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CNN Newsroom

Aired September 20, 2001 - 04:30   ET


SHELLEY WALCOTT, CNN CO-HOST: And welcome to this live edition of CNN NEWSROOM. I am Shelly Walcott.

TOM HAYNES, CNN CO-HOST: And I'm Tom Haynes.

HAYNES: The United States moves forward with its quest to form an international coalition against terrorism. Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf has pledged full cooperation.

WALCOTT: That's right. His decision, however, has outraged some Pakistanis who support Afghanistan's ruling Taliban. In recent days, there have been several anti-American demonstrations.

Joel Hochmuth reports now on the state of United States-Pakistan relations.


JOEL HOCHMUTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If United States is to attempt any military action in Afghanistan, support from neighboring Pakistan will be crucial. The United States has asked Pakistan for help in logistic, from gathering intelligence and wants permission to use its airspace. Wednesday, Pakistan President Musharraf explained to his people why he is willing to cooperate.

GENERAL PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, PRESIDENT OF PAKISTAN (through translator): The fruitful results in our favor can be we can emerge as a powerful nation, and our problems can be solved.

HOCHMUTH: CNN's Christiane Amanpour is monitoring the situation in Pakistan.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That was his speech. Analysts say that he did what he had to do to try to play every issue to rally the Pakistani people around what he called "the most serious moment in Pakistani history" since their 1971 war with India.

HOCHMUTH: Musharraf's words are encouraging to U.S. officials.

ARI FLEISCHER, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN: United States is very pleased with the cooperation of Pakistan and President Musharraf's speech is a indication of the strong relationship between the United States and Pakistan to counter terrorism.

HOCHMUTH: Still, not all experts are convinced Musharraf is sincere.

SELIG HARRISON, WOODROW WILSON CENTER: I think it's kind of a charade. I think that Pakistan is going to try to get as much out of this as it can to strengthen itself against India and to keep continuing its support to the Taliban. After all, the Taliban is not really created by Pakistan, but it couldn't have acquired its military capabilities without the kind of support it gets from Pakistan.

HOCHMUTH: While Musharraf's position has raised some skepticism in the United States, it has fueled outright protest in his own country among Pakistan's 140 million people, a minority of militant Muslims, loyal to the Taliban in Afghanistan. They say they'll obey any Taliban order for a holy war if the United States attacks. Musharraf shows no signs of backing down.

MUSHARRAF (through translator): I know opinions are divided, but the majority, the great majority of people, are supporting the course that I have taken. It's only less than 10 or 15 percent people who tend to go towards the other side.

HOCHMUTH: It's ironic that the United States would find an ally in Pakistan. Just three years ago, relations between the two countries were at a boiling point over Pakistan's "tit for tat" nuclear tests with India. Anti-American sentiment still runs strong throughout the country.

AMANPOUR: It started about 11 years ago. After the United States pulled out of this area after it had induced Pakistan to support the anti-Soviet forces in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation there. And then there was a series of U.S. sanctions because of the Pakistan's nuclear program, withholding economic and military aids, and, of course, as you know, people do not particularly appreciate United States' close alliance with Israel.

HOCHMUTH: So why is Pakistan warming up to the United States now and risking civil war within its own borders? Basically, because it has no choice.

AMANPOUR: The Pakistani president saying that now it was no option for Pakistan not to stand with United States, the cost of not standing with the United States, he said, was simply too high to bear, and it would have condemned this country to standing alone, secluded with the Taliban and Osama bin Laden, against the rest of the world.

HOCHMUTH: Tensions are escalating throughout the region. Refugees from Afghanistan anticipating an attack by the United States are fleeing in droves.

For that part of the story we go to Robert Weiner.

ROBERT WEINER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A chaotic scene at the border of Chaaman, as thousands of Afghans, fearing American reprisal, fled into neighboring Pakistan. According to officials here, some 2,500 refugees have crossed in the past 24 hours, and thousands more, many from Kandahar, are waiting to join them. MOHAMMAD MASI HAMAN: Eighty percent left their home, and they are afraid of United States attacks. They are thinking that they may attack today or tomorrow. They don't know what will happen in future.

WEINER: Among those on the run, this American citizen from California.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My home is there. My children are there. My wife is there.

WEINER: The photographer, who took these pictures, confronted angry and frustrated people and eventually sought refuge in a custom shed. Surrounded by both Taliban militia and the Pakistani military, identity papers were carefully checked, and those without proper documents were forced to return. But the border itself remains volatile and will become even more so if the United States begins to wage war.

This is Robert Weiner, CNN, in Quetta, southwest Pakistan.


JENNER WHITE: My name is Jenner White from Basingsdale (ph), United Kingdom, and I want to ask CNN what is required for the United States to declare war on a country? Also, how much authority does the president have to authorize military action?

JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There has been disagreement since the constitutional convention more than 200 years ago. But as commander-in-chief of the armed services, the president does have constitutional powers, under certain circumstances, to make war without Congressional approval. For instance, the Constitution specifically gives the president the power to repel invasion and also to suppress insurrection, but ultimately, the power to declare war is left to the United States Congress.

But that said, over the course of the U.S. history, only on five different occasions has the Congress actually declared war. In many cases -- even the Vietnam War, the Korean War, the Civil war -- there was no form of declaration of war by the Congress. Increasingly more and more power has gone to the president to exercise the use of the military force around the world. There've been several times where the Congress has stopped short of a formal declaration of war, but it's authorized the president to use military force abroad. Ultimately, Congress does have the authority to stop any war, because it is Congress that has power of the purse. So if Congress truly wanted to stop the exercise of military force abroad, it could simply not agree to pay for it.

HAYNES: And the possibility of war is certainly on the minds of many U.S. servicemen and women. Earlier this year, I had the chance to spend time with young people in all four branches of the U.S. military. Their main reason for joining - patriotism, and it seem that feeling has only been intensified.

Michael McManus reports. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MICHAEL MCMANUS, CBS CORRESPONDENT: 22-year-old Edmund Ross's life could soon change dramatically.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You'll go mad. You'll train in down there (ph). We have...

MCMANUS: He's just signed up with the U.S. army.

EDMUND ROSS, U.S. ARMY RECRUIT: I find myself here because of -- basically because of last week's actions and because I feel like it is time in my life where I needed to be -- try and say, you know, to get hold of my life and look towards the future.

CAPTAIN JANICE GRAVELY, U.S. ARMY: People are asking what they can do or what type jobs are available or what they need. What needs to be done in order to become a part of the military?

MCMANUS: People like Melissa Bell. She is joining the National Guard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What type of (INAUDIBLE) information are you (INAUDIBLE)?

MELISSA BELL, NATIONAL GUARD RECRUIT: I just wanted to find out, you know, what you guys have to offer basically?

MCMANUS: Last week, she wanted the military help in paying off school loans. This week, she believes the country needs her help.

BELL: We have to think a little bit about making a difference of (INAUDIBLE) things you can do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I will support everything.

UNIDENTIFIED RECRUITS: I'll support everything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Constitution of the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED RECRUITS: The Constitution of the United States.

MCMANUS: In recent years, the U.S. military has run into trouble meeting its recruiting goals. Many blame economic strength for the shortfall as potential candidates opt for the high paying jobs elsewhere. That might be changing.

GRAVELY: People who're calling in and saying, "I want to get involved, I want to serve my country, I want to do whatever is necessary for us to fix this problem."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, what's wrong? What's your name, sir?

MCMANUS: The phones are ringing off the hook, but it's still hard to close the sale. Actual foot traffic inside armed forces centers has remained the same. One of the ways the military is trying to change that since candidates aren't coming in, they decided to go to them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Try to pull yourself up.

MCMANUS: This is the climbing wall brought into a Georgia School by the U.S. army to give young people a feel for the training that goes into the making of a soldier.

SGT. MATT RICHARDSON, U.S. ARMY: Hopefully we will get - we're sparking an interest in letting them just go talk to the army recruiters to actually see what the army is all about.

STEPHEN ADAMS, 15-YEAR-OLD BOY: I don't think they would be following (ph) stuff like this, but there are (INAUDIBLE) stuff.

MCMANUS: The U.S. military hope campaigns like this one as well as a renewed sense of patriotism will increase the population within the armed forces. Help, they might need for whatever lies ahead.

Michael McManus, CNN, Atlanta.


HAYNES: Wednesday, the aircraft carrier "USS Theodore Roosevelt" left for the Mediterranean. Last year, I had the chance to spend time with new recruits onboard that carrier. I learned the importance each and every sailor has on a ship that sirens (ph) well.

Jeanne Meserve is on the ship right now and speaking with many on their first appointment.


JEANNE MESERVE, CBS CORRESPONDENT: The Pack Fighters thunder across the flight deck and rumble across the sky, practicing and preparing, but for what?

REAR ADM. MARK FITZGERALD, USS ROOSEVELT BATTLE GROUP: Routine deployment, you have a schedule. You know where you're going; you know what your mission is. Right now, we don't have a schedule. We know we're going to the Mediterranean; where we go from there, we don't know.

MESERVE: Thursday, the rest of the air wing will join the "Roosevelt", more than 70 aircraft in all. Many onboard are ready to get on with business, whatever it is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My neighbors back home said, you know, do (ph) one for me. I mean that's just the feeling right now in America as everybody - everybody wants retaliation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As soon as they do identify whoever has done this dastardly deed, will be ready to go and make sure that they don't do something like that ever again.

MESERVE: Many in the battle group said the support of the American people fortified them. CAPT. MARTIN ALLARD, USS BATAAN: I don't think you're going to have to worry about Americans being able to sustain their courage and their commitment to the arm forces and to win, quite frankly, what they call America's new war.

MESERVE: Including the marine amphibia's (ph) ready group there are 15 vessels in this battle group including (INAUDIBLE), destroyers, cruisers, and submarines. They are carrying a wide array of weapons and 15,000 sailors and marines.

They're young. On the Roosevelt, the average age is younger than 21, 65 percent of them on their first deployment. As they said goodbye to there families Wednesday morning, some were frank about their views.

MESERVE: Are you scared?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A little, more nervous (INAUDIBLE) yes.

MESERVE: Navy Secretary Gordon England visited the "Roosevelt" before it left port, trying to boost spirits and ease those fears.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are they ready, Mr. Secretary?


MESERVE: Ready, and on their way, somewhere.

Jeanne Meserve, CNN, onboard the "USS Roosevelt".


BERNARD SHAW, FORMER CNN ANCHOR: I think first and foremost, Americans, internally and then externally, facing the world have to show the world that we are a people of unrelenting resolve. Our resolve is stronger than strength, to use a phrase. We're not going to be deterred. If we lose 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 civilians due to act of terror, it's not going to deter this great nation and its people. It simply will not. You cannot bomb our hope and our resolve and our faith; you simply cannot.

WALCOTT: One of the most disturbing things about last week's attacks was the way the terrorists used American resources to carry out their plan. Investigators say the hijackers, among other thing, lived in the United States, they've used credit cards issued in America, sent e-mails on computers in public libraries, and even took flight lessons in this country -- which raises the question: How can Americans protect themselves without infringing on civil liberties? Participants at a CNN Town Hall meeting featuring Senator John McCain took a look at that question and searched for answer.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dustin's (ph) from Simsbury, Connecticut, Senator.


DUSTIN (ph): In terms of the debate on freedom versus safety, how much freedom should we be willing to give up for our safety?

MCCAIN: I don't know, because if you give up too much freedom, then the terrorists win, then they destroy our way of life. The whole purpose of this attack was to destroy the financial center of the world, New York City, and destroy the political capital of the world so -- and destroy our way of life. So if you begin depriving the Americans of too many civil liberties in the name of safety, then obviously, then they have succeeded.

I think the only way to go about this is a full and complete debate. I won't second-guess a lot of the president's decisions militarily. There is always time for that after the fact. But if we're going to make decisions as far as American liberties are concerned, we ought to have a full and open debate within the congress and with the American people before we take those measures.

Now I'm not saying that there aren't measures, particularly with the changes in Information Technology, the way people can communicate. We found out these terrorists went the public libraries and communicated with each other over the Internet, interesting. Could haven't been done 10 or 15 years ago, so there is no doubt that we have to bring about changes in -- what our government can do and can't do.

But I want a full debate on that, really, we've got to have a full debate. Other times in American history, we have done things that we have regretted in retrospective. We have regretted putting 110,000 Japanese-American citizens in concentration camps during World War II. At that time, everybody agreed it. United States Supreme Court upheld it. Well, I'm not saying we are right to do that again. But let's have a full and open debate on any further restrictions, we might make on Americans' liberties.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, you have an excellent question from (INAUDIBLE), Texas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, my question is -- how would the situation effect the discussions with President Fox right now on easing immigration laws across the U.S.-Mexico border?

MCCAIN: In the interest of straight talk, my friend, it's all on hold. Because our first - our first effort has to be to root out these individuals who may - can I emphasize, "may"- I have no inside information, may still be in this country. You may that -- now that two people alleged members of this organization were apprehended on the M (ph) track on the way to San Antonio because their plane was scheduled. They got to San Antonio and landed in St. Louise.

I think it's going to be on hold but on the long term, we are still going to have to address the issue with immigration and relations between the United States and Mexico. Because I am not sure that an average Mexican citizen who can't feed himself or his family in some place in Mexico, even still going to try to come to the United States of America, and there are many people who are living here, who've worked here, and lived here for many, many years, who are illegal. So, the issue is going to be put on hold, but it still going to have to be addressed all the time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, Senator McCain, if you take a look at the restrictions immediately imposed by the administration on the air travel; no more curbside check-in, no more electronic ticketing, closing national airport; they really seem like ways to punish air travelers rather than to protect the nation against terrorism. Are these effective steps, do you think?

MCCAIN: I think there steps that need to be taken, and I think there's others steps that probably are - deserve serious consideration. One of them is to federalizing or making part of that federal workforce, the security personnel at airports. I think we all now that these are very good people, but they are very low paid and not extremely well trained to say the least. I think also that we have to spend some more money on technology, better equipment to run our bags through and people through it. So, I think there's going to be have to be additional steps.

I have been on two -- I flew home last Friday to Phoenix, and then I just came in today. I see Americans, very patient. Americans are very understanding. They are more than willing to undergo some discomfort, get there two or three hours ahead of time and - so, I think Americans are going to be very cooperative in this and clearly, what happened and then what continues to happen, airport security has to be dramatically improved.


WALCOTT: In the aftermath of the terrorist attack, many Americans are feeling angry and helpless. How does one person go about fighting something as enormous as terrorism? Students at the university of Texas in Austin are discovering the healing power of unity and resolve.

Ed Lavandera has that story.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The student paper says it all at the University of Texas in Austin.

MARSHALL MAHER, EDITOR: Because people are yes, slightly afraid. I guess it's like the headlines says, I mean, (INAUDIBLE).

LAVANDERA: Editor Marshall Maher says most recent letters share a common theme, anger and uncertainty over the aerial-terrorist attacks.

MAHER: Except from the ones that are just you know, downright anger and calling for war, I mean, you can kind of tell there is just a -- kind of like a shock. There's a real vulnerability in the e- mails. I think you can kind of tell.

LAVANDERA: Some letters speak directly to the terrorists.

MAHER: You crumbled the World Trade Center, we're still here. You hit the Pentagon, we're still here.

LAVANDERA: That feeling inspired the university's dragon dance team to continue practicing, while these students don't want to let terrorists disrupt life in U.S. any more, they share a real sense of confusion.

NIHAN NGUYEN: And I am half way thinking that there can't type for mercy for this type of things, and at the same time I'm thinking a war or some sort of retaliation would really - would really mean costing more lives.

LAVANDERA (on camera): President Bush is asked the Americans to sacrifice as the country prepares for what could be a lengthy battle against terrorists. Because of this may students across college campuses say they're starting to truly understand the experiences of the World War II generation.

(voice-over): Jessica Thomas studied at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Her sense of patriotism is so intense; she'd even sign up for a military draft if that's what it takes to defeat terrorism.

JESSICA THOMAS: It's something that I'm willing to fight for; because I believe so strongly that our nation is a strong nation.

LAVANDERA: But Tiffany Oliver (ph) can't help but worry about the future. Her boyfriend is Marine reservist.

TIFFANY OLIVER: I don't want war, I'd like for things to go back to the way they were, but I guess its not going to happen now.

MAHER: You killed innocent civilians, they are still here. Because of their spirit we will live on in all of this.

LAVANDERA: Countless emotional testimonials, a chance for a generation to share as it prepares for what many expect to be the toughest challenge of their lives.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, Austin, Texas.


HAYNES: Well, those students in Texas aren't the only one suddenly facing a challenge. Since last week's attacks, dozens of hate crimes against Arab-Americans and Muslim-Americans have been reported. This has many people including students worried about civil liberties.

CNN's Student Bureau reports.


ANITA MALIK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is the usual scene. As Muslims gather to pray at Omar Abin Al Fatad (ph) mosque, near the University of Southern California campus. But these are not usual times. There's fear that anger at the attackers and a possible link to Muslim fundamentalists will lead to violence against innocent Muslims, or Arab-Americans. Minal Hasan is a Muslim student at USC, who says she is worried about what may happen.

MINAL HASAN: The average Muslim has no connection whatsoever to any Islamic terrorists, so I do really hope that the backlash won't be too severe. I've already heard at least 16 reports of harassment, and harassment against Muslim students on campus.

MALIK: But many students sympathize with their Muslim classmates.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's unfortunate that stereotyping is occurring and that, you know, these negative actions are happening.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of the great parts about this campus is its diversity. So I would hope that there wouldn't be any sort of backlash and I sure we haven't seen that as of yet.

MALIK (on camera): The department of public safety hasn't seen any evidence of a backlash. The campus has received just a few threats and they were not directed at any religious, or ethnic group. Still they are on alert, just in case.

HASAN: This situation has been handled quite well and I'm just concerned about the safety of other Muslims in the LA area who might not have the same kind of really supportive, responsive community like the USC students have here.

MALIK (voice-over): That support network includes senior Paul Miller; he organized a vigil for peace.

PAUL MILLER: And the final theme of the vigil was to make sure that there was no reactionary anti-Muslim prejudice, and that terror has no race, and that terror has no religion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We want to get started. Yes, we know, you want to help out. We appreciate you coming out.

MALIK: Fear of prejudice quickly gave way to signs of hope and students from all backgrounds waited in long lines to donate blood. And later joined in song and prayer, symbolizing a sense of community in a time of crisis.

Anita Malik, CNN's Student Bureau, Los Angeles.



WALCOTT: The worst of times often brings out the best in people, whether it's donating blood or time, people really are trying to make a difference. HAYNES: Yes, but for many, volunteering has help combat the feeling of helplessness. Beth Nissen looks at one volunteer coalition near ground zero in New York.


BETH NISSEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is supply central for ground zero, a parking lot outside the Javis Convention Center in Manhattan. Stacked with donated goods from across the country, sorted and distributed by a battalion of volunteers. Volunteers like Cris Carnicelli, who was until last Tuesday a waitress in a World Trade Center restaurant.

CRIS CARNICELLI: This place has become essential. Anybody who comes here getting supplies is going down to ground zero.

NISSEN: The depot is well supplied with a number of essential items. Shovels, flashlights and batteries and volunteers making them ready to use.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, we got masks in you hand and a few batteries.

NISSEN: These police officers walked out with filter masks and working flashlights. Other requests are harder to fill.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: First we have a manifest for 30 respirators.

CARNICELLI: We don't have them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We haven't got 30.

CARNICELLI: We don't have them.

NISSEN: The depot is short of respirators, especially those rated for asbestos.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a lot of cost on that, all over the place on that. As its OK -- we don't have it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes we don't have them.

NISSEN: Supply coordinators print daily updates of the most critical shortages. Cell phone chargers, asbestos grade respirators and boots. Some workers at ground zero reportedly needed a new pair after every few hours of work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is what I need. These types of boots is what I need, blacks boots, steel-toed boots.

NISSEN: Nelson Santiago (ph) an unemployed demolition worker says ground zero conditions are ruining work boots.

NELSON SANTIAGO: Some of them come torn in half, some of them breakdown in half, or some of them would just be like wasted on one side and new on the other.

NISSEN: Melted?

SANTIAGO: Yes melted. So because of the heat...

NISSEN: As work at the attack site reaches new levels, the request for supplies change.

KEVIN CARROLL, DEPOT VOLUNTEER: We need high quality rappelling ropes down at ground zero. They're going about 200-foot down into a hole, and working down there. They've got to get down there somehow, it's a sheer wall.

NISSEN: Like everyone else volunteers here have held out hope of survivors, but the supply requests told them hope maybe lost. Cris Carnicelli was sending out boxes of heavy work gloves.

CRIS CARNICELLI, DEPOT VOLUNTEER: And now as they dig deeper and they start investigating and doing like forensics and stuff, we've been getting request for rubber gloves.

NISSEN: Boxes of mass trauma supplies, steel dressing, medical sponges are being boxed up for storage, sadly unneeded.

Workers took in a shipment of 2000 small Styrofoam coolers for storage of the body parts that workers are recovering. Donations of goods and materials continue to flood in, some addressed simply to Ground Zero, New York City, some contain still needed goods, eye drops for smoke stung eyes, Epsom salt for the gone weary.

CHERYL CAMPBELL: Vicks Vaporub, believe it or not, it seems to be a demand. All the smoke and stuff of the ashes that came down -- it kind of soothes us.

NISSEN: Supply coordinators repeated their call for a halt in donation of clothing and other emergency supplies.

CAMPBELL: We do not need water, we do not need food supplies, right now we can't house all the stuff that people are trying to donate and volunteer.

NISSEN: Truckloads of overflow donations are being diverted to (INAUDIBLE) Stadium, an hour's drive away. Depot workers say what it most needed now is money, given to relief funds and the Red Cross. They also hope people will bank their good intentions, their willingness to help, which will still be greatly needed for weeks to come.

Beth Nissen, CNN, New York.


HAYNES: And that's NEWSROOM for Thursday.

WALCOTT: We'll see you tomorrow bye-bye.




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