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.
WOLF BLITZER, HOST: Welcome to this special LATE EDITION. I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington.
Here are the latest developments in the aftermath of Tuesday's terrorist attacks in Washington and New York.
A second person wanted as a material witness has been arrested and is in FBI custody in New York. Few details are known, but this second person was one of 25 people detained by U.S. Immigration officials after the Tuesday attacks.
The Pakistani government says it will ask the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan to hand over Osama bin Laden in three days or face massive military action led by U.S. forces. U.S. officials do not expect the Taliban to cooperate.
According to today's Washington Post, the FAA alerted Air Defense Command that a hijacked jet was headed toward the Pentagon some 12 minutes before the plane hit, but apparently no one relayed that message to the building security. One hundred eighty-eight people are believed to have died in the Pentagon attack.
Now, let's check in with CNN reporters from around the world for the latest developments.
BLITZER: And we'll get the U.S. reaction to these latest developments from the Secretary of State Colin Powell in just a few minutes.
But first, let's get the latest information on the recovery effort at ground zero in New York City. Joining us now is the governor of New York, George Pataki.
Governor, thank you so much for joining us. First of all, our condolences to the people of your state, to the people in New York City. I know this must be an extremely wrenching moment for all of you.
But tell us, first of all, is there any hope out there that there will be survivors found in that rubble?
GOV. GEORGE PATAKI, NEW YORK: Well, Wolf, it is a very difficult time. I've never seen New Yorkers come together the way they have, and the spirit is strong. I've never seen America come together the way it has. The fact that we here at ground zero know that millions of Americans are praying for us, helping us, and millions of people around the world, gives us great confidence.
With respect to survivors, there's still hope. As every hour goes by, the hope becomes a little weaker, a little fainter. But we've seen in earthquakes where people lived eight, nine, 10 days afterwards. And there are tunnels under the World Trade Center.
So this is still a search and rescue operation. It might take a miracle for someone still to be found alive, but there are a lot of people out there praying for miracles. So we're just praying and working in the hopes that that miracle might happen.
BLITZER: Are you getting, Governor Pataki, everything you need from the federal government?
PATAKI: Wolf, it's been incredible. I spoke to President Bush before 9:30 Tuesday morning, and since that time, absolutely every request has been met. In fact, the administration has sent us things proactively before we've even asked for them.
You know, Wolf, probably the most important thing that New York needed was President Bush's visit on Friday. That really lifted the morale and the spirit of the thousands of people right behind me now, risking their lives in a dangerous effort to get through this. It lifted the spirits of all New Yorkers. We were very grateful that he didn't just drop in. He came, spent hours at the site, spent hours with the families. And it was very reassuring and uplifting to us.
BLITZER: What about additional assistance from volunteers out there? Is there any need for people watching this program, for example, around the United States, maybe even around the world, to come to New York and help in any specific way?
PATAKI: Wolf, not at this time. I'll tell you, it's been wonderful, the outpouring of support. I was at our Javits Center where we're coordinating volunteers yesterday, and we had people from South Texas, from California, from across the world who had come to help us out. But we are adequately staffed. What we're doing is rotating teams through.
To people who want to help, don't come here. We don't need you here now, but you can help. You can join your fire company; join your ambulance corps at home; support the Salvation Army and the Red Cross. And of course, you can donate funds, because there are not just thousands of victims but thousands and thousands of their children and families who are going to need our help as we go through this.
BLITZER: There's been a lot of speculation these past few days whether the people of New York should rebuild those World Trade Center twin towers. Would that be a good idea or a bad idea?
PATAKI: Wolf, I'll tell you, we are a spirited and strong people, and we're not going to simply leave a crater where we had a symbol of New York. We're working right now.
Monday, the New York Stock Exchange will reopen, the Mercantile Exchange will reopen, the Nasdaq will reopen.
What the form of the rebuilding will take, no one can say. It's too soon. But New Yorkers will rebuild. We will continue to be the world financial capital. We will continue to have confidence in the unity, the spirit, the strength of New Yorkers, coupled with the tremendous help from people around the country are going to allow us not just to get through this. We're going to come through this, and we're going to be stronger.
BLITZER: Governor, should New Yorkers be concerned that there still may be terrorists out there who have their sights set on New York?
PATAKI: You know, Wolf, I think the fact that the president did come in Friday, within three days of this horrible attack, speaks an awful lot about his confidence in the security of New York City.
And as I said, he spent hours here and spent a lot of time grieving and inspiring people who needed that type of help. So I think that shows us that the federal government is confident that everything that can be done from a security standpoint is being done. It's being done by the city. And the Giuliani administration has been spectacular in their leadership in dealing with this. It's being done by the state. And the federal government has been just tremendous in their support.
But you know, terrorism strikes in ways that, like this horrible attack, no one foresaw, no one predicted.
PATAKI: So I don't think it's just New York, it's all of America that has to be on alert.
And we also have to support the president, because he has said this is a war, this is an attack upon our way of life, and he is right. We have to go after those terrorists wherever they may be in the world, including governments that harbor those terrorists.
The people of New York will be united and stand with the president in this. The people of America will be united and stand with the president in this, because this was not an attack on one city, this was not an attack aimed at creating few thousand deaths. This was an attack on our freedom. This is an effort to take away our spirit. It's not going to work. We're going to stand with the president.
BLITZER: Governor George Pataki, thank you so much for joining us.
And later on our program I'll be speaking with the mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani.
But now let's go back to the diplomatic effort involving the United States to try to put together a coalition against terrorism. Earlier today, I spoke with the Secretary of State Colin Powell.
BLITZER: Mr. Secretary, thank you so much for joining us. Who is responsible for these attacks?
COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, the prime suspect, I think, is the Al-Qaida organization, which is essentially a holding company of terrorist organizations that have worldwide presence. And the head of the Al- Qaida organization is Osama bin Laden. Now, the evidence is still mounting, but certainly, that organization, Al- Qaida, is the prime suspect.
BLITZER: Do you believe that other terrorist organizations were cooperating with Al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden?
POWELL: We don't have enough information yet to make that case, but we're looking at every lead we have. Right now, the prime suspect is Al-Qaida, which is headed by Osama bin Laden.
BLITZER: Is there any evidence that any state in the region or around the world may have supported, financed, directed this operation?
POWELL: We have not seen any such links yet, but you can believe we're working hard to see whether such links exist.
BLITZER: How do you do that? How do you find out if there are such links?
POWELL: Well, as you know, the FBI and other agencies of government are hard at work, some 4,000 FBI agents are working on this. And as they look at those 19 terrorists who killed themselves last September 11, they will start to turn up leads, and they will follow those leads and follow them wherever it takes them.
One, to make sure there are no other terrorists loose in the country. And if there are, let's get after them and get on them and roll it up. And also to find out the origins of this group and to go after those origins and pull out the sources and to find those who gave them haven, those who gave them support, those who gave them financial support, and start ripping up this entire network.
That's why we keep saying it's going to be a long-term campaign against this enemy, whether it is Al-Qaida or any other terrorist organization, that comes after us, our interest or frankly goes after the civilized world.
BLITZER: When you say long-term, how long?
POWELL: We're probably going to be in the counter-terrorism business at a very high level of intensity for as long as anyone can imagine. As long as there are people out there who are willing to do the kind of things those terrorists did this week, then we're going to have to be on guard and constantly looking for them, trying to penetrate them and trying to stop them. And not just respond to them, but to stop them, get ahead of them, get inside the decision cycle.
BLITZER: This is not weeks or months, but this is years.
POWELL: In the near term, we will go after the specific organization responsible for what happened at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon. And we'll get the evidence, and we'll get the goods on them, and we'll go after them. We've already started that. You've seen the diplomatic effort that we've made over the last four, five days, which has produced results already.
And then we will do whatever is necessary to take care of this organization and make sure they are not able to commit this kind of offense against us again and against the civilized world.
It's important to remember that not just U.S. citizens were lost here. Some 40 countries lost people in the World Trade Center, and they're all outraged. The whole world is outraged over this kind of terrorist incident.
And it has to be a worldwide response, a worldwide campaign, using all the tools that are available to the United States and available to like-minded nations around the world who see this as a scourge on the face of the earth, to do something about it.
BLITZER: As you know, Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaida, his organization, have operated within Afghanistan, supported, if you will, by the Taliban regime over there. The United States occasionally talks to the Taliban leadership. What are you saying to them right now?
POWELL: Well, we're not talking to them right now, but I expect we will be in the days ahead. And we're going to make it clear to them that they must comply with previous directions they received from the United Nations and other organizations to stop this, to expel this organization, to destroy this organization or to help us to destroy this organization.
And they will be held accountable for the support they have given to this organization if that's who we finally determine is responsible and we're going after them. They will have to make their choice whether they want to be on the receiving end of the full wrath of the United States and others, or whether they want to get rid of this curse that they have within their country.
BLITZER: Do you have any expectation that they will change their policy and cooperate now with the U.S. and the West and arrest, if you will, Osama bin Laden?
POWELL: I'm not carrying an expectation. The only thing I'm looking for is results. They either do or they don't. It's binary -- yes or no. You either respond to this crisis, this tragedy, this horrible thing that was perpetrated by perhaps Al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden -- and all the indications point in that direction. You either respond and rip them up, help us rip them up, get rid of them, or you will suffer consequences. BLITZER: Well, now specifically, what does that mean to the Taliban who may be watching right now? What kind of consequences will they suffer?
POWELL: They will suffer consequences. We have a variety of means at our disposal, which are political, diplomatic, international, military, intelligence, lots of things that are available to us. All the elements of national power will be brought to bear in this problem.
And the Taliban have a problem right now in hosting this kind of regime in the form of the Al-Qaida regime, the Al-Qaida network, and those who support the Al-Qaida network. And they will have to make a choice as to whether or not they're willing to pay the price that they may have to pay to continue to support this kind of activity.
BLITZER: As you well know, there have been reports over the years that this organization, Al-Quaida, Osama bin Laden's troops and forces, have also operated in Yemen, in Sudan and other countries. Are you giving them the same warning?
POWELL: Yes. We are talking to all of our friends and partners in this coalition. And what we are saying to them, not necessarily warning, but saying to them, "Look, this is the time to end this. Whatever host support you have been providing to this network, stop it. There are U.N. resolutions and there are other directions from international communities that these things should be ejected from your country, these kinds of cells, this kind of activity."
And we are just going to remind them of their responsibilities and let them know it'll be a means by which we measure our relationship with them in the future. It's not necessarily a warning, it's just a clear statement of fact and principle that we're going after them. And you can either help us go after them -- and if you chose not to help us go after them, this will have an affect on the relationship that we have with you.
BLITZER: There are reports this morning that the government of Pakistan is now about to send a delegation into Afghanistan and demand the arrest of Osama bin Laden. Did you ask Pakistan to do that?
POWELL: We have asked Pakistan for a number of things. I have seen that report. And our ambassador in Islamabad is in touch with Pakistani authorities. And I know the Pakistani ambassador will be on your show a little later this morning. But I can not confirm yet exactly what the Pakistanis might be doing tomorrow.
I know that there is movement in such a direction, and I know that the Pakistanis have made some contacts in the U.N. on such a move. But we will wait to see. But I am not in a position right now to confirm it.
BLITZER: Have you been in direct touch -- I know the president has spoken to President Musharraf, Pervez Musharraf, the leader of Pakistan. What specifically has the United States asked Pakistan to do? POWELL: Well, as you know, the president did speak to him yesterday. I spoke to President Musharraf several days earlier, and Deputy Secretary Armitage spoke to some associates of the president who were in town. And we gave them a list of things that we thought they should be responsive to. And we would be giving them greater specificity with respect to what we wanted off that list in due course.
But since that is a matter of, as you can imagine, sensitive diplomatic discussion between the two sides, I think it's best that we follow up on that list.
They have come forward with a very supportive statement. They have said, yes. And President Musharraf said that to President Bush again last night. And so what we now have to do is send a team to Islamabad as soon as we have a better idea of what we will need and what kind of support might be required and talk directly to our Pakistani friends.
BLITZER: When will that team leave? And who will head the delegation?
POWELL: Not yet been decided, but I'm sure it'll not be in the distant future. I would expect in the very near future, in the next several days. And we'll put the team together and determine who the head will be. And when they go over, they will also be working with our ambassador, Ambassador Wendy Chamberlain, whose been doing such a great job over the last four days.
BLITZER: One of the statements issued by the government of Pakistan is that they will cooperate as long as you don't get the Israelis and the Indians, the government of Israel, the government of India, involved in this, because presumably they would be embarrassed. What is your reaction to that?
POWELL: Well, we'll see what their position is. We'll talk to them. And right now, you know, we are not planning a -- we do not have a multinational force going anywhere yet. And so, we understand the sensitivities that would be involved in anything that might involve India or Israel. And we'll take those sensitivities into account. At the end of the day, we'll do what we think is appropriate and necessary.
BLITZER: Have the Pakistanis agreed to allow the U.S. to go over their airspace with missiles or with planes, if in fact there is going to be a military operation aimed at Afghanistan?
POWELL: What we're going to do is sit down with the Pakistanis and discuss with them what we might need. I don't what to give any indication or hints as to what might or might not be planned as a military operation or a diplomatic operation or any kind of international initiative at this time.
BLITZER: What about their ground positions as staging points, or their ports for U.S. naval vessels to... POWELL: We have not approached them yet on any specific requirements, and when we do, it'll be in a confidential channel. So we're not giving any indication of what we might or might not be doing militarily.
BLITZER: If you look at the map of Afghanistan, it's land- locked. To the north, there's Uzbekistan, one of the republics of the former Soviet Union. Is there any need for cooperation, for example, from Uzbekistan?
POWELL: We will be talking to the Uzbek authorities. There may be something they can assist us with. But we'll explore that with them.
BLITZER: And as you know...
POWELL: They have been forthcoming.
BLITZER: To the west is Iran. Any prospect at all of seeking or receiving cooperation from Iran?
POWELL: Iran has always had difficulty with the Taliban regime and recognize the nature of that regime. And they gave a rather forthcoming statement of condolence and how there might be ways of cooperating with us in the response to what happened. But at the same time, we have always seen Iran as a state that sponsors terrorism.
So we will explore what they have said to us without making any commitments, of course. And if they are interested in fighting terrorism, it has to be terrorism not just related to this incident but terrorism of the kind that they have sponsored in the past.
So if this represents a new page in Iranian thinking, then let's see what's written on that new page. But we're prepared to explore, but we have no illusions about the nature of the Iranian regime.
BLITZER: So you'd want them specifically, for example, to back off in their support of Hezbollah?
POWELL: Yes. They can't say, "We will help you fighting terrorism here, but we will not help you fighting terrorism elsewhere." Terrorism is terrorism. And Hezbollah is a threat to the region, just as Al-Qaida is a threat to the world.
And I think we have to see this not only as a struggle against what happened the other day and a struggle against Al-Qaida, if that's who we ultimately determine who we should go against, but there are other acts of terrorism that take place, perpetrated by other terrorist organizations. And so it is a scourge, as I said before, against civilization. And we have to go against this scourge in the most comprehensive way possible.
BLITZER: Are Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other states in the Gulf -- in the Persian Gulf region with whom the United States has close relations -- are they ready to cooperate militarily with the United States in this new war? POWELL: They are ready to cooperate. They have all been supportive. Now, we have not asked them for any particular military component to that cooperation yet. But I have been very impressed by the speed with which our moderate Arab friends in the region have come forward to express condolences and also show support.
Saudi Arabia, particularly, reminded everybody that they stripped Osama bin Laden of his citizenship years ago and consider him a disgrace to his Saudi heritage. Senior Saudi clerics have spoken out strongly against this kind of activity in the last several days. I'm pleased with that.
We've also heard from Israel and so many other friends. So lots of people are coming forward. We haven't placed any specific military requirements or demands or requests on any of them yet.
BLITZER: Where does the Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein fit into this entire scenario for war?
POWELL: Well, he is one of the more despicable persons on the face of the earth. And we have not heard, of course, and wouldn't expect to hear from the Iraqis any sense of understanding of this loss of life that affected not just the United States but 40 other nations to include Arab nations who lost lives in the World Trade Center.
So far, we have not discerned any link between the Iraqi government and what happened the other day. But we are certainly examining links that might exist between what happened the other day and any country and any terrorist organization in the world. We're determined to run this to ground. Get them out of their holes, pull it all out, see what's there and then deal with it.
BLITZER: Over the years, since your experience as a young officer in Vietnam and during the course of your more subsequent experience, you've come up with what's called the Powell Doctrine: a defined mission, overwhelming force, exit strategy.
Let's go through that right now. What is the defined mission?
POWELL: To make sure that nothing like this happens again. And to make sure nothing like this happens again by going after the sources, the terrorist sources and those who harbor terrorist activities and terrorist groups, and destroying those networks, those groups, and making sure it is no longer in anyone's interest to harbor or provide haven for such groups.
BLITZER: Sounds like a very broadly defined mission.
POWELL: It isn't broad. No, I think it's pretty specific. It is a broad mission, but it is a very specific mission.
BLITZER: Overwhelming force. What should that require?
POWELL: It requires political, diplomatic, intelligence, law enforcement, financial and military effort all coming together in a campaign. And nobody should think this is going to be we go in and it's over in two days and we're out. This is going to change the way we do business. It's going to change the way we go about our daily life here in the United States.
It's going to require a greater emphasis on homeland defense so we can defend ourselves against those who, notwithstanding our best efforts overseas, are still trying to get into the country to hurt us.
And so we should see this as a long-term campaign and do apply decisive force to it. And that force isn't just military force. It's all the elements of national power that are at our disposal.
BLITZER: Presumably beyond the 50,000 reservists and National Guard troops who are being activated. The number could go way up.
POWELL: Don't just see it in terms of activating reservists. The Pentagon has a fabulous force, all of whom now want to be part of this campaign.
But just don't see it in those distinctly military terms. Because, in fact, going after a lot of these cells and finding these people, it's more an intelligence war, and we have got a great intelligence community. It's a law enforcement war. It's finding out how they get their finances. How do they move people? How do they cover people when they get into a place like the United States? They were in this country legally.
And so it's that kind of a war, which isn't just a military war. It's a different kind of war. And the so-called Powell Doctrine, as you describe it, can cover this kind of contingency as well. Use all the force at your disposal, make sure you know what you're going after and stick with it until you succeed. Get that decisive victory.
BLITZER: And what is the exit strategy?
POWELL: That was never part of the Powell Doctrine, but I'll accept the question.
The exit strategy is when you know that the American people are living in safety without this kind of a threat. And it may be a long time before we can create such circumstances again, but we'll get there because we're a proud people, we're a strong people.
Notwithstanding the depth of this tragedy and the sadness it has inflicted on our nation, look at the strength that has emerged. Look at how people are shaking each other's hands and hugging each other again and going to our churches and mosques and synagogues and reinforcing our belief in our society.
They can knock down buildings. They can kill thousands of us and cause so many Americans to grieve. They can't destroy our society. They can't destroy who we are.
POWELL: They can't destroy America. BLITZER: Since 1976 when President Ford was in the White House, there's been this executive order on the books. Let me read it to you: "No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States government shall engage in or conspire to engage in assassination."
Is that is it time to change that?
POWELL: It's still on the books. And as part of our campaign plan, we're examining everything: how the CIA does its work; how the FBI and Justice Department does its work; are there laws that need to be changed or news law brought into effect to give us more ability to deal with this kind of threat? So everything is under review.
BLITZER: What's the difference now, as opposed to 10 years ago when you led the U.S. military -- you were chairman of Joint Chiefs in the Gulf War. What's the biggest difference between this war and that war?
POWELL: That war was easy to see, easy to define, with an enemy that essentially sat there waiting to be attacked, and we finally did attack it.
In this case, the enemy is clever, more resourceful, broken down across the world in many, many countries in small cells, doing everything to remain hidden, with a long time horizon. They will take months and years to plan an operation. And so, it is a much more difficult enemy to find and fix. But that's what we're working on -- finding them and fixing them. And when we find them and fix them, then we will go in and finish them.
BLITZER: So what I'm hearing you saying is that there still may be terrorists at large, even here in the United States right now?
POWELL: I can't ignore that possibility. It would be foolish to to do so. And I can assure you that the law enforcement activities of the United States government are following every lead. Four thousand FBI agents are working this in the field; another 3,000 support personnel are working. The CIA and many other agencies are hard at work, using the vast resources to go after this problem and to deal with that possibility.
BLITZER: And finally...
POWELL: At the same time, even though there may be people wandering around, America has got to get back to work. We got to get back to some sense of normalcy. If we stick in our bunkers and walk around afraid, they will have won.
We're not a fearful people. We know how to overcome tragedy. And we will restore a sense of normalcy to this society, to this country very quickly in a way that will impress the world.
BLITZER: On that note, let me thank you, Mr. Secretary. Thank you very much.
POWELL: Thank you, Wolf. (END VIDEOTAPE)
BLITZER: And we'll get reaction from the congressional leadership of the House of Representatives shortly. But, first, I want to go back to New York where CNN's Aaron Brown has just accompanied the U.S. Coast Guard and viewed the awesome destruction from the air. These are the first aerial pictures from New York that CNN has.
BLITZER: And let's get back to congressional action and reaction now from Capitol Hill. Return to two top members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Joining us in our Dallas bureau, the House majority leader, Dick Armey of Texas; and here in Washington, the House minority leader, Dick Gephardt of Missouri.
Gentlemen, thanks to both of you for joining us.
First of all, Mr. Armey, I just want to get your reaction -- and I'll ask Mr. Gephardt for the same reaction -- your reaction to what we just saw, those pictures that Aaron Brown described.
REP. RICHARD ARMEY (R), TEXAS: Well, obviously, the first thing you realize is just how, as Aaron says, how expansive that damage is. And, of course, it, again, I suppose, is a graphic reminder we've got some rebuilding to do. And this, I think, speaks directly to where the Congress of the United States could be most beneficially helpful to the people of New York, to the nation and to the future of this country.
BLITZER: What about that, Mr. Gephardt?
REP. RICHARD GEPHARDT (D), MISSOURI: Well, obviously, we agree with that.
Just looking at these pictures, I'm taken what 19 people -- in this case, four or five people, maybe 10 people -- could do. They did what Japan and Germany couldn't do in World War II, what all of our adversaries through history couldn't do. We lost more people on our soil than in any conflict in history.
It makes me very sad and sympathetic that the people who died and their families, and it makes me angry. And I want to get to the bottom of this, and I want New York to recover. I want our nation to recover, and I want this never to happen again.
BLITZER: Congressman Armey, is it time for the Congress to go beyond the resolution that you passed the other day and formally enact a declaration of war?
ARMEY: We will, I think -- no. No, I don't think it's time for a declaration of war. It's time to seriously assess what exactly would be the espionage, investigation and apprehension and enforcement requirements.
This is going to be more covert operations than overt operations.
We will give the government the tools it needs to deal with the guilty. But we will also always, as we are as a nation, preserve the rights of the innocent, and that will be as paramount as can be.
So it will be a very cautious thing, but thorough thing, done with a sense of differentiation between innocence and guilt, with a mutual commitment to the innocent as our commitment has been so aptly expressed to the guilty.
BLITZER: Congressman Gephardt, do you agree with that?
GEPHARDT: I think what we passed the other day, almost without dissenting vote, was an authorization for the president to use force against the people, organizations or countries that contributed to this horrible disaster, and to try to prevent further disasters. He has the authority to marshal the forces of the United States to do that. The night before, as you know, we appropriated what may be the beginning, or hopefully will help toward the recovery and help in the defense effort.
So Congress, as Dick has said, has given the president the resources and the authority that we need. And with the help and the great bravery of the American people, I think we're going to see this through.
BLITZER: Congressman Armey, based on what you're hearing, tell the American public right now and the people around the world watching this program what kind of strike, what kind of military action they should be prepared to observe from the United States?
ARMEY: Well, they might be prepared to not observe it at all in the sense that we all watched Desert Storm.
Basically, what you have is these snakes are in their holes scattered around the world, plotting and scheming. We've got to find where they are, and we've got to kill them before they get out of their holes. And that's not necessarily going to be something that the American people are going to see as it happens or hear a great deal about it in any kind of detail before it happens. It is something that has to be carried out in the same way they carry out their activities -- behind quiet doors and, in a sense, under the cloak of secrecy. We have to do the same. You've got to use their tactics to catch them.
BLITZER: But, Congressman Armey, should the American public be prepared for a U.S. military invasion of Afghanistan where the Taliban regime harbors, protects, Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida organization, as we heard from Secretary of State Colin Powell?
ARMEY: I believe that will depend a great deal on the Taliban and how they react. If they react with defiance and arrogance; if they say not only will we harbor these people, we will foster these activities, they could be calling that wrath very clearly and very specifically upon themselves.
So they have an opportunity to follow that great adage that a word to the warning is a wise thing for them to heed, and we're giving them that advice. Clean up your act, and do no foster these people that perpetrate these kinds of atrocities.
BLITZER: Congressman Gephardt, CNN and USA Today and Gallup have just come out with a new poll taken over the past few days, and a question that we asked the American public was this: Would you support U.S. military action if it lasts for several months or several years? Several months, 86 percent said yes -- the numbers are up on the screen; several years, 66 percent said yes. Overwhelming support for U.S. military action.
GEPHARDT: Wolf, this is a modern-day equivalent of Pearl Harbor. The American people did what it took in World War II. It took five years and the loss of thousands of American troops. The American people sacrificed. The American people saved money, bought U.S. bonds, and did without a lot of things that they were used to. Everybody did their part. It was a national unity effort. And I think you're going to see that very same thing with this.
BLITZER: Congressman Armey, another question we asked in our CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll was this: Would you support U.S. military action if it required ground troops? Eighty percent said yes. And if it led to 1,000 U.S. deaths? Sixty-five percent said yes.
Do you think it will come down to ground troops and those kinds of numbers as far as U.S. casualties are concerned?
ARMEY: It is hard to tell. My guess is, ground troops, as it were, strategic ground forces can be deployed in this matter. I think they will need to be in some instances.
But again, I don't think you ought to see a broad, sweeping campaign of tanks crossing a desert in some sort of formation. You're going to see some very strategic placements of operations that are going to look perhaps more like a SWAT team cleaning out a den of thieves than it is going to be like a conventional military operation we see in mind.
BLITZER: Well, that sounds like special operations forces, the Delta Force, is that what you're suggesting?
ARMEY: I think that's what you have to understand.
You know, the good news is these are not great nation-states at war with one another. These are not hundreds of thousands of people engaged in a field of battle. These are a very vicious and very dangerous, awful but relatively small strategically placed group of people. And it takes very well-focused and strategically placed energies to come right at them, very clearly and very specifically. It's like cutting a cancer out of an otherwise fairly healthy body.
BLITZER: Well, Congressman Armey, let me follow up on that point, though. As you well remember and our viewers remember, the former Soviet Union felt the same way about what was happening in Afghanistan in the late 1980s. They paid a dear price for it. Of course, it was their Vietnam, given the terrain, given the guerrillas who were fighting there.
What's to say that, if the U.S. were to go into Afghanistan, the U.S. wouldn't have the same experience that the former Soviet Union had?
ARMEY: Well, the terrain would be the same and so forth, but the mission is different than what the Soviet Union had in mind.
And you are going to find in Afghanistan a great many people that understand that the American presence in their land will be, at what time it might take place, a presence in defense of freedom, not in the quest of territory. And you might find that our ability to operate with the right values for the right purposes on that terrain might be far greater than what the Soviets experienced in their day.
BLITZER: Do you agree with that, Congressman Gephardt?
GEPHARDT: Wolf, I think we can't predict what form this response and this effort will take. This is a new foe. It's more complicated, it's more difficult to get at its heart and its operation.
I think we've got to be ready for all kinds of things. As the president and the secretary of state have said repeatedly in the last days, we're going to fight on the diplomatic front, we're going to fight on the military front, we're going to go at their finances, we're going to go at increasing our intelligence. We've got to be as smart and creative and wily as these people are.
And while we're taking out the cancer, as Dick said, we've got to make sure we're not creating new cancers that can come at us. Nineteen people, with their supporters, used our credit cards, our education system, our airplanes and our people to attack ourselves. That's a new form of warfare. We've got to understand their motivation, how they operate, how they organize. And we've got to take them out, and we have to make sure it never happens again.
BLITZER: Congressman Gephardt, how do you do that, though, without undermining the basic liberties, the freedoms that all Americans have?
GEPHARDT: Wolf, I said the first day of this matter, we're going to have to rebalance the trade-off, the balance between freedom and security in our country.
Now, that's going to cause some controversial decisions in some cases. Those are going to be hard decisions to make. We've got to do it in a, small d, democratic way, getting input from our people.
But I see no way, given this new dangerous world that we're in, that we can have the amount of openness and freedom. Just look at airline travel. You're going to have to go through inconveniences to get on an airplane now that we'll all gladly go through, but it's going to change our life in fundamental ways. BLITZER: Well, let me press you on a specific point. Are you saying therefore that, in terms of airline security, that ethnic profiling of passengers should be used?
GEPHARDT: I don't think that, but I think there are a lot of things we've got to consider. Some people are saying we ought to have marshals on every airplane; we've got to look at that. We ought to have steel cockpit doors that no one can go through for any reason. We've got to have more security checks and interviews before people get on planes.
In Israel and other countries, they've had these kinds of means in the past. We've got to look at all of that and consider all of it and do some of it.
GEPHARDT: Now that's going to change the openness and freedom of our society, but I think the first job of our society is to keep our people safe and to make sure this never happens again.
BLITZER: Congressman Armey, are you prepared to trade off some of those basic freedoms and liberties that Americans enjoy in exchange for better security?
ARMEY: I'm very protective about that, but, Wolf, this is the genius of democracy. We know in this, within a democracy, how to get tough and put in rigorous regimens of discipline, security without trespassing against the fundamental rights of human beings in a civilized society.
There will be, as Dick said, inconvenience. But we will not violate people's basic rights as we make this nation more secure. We can do that in democracies. It can't be done in tyrannies, because tyrannies do not enjoy the general good will and support of the people who are willing to suffer inconvenience and good nature with a confidence that the nation will protect their rights.
This can be done. It will take careful planning. It'll take thorough thinking. It'll take rigorous implementation, but America can do that because we are a free nation.
GEPHARDT: And, Wolf, Dick is right. We can't take away people's civil liberties, and we can't do some of the things we did in the past. In World War II, we put Japanese-Americans in jail. We interned them simply because they were of a certain ethnic background. We cannot do that now.
There are incidents, a few that have happened in our country, unhappily, against Arab-Americans, Muslims. We got to guard in every way against these kinds of things happening. We must not divide our nation. We must not hate one another. We must not be prejudiced and discriminate against one another.
ARMEY: Yes, I should mention, you know, Wolf, the good shepherd as you know, he protects the innocent sheep while he slaughters the guilty wolf. And we can do that in America, and we will do so. BLITZER: Congressman Armey, you passed $40 billion, probably in a record pace, over the past few days. Is it your sense that that's it, or will additional huge sums be required to help the United States in this war?
ARMEY: Well, obviously we've got to reconstruct the nation, the damage that's inflicted by this. And that will take some direct expenditure as we also improve our resources to deal with future events and maintain security.
But we have broader issues that we have to understand. We need to understand, this is the nerve center of, not only the nation's economy, but the world's economy. Serious damage was afflicted, most immediately obvious on the airlines, as they had to have what, for them, is a very difficult period where they've shut down their operations in compliance with the government for the protection of the American people.
So we will have to come back in, look at those specific areas where we can shore-up this economy and how we can in fact maintain.
Dick talked about being successful on the diplomatic front, the economic front, the military front. We've got to be strong in all those areas, too.
So we will be looking at where these needs are and how to rebuild and reconstruct the strength of this economy, because that's where we resource the nation for all that we hope to accomplish.
BLITZER: Does that mean, Congressman Armey, that you're prepared now to support an emergency supplemental aid bail-out, if you will, for the airline industry, which obviously is in deep trouble -- and several major airlines potentially could collapse as a result of this?
ARMEY: Well, I would certainly not use the word "bail." I am willing to look at what this nation can do in gratitude and appreciation for the airlines for the sacrifice they made to protect this nation's security in response to the federal government.
And we should understand, the first victims of this assault were two of our airlines. They were the first to lose people, they were the first to lose assets and resources. And we've got to appreciate that. Even in their own period of difficulty, knowing the cost to themselves, when this government said for the safety and security of the American people, suspend your operations, we need to be aware that they stepped right up and they did it.
And we need to understand this is not a bail-out. This is our way of compensating them for the sacrifice they made, as we do all over this nation for the security of all.
BLITZER: If some of those, Congressman Gephardt, if some of those airlines go out of business, that could have a severe, a very grave effect on the entire U.S. economy. Are you ready now to get involved and make sure that that money is approved in the next few days? GEPHARDT: Yes.
BLITZER: And how much money are we talking about?
GEPHARDT: Well, I had hoped we could do it the other night. It wasn't possible. It was late at night, and we didn't have all the facts in front of us. And there were people that didn't want to go forward, and we can't do that in our Congress.
But we're going to try to do that, I think, even this next week. The speaker and I talked yesterday, and we're going to try to put together, with Dick Armey and others, a bipartisan group this week, early this week, to talk it through and find out the facts.
GEPHARDT: We cannot allow such an important part of our economic infrastructure fall down simply because of an act of war.
So we're going to do what's necessary, what's right, we're going to do it with common sense and with the right facts in front of us.
BLITZER: Congressman Armey, is this going to be a bipartisan- leadership sort of bill?
ARMEY: Yes, it is.
And I have to tell you, Wolf, if those bad boys thought they were going to divide this nation or destroy its spirit, they were sadly wrong. And the best mirror of how wrong they are is the way we've worked together in the Congress of the United States.
Politics is put aside, from both sides of the aisle. It is not a consideration. We have become, I think even, Dick, you would agree with me, we have become friends in our understanding of our need to be together, lock up arms in arms and face this foe.
And I think, as always, we represent this nation. And we are now showing this nation's unity in the halls of Congress, and you'll see it on these measures.
GEPHARDT: I totally agree with Dick. This has been an extraordinary response by the American people, and the Congress is right there with the people. We are shoulder to shoulder, we're working together in a bipartisan way.
I've said this is a new world. I've told my caucus, this is a new world. We have to throw out our old thinking, we have to be open to new ideas and new ways of doing things. We've got to rise to the occasion, and I think we're doing that.
And I commend the speaker and Dick Armey and their entire leadership and all of their members. They have been there with us every day, every minute of every day, working together at getting this done.
BLITZER: All right. Congressmen, we have a caller, I believe from Florida, who wants to ask a question. Please go ahead with your question.
CALLER: I just don't understand why we haven't had an immediate response of some sort. Admittedly, it's a long-term problem, but the anger and brief that we feel is going to turn to despair. And the economy will be ruined if you people...
BLITZER: What about that, Congressman Armey?
ARMEY: Well, one of the things you always have to understand, the American people know what's going on in their world, they know the complexities and the difficulties of this. And they understand that, you know, this is a whole different, as Dick said, a different kind of warfare, one that requires our commitment, but one that requires perhaps in other respects -- like other wars in the past have not -- the ability to be patient, thorough, and willing to make a pure investigation and then strike and strike hard.
One thing that I want to remind us: This is a nation that does not spend its heroes on things like revenge. We are not trying to defeat another nation. We are not trying to win a war. We are trying to preserve liberty and keep people safe. And the American people, I believe, will understand that will be done surgically in this case and, therefore, thoughtfully.
BLITZER: Congressman Gephardt, you have the last word.
GEPHARDT: I totally agree. The one thing we can't do is expend resources and people in a cause that doesn't succeed. We've got to be effective, as our foes were. We've got to understand them, we've got to understand what it's going to take to defeat them. And then we have to execute that strategy when we have it together, and when we think we have the maximum ability to get it done.
I understand this caller's frustration. We are all frustrated beyond belief. But we can't let frustration guide our actions. We have to do this in a very smart, wise, sensible way.
BLITZER: OK, the minority leader...
ARMEY: Look out for a posse, not a lynch mob.
BLITZER: All right. The minority leader and the majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, Richard Gephardt, Dick Armey, thanks for joining us on this day.
ARMEY: You bet.
GEPHARDT: Thank you.
BLITZER: Thank you very much.
And let's go to CNN's Daryn Kagan now in Atlanta for a check of the latest developments in America's new war.
(NEWSBREAK) BLITZER: I'll be speaking to Mayor Giuliani shortly, later in this program. I'll also be speaking with the Pakistani Ambassador to the United States.
But joining us now are five members of the United States Senate. Here in Washington, Michigan Senator Carl Levin. He's the chairman of the Armed Service Committee. Virginia Senator John Warner. He's the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee. Indiana Senator Richard Lugar. He's a member of the Intelligence Committee. And from Boston, Massachusetts, Senator John Kerry. He's also a member of the Foreign Relations Committee. And in our Miami bureau, Senator Bob Graham. He's the chairman of the Intelligence Committee.
Senators, thanks to all of you for joining us.
First of all to you, Senator Lugar, what should the United States do right now?
SEN. RICHARD LUGAR (R), INDIANA: Two things. The diplomacy described is essential, not only Pakistan, but try to identify those interests that Russia, China, other nations have with us with regard to terrorism. That is going to have to be a long-term project. But the short-term aspects of it are obvious: the NATO Declaration, obviously the work in Pakistan. But try to find how we get a network of support -- that is important if we're going to root it out.
And secondly, in the homeland defense, not only the FBI investigations but the organization of our own government so that the National Guard units, our armed forces, our first providers, are in a network that clearly is not very well centralized or organized despite a lot of discussion about that. These are essential to guard not only our airlines, but communications and financial situations.
I would just add to this, obviously, the work against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and materials has to be intensified. If, in fact, terrorists finally do get their hands on any of it, then the effects would be absolutely devastating, not just single buildings at a time.
BLITZER: Let ask Senator Graham, who's the chairman of the Intelligence Committee. How serious of a threat is that, Senator Graham, that the next time around it might not just be airliners filled with gasoline and passengers, but it could be nuclear, biological or chemical agents?
SEN. BOB GRAHAM (D), FLORIDA: There's a saying that the generals always fight the last war, and we need to be careful not to be overly obsessed with the hijacking of airplanes as the means of carrying out terrorist offenses. I agree with Senator Lugar that the next may be a chemical or biological weapon inside a suitcase.
In answer to your question about what our immediate priorities are, I think first is continuing the efforts to see if there are any survivors in the rubble of New York or the Pentagon.
Second, the CIA briefed me earlier today, the fact that we are not certain that Tuesday was the only act of terrorism in this plan, that there are still possibilities, both outside and inside the United States, of further terrorist activities. And so we need to be on a very aggressive level to root out all the information that we can about that and try to interdict any future acts of terrorism.
And third, we need to continue the investigation to determine precisely who committed this horrendous assault against America and be able to rally the world community in a united front against these specific terrorists and terrorism in general.
BLITZER: So, what you're saying, Senator Graham, based on this intelligence briefing that you had, is that Americans here in the United States and Americans traveling around the world who may be watching this program right now should remain on guard?
GRAHAM: Absolutely, and not just Americans. That part of the plan may have been to be executed outside the United States, aimed at U.S. citizens but also at citizens of other countries.
BLITZER: Senator Levin, you're the chairman of the Armed Services Committee. We've heard from our Pentagon correspondent, we've heard from the Secretary of State, this is not the normal kind of military operation that the United States is used to. What can you tell us about the next specific military steps that might be necessary?
SEN. CARL LEVIN (D), MICHIGAN: Those are being looked at; the options are all being considered. But if I knew which options were going to be used, I would not share them with you here. I don't think we yet know what will be the most effective options.
What we do know are a couple things: One is that it must succeed. So it's got to be carefully planned and executed. We can't just strike back in a way which is ineffective.
Secondly, it's very clear to me that if we have a broad alliance with us, we will be much more effective. If we have some Muslim nations with us, it will be far more effective. Because if we don't have Muslim nations with us, when we strike back -- and we will -- then bin Laden and his types will be able to say "Aha, it's us against them." If Muslim nations join with us, it will not play into bin Laden's hands as it otherwise might.
That is our long-range goal, is to go after terrorists, not play in their hands. And that means it's the world versus terrorism, not the West versus Islam.
BLITZER: Senator Kerry, you're of course well-known as a Vietnam veteran. When the United States got involved in the early '60s in Vietnam it looked a lot different, of course, than when the U.S. left in the '70s. Are you at all concerned that what the U.S. is getting itself involved in right now could turn out to be another Vietnam?
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: No, I mean, it just isn't. There isn't even any comparison. The country is united, galvanized, I think is the word, because we have been attacked in the most clear and dastardly way.
KERRY: I mean, every American understands the nature of this threat. And not every American, clearly, understood the nature of our presence in Vietnam.
And I think that the key here -- and I think the president understands it and I think each of the comments you've heard from my colleagues and particularly the comments you heard from Secretary Rumsfeld today, I thought they were good comments and very important ones and from Secretary Powell -- no one is articulating this as a quick event. No one is suggesting that this is going to be war as we've known it in the past. This is different, and Americans need to recognize that. We all need to recognize that. There's a lot of thinking to do, there's a huge amount of adjusting to do.
There's a great deal that we need to do on the diplomatic front, and part of this war will be exactly that, a different kind of diplomacy. Much of it will be a very different kind of intelligence effort, both the intelligence gathering and the level to which we undertake it as well as those things that the intelligence community may engage in. We're going to have to change those rules.
In addition to that, we clearly will have some kinds of military events, I am convinced all of us, we will need to.
But we've got to remember who the target is here. We don't want to create -- I think it was Carl Levin who just mentioned this -- I mean, we cannot allow this to become Islam versus the rest of the world or the rest of the world versus Islam. Islam is a peaceful religion.
The Taliban itself is led by people who are not particularly steeped in religion or schooled in religion. They're not religious leaders as we've known them within the Islamic world. And I think that we have to recognize that Islam itself needs to be part of defining its own peaceful existence and desires and recognize the threat to all of the world through this kind of terrorist activity.
BLITZER: Let me bring in Senator Warner, who used to be the chairman of the Armed Services Committee. You're the ranking Republican, the ranking member. Your home state, your state of Virginia, took a direct hit at the Pentagon.
Did you ever in your life think that some thing like this could happen at the Pentagon and at the World Trade Center?
SEN. JOHN WARNER (R), VIRGINIA: No, Wolf, I spent five years there during Vietnam as undersecretary, secretary of the Navy. And while fiction wrote these things up, none of us ever thought it could happen.
But the one thing here, it did happen. And it may have happened at a point in time when we can now go to war, as the president said, against terrorists, and prevent them from getting weapons, it's hard to believe, cause greater destruction to the United States, whether they're chemical, biological, or the missile attacks would concern me. But let me just point out...
BLITZER: Well, let me just interrupt for just one second, Senator Warner.
WARNER: We ought to start every one of these discussions with expressing our prayers and our hearts for the victims particularly on this day, Sunday. Every night I go to bed, every morning I get up, they're foremost in my mind.
Now, your question?
BLITZER: I agree completely with you, but the question is this: Why did it take this kind of a disaster to mobilize the U.S. government, the American people, if you will, to get engaged in this war on terrorism?
WARNER: Carl and I have been in our committee now 23 years. When I was chairman, I set up a special subcommittee on the Armed Services Committee called Emerging Threats. And for the two and half years I was chairman, we were working very hard to try and to look into the future to put our dollars and assets where they're best needed to combat just the type of thing that we saw happen.
Other parts of the Congress were working but not with the commitment that we have today. We're unified behind our great president.
And I want to say to the American people, part of that support has to be the exercise of patience and understanding. We cannot answer every question. Some of us may have answers to it, but it's not in our security interest to say it. The people understandably want direct action, be it military or otherwise.
It is wise -- and when I was with the president just two days ago, he was calm, confident, well-informed. And he will act at such time as he and his advisers are absolutely certain that's the time to act. So we've got to exercise patience and support. And part of that is understanding that all of us here in Washington are working together as a team, unified in the Congress.
BLITZER: Let me bring your chairman back for a second and ask you the same question. Why did it have to take this kind of devastation? We've been hearing about terrorist threats for God knows how long. Why did it take this to mobilize the government?
LEVIN: Because here the attack was brought not just to Americans but to Americans in a huge way on our homeland. This is different in the scope of the attack.
But, by the way, I think many of us have been fighting very hard to move dollars into the fight against terrorism and away from some of the lesser threats. And that's really what should have been done, looking back. And what I pray and believe will be done now is that the most likely threats, the terrorist threats -- we have been saying that a number of years including some of the folks in both houses of Congress, and I think that now that has been proven clearly the correct path, and that's where we're heading.
BLITZER: All right. Senator Lugar, you want to weigh in on this?
LUGAR: I would just say that, until this point, a large number of the American public were not as interested in foreign policy and defense policy. As a matter of fact, the debate we're about to have on the defense appropriation bill was in question as to whether there would be support support for even the fairly modest desires the president had. That debate changed because the public changed its mind. And we are fortified by that public resolve.
BLITZER: Senator Graham, you must feel totally frustrated as the chairman of the Intelligence Committee that it took this to get the kind of action that apparently is going to happen right now.
GRAHAM: Wolf, let's put this incident, however, in some context. There have been many previous terrorist initiatives in the United States which have been understood and collapsed before they could be a threat. We had one just a few months ago when a person tried to come across the Canadian border in the state of Washington, clearly with a terrorist intent.
This event of Tuesday, this terrible tragedy, is clearly a failure, and it cannot be described otherwise. It needs to be a failure which is an alarm signal that we need to heighten our efforts.
The Senate Intelligence Committee will be introducing legislation this week to try to create a better command structure for terrorism response in the United States. We also have already recommended substantial increases in dollars for spies, for better technology for eavesdropping, for better ability to analyze the tremendous volume of information we collect. We think those will be seen to be weaknesses in our intelligence system that contributed to Tuesday's tragedy. We don't want any of those weaknesses to continue a day longer.
BLITZER: What weakness, Senator Kerry, what weakness do you believe that this failure last Tuesday in the intelligence community, failure to get any advance warning that meant anything, failure in the security community that these planes were hijacked simultaneously almost, including two planes in Boston, the capital of your state -- tell us what immediate fix can be put forward to reassure the American public?
KERRY: Well, first of all, I'm supportive of -- and I will be advocating it this week, we actually have a hearing on it -- the takeover of our airline security by the federal government for a lot of different reasons. I spent some time in law enforcement. I know the value of getting state police talking to the local police, talking to the federal authorities, exchanging warrant information, movements between states. We never used to do that. Now we do it fairly well.
But here, when you come into the country where your passport is checked, people can tell where you've traveled, where you've been, whether you're on a watch list and so forth. We have none that capacity in our airlines today. Unless you fly El-Al and you're going to Israel, you don't go through a very lengthy interview. And it's been rather porous, and most Americans know it.
And it was porous because, frankly, the business community and a lot of other people wanted it that way. They just wanted to be able to move quickly and easily. Now we know we can't.
So I think if you had a coordinated effort, whereby there was a sharing of information and a greater scrutiny with respect to who's boarding an aircraft, that's one piece of it.
The second piece is, you can guarantee that never again will an aircraft be used as a weapon. And the way you do it is by making it clear to every prospective terrorist that they may get into an airplane, but they will never succeed in being able to pass into the pilot's cockpit because those doors are sealed for all purposes. So while they may kill a flight attendant or they may kill the whole airplane and themselves, they will not be able to fly it into a target. These are things that we can guarantee.
But let me come back to a point again. I think it was made earlier, Bob Graham said it. Let's not get hung up on the notion that what happened on Tuesday is going to be the preferred avenue of attack in whatever may happen down the road. I assure you it will not be. Probably no American will be safer flying in these next few days ever in history than they will be now, and the terrorists know that.
So the next target will be something different, whether it's cyber space, whether it's our water supplies or food or some other, a bridge, a tunnel. And this is why it is so imperative that we not recognize the solution to this is to give up our freedom. The solution to this is to secure our freedom by destroying the willpower and capacity of these terrorists to do this. And that is a longer, far more painstaking, but much more important, mission for all of us now.
And we need to focus on the cells and on the efforts in other countries.
BLITZER: Let's take a caller from Houston who has a question. Please go ahead, Houston, with your question.
QUESTION: Yes, gentlemen, the news reports have said that the terrorists have had people in place in U.S. military-run schools.
CALLER: What I was curious about, what is the possibility of these terrorists being placed in our military as far as troops or even higher-ranking officers? And is the FBI investigating this?
BLITZER: Let's ask the chairman of the Armed Services Committee first of all. What can you tell us about these reports that three or four or perhaps five of these 19 terrorists who died in these hijackings, some of them at least may have received training at U.S. military facilities?
LEVIN: We've asked for a report on that, and we'll get it. But I think it's important in the meantime that we not start becoming so suspicious of ourselves that we're going to lose our freedoms and, as a matter of fact, lose the ability just to have a life which is a relatively normal life.
I don't believe that there is infiltration in the higher levels of our military. I don't think we should become paranoid. Obviously, we've got to become more cautious. But we cannot let the terrorists destroy the fabric of our relationships, or else they would have succeeded.
BLITZER: Senator Warner, is it time to take a look at some of those programs where the United States brings individuals from other countries around the world and trains them to fly planes?
WARNER: It's time to look at everything. Those programs have produced very valuable relationships over the years between ourselves and other countries. In times of crisis, those military people, having received training here, feel a certain loyalty and have stepped up.
Let me go back and pick up on one thing. We are, this president, you know, like his father, building a coalition. But those of us who watched carefully the engagement in Kosovo, where we had to sit with 19 nations in NATO around table and all had to be agreed before we did anything, we cannot follow that again.
We cannot share, I think, as fully as we have, all intelligence. Because these people move swiftly and quietly, and when we have them pinpointed we've got to go.
And on that point there is discussion, well, should we use ground troops? Let me pick up, we have got to say that every asset of the United States is available to engage. The moment we take off the table some potential we have, whether it's through ground forces or other things, then the terrorists are going to skillfully plan to use that vacuum as their next avenue of attack.
So everything should be on the table, all plans reviewed. And if we stand united behind our president, exercise patience, we're going to survive as stronger nation.
LEVIN: Can I can add one thing to that, Wolf, because I agree with that but there is another aspect. We will be far more effective if other nations join with us. We can't take any of our own assets off the table. We have got to be ready for anything and, if necessary, to act alone, obviously.
But we will be far more effective if it is a coalition, and will be doubly effective if some Islamic nations are part of that coalition, so it is not viewed, in the Islamic world as the West versus Islam. It has got to be West, including Islam, versus terrorists.
BLITZER: Senator Lugar, you're well-known as one of the authorities in the Senate on international affairs. The opposite of what Senator Levin is saying is that if the U.S. tries to bring in all of these other coalition partners, it will restrict U.S. maneuverability, the U.S. ability to take best course of action. Are you at all concerned about that? LUGAR: Well, there are a lot of restrictions if we're not able to get cooperation. I would agree with John Warner, we are not a group of 19. But we need to find out where we have common interests, where somebody is willing to work with us. We need to determine what we need to do.
But I would just say one of the aspects of this, ironically, is we probably need to have more military people from other countries training with us. The problem here with the pilots was a lot of them were trained by civilian folks here in the United States, not our military.
We are going to have to try to tie together with the military, with the diplomatic corps, but even more so with intelligence people, unsavory as they may be, internationally with Russia, China, whoever is going to help us. Because each one of these countries has a problem with militant Muslims on their border. They understand that, and it is the gut thing that is likely to bring them into our camp in this issue.
BLITZER: Senator Graham, you're the chairman of the Intelligence Committee. As you know, there is a lot of intelligence types in Washington that have been grumbling for years, especially since 1995, that they've had sort of one hand tied behind their back. They haven't been able to go out and recruit sources, agents, within these terrorist cells, put them on U.S. government's payroll, if you will, out of fear that they would be criticized by Congress.
How do you deal with that issue of having to get down there in the gutter, if you will, with rats if necessary?
GRAHAM: Let me first comment on Senator Lugar's statement. I completely agree with what he and Carl Levin have said.
I was in Pakistan two weeks ago and, part of that time, had a briefing from some Russian officials about their view of Afghanistan. And the Russians are as concerned about the Taliban as we are. They fought a 10-year war against the Taliban. Afghanistan is the principal source of heroin that's coming into Russia. It is a destabilizing entity relative to those rather already unstable states on the southern border of Russia. So we have the potential of building an alliance based on self-interest of these other countries.
As it relates to our restrictions, we have had a policy, particularly in the CIA, that we would not hire a foreign national who had an unsavory background. The fact is if you want to get somebody, to get close to bin Laden, be able to understand what he is thinking about and what actions he may be likely to take, I would not suggest that you go to the monastery to try to find that person.
GRAHAM: The people that have the ability to get close are likely to be people pretty much like the ones who are now working with bin Laden.
So we've got to be more pragmatic in terms of our willingness to accept the fact that, if it's important to us to be able to understand terrorist activities early enough to stop them from occurring, then we are likely to have to have, as one of our tactics, the ability to deal with some unsavory people who can serve a legitimate purpose of intelligence for the benefit of the United States' people.
BLITZER: Senator Kerry, are you ready to go along with that and put some of these unsavory types -- terrorists who have a lot of blood on their hands -- on the U.S. government's payroll as sources, as agents inside, for example, al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden's organization?
KERRY: Well, obviously if they're well-managed and within the limits of what you're trying to achieve, it's important to sometimes do that.
When I was a prosecutor, we had an old saying -- all prosecutors have the saying -- when you're trying the devil, you don't go to heaven for your witnesses. And so it's fairly obvious that if you're going to try to get information, you're going to have to deal with these folks.
And we've gotten a little bit goody-two-shoes about it in the wake of a lot of other kinds of problems that we faced in the past. This is a different kind of fight now. We're not talking about states or countries or people who once upon a time adhered to some kind of international standard or who had a rule of law. These are complete renegades. These are terrorists. Their mission is to spread terror. They are attacking the very foundations of civilized society, and everybody has something at stake in that.
So I'm absolutely prepared to use the tools necessary. When you're waging a war, you do what's necessary to win. And obviously, because we are the United States of America, we have always interpreted that to mean within our value system and without losing the best of what makes us different from other countries as the United States. But I'm prepared to do things differently.
BLITZER: Senator Warner, the vice president, Dick Cheney, confirmed today that when one of those hijacked planes was going toward Washington, U.S. fighter jets were authorized to shoot that plane down if necessary. I want to listen once again to what the vice president said earlier today, and get your reaction. Listen to this.
We don't have that soundbite. But let me read it to you, what Vice President Cheney said.
WARNER: I know it by heart.
BLITZER: I want to remind our viewers.
"If the plane would not divert" -- the hijacked plane -- "if they wouldn't pay any attention to instructions to move away from the city, as a last resort, our pilots were authorized to take them out."
WARNER: I accept that statement at face value, and it's one that we'll be examining this week, and to whatever steps we can put as a precaution, hopefully not to do that. You know, in this wonderful discussion we've had among six good friends and colleagues, I think it comes to the forefront that the Congress is unified behind the president. I ask Congress, as have others -- Dick Gephardt was here with a brilliant statement ago -- we've got to get together, pass on these issues with a minimum of dissent; some debate, which is constructive, to explain to the American people what we do.
I hope my colleague, Chairman Levin, and I as we've worked together these 23 years, can get our bill up and give the president those things that he has asked for and which, today and tomorrow and in the future, he needs to defend this nation.
BLITZER: Senator Levin, I asked Secretary Powell earlier today if it was time to re-think the current ban that's been in effect since 1976, the prohibition on assassination. And he said it's time to re- think everything, in effect. I'm paraphrasing what he said. Is it time to perhaps lift that ban?
LEVIN: I think it's time to re-think everything. And some of the things we have to do, we have to do secretly and quietly, regardless of what the express on the outward ban is.
But I think we have to look at all options, including that. And whether it's done openly or whether it's done quietly, depending on the evidence and the circumstances, I think we have to be willing to do that under the circumstances.
As far as shooting down the plane is concerned, I'm glad to hear that they were able to move that quickly to be able to take that action if necessary.
I was a little surprised that even though we had perhaps a half- hour's notice that that plane aiming at the Pentagon had turned around, that there was no warning inside of the Pentagon or public buildings or other buildings in Washington. That is something that we will look to over time.
For the moment, though -- and I just visited the Pentagon again this morning, by the way -- the people who are working at the Pentagon are heroes and heroines right now, doing extraordinary work with huge American backing and a totally united American people and Congress. It is a very impressive thing.
And people should be aware of it all over the country, that this is a united country and that we have thousands of people donating, volunteering services and money right now in a common effort.
BLITZER: Senator Lugar, I just wanted your reaction on that issue of re-thinking the whole matter of assassinations.
LUGAR: Everything will be re-thought.
But I would just say, the last retaliatory strike against bin Laden was a self-defense measure. And my guess is that we will define what occurs as self-defense, as justifiable. I think that was a reasonable interpretation at that time. I think that's reasonable now.
BLITZER: Senator Kerry, I just want your thoughts on this. I know that you've been studying this for some years. Re-think the policy of assasinations?
KERRY: Certainly with regard to terrorism, no question about it. I think that there is no question that we are going to have to do on the clandestine front here -- our intelligence gathering, how we execute afterwards with respect to the information that we have found. I'm not sure any of us want to share all the options publicly at this point in time.
But it's clear that all of us have to put this in an historical perspective. This is different from anything that has happened previously to us. And the threat it poses to us is larger, even, than what happened to the World Trade Center.
These people believe we are the infidels. They think we are the great Satan. They are conducting a deeply religious, deeply ideological war against us, and have been for a long period of time. Our embassies have been blown up. Our ships have been blown up. Our airplanes have already been blown out of the sky -- or directed out of the sky. And we are now witnessing the last escalation.
The United States and the civilized world cannot sit by and watch this happen. So we have to respond in whatever way we defend ourselves appropriately.
BLITZER: Unfortunately, Senator Kerry, we could go on. I want to thank you. I want to thank Senator Graham in our Miami bureau; Senator Warner, of course; Senator Lugar; Senator Levin -- thanks to all of you.
WARNER: Could I have five seconds to tell you something, to show you how America can come back?
Yesterday, the USS Cole was launched.
WARNER: She's back in the fleet. There's a clear example of the resolve in this country to fight back.
BLITZER: On that note, I want to thank all of the senators for joining us today. Thank you very much.
And world leaders are declaring that a strike against the United States is a strike against all of the civilized world. CNN's chief international Correspondent Christiane Amanpour spoke to the British Prime Minister Tony Blair earlier today. She joins us now live from London.
Christiane, give us the headlines.
BLITZER: I want to go now to the Pakistani ambassador to the United States, Maleeha Lodhi. She joins us now in our Washington bureau.
Madame ambassador, thank you for joining us. Tell us the latest from your government. Is the government of Pakistan issuing an ultimatum to the Taliban and in effect Osama bin Laden to hand over Osama bin Laden within three days?
MALEEHA LODHI, PAKISTANI AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S.: Well, as you know, there are UN sanctions on Afghanistan that prohibit travel to that country.
What we have done today is to approach the UN sanctions committee for permission to allow a delegation from Pakistan to travel to Kandahar, to urge upon the Taliban leadership the gravity of the situation as well as to accede to the demand of the international community, and that demand as you know is now expressed in resolutions of the UN Security Council as well as the UN general assembly, which call for all countries of the world to join in the war against terrorism and to bring to justice the perpetrators of those who carried out these terrible attacks, these terrible terrorist attacks in New York and in Washington.
BLITZER: Let's walk through the process right now. When will this delegation from Pakistan go to Afghanistan and meet with the Taliban?
LODHI: We're expecting this delegation to fly out tomorrow. Once we have received permission from the UN sanctions committee which will allow that plane to travel to Afghanistan.
BLITZER: And then what happens then? Will the demand be that Osama bin Laden be handed over to the government of Pakistan?
LODHI: I think the important issue right now is that we will be urging upon the Taliban leadership something that we have been talking to to their representative in Islamabad as well, which is to accede to the demand of the international community, and you know what that demand is.
BLITZER: Spell it out for our viewers, they're watching all over the world right now.
LODHI: The demand is to bring to justice the perpetrators of the crime that has been committed, which we regard in Pakistan as a crime against humanity, to hand over the person that they are harboring, Osama bin Laden, so that he's brought to justice.
BLITZER: And so just to be specific, the government of Pakistan does believe that Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaida organization were responsible for these terrorist outrages.
LODHI: Well, as you know, senior officials of the U.S. administration regard Osama bin Laden as a prime suspect. We are responding to the call of the international community as well as the United States in helping to see what we can do and try to use the diplomatic option before more extreme ways are involved to deal with the situation. BLITZER: Now as you well know, madam ambassador, a lot of U.S. officials are skeptical that the Taliban will cooperate, will indeed find Osama bin Laden and hand him over to the international community. What happens if the Taliban simply says, "No"?
LODHI: Well, I think it's very clear that right now, several options are being considered. We don't know how the response will evolve and how it will unfold.
But I think what is clear, and as a member state -- Pakistan is a member state of the United Nations -- and under international law, we stand ready to implement all the decisions of the Security Council and those decisions you're well aware of, they call upon our countries to help in the war against terrorism.
We stand with the international community, we are consulting very closely right now with other Islamic countries particularly our close friend and ally Saudi Arabia, to ensure that we are all united and that the world is united in this war against terrorism.
LODHI: Let me tell you my country has been afflicted by this menace for the last two decades; Pakistan has confronted terrorism in various forms. So we know exactly how it feels when you have to deal with something like this. There is no way that we can deal with this monster unless the world is united on this. And we stand ready to help and to extend our fullest cooperation to the international community to bring this menace to an end .
BLITZER: Let's talk about that help that U.S. government will be seeking from your government. We heard Secretary Powell say on this program earlier that within the next few days, a high level U.S. delegation will be sent to Islamabad to Pakistan to discuss cooperation between the two governments. Has the government of Pakistan made a fundamental decision to cooperate, if necessary, militarily with the U.S.?
LODHI: I am not at liberty. I cannot discuss specific proposals that the U.S. administration has made to us. But I do want to reassure listeners, viewers, as well as others in the administration that our indication of firm support and fullest cooperation to the international community as well as United States is firm and solid.
Specific proposals are under discussion. You will appreciate the sensitivity of these matters. And I'm not at liberty to discuss specific proposals that have been made to us. But we will do whatever it takes to ensure that we stand with the international community to do what is necessary.
BLITZER: You know, of course, the many reports that one of the issues, one of the requests from the United States is to permit Pakistani airspace to be used, if necessary, for missiles or for U.S. planes, other planes, to fly over because Afghanistan is landlocked, as you know. Has the government of Pakistan accepted that proposal?
LODHI: We have again, you know, I can only answer this in the way that we have indicated a firm policy of support and cooperation. I cannot go into specific proposals that have been made to us by the United States because, as you know, the situation is evolving, and I cannot discuss these in public.
BLITZER: I can understand that. One of the issues that was raised in one of the statements our Tom Mintier (ph) is reporting from Islamabad. He said that the Pakistani government, in expressing its willingness to cooperate with the United States, is imposing a condition that the government of Israel and the government of India not be included in any sort of coalition that would work against Osama bin Laden. Is that, in fact, the position of your government?
LODHI: I'm not aware of anybody asking us in the first place about who will be part of this coalition. So quite honestly, it's a hard question for me to answer because it is extremely hypothetical.
What we have emphasized is the need for Islamic countries to be together on this. And Islamic countries are together on this. I think it's important for this international coalition to have a strong and visible component from Islamic countries for obvious reasons. That is the point that we have made. Now, if somebody is characterizing that differently.
BLITZER: Just to be precise, no one was suggesting that anyone had asked Pakistan for a suggestions on who should be included. But this was supposedly a Pakistani initiative, "Just don't include Israel or India in this coalition, that'll make it a lot easier for Pakistan to cooperate."
LODHI: I think we are going into specifics here. I'm not aware of, you know, anything of the sort that you are mentioning. But I think, you know, our sensitivities on these issues should be kept in view.
BLITZER: One of the statements that was issued yesterday by the Taliban leadership is this. And I want to play it. A Taliban spokesman making this statement, earlier this week. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAKISTANI OFFICIAL: If neighboring original countries, particularly Islamic countries, give a positive response to American demands for military bases, it would spark up extraordinary danger. Similarly, if any neighboring country gave territorial way our air space to USA against our land, it would draw us into an imposed war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: That sounds like a direct threat to your government from the Taliban not to cooperate with the U.S.
LODHI: My government has taken a decision to cooperate with the international community. And we will do so.
BLITZER: Is there a quid pro quo? Is there anything you're asking the United States to provide Pakistan in exchange for your cooperation with the U.S.? LODHI: We are going to be cooperating as part of our international commitment to deal with the menace of terrorism. This is not the time to nickel and dime on these issues. And we are not engaged with that.
However, we do expect our friends to help us manage the risks which are obvious in a situation as we go down this road. There is an immediate response that we know will have to be made, and then there is a sustained, longer-term response that will have to be involved. In this obviously we expect our friends to help us manage the situation.
As you know very well, extremism grows in situations of economic decline, extremism is born of despair and desperation, and my country has been through a difficult economic period, and we certainly expect our friends to help us through our difficult economic difficulties.
BLITZER: And, as you know, I was in Pakistan last year, and I spent several days there meeting with high-ranking officials, but also with many other people, and the despair that is felt, the anger towards the United States for supposedly abandoning Pakistan after the Afghanistan war has been translated to some significant support for Osama bin Laden.
LODHI: Well, I think there are people who hold different points view of in Pakistan, and we have seen extremist points of view also being voiced in Pakistan, and you heard for yourself. But we take comfort from the fact that the vast majority of Pakistanis are practicing Muslims, but they are moderate Muslims.
That is also borne out by the fact that in every successive election that has taken place in Pakistan, the religious or the extremist parties have never done terribly well. In fact, combined, the religious parties have never been able to get more than 2 or 3 percent of the popular vote. That is a statement about the quintessence of the Pakistani nation which is moderate and which is tolerant. That is the Pakistan that is extending its fullest cooperation to the international community on this issue.
BLITZER: U.S. intelligence sources have told me, over the past few years, they have a deep concern that some of the groups associated with Osama bin Laden may be gaining a foothold even within the Pakistani military. Is that a serious concern that the U.S. and others should have?
LODHI: Well, I have not heard any U.S. official say that to my side or to me. I think we need to keep our focus on the cooperation.
As you know, there are close consultations going on between our two countries. The presidents of our two countries have spoken yesterday on the telephone. We need to keep our focus where it really belongs, which is how to fight this menace to ensure also that there is security in the region where my country is situated. We are situated in a very volatile and dangerous part of the world. Obviously, we seek longer-term security and peace in our region. As I said, there is an immediate response, but we also have to look longer-term, to see that we have an approach that deals with some the underlying reasons which give rise to people who hold extremist views.
BLITZER: As you know, your president, Pervez Musharraf, was scheduled to come to New York to the United Nations, for the opening of General Assembly. Is he still planning on coming here?
LODHI: No, he has -- we have in fact conveyed to the administration the fact that he has canceled his visit. He obviously does not wish at this point to be a burden at a time when your country is going through such an extraordinary crisis.
I also wanted to take this opportunity, Wolf, if you will allow me...
LODHI: ... to offer our sincerest condolences, from the people and the government of Pakistan to the American people. We share your grief, and we share the grief of the victims of this terrible tragedy. I just wanted you to know that.
BLITZER: Thank you very much, Maleeha Lodhi, the ambassador of Pakistan to the United States. I assume you're going to be on this program frequently in the next few weeks and months. Thanks for joining us.
BLITZER: Thank you.
And now let's go back to the CNN Center in Atlanta. Daryn Kagan is standing by with a check of the latest developments in America's new war.
Just one note, Daryn. When we come back, after the news, we're going to continue these conversations, we're going to have a panel of the U.S. intelligence community, also have a panel on some religious leaders and what they're thinking and saying on this day.
BLITZER: Thank you very much, Daryn.
And was the United States intelligence community caught offguard during Tuesday's attack? For answers, we turn to three distinguished guests: the former CIA director James Woolsey, the chairman of the National Commission on Terrorism, Ambassador Paul Bremer, and retired U.S. General William Odom, a former director of the National Security Agency.
Gentlemen, thanks for joining us. General Odom, I'll ask you that question. Was the U.S. intelligence community caught by surprise?
GEN. WILLIAM ODOM, FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE NSA: Clearly. I think this -- people call this attack the biggest event since Pearl Harbor, the biggest attack on the U.S., surprise attack. The intelligence community was completely caught offguard then. And the CIA and the intelligence community was created by the 1947 National Security Act to prevent future such surprises, which raises real questions about what has happened in the last 50 years.
BLITZER: Why do you believe the U.S. intelligence community was caught so completely offguard, by surprise, by Tuesday's attack?
ODOM: Well, I would cite -- there are many factors, but I would cite a couple as being the main ones.
Over the past 10, 15 years, we have had a lot more publicity about our intelligence, a lot more leaks about what it can do. And people like bin Laden and other terrorists have learned a great deal about how to evade it.
The technical side of intelligence community as faced a modernization in communications that it has to keep up with, and it may not have kept up with that as well as it should.
BLITZER: What is your take on that, Ambassador Bremer?
AMB. PAUL BREMER, CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL COMMISSION ON TERRORISM: Well, I think it's certainly a failure. I think it's a long-term and a short-term problem. We really have done a lot the lot of damage to our intelligence services starting in mid-'70s with the Church committee hearings and a progressive downgrading of human intelligence in favor of technical intelligence. And you can't get good intelligence against terrorists, really good intelligence, without having spies in terrorist groups.
And the more recent problem was that the previous administration put into effect some guidelines which restricted the ability of CIA agents to go offer these kinds of very high-value, very difficult targets no question, these terrorist spies.
BLITZER: And so the bottom line is that U.S. simply was not prepared?
BREMER: Well, as the general says, if you have 5,000 people killed, there has been obviously a major failure.
BLITZER: Do you agree?
JAMES WOOLSEY, FORMER CIA DIRECTOR: Surely. We were basically spying with one arm tied behind our back. These restrictive limitations on not being able to recruit people who have some violence in their past as spies were ridiculous. And I hope those are going to be junked within days, if they haven't been already. Also, we have had budget cuts. I mean, the CIA and American intelligence actually did a pretty good job at Y2K. They had money put into the budget in '98 and '99. People were worried about terrorist incidents at Y2K. And on the morning of January 1, 2000, the budgeteers in both the executive branch and the Congress dusted off their hands and said, "Well, terrorism is solved. No more problem there. Let's cut the budget back."
And the other thing people need to realize is that a number of these people who executed this terrible attack have been in the country, some of them for seven or eight years. American intelligence has absolutely nothing to do with spying on people in this country. It's a law enforcement matter if you have some sort of probable cause that a crime is being committed.
So then we said on the terrorism commission that I served on, that Jerry (ph) chaired, that there are also some restrictions on the FBI's ability to investigate terrorist groups in this country that I think you could, not do away with, but you could loosen up some and still be well within the framework of the Constitution.
BLITZER: General Odom, I see you want to jump in.
ODOM: Yes. Our counter-intelligence, which plays a considerable role here, is very fragmented. There is no place within the United States government where a comprehensive counter-intelligence picture can be gotten. There's a lot of parochial turf boundary fights between the FBI, CIA and military services.
It is my experience that when you mix criminal investigation law enforcement with counter-intelligence, you get very lousy counter- intelligence. It's a different set of skills. And I think now is a time to do something that, for political, parochial reasons, we haven't been able to do. I think the FBI should be taken out of the counter-intelligence business, left to law enforcement. We need a national counter-intelligence service under the DCI with direct operational control over the three military services' counter- intelligence and the CIA's.
BLITZER: That raises enormous alarm bells for a lot of civil libertarians, doesn't it?
ODOM: I don't think it does. If you think it through, I don't think it has to. I think it would be less than the case of the FBI.
BREMER: Whatever the solution, it's clear that we -- the United States government operates under a, in effect, sort of a phony distinction between domestic and international terrorism. And people have warned, including our commission that Director Woolsey and I sat on, we have warned for a long time that this is a distinction that the terrorists don't keep. It's one that we keep for bureaucratic reasons, but it's not one that terrorists keep.
BLITZER: And just to explain it to our viewers out there, the CIA operates outside of the United States. The FBI operates inside the United States. BREMER: Right. And it's clear that you need to have a more seamless interaction of the intelligence that is collected, however it is collected under whatever guidelines there are.
And we need better capacity to analyze that. We don't have enough analysts. We don't have enough linguists to deal with this tremendous flow of information we're getting.
BREMER: All of this has been pointed out not only by our commission but others.
WOOLSEY: It's an illustration of what both Jerry and Bill said. According to the New York Times this morning, the CIA picked up some interaction overseas between two of the people who conducted the terrorist operation. And some associates of bin Laden a couple of weeks ago passed the information on. In one way or another, it wound its way through the immigration service to the FBI and no one was able to catch up with things...
BLITZER: Too late. It was too late.
WOOLSEY: It got into in boxes and out boxes, in boxes and out boxes.
BLITZER: We've been hearing for the last couple of years that the cooperation between the FBI and the CIA has never been better.
WOOLSEY: It's getting better.
ODOM: It's cosmetic at the top of the organization. If you reorganize, if you got the intelligence community into good shape, you would still face a very serious difficulty that I faced at NSA. When you have good intelligence about something that is going to cross the border, to whom do you disseminate it? To the Customs Service, which is in Treasury? To INS, which is in Justice? To the Coast Guard and FAA, which is in the Transportation Department? Or the FBI, which is in Justice and doesn't like to belong to anybody?
Right now, it so fragmented that if you have the intelligence, if you want to give it to somebody who can use it effectively, and make sure that everybody know what's he doing, you don't have that. I think you're going to have to have a cabinet level border control organization created which amalgamates these people.
BLITZER: I thought that when you were the Director of Central Intelligence, you were in charge of all the intelligence organizations including the NSA?
WOOLSEY: Well, the DCI is sort of the chairman of the board of the whole foreign intelligence community and the CEO of the CIA. But, he has only, basically, a handshake relationship with the FBI or any of these other agencies that Bill was talking about.
And there's another issue here which is that you find things where you're looking. And after the first year and a half the World Trade Center investigation, the Clinton administration and the Justice Department veered away from looking at state-sponsored terrorism, and went over looking for lose networks, and bin Laden and the rest. And they may have missed some things here because they weren't looking for what was going on in some of the states that sponsored terrorism such as Iraq.
BLITZER: And so what you're saying is that for political reasons, they didn't really want to know what happened?
WOOLSEY: Well, I don't want to make that charge. But, I would say I think the Clinton administration was particularly feckless and fracid in dealing with Iraq and I don't think they really liked confrontations. I don't think they intentionally looked away from evidence, but I do think the word kind of subfused the executive branch, this is all sort of loose associations here. And it really wasn't convenient to look for state sponsorship. It certainly was not a focus and you find things where you're focused.
ODOM: Yeah. I think what Jim has been saying about this focus and what happened to the Clinton administration, is right on. But you can't, and I think they're really, seriously to blame for all of this.
But it goes back further than that. You can push it straight back to the collapse of the regime in Iran, but you can bring it on through the '80s. After the Gulf War, we celebrated. We hadn't won the Gulf War, we just had a truce. If we had gone all the way to Baghdad, you could say we are closer to some sort of victory. But, we've been at war with the radical Arabs in general and Iraq, in particular, ever since. We just haven't taken that seriously. And when the Clinton administration fires off cruise missiles to make us feel good and them feel good, at Sudan and Afghanistan, this makes it worse. This doesn't do anything to destroy terrorist capabilities.
BLITZER: Ambassador Bremer, let's pick up a point that Director Woolsey made, a in the very serious allegation that after the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, and the arrest of Ramzi Yousef, who's now serving a life sentence plus 200 or so years in a federal prison in Colorado, that the then administration, the Clinton administration, just sort of said, "Well it was Ramzi Yousef," without looking at what some have suggested were his bosses. As you know, (inaudible) has suggested that he was an agent of the Iraqi government. But that would be politically awkward to have to acknowledge that?
BREMER: Well, I don't have any evidence one way or the other, other than what I've read. It seems to me that part of what we have to do now, as we focus forward on responding to this particular attack, is be sure that we don't just think that if we can get at bin Laden or get at Afghanistan, we solved the problem. That is a symbol of the problem, but it's not the problem. We have to do what we have to do in Afghanistan and again, with Osama. That is the first thing that has to happen and it has to happen well.
But, beyond that, we've got to rebuild and go out after other states which support terrorism. Go after cells. bin Laden is operating in 40 different countries including, obviously, the United States. We have to go to our allies and say, "Your ambiguity towards states like Syria and Iran and Iraq have got to stop."
We've got to stop seeing French and Italian businessmen getting off airplanes in Baghdad and signing contracts and the same thing in Tehran. We have to get a new international consensus against terrorism. That's the job that now lies before our country. It's a job that's going to take years now. It's not a job of months, even the military part of it. The first inner core which you can't move is going to take a very long time, as the president made clear yesterday in his radio address.
BLITZER: Director Woolsey, we spoke about this before and I know how feel. But just to review, you're increasingly coming around to the conclusion that the first World Trade Center bombing, which Ramzi Yousef was the mastermind of, that he perhaps was an agent of the Iraqi government. And, if fact, he was, what does that say about this current terrorist attack?
WOOLSEY: I think that it's a testable hypothesis whether he was an agent of Iraq or not. I think they can go back into some of the evidence in the first World Trade Center bombing, including some of materials that are now in the hands of the British government, and see whether or not Yousef was, in fact, an Iraqi asset.
WOOLSEY: If he was, that doesn't mean that Saddam was the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain that pulled all the levers for what happened on September 11, but I think it would make people think a lot harder about the possibility that foreign states' intelligence services such as Iraq and possibly Iran and others, but Iraq would come first to mind for me, were involved. Because a lot of this looks to me as if it's not something that a fellow sitting out in the middle of Afghanistan is going to be orchestrating -- able to orchestrate by himself even if he has several hundred million dollars.
BLITZER: General Odom, do you agree?
ODOM: I think the point made about -- it was his last points absolutely critical to think that this operation took place purely on the basis of assets and capabilities of a non-governmental organization is not very credible with me. The intelligence support for this operation pretty clearly had to depend on some country like Iraq, Syria, Libya, who knows how many are involved.
I think the clear intelligence picture you have of what we're up against, the more disturbed we're going to be about who our enemies are, and I think you'll find some states with very good relationships with the U.S. that you'll feel very ambivalent about, and it's not clear what the policy implications of this will be.
BLITZER: Ambassador Bremer if you look at a range of terrorists threats now facing the United States in the aftermath of Tuesday's attacks, what are the most serious threats?
BREMER: Well the most obvious and serious one is that we haven't rolled up the entire, the entire operation that was here in the United States. We know from the press reports at least that the FBI believes there's some pilots missing who may have been involved in this. It's quite obvious with more arrests again announced today that this was a very broad operation involving dozens of people, if not hundreds of people many of them in the United States and many of them here a long term.
So the most immediate threat is that the -- we haven't seen, but the other shoe is going to drop from this group. Then there's always a threat as there always is with terrorism of copy-cat operations, people who are not necessarily involved here but who think, "Gee that was a great idea, I'm going to try it."
And if there is a state behind this, of course, then we don't know what could be next. It could be almost anything and of course, in counterterrorism as in war we usually prepare for the last battle and the last war; bin Laden moved from attacking embassies to attacking a frigate which we never thought was going to happen to now attacking commercial airliners which people hadn't anticipated and we keep closing the barn door each time after the horse is gone. I don't know what the next one is. We got to do those things. We got to fix the aircraft security, but who knows what's next.
BLITZER: Director Woolsey?
WOOLSEY: I think Jerry's right and I think it is just essential that we go back over these past terrorist events and look carefully at all the evidence to see where the strands of proof lead. We haven't done that yet. The Bush administration is not the one that made these mistakes if they were made. It can have a fresh start. It can have a fresh look, and it really should.
BLITZER: How worried, General Odom -- this will be the last word -- how worried should the American public be right now?
ODOM: Well I think they should be worried about the things that Ambassador Bremer mentioned. Those were the first ones that come to my mind, but I don't think the American public ought to wring it's hands and become excessively frightened. I am really impressed with what I see of the American public's reaction to this. It's anger, but they're really quite cool, they're really quite serious about it. I think you've had -- I think probably the political leads have been shocked at the maturity of the public's reaction.
WOOLSEY: One further point. There have been some incidents in which Muslims and people with dark skin around the country who look like they're from the Mideast have been set upon. One person was killed. People have been beaten up.
Americans really need to understand our war is not with our friends from the Mideast, it is not with the Muslim world. Islam is a wonderful religion. These people who did this bear the same relationship to Islam that Torquemada and the people who ran the Spanish Inquisition bear to the rest of Christianity. They are not typical of Islam and our fight is not with one of the world's great religions, it's not with the Arab people.
ODOM: The last three military operations we performed in the Gulf War, Bosnia and Kosovo were in support of Muslim peoples, so the U.S. ought to emphasize this fact that we are not biased against Muslims.
BLITZER: OK, General Odom, Director Woolsey, Ambassador Bremer, three of the best in the business, thanks for joining us. Thank you very much.
New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has been widely praised for his calm demeanor and quick action after Tuesday's attack on the World Trade Center. Earlier today I spoke with Mayor Giuliani.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Mr. Mayor, thank you so much for joining us today and first of all on behalf of everyone here at CNN and of course people all over the world, our deepest condolences to you and all your fellow New Yorkers on this horrible moment in your city's history.
Begin please by updating us on the progress in the search and rescue operation.
MAYOR RUDOLPH GIULIANI (R), NEW YORK CITY: Well, the progress in removing the debris and the structural damage has actually been monumental.
I flew over the sight yesterday, and it's very different than it was even the day before. We've removed over 20,000 tons of debris, about 1,200 trucks have gone through so that the site is more controllable now from the point of view of relief and rescue efforts.
I wish I could report more progress in saving people, which, except for the first day, we have not had progress. We haven't given up hope yet, and the experts tell us that there still is some hope that we could find people.
But you know, we would be, I think, all that much happier if we were finding and saving more human beings. My fire fighters and police officers and the people that Governor Pataki has given us from the state and federal people, they're all there -- getting rid of the debris and the rubble is part of it -- but the thing that's really driving them is they're hoping to be able to find survivors, and they haven't had any success in the last couple of days.
BLITZER: What do you need most, Mr. Mayor, right now? Do you need more volunteers to come to New York City and help in this operation?
GIULIANI: We actually don't. The showing of support and the volunteers that have come here -- and even those who have come here and actually there's nothing for them to do right now -- has been wonderful for the spirit of the city. It's kind of like we're all embracing each other; America is embracing each other. And that show of support is enormously important.
But right now, it's more targeted expertise that we need as opposed to large numbers of people. And the very best thing for people to do, rather than to just volunteer, is to make donations to charities that are obviously legitimate charities if they want. And then, if called upon, either by the city, the state or the federal government, to help, well, then obviously we need their help.
We have help from the state of New York and Governor Pataki. We have help from President Bush, and volunteer help would actually not be very useful right now. Although the emotion and the spirit of it has been enormous in sustaining the people of the city.
BLITZER: People all over the world, Mr. Mayor, are watching. When you say you need help in what you targeted expertise, what does that mean? Because people around the world want to help if they can.
GIULIANI: Relief and recovery right now. In other words, moving out the debris, the rubble, the contractors who are helping us who are experts in being able to deal with disaster sites.
Once that is over with, then we're going to move to the phase of reconstructing that area. We have to make plans with the governor, with people in the city about exactly what we want to do there. But we're going to need a lot of help then.
We obviously need financial help. And we got a great boost with what President Bush did on Friday and the United States Congress did on Friday in putting aside $20 billion for relief and recovery in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington. But the recovery effort is going to cost a lot more than that in order to rebuild that area to what it was.
And I should emphasize that this is not just for New York City. The area that we're talking about, the area that's affected is the financial capital of the United States and the world.
It's direction, it's future success has a lot to do with the success of the American economy. So when people think about investing and helping in that area, whatever part of America they come from, it's going to have an impact on their economy as to how successfully it's rebuilt. And there we need the help of the United States Congress.
BLITZER: I was going to say, do you think it's a good idea -- there's been a lot of talk in New York, elsewhere, about rebuilding the World Trade Center twin towers -- is that a good idea?
GIULIANI: You know, I think that is worth a lot of consideration. In other words, the exact plans for this area should be given a great deal of thought as opposed to just jumping immediately into the emotion of what we're feeling right now on a plan that we're going to seize on.
And I'm going to work with Governor Pataki to put together a group of people who over the course of the next month or so -- it could be done quickly, but not right at this minute -- to come up with a plan for what the future of that area should be. A lot of people should be consulted, the city leaders, the state leaders, the families of the people affected, I think. We have to listen to them also as to what they're going to need. So that's a very, very worthwhile consideration. But I would caution people not to make an immediate decision. There's too much emotion right now, and it's worth a great deal of thought.
BLITZER: How worried should New Yorkers be right now about their safety, especially when they go to other striking landmarks in New York like the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty, how worried should they be?
GIULIANI: Whether you tell people to be worried or not, some people are going to be worried and some people aren't going to be worried.
But I've tried to think about the best example or analogy we can have to what we're going through, and this isn't a perfect one, but I think it works: The people of Britain, the people of London went through this during the Battle of Britain. In fact, it was even different in the sense that they were being bombed every day. And what they did was they took precautions, they were careful. They had bomb shelters. They had hospitals, but they went about their lives, and they didn't let the Nazi assault stop their way of life.
And we're not under, you know, consistent bombardment in any way. We've had a tremendous attack, worse actually than any single attack during the Battle of Britain. But there's that fear, there's that fear that something like that could happen again. It should not stop us from going about our way of life. That's what they want to do. That's what they're trying to do. They're trying to make us fearful.
And I think that most New Yorkers will. Most New Yorkers will. I travelled around the city last night. And people were in restaurants. People went to plays. People were eating outside.
And here's a way you can help us: Come to New York, go to a play, go to a Yankee or Met game. Come and spend some money here. And that's great. You come here and use New York for all of the purposes that New York is the capital of the world, and surely, these cowardly terrorists, they can't stop us.
BLITZER: The trading on the Wall Street markets is going to presume tomorrow. Any special problems that you can envisage?
GIULIANI: Well, getting the stock market open for tomorrow and the Mercantile Exchange open for tomorrow is an example of how we can rebuild and rebuild very, very quickly. And it was a very difficult task. We're very hopeful that it's going to work really well and then continue.
But it's important to get the stock exchange open and it's important to get the Mercantile Exchange open because it has a big impact on the American economy. And I would just unabashedly say to people, "Show confidence," show confidence in the fact that we have the strongest economy in the world. We've the system that's going to prevail: The financial, economic system and political system that is the wave of the future despite this barbaric attack, and show confidence. BLITZER: Mr. Mayor, I'm just going to wind up by reading one line from an editorial that was in the Los Angeles Times across the country on Friday.
It said this: "When was the last time you caught yourself praying for New Yorkers or congratulating them as we do here and now?"
BLITZER: I think I speak for all of us when I say the Los Angeles Times got it just right.
Thank you so much for joining us. Good luck to you.
GUILIANI: They sure did. And we pray for America. That's what we all do. We're all in this together, and we're all Americans. And we pray for our country, and we know it's going to prevail.
BLITZER: Thank you very much, Mr. Mayor.
GUILIANI: Thank you.
BLITZER: And around the country today, Sunday, people have been attending services. Here in Los Angeles, we're looking at some live pictures now, for example. This scene that we're seeing in these pictures in Los Angeles, of course, are similar to church services around the country during this difficult time.
Many people, including world leaders, survivors, families, are turning to prayer for comfort. And at this moment, I'd like to pause and listen to some of the events happening in the United States today.
BLITZER: Millions of people praying today on this day, this first Sunday after the disaster last Tuesday.
Here to discuss the power of prayer, religion and family are two guests: Bill Bennett is a co-director of Empower America; and from our Boston bureau, Rabbi Harold Kushner. He is the author of "When Bad Things Happen to Good People."
Gentlemen, thank you for joining us.
Before we get started, I just want to point out we had hoped that the very reverend Nathan Baxter from the Washington National Cathedral would be with us as well. But unfortunately, he was not able to make it this afternoon.
And Rabbi Kushner, let's begin with the very title of your book that so many of us read many years ago, "When Bad Things Happen to Good People." In that book, you write this: "Why, then, do bad things happen to good people? One reason is that our being human leaves us free to hurt each other, and God can't stop us without taking away the freedom that makes us human."
A lot of people are asking that question right now when they see what has happened. Your thoughts on these tumultuous events?
RABBI HAROLD KUSHNER: Well, the first thing, Wolf, would be that the theology really has to wait until the grieving and the bleeding has stopped. The first thing you ask in a case like this is not why does God let it happen, but how can I help people to whom it happened?
When you have done that, when we observed -- as we've just about finished the seven-day memorial period, which is psychologically useful, then you ask, where was God in all this? And my answer is that God didn't want this to happen. God grieves with us. God inspires firefighters and rescuers to risk their lives. God motivates people to give blood, to give money, to do whatever they can to help people.
This is where I find God -- not in the accident, but in the incredible resilience of the human community to surmount the accident and to insist that life is worth living even in a precarious world.
BLITZER: Bill Bennett, I'll ask you a question that a lot of people around the country are asking. How can a compassionate God allow this kind of tragedy to occur?
WILLIAM BENNETT, CO-DIRECTOR, EMPOWER AMERICA: Well, I would agree with Rabbi Kushner. I think a brief moratorium on theology is probably a good idea. We've had some quick and glib theological judgments from a few over the last few days, which I think have not been helpful.
I think Billy Graham answered that question at the National Cathedral, Wolf. He said, we don't know, we don't know why. But we do know that God has given us freedom. And in Christianity, we believe man is fallen. And that means, with freedom, man can rise to tremendous heights of dignity and honor. He can also sink, by his own hand, to the worse depths. That's what I've been saying all week, that we at least have had a moment of moral clarity.
We now understand that a lot of the seemingly, or so-called, learned discussions of the last 30 years in which people have said in our universities and elsewhere, "Well, maybe there isn't such a thing as good and evil, right and wrong; it's all contextual; it all depends on where you sit," are really bunk. We saw good and evil this week. We saw the face of evil, we saw the hand of evil. So I hope that moment of moral clarity is preserved and extended.
BLITZER: Rabbi Kushner, what do good people do now in dealing with this evil?
KUSHNER: The first thing you do is just hand together the way we just saw people gathering at churches, people gathering at their synagogues for Rosh Hashana in a couple of days; knowing that you're not alone, that you're part of a large, extended family of people grieving, hoping for better. The second thing I think we really have to be careful of is, as somebody put it, be very careful whom you choose as an enemy, for you may become like him. God forbid that in our efforts to do something because we feel so helpless and powerless, we forget the values that make us Americans.
I think what good people do now is support the government and support their neighbors; look for the United States government to punish the perpetrators, but not look for revenge and not look for wanting to hurt somebody, hit somebody, kill somebody just to make us feel less helpless.
BLITZER: Bill Bennett, you know there is an urge out there for revenge in the American public.
BENNETT: I think revenge is deserved. I don't know if I disagree with the rabbi or not, but I think vengeance is correct in this situation. I know, "`Vengeance is mine,' sayeth the Lord." But in World War II, he used Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the greatest generation and Churchill and others to gain that vengeance.
Revenge, punishment for what has happened is, I think, exactly appropriate. No, we do not want to become what these perpetrators of evil are. I don't think we will. I think it would be very hard for Americans to do that.
But we fight. We pray and we fight. And it is right to fight. There is no theological or moral set of principles that I know of that have any respectability that argue that we cannot fight and that we cannot punish those who have done this great evil to us. Great evil and damage have been inflicted on us.
And I think as -- you know, we heard those beautiful sounds of the Battle Hymn of the Republic and we heard it from the National Cathedral on Thursday. There is a great line -- there are a lot of great lines in that song. And one of them is "Loose the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword."
I trust the United States. I trust the leaders of the United States. I trust the people of the United States. I think we will do the right thing. But to do the right thing here requires us to do something strong and direct and straightforward.
BLITZER: Rabbi Kushner, what's wrong with revenge right now?
KUSHNER: I've got to clarify the distinction between punishment and revenge. Punishment is finding people who deserve to be hurt for what they did to hurt others. Revenge is taking pleasure in hurting somebody because you're feeling helpless and you can't handle feeling helpless.
Revenge is really more about control. It's more about exercising power, and it's less about justice. What we did in World War II, which I totally endorse, was punishment for people who deserve to be punished. It was not revenge against anybody who happened to come along as a target. I hope we will come down very hard on the people behind this and everyone who supported them. But I hope we will never permit ourselves to be carried away in the direction of hating, hurting innocent Muslims, Arab-Americans who share our values, not the values of the terrorists.
BLITZER: Bill Bennett, in your book, "The Book of Virtues," a best seller, another book that I read, you write this. And let's put it up on the screen: "We need wisdom, often the wisdom of a wise leader, to give our courage determinate form, to give it intelligent direction."
Is the United States getting that leadership right now?
BENNETT: Sure it is. I think you saw it today with the array of guests you had on earlier. I think you're also seeing it from the president, saw it from the secretary of state, the stunning interview by the vice president of the United States this morning.
I think George Bush's words as the week went on got better and better, got stronger and stronger. He spoke more and more from his own heart and his own convictions. His visit to New York.
Local leaders -- Mayor Giuliani has distinguished himself. You bet we have leadership.
I now think again we have clarity, Wolf, about things like intelligence and the proper use of intelligence, and how we have trashed our intelligence agencies in the past and now they need to be rebuilt.
BLITZER: Rabbi Kushner, the latest CNN-USA Today Gallup poll just out today shows that the American public thinks President Bush is doing a very good job. 86 percent approve of the way he is handling this crisis. Only 10 percent disapprove.
What do you look for -- what should the American people look for in their leaders right now?
KUSHNER: You know, Wolf, one of the miracles of American history is that when we have needed strong leadership, we have found strong leadership. No one could have predicted that Abraham Lincoln would become the president that he was. No one could have predicted that Franklin Roosevelt would have become the leader he was. And I hope we will be as blessed in this particular crisis.
I think what we need is, as Mr. Bennett said, a leader who will inspire, who will make people ready to follow him. A leader who will make us prepared and willing to make sacrifices if necessary -- sacrificing our lives in the ultimate sacrifice, sacrificing our comfort, our material goods.
But perhaps more than anything else, we will require a leader who has the wisdom to know when not to listen to the public clamoring for military action and violence, when to act strongly and when to withhold the terrible swift sword. And I pray we'll have it. BLITZER: As you know, Bill Bennett -- I want to pick up on that point. There was immediate pressure on President Bush to respond swiftly, militarily. Even some of his advisers, even -- there's a report the president wanted to do something but people held him back and said "Let's do this the right way."
BENNETT: I imagine he held himself back, too.
By the way, I don't get the sense that the American people are acting like a mob right now screaming for anybody's head. I think they are remarkably upset and remarkably cool. Such have been the people I have talked to.
Shakespeare says, "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, some have greatness thrust upon them." And it may be that this is the situation with President Bush. And I think he has responded very, very well.
There is another aspect of democracy, though, and leadership. It's not just for our leaders to lead. It's for the citizenry to lead. And I'm thinking here about those citizen leaders on that airplane. Everybody is making a great deal -- of course it's news, about this notion that the president gave authority to shoot down commercial airliners if they were headed toward the White House or someplace. A couple of citizens made that decision, essentially, morally the same decision, when they decided to take that pilot or try to take that plane down so that it would not do further damage.
We are calling on our leaders to do a lot. But such times call on us, we call on ourselves to do a lot as well.
And one thing in our minds, I think, as we think about the years to come, is Mr. Glick and Mr. Burnett and the others on that flight that went down in Pennsylvania. The kind of courage and citizenship that they showed is just as important a part of the strength of America.
BLITZER: Stand by, gentlemen. I want to listen to Governor Pataki speaking now live in New York. Let's take a break and listen to him.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
PATAKI: ... that we think back and give thanks for those who are lost and still missing and those who are confirmed dead.
You've seen many different organizations take great pains.
The Port Authority has also suffered enormously. Their headquarters, their offices were in the tower. Their leadership, the police were in the tower. They've done a spectacular job since this disaster. They're still out there at the airports and the bridges at the scene at ground zero risking their lives because that's what they do.
And it's just a very sad day when we have reflect and have a moment of silence for those who have gone. It's not just 74, that's a number. It's people like Neal Evan, who's done so much for me, not just at Port. He was the commissioner of three agencies before he was so excited about going ahead to Port. People like Fred Marone (ph) who could have gotten out, but he went back up to find Neal, and now we can't find him. And I've been with his family with the president on Friday.
We have to just honor them as heroes, thank them for their love of the people of New York and pray that their families will be strong. And make sure their families know, they're part of us now, and we'll always be there standing with them.
And we stand together. You've been great. We share those losses, but we'll get through this.
God bless Neal, God bless Fred, God bless all of them in the Port Authority and the United States of America.
DONALD DIFRANCESCO, ACTING NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: Let me just add, first, Governor Pataki's done such an outstanding job in his leadership role, working with the mayor and all of the people of New York. Such a tremendous outpouring of strength, really, in this very difficult time. Indeed, many, many heroes.
And I know people across the nation, they're worried about their friends or families or acquaintances who are working in the Port Authority. Did they get out? Are they still missing? Can they still be found? But these Port Authority personnel, particularly the police, were running into the buildings, were going into the buildings to help people get out. They're real heroes.
Neal Evan, his staff, just did an outstanding job as they continue to do today.
BLITZER: Rabbi Kushner, I want to come back to our conversation. It's not every day you see the governor of New York, George Pataki, weeping on television, as he discusses what he personally saw and the heroism that he witnessed in dealing with the losses that so many people have suffered.
How do you react when you see that?
KUSHNER: I think all of us for the last seven days have been on the verge of tears, mixing the pain, the grief, the outrage.
And I think I was also very moved by that, and I think it was good for people around the country to see high-placed officials crying. It gives them permission to vent their own grief so that nobody has to say, "I'm not going to show my feelings because I don't want to scare or upset the children." Let them learn that at a time like this men cry, strong men, brave men cry, because Lord knows there was so much to cry about.
BLITZER: Bill Bennett, what do you say to young people, to children who are watching this, who are scared, frightened? How do you deal with this? BENNETT: I think you, I agree with the rabbi, you tell the truth and you let them see the truth. You first point them to what we just saw. You point them to the heroism of those firefighters and police officers who were going in as people were running for their lives out, these men and women were going in.
But I think we tell them the truth. There's been a lot written already this week about how we need to reassure children, and we certainly do need to reassure children.
Last night I was -- our family was at a football game, Our Lady of Good Council here right outside Washington. My son John plays on the Georgetown Prep team. On his team a young man made a touchdown, Eric Heidenberger (ph). His aunt, Michelle Heidenberger (ph), was the stewardess on flight 77. And everybody erupted into cheer for Eric. And when the folks from the opposite team heard that, you know, who this young man was, who he was related to, they cheered too.
There is, in the particular acts we do, a way of reconsecrating our lives, reminding ourselves of what's important and carrying on in the best kind of way. And I think children, to see that honest emotion that Rabbi Kushner was talking about and to hear the truth -- and when they ask us, you know, should we be afraid? Yes, there are some things to be afraid of, absolutely. Are we safe? Yes, you're safe, but it is a dangerous world. For the last 10 years I think maybe we've forgotten that it is, that it is a very dangerous world.
The other thing I have to tell you, Wolf, about young people, the guys we saw last night and young people I've been talking to this week. A lot of them aren't scared, a lot of them are ready to do what is asked of them. And we may have another greatest generation in the making, and they may be called upon to make sacrifices.
BLITZER: Rabbi Kushner, what do you tell members of your congregation, what do you say to them about how they should deal with their children on these horrendous issues?
KUSHNER: Hug them and keep them close. Tell them how important they are to you. Let them say how important you are to them. Assure them that what happened last Tuesday is very, very rare and that's why it's been on all the news. Terrible as it is, it's not going to happen all the time, and it's not going to happen because the people who died deserved it. And then just hug them some more and let them feel safe in your arms.
BLITZER: Well, what if they watch the television shows and they watch what's going on and they still don't feel safe in your arms? What do you do then?
KUSHNER: Tell them that you're scared too. And tell them that all you can do is live in a world which is sometimes very scary, but that the government, the Army, the police, the authorities and their mothers and fathers are around there to keep them as safe as possible.
Sooner or later children do learn that the world is not fair. And all you can do is tell them that we'll be here to try and protect you as best we can. But what's the alternative? All you can do is go out and live bravely, because the alternative is just unacceptable.
BLITZER: And Bill Bennett, you can wind this up. When you saw Governor Pataki crying on our screens just a few minutes ago, is that a sense of reassurance to the public out there? Or is there a sense of alarm that here the governor of New York is crying?
BENNETT: Look, I think in some ways, ironically, we are a better country in a week. But we're better because I think the better angels of our nature are coming more to the surface. There is another leader who has distinguished himself this week. That's all part of the story.
There's been a rap on America for the last few years, that, you know, it's phony, it's all phony, it's phony emotion. Everytime a politician speaks, you know, they're fooling you, they're dissembling. We saw some honest men and women this week, speaking honestly and from the heart, from our president on down. And that's a good thing, by the way. That's a very good thing for children to see.
BLITZER: All right. Bill Bennett, thank you very much.
Rabbi Kushner, for Bill Bennett, let me take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year as the Rosh Hashana holiday begins tomorrow night. Thanks to both of you for joining us.
And the city of Washington, D.C., has been affected dramatically by the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. Here now to give us some perspective is CNN's Washington Bureau chief, Frank Sesno.
BLITZER: And as we leave you, Frank, I just want to put up on our screen and show you and our viewers the covers of the three major news magazines.
Time Magazine has a special issue, "One Nation Indivisible: America Digs Out and Digs In," with President Bush in New York City on the cover.
Look at Newsweek: "Newsweek Special Report, After The Terror, God Bless America," with firemen raising the flag amid the rubble on the cover of Newsweek.
And on the cover of U.S. News and World Report: "Under Siege," with a battered flag hanging proudly from a street sign.
Now Bruce Morton has the "Last Word" on preserving our freedom while protecting our security.
BRUCE MORTON: The late Eric Sevareid, during his years as a CBS news analyst, wrote after one terrorist attack about "the special strength of the shameless." He meant, of course, that people who are prepared to kill the innocent, who see the killing of children as an act of war, have a strength the rest of us lack. They'll do anything. We won't.
That is a feature of the enemy in America's newest war. They are shameless, they will kill anyone, do anything.
Most wars are between the armed forces of one country and another, though civilians of course usually suffer in the process too. But in this war, civilians are the other side's targets choice.
And the aims of this war are different too. The terrorists are not trying to conquer U.S. territory. Their aim is to demoralize the United States, to make it afraid, make it retreat from the world stage. Osama bin Laden, for instance, would banish Americans and pro- American Arabs from Muslim countries.
But there's another aim: to make Americans lose some of their freedoms, lose the openness in which we live.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD RUMSFELD SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: The purpose of terrorism is to terrorize. It is to alter behavior. It is to force people who believe in freedom to be less free by altering their behavior and redressing a balance between freedom and security.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORTON: Almost certainly, Americans will lose some freedom -- more searches, longer delays at airports, an increase perhaps in the number of people stopped and searched in their cars or on the streets, increased use of ethnic profiling and so on. Most people would probably happily put up with some of this but, sooner or later, draw the line.
At some point -- and different people would set different points -- at some point Americans would lose the freedom that makes their country what it is, a place with lots of individual liberty with a great tolerance for different beliefs. Then we're in trouble.
On top of the U.S. Capitol is a statue of freedom. A friend whose apartment windows look out at the statue has been making a wish this past week for the statue and the idea it stands for. The wish: Hang in there, girl. Let's hope she does.
I'm Bruce Morton.
BLITZER: And that's all for this special edition of LATE EDITION. I'm Wolf Blitzer in Washington.
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