidentified --

COOPER: Many people did not have remains.

CROWLEY: No remains, a lot more than 1,100.

COOPER: Some may have a tombstone, but they feel this is the place where their loved one is.

CROWLEY: They are, Anderson. And that's why in some respects it took 10 years because it was that -- because in the broader shot of what we're seeing. Here are the memorials, these are on the footprints of tower one, the south tower and the north tower. But as you broaden out that picture, what you see is commerce, what you see are buildings that are being built or will be built or have been built to house businesses.

And they try to find the sweet spot between this -- what many of these relatives consider, what many Americans consider hallowed ground and not just that commerce is a part of America, but the need for commerce in Manhattan.

COOPER: Right. There's a leaseholder for this space, the man who had the twin towers, Ari Silverstein, who wanted office space. About half of the site has been devoted to the memorial, which is what is open now to the family members, which tomorrow opens up to the public.

The rest are commercial sites, mostly new -- a new subway station has been built and the buildings are going up all around us. The construction is literally happening around the clock. The 9/11 is certainly one of those rare events most people can remember exactly where they were when they first saw it.

So perhaps we take it for granted that everybody knows what it is or would at least recognize it. But is that really the case, especially in some of the places that have been most affected by its consequences?

Journalist Adam Phelps traveled in Afghanistan, showing pictures to the unbelievers and getting their reaction.


ADAM PHELPS, JOURNALIST (voice-over): Helmand in southern Afghanistan is the province that's born the brunt of the fighting between the Taliban and coalition forces.

While on patrol with the Marines, I get a first opportunity to ask a couple of young Afghan men what they know about 9/11.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, they never heard about this.

PHELPS (on camera): Can you show them a few more? Can you ask them do they know where it is even?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't know sir because we're farmers. We never heard anything else about the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Break time. Motorcycles coming through.

PHELPS (voice-over): The two young men had never heard of 9/11, But maybe the elders at a local shore would have more to say.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, they've never seen it. He's seeing you just can see the smoke from the buildings and that's it. When you guys showed us that picture, this guy's saying "I thought it was Kabul." UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I'd just gotten here I would have been surprised, but having been here for six months, I'm not. This is pretty much the stone ages where we are.

PHELPS: What did you think about their reactions?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought it was fascinating. The guy who said it was Kabul had clearly never been to Kabul. It shows how isolated they are even in their own country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's saying, the Americans say we're going to help you. They destroy one building. And they destroy how many buildings? They say we're going to help you. Where is the help?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do sympathize with some saying yes, your buildings were knocked down, but how many of our buildings have been knocked down?

PHELPS: Amazingly, in a country where for 10 years, a war has been fought with 9/11 as it root cause and justification, it turns out not only were the villagers unaware of 9/11, but so were the Afghan police and even some of the translators working with the U.S. military.

You don't know the history. In fact, after showing the images to dozens of Afghans, I only found one person who clearly recognized them and could connect them to the U.S.' initial reason for coming to Afghanistan, and that was the police district chief in Marjah.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He says that the Taliban terrorists attacked the building of New York and killed most of the people when they destroyed this building. So that was the reason American forces today came to Afghanistan.


COOPER: An interesting look at how people in Afghanistan, at least in Helmand Province in the southern part of Afghanistan, so much of the U.S. effort is now concentrated, how much they actually know about 9/11.

Clearly not many people seem to. Fareed Zakaria "GPS" would normally will be coming on at this hour. We are going to push that back. The readings and names continue. The memorial continue here at the World Trade site.

So we're going to stay here and continue to bring you live coverage of that. A little bit ago, we met a man whose group is custodian of the national 9/11 flag, which was damaged at the World Trade Center site on that day.

The group helps people in disaster-stricken communities across the United States, excuse me. In return, those people help to stitch the flag back together. Our Jim Spellman is with some people who survived the Joplin, Missouri tornado last May. It's their turn to help with the World Trade Center flag. He joins us now -- Jim.