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CNN Newsroom

Aired September 21, 2001 - 04:30   ET


TOM HAYNES, CNN CO-HOST: Welcome to another live edition of CNN Newsroom everyone. I'm Tom Haynes.

SHELLY WALCOTT, CNN CO-HOST: And I'm Shelly Walcott. United States President Bush speaks to Congress and presents America with a call to action. To the U.S. military he says, "be ready", to citizens wanting justice he says, "be resolute."

HAYNES: Mr. Bush introduced his new office of Homeland Security and the head of the new agency Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Ridge. The office will create a plan to tighten security across the nation. As for terrorists across the globe, Mr. Bush is standing firm in his demands.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: And tonight the United States of America makes the following demands on the Taliban. Deliver to United States authorities all the leaders of al Qaeda who hide in your land.

Release all foreign nationals including American citizens you have unjustly imprisoned. Protect foreign journalists, diplomats and aid workers in your country. Close immediately and permanently, every terrorist training camp in Afghanistan and hand over every terrorist and every person in the support structure to appropriate authorities.

Give the United States full access to terrorist training camps, so we can make sure they are no longer operating. These demands are not open to negotiation or discussion.

The Taliban must act and act immediately. They will hand over the terrorists or they will share in their fate. I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims through out the world. We respect your faith. It's practiced freely by many millions of Americans and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its teachings are good and peaceful and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah.

The terrorists are traitors to their own faith trying in effect to hijack Islam itself. The enemy of America is not our many Muslim friends; it is not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists and every government that supports them. Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.


HAYNES (voice-over): As President Bush was speaking Thursday night, American troops were preparing for a military build-up in the Persian Gulf region.


The Pentagon has deployed unspecified army units to the area, they are in addition to as many as 130 warplanes including bombers and refueling tankers being sent. Two aircraft carriers are already in the region and another, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, is on its way to the Mediterranean Sea. While the build up brings back memories of the Persian Gulf War the Bush administration contends any conflict will be much different.

DONALD RUMSFELD, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: We really almost are going to have to fashion a new vocabulary and different constructs for thinking about what it is we're doing? It is very different than embarking on a campaign against a specific country, within a specific time frame, for a specific purpose.

HAYNES: Special operations forces such as Rangers and the Green Beret will play an important role in trying to track down Osama bin Laden, the leading suspect in last week's attacks on the United States.

CNN's Bob Franken covers the Pentagon.

BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That the emphasis for instance on the special operations unit, those commando units, are the kind of units that you would expect to be involved in an Afghanistan operation with its very, very difficult terrain and its guerrillas from the various wars that have been fought there, you would expect an emphasis and of course officials will tell you that sure that's why we can expect that the (INAUDIBLE) special operations unit.

HAYNES: President Bush's administration was out in force Thursday preparing Americans for the long haul.

COLIN POWELL, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: It is a long-term campaign. It will be done in a deliberate way. It'll be done in a decisive way and we will show patience but we will also show persistence and perseverance until we are successful in this campaign.

HAYNES: But what is the measure of success? Even if bin Laden were to be captured no one expects that would end terrorism, as we know it. Officials admit victory is hard to define.

RUMSFELD: So what can you do? I think what you can do is to go after the problem to a point that you are satisfied that the American people are going to be able to live their lives in relative freedom and have the kinds of linkages with the rest of the world that we feel are so essential to our well-being.

HAYNES: Not the sort of answer that brings a convincing sense of security but perhaps the best under the circumstances. Although this is a new kind of warfare it could well depend on an old ally.

For that we go to Andrea Koppel.


ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a picture that spoke a thousand words, the United States and one of its key Arab allies, side by side in the war against terrorism. Saudi Arabia's foreign minister made clear his government's support.

PRINCE SAUD AL-FAISAL, SAUDI ARABIA: ...For Saudi Arabia alone but all the international community to take what is necessary to combat this scourge of terrorism that exists in the world.

KOPPEL: During the Gulf War, Saudi Arabia played a pivotal role. Now the Bush administration is again looking to countries in the Arabian Peninsula, the Persian Gulf as well as in North Africa to join a new coalition against terrorism. Secretary of State Powell said during their meeting the Saudi foreign minister spelled out what his government could offer.

POWELL: He was rather specific in our conversations about things they will do within the kingdom to support us in this effort.

KOPPEL: In particular the U.S is looking to the Saudis to share intelligence on Osama bin Laden, his terrorist network and cut off financial support, to open its airspace and allow the U.S. to operate from its own bases on Saudi soil. And perhaps most importantly, the U.S. needs Saudi Arabia, a prominent voice within the Muslim world, to spread the word; this war is targeting terrorists, not Islam.

Once potential land mine, other targets beyond bin Laden and his network in Afghanistan. In a letter sent to President Bush Thursday, a group of prominent conservatives said even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to last week's attacks the U.S. should make a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power.

GEOFFREY KEMP, NIXON CENTER: But putting together a coalition against Afghanistan is easy because everybody hates the Taliban including Iran, India, Russia and Saudi Arabia. Putting together a coalition against Iraq, totally different story.

KOPPEL (on camera): But administration officials say anyone and everyone including Iraq will be fair game if there's evidence of terrorism. Without it, one Arab diplomat warned, widening the circle beyond Afghanistan will lose their support for the coalition.

Andrea Koppel, CNN, at the State Department.


SHELLY WALCOTT, CNN CO-HOST: Today Afghanistan's ruling Taliban responded to U.S. President Bush's move to enlist broad support to go after Osama bin Laden and those who harbor terrorists. The Taliban says Osama bin Laden is free to leave on his own but they will not turn him in against his will. Taliban officials also said that if Afghanistan or any Muslim nation is attacked by U.S. forces, they will be forced to declare a holy war or Jihad.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If America is still not convinced in the light of the above mentioned decision and launches attack on Afghanistan, the Islamic instruction in such cases in the light of Shariya (ph) are given as under; the books of our school of religion rite that if infidels attack the territory of a country of Muslims, Jihad becomes an Islamic obligation for the Muslims of that country.

The verses of the Holy Koran, sayings of the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, and all books of the school of religion order Muslims to wage Jihad.


TOM HAYNES, CNN CO-HOST: Will the Taliban's announcement strengthen the push for an international coalition against terrorism? We await reaction from around the world. Meantime another coalition is in the works. The American civil liberties union is forming a broad coalition to protect civil rights. The group is concerned that proposed legislation could make freedom the next casualty of terrorism.

Jonathan Aiken looks at security versus freedom.


JONATHAN AIKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Citizens of the United States have seldom been shy about exercising and protecting their basic and guaranteed civil liberties. But ask Americans on the street these days if they would object to the curtailment of these rights and you'll get answers that match the national mood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm all for taking all kinds of steps so that terrorism is prevented, even if it means infringing a bit on people's liberties.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And if it's actually going to save more lives and better the country. Yes, I'll be willing to do that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't want to become part of the paranoia. I want us to think very carefully about how we proceed from here.

AIKEN: Reacting to last weeks attacks, the Bush administration wants congress to broaden the power of federal agents to conduct surveillance on individuals in the United States.

JOHN ASHCROFT, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: We need every tool available to us, to curtail the potential of additional terrorist acts that would threaten the safety and security of the American people.

AIKEN: Specifically, Ashcroft wants wiretap laws expanded to monitor all the communications of an individual no matter what telephone or computer they may use. The administration also wants to give federal agents the right to take DNA samples from suspects. And allow federal agencies to use information from other countries that may have been obtained in ways that would be illegal in the United States. Critics' say the White House is overreacting.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: History has shown us that in past times of national calamity, civil rights and civil liberties are among the first to fall victim to the crisis.

AIKEN: It's happened before in the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm old enough to remember Pearl Harbor. And shortly thereafter the United States in turn locked up a 130,000 Japanese. We did it only in the far west and particularly in California and it turns out that there was prejudicial sentiment against the Japanese and that operated to bring about this incarceration.

AIKEN: So far there's been no effort to greatly expand the role of the INS, the Immigration and Naturalization Service. But the administration has already doubled the amount of time, an immigrant can be detained by federal agents without questioning, from 24 to 48 hours. Politically, there is support to give federal agents more latitude in conducting their investigation into the terrorist attacks. But a prominent democrat offered a word of caution.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If we don't do what's in our constitution bylaws, then in some ways they win.

AIKEN (on camera): There's always been a robust debate in the United States on the tension between national security on one hand, individual liberty on the other, it's a debate that began in the earliest days of the republic and it continues now in an era of high tech surveillance, personal privacy issues and these days, a back drop of concern.

Jonathan Aiken for CNN, Washington.


SHELLY WALCOTT: In New York, the number of those missing and feared dead now tops 6,000. Hundreds of people from other countries have been added to the list of victims. At a CNN Town Hall meeting at George Washington University in Washington D.C. last night, Senator Joseph Biden and Fred Thompson were questioned about the international support the United States will receive as it prepares to retaliate.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senators with both of your combined experience on the intelligence communities, how would you say that we can trust foreign intelligence communities? Right now this is a coalition, can we trust them in future? How long will this last?

SENATOR, FRED THOMPSON: Great questions. It depends on several different things including the country, obviously we have a long- standing relationship with some countries and they have proven their reliability in times past. Other countries especially now, where we going to have to reach out and have some alliances that we're not used to having and depend on some intelligence that we are not used to depending on. Those things will have to be checked with other facts that we have in order to test their reliability. But it's very perceptive to hit on that problem because it's going to be a real one as we go forward.

SENATOR, JOSEPH BIDEN: I could add 10 seconds to that. I think we look at their motive. For example Iran hasn't changed any about their attitude towards us but Iran almost went to war with the Taliban. Iran would very much like to see the Taliban hurt and if turns out it's the Taliban.

Egypt, Egypt is -- there is an organization in Egypt that has been part of the organization of bin Laden that has tried to assassinate the President of Egypt several times. My guess is the intelligence he gives us is going to be fairly accurate. I'm not being (INAUDIBLE) when I say that. So I don't want anybody to be pollyannaish about how all of a sudden these organizations are going to be wonderful but look at the motive, look at their motive and you'd be able to make some judgment as to how much you're willing to trust what they have to say, whether this information is real, I think that's part of the equation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Biden, a question for you from a Mustafa (ph) who's from Miami.

MUSTAFA (ph): Yes Senator Biden, I'm a Turkish-American-Muslim, first generation. I was wondering what you think about the recent violence against many of our Arab-American citizens.

BIDEN: Let me -- you know, I was at my home university yesterday and there are about 3,000 - at the University of Delaware -- and the point I wanted to make there because there's an awful lot of Muslims in this country practicing Islamic faith but one thing that this attack was about, was about our western values. One of things that -- that if it is in fact what you have been hearing most about, lets assume it was bin Laden who was at the head of this operation.

The thing that bin Laden most would like to demonstrate to the poor and dispossessed in Afghanistan and other parts of the Middle East is that we really are not a multiethnic society, we really are not tolerant, we really are that devil, we really are what he portrays us to be. And the one thing you can all do to help bin Laden succeed, if it's bin Laden, is treat Arab-Americans or those practicing Islamic faith, in a way different than us.

It will make his case. It's the very case he wishes to make. Taking down the World Trade Towers, now he knew would not take down America, but he hopes that it will sow such discord in this country that if we respond in ways, any other than being embracive, I think we make his case.

And so the one message I would have to all of you, and I realize you're students in here, and I am not being (INAUDIBLE) you're enlightened, you're educated women and men. When you go home -- when you go home, you'll be at the local hangout, the local bar, you'll be at the local picnic, you'll be at the Thanksgiving dinner and when you hear someone say in your family, out of your family, "Well you know seal our borders, all these guys," go on and on and on, remind them -- remind them that's the very thing that they want us do.

It makes the case. It makes the case that we are that Satan. That we are this intolerable society who has no regard for them and so strong -- strong -- strongly urge you to be broad-minded about this. Don't repeat what our parent's generation did, in the way in which the Japanese were treated at the beginning of World War II. Don't do that because that's the case they're trying to make in the extremist Arab world and the extreme Muslim world. Don't help them make the case against us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But Senator Biden, you mentioned - you mentioned immigration in the -- in the -- in the list that you gave. Do you think it's possible to have legitimate concerns about immigration and about our borders without being obituated (ph)?

BIDEN: Sure it is. For example, I think, Fred, you're going to be disappointed if you're going to find Fred and I are friends here and we don't disagree much on this topic. I know that's not Washington, but all kidding aside what you're going to find is Fred made the point, Senator Thompson made the point, that we have people come in on visas, and then we loose track of them.

We have no notion where they are. It is not inappropriate to have them have to meet the requirement of the visa given, which is you check-in, you sign in, in effect, you say this is where I am, this is when I'm leaving, this is what I'm doing, that's appropriate, that's totally appropriate.

That is very different than saying as some voices I've heard, even in my own state say, cut the quota or the number of Arabs who are able to immigrate to the United States to be given visas.

Stop our relationships with, move against, make sure you begin to profile, et cetera, are two different things. And there's a lot we can do to tighten up legitimately, without violating anyone's civil liberties or civil rights, the way in which we treat immigration, but be careful.

THOMPSON: Joe said it so well, I can't improve on what he said, about, with regard to the previous question, but I would point out, any one who is concerned about our commitment, our nation's commitment with this administration, to inclusiveness and tolerance, to look at own cabinet, our own Secretary of energy, who all Arab-Americans can be very, very proud of, it's in the heart of our administration.

(END VIDEOTAPE) HAYNES: Meantime, the Bush Administration is urging Americans not to treat people unfairly or unkindly because of their ethnicity or faith. During the past week there has been a surge in hate crimes against Arab-Americans and Muslim Americans. As Anne McDermott reports this misguided anger is only adding to the tragedy.


ANNE MCDERMOTT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Adel Carres (ph) was an American, but he was killed Saturday at his little store in San Gabriel, California because his family believes, the Egyptian born man looked Middle Eastern. And hate crimes are on the rise.

The FBI is actively investigating 40 such incidents, 40 and counting, Attorney General John Ashcroft.

JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL: I am deeply concerned about the civil liberties of all Americans. I'm especially concerned about the civil liberties of Arab-Americans and Middle Eastern Americans.

MCDERMOTT: President Bush set the tone earlier this week during a visit to an Islamic center where he spoke out against this homegrown hatred.

GEORGE BUSH, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: They represent the worst of human kind.

MCDERMOTT: Mr. Bush's National Security adviser, Condoleezza Rice said the president wants no war, against the Islamic religion.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, MR. BUSH'S NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: what Islam stands for peace and stands for nonviolence and he wanted to make that very, very clear.

MCDERMOTT: Meanwhile California's Attorney General says there have been dozen's of incidents in his state alone. Officials there are now distributing special pamphlets in Arabic and Hindi and other languages on how to deal with hate crimes and the pamphlets say, call the cops.

Meanwhile Afghans in L.A. met this week to grieve for the victims in New York and D.C. and a call for a halt to the hate.


MCDERMOTT: But acts of vandalism have continued. This is an Islamic Center in Texas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My kids crying what (INAUDIBLE) I myself think why this takes place. And here we come for a place where we should feel safe.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As one victim of a hate crime put it, "those who do this, they too are terrorists."

Anne McDermott, CNN, Los Angeles. (END VIDEOTAPE)

SHELLEY WALCOTT, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: In the aftermath of the terrorists attacks in this country, how are we supposed to react? People are feeling so many emotions, from sadness and fear to confusion and anger, our Mike McManus is here to tell us how many of you are coping.

MIKE MCMANUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Shelley it's been hard for everyone to come to terms for what happened last week. I went to a local Atlanta High School with a psychologist who both listened to students and gave some advise on dealing with this tragedy.

DR. GALE DENISE THOMAS (ph): We're going to actually talk you about what happened last week, your reactions and your thoughts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was like, you know, that couldn't have happened. It's unreal, thinking about that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was terrified because you know, I was thinking, you know, where else could they be hitting next.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're supposed to be the United States like, how could somebody do that to the United States as we're supposed to be strong, how could somebody use a plane with people on it to blow up the -- blow up a building?

DENISE THOMAS: These deep in motions you are talking about, these motions are natural reactions when something's being taken from you, when there's been a death, when there's been trauma and right now we're feeling some of these same things.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I didn't do any homework or anything that day. I just sat down and watched the News.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel bad for the Arabic people living here, that, like how they're being treated now because of what happened, which wasn't even their fault, you know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Those people were innocent, going to work, you know, just taking care of business and then never knew (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You should focus on the individuals who've done this and not to religion and not because of the country the person is from you know, the color of their skin. Just focus on the individuals who've done it. Terrorism really has no religion, you know, because no religion that I have known says, you know, go out and kill these people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's kind of like, it has those people living in fear, that you know, something -- you know, we could just be gone tomorrow there's nothing we can do about that.

DENISE THOMAS: All those ranges of emotions and all those things that you talked about, those things are natural reactions. It's OK to feel those things.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't want anything like this to happen again. So just -- a lot of our freedom that we associated with our nation, with the United States of America is going to be taken away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have to show some kind of -- you know, that, to let other countries know that we are a country to be bothered with.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When the Japanese came over here, that was a country we knew, we knew that it was Japan, it was the country attacking us. In this situation, it's not the country attacking us, it's a group of terrorists attacking us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And this week the Dow Jones was down like, 685 points, that's, you know, definitely a change a lot more people are concerned about how their spending and just future financial concerns.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Americans beginning to join together instead of being against each so much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Flags around the neighborhood and things and flags on the cars, other things like that, so our nation has united.

MCMANUS: You mentioned something that's very important and that's getting back to your normal routine, getting back to normal, can you tell us about that?

DENISE THOMAS: We all find comfort in structure. We all find comfort in our routine; being able to say what's going to happen next. And one of the things we try to impress upon people when come in as the crisis management team is, we want to get you back to your routine because you know what's going to happen next. It gives you a sense of control and that's very important.

We all need to talk it out because you know, if when we hold in inside and we keep letting it be old you know, we don't know what to do next, we don't know who to turn to, we don't know what's going to happen next. We've got to step away and be able to put things in perspective and just be able to recognize, yes this did happen. But there are some good things that have come about, enough to take some time to deal with your emotions and what your thinking.(INAUDIBLE).


MCMANUS: A few thoughts from some concerned young adults and school psychologist Dr Gale Denise Thomas, Shelley, Tom.

TOM HAYNES, CNN CO-HOST (on camera): Alright Mike, thanks very much.

Well that about wraps up this edition of CNN Newsroom everyone but before we leave you today, the sounds of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. SHELLEY WALCOTT, CNN CO-HOST (on camera): That's right, the Orchestra held a memorial concert last night in New York. They just performed just one selection, Brahms Requiem, a piece that deals with loss and death as well as redemption and hope, -- enjoy.

We'll see you next week.




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