Skip to main content /TRANSCRIPTS



CNN Newsroom

Aired January 11, 2002 - 04:30   ET


ANNOUNCER: Seen in classrooms the world over, this is CNN NEWSROOM.

SHARON NORTH, CO-HOST: Welcome to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Sharon North.

SUSAN FREIDMAN, CO-HOST: And I'm Susan Freidman.

United States President Bush vows to give American military forces the tools they need to fight global terrorism. During a visit to the Pentagon Wednesday, Mr. Bush signed into law a spending bill that devotes $318 billion to U.S. defense. The president says America owes its military personnel a full measure of respect.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Our military must have every resource, every tool, every weapon and every advantage you need for the missions to come. The bill I'm about to sign makes a down payment on essential commitment. We will give our forces everything they need to defeat global terror.


NORTH: The first group of Taliban and al Qaeda detainees is set to arrive today at a detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The detainees seen here boarding the plane are being heavily guarded. Gunfire erupted near the U.S. base at Kandahar after the transport plane carrying the 20 detainees took off. U.S. forces answered the incoming fire with heavy machine gun fire of their own.

There are no reports of injuries, but CNN's Jamie McIntyre has more on the latest developments, including President Bush's decision to send American special forces troops to the Philippines.


JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN MILITARY AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 25 U.S. special forces, key players in Afghanistan, are now in the southern Philippines, the Pentagon says, to help the government battle Abu Sayyaf, a group of Muslim rebels linked to Osama bin Laden.

The Pentagon says the U.S. special forces, the vanguard of a larger force to come, are trainers -- but will not say whether they will eventually go after terrorists themselves.

RUMSFELD: I'm not going to talk about the future. I can tell you that we have been involved in training. And to my knowledge, that's what we're currently doing.

MCINTYRE: But military sources tell CNN the mission guidance for the U.S. forces allows for armed U.S. observers to accompany Philippine forces to forward areas if requested: something that could put U.S. military troops in a combat role.

The deployment is small but first step expanding the war against terrorism outside Afghanistan, a goal president Bush repeated as he signed the Pentagon's budget into law.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If the war against terror means that we must find terror wherever it exists and pull it out by its roots and bring people to justice, our military must have the means to achieve the objective.

MCINTYRE: Pentagon sources say the advance team will be followed by more than 100 special forces by next month, along with at least 10 helicopters and some C-130 cargo planes. Logistical support troops could bring the total U.S. presence to 500 troops.

Abu Sayyaf has been holding an American missionary couple hostage since May. Experts say that kidnappings have been a major source of income for the group which is linked to Osama bin Laden.

DANA DILLON, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: They're a potential source of funding for al Qaeda because their -- their kidnapping operations have been so successful. They made $20 million, just -- it's been estimated -- last year.

MCINTYRE (on camera): Pentagon officials say the U.S. has offered for its troops to get directly involved in the hunt for terrorists, but that is something that would require authorization from the Philippine congress.

Jaime McIntyre, CNN, the Pentagon.


FREIDMAN: The U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will house prisoners from Afghanistan.

During its 98-year history, this base has been used for many things. Most recently, it was a place where Haitian and Cuban refugees were processed. We take a look at the history of the base, and how the U.S. came to occupy it.

Mark Potter has our report.


MARK POTTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Officially, it is the U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But most here know it as Gitmo. 45 square miles of U.S.-controlled territory on Cuba's eastern tip.

Separated from the rest of the Communist island by miles of fence, guard towers and Cuban mine fields, Gitmo is a throwback to the Cold War, although tensions have eased over the years.

JAIMIE SUCHLICKI, UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI: We needed bases for the Navy in the Caribbean. And the Caribbean being the underbelly of the United States, it was strategically important for the United States.

POTTER: Guantanamo Bay was taken over by U.S. Marines in 1898 during the Spanish-American war. In 1903, a newly independent Cuba leased it to the United States for an annual fee of $2,000 in gold. A 1934 treaty reinforced the agreement and allowed the U.S. to stay as long as it wished.

After the Cuban Revolution of 1959, and Fidel Castro's takeover, tensions rose at Guantanamo Bay, first with the Bay of Pigs Invasion and then the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.


ANNOUNCER: Meanwhile, the United States continues to reinforce its Cuban base at Guantanamo Bay, the Naval depot that Castro wants the U.S. to give up. These Marines have been assigned the job of protecting the base against any Cuban threats that might arise during the present crisis.


POTTER: Two years later, in 1964, President Castro shut of the water to Guantanamo. The U.S. had to ship it in and build a desalinization plant. In 1991, after a coup in Haiti, 10,000 Haitian refugees were held at Guantanamo. During huge boat lifts from Haiti and Cuba in 1994, more than 60,000 refugees were detained there behind wire fences, where frustrations often ran high.

In 1999, plans to house 20,000 Kosovo refugees never materialized. But now, with the Afghan prisoners, Gitmo is back in business, with perhaps its most dangerous mission yet.

Mark Potter, CNN.


FREIDMAN: American forces are mourning the deaths of seven Marines. The Marines were aboard a KC-130 refueling plane that crashed Wednesday in Pakistan. The cause of the crash is not yet known. Investigators are bound for the mountainside crash site even though there's said to be little left of the aircraft. Meanwhile, the father of Sergeant Jeannette Winters, the first American service woman to die in the conflict, says receiving such news is a moment you can never prepare for.

More now on the tragedy, the victims and the loved ones they left behind from CNN's Gary Tuchman.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We'll always know her as the first U.S. service woman to die since the war on terrorism began. But Jeannette Winters will also forever be known as Matthew Winters' little girl.

MATTHEW WINTERS, FATHER OF JEANNETTE WINTERS: And they told me that there had been a crash, and my daughter was in it.

TUCHMAN: Similar heartbreak for six other families. Captain Matthew Bancroft of Shasta, California, was the KC-130's command pilot, a husband and father. Sgt. Nathan Hays was only 21, the flight mechanic, growing up in the small town of Wilbur, Washington.

Flight navigator Bryan Bertrand of Coos Bay, Oregon, was a high school basketball and football star.

His friend Notosha was waiting to give him his Christmas stocking. She had a dress for the upcoming Marine Ball. Now she only has memories.

NOTOSHA MONROE, FRIEND: I talked to Brian on the phone. I just had this feeling that I wasn't going to see him again.

TUCHMAN: For the father and stepmother of Jeannette Winters, who was the radio operator aboard the Marine plane, there was no such feeling.

WINTERS: It was a big shock. And I am hoping that -- I know they had their job to do. And that's all we've got to say.

TUCHMAN: Matthew Winters last spoke to his daughter before the holidays. She had told them she would not be back home in Gary, Indiana, for Christmas, but Jeannette sent her father this guitar for a present.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we are proud of her.

WINTERS: I'm very proud of my daughter.

TUCHMAN: Gary Tuchman, CNN.


NORTH: More details are emerging in the probe of the Enron Corporation. Last month the energy giant filed for the most expansive bankruptcy protection in U.S. history. Then yesterday, the Justice Department revealed Attorney General John Ashcroft and his Chief of Staff have recused themselves from the investigation.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer has a time line on the company's ordeal, but first we begin with the latest developments into the investigation and what they could mean for the Bush administration.

Here's John King.


JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Attorney General John Ashcroft is recusing himself from the criminal investigation of Enron, as is his Chief of Staff. The reason, $60,000 in political contributions from Enron and its top executives in Campaign 2000, when Ashcroft was running for reelection to the Senate.

Another reflection of the political stakes, in the Oval Office. The President himself announcing two new cabinet level reviews to determine if the government needs stronger disclosure laws to protect shareholders and investors in 401(k) and other retirement plans.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have great concern for the stories, for those I read about in the stories who put their life savings aside and for whatever reason, based upon some rule or regulation, got trapped in this awful bankruptcy and have lost life savings.

KING: Energy giant, Enron, first gave a public hint of its financial troubles last October, and then filed for bankruptcy in early December, a major economic story in any event and a major political story too because Enron and its CEO, Ken Lay, have deep connections to the Bush family and in both political parties in Congress.

BUSH: I have never discussed with Mr. Lay the financial problems of the company.

KING: But Lay did alert top Bush deputies that Enron was in trouble, and asked for help well before the December bankruptcy filing. He called Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, and Commerce Secretary Don Evans, in late October and O'Neill a second time in early November.

Sources say Lay wanted help shoring up the company's bond rating. Aides say Secretaries O'Neill and Evans decided there was nothing the government could or should do. The White House says they did not pass the news on to the President or any other senior administration officials.

ARI FLEISCHER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The President is pleased with the actions that his cabinet secretaries took. He thinks they acted wisely and properly.

Lay is an old Bush family friend, and he and his company a major donor to both political parties. In the 2000 campaign cycle alone, Enron and its executives contributed more than $2.2 million to federal candidates and political committees; $74,000 went to the Bush Campaign; $1.5 million to other Republican campaigns and committees; and $640,000 to the Democrats.

Four Congressional committees are also investigating Enron, and Democrats want more information on the company's contacts with the Bush White House.

(on camera): Top Bush aides concede it would have been better if those contacts between Enron's CEO and the Bush Cabinet secretaries had been disclosed sooner. But they also say that any investigation will show this, that when a major Bush contributor asked for help, the answer was no and that the president has no hesitancy at all now about launching investigations into a company run by an old family friend.

John King, CNN, The White House.



WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): August 2000, the company that transformed the way energy is bought and sold in America appears to have the Midas touch. Enron hits $90 a share on the New York Stock Exchange. Spring 2001, California is in the midst of a severe energy crisis. Governor Gray Davis lays the blame with the big energy firms, including Enron. As more power plants are built to meet the demand, Enron stock slips on fears that an energy glut will cut profits.

August 2001, Enron's CEO Jeffrey Skilling quits, after just six months on the job for -- quote -- "purely personal reasons." Analysts are stunned. It's about to get a lot worse.

October 2001, Enron discloses previously undisclosed losses. The company later said it overstated profits by a staggering $600 million. The result, a total loss in confidence on Wall Street. Enron stock plummets, from $40 in mid-October to 26 cents by the end of November.

With the stock in free fall, company employees say Enron froze the stock in their retirement plans, barring them from selling. Retiree Charles Prestwood told a House panel he lost everything.

CHARLES PRESTWOOD, ENRON EMPLOYEE: And I had all my savings, everything, in Enron stock. I lost $1.3 million.

BLITZER: Average investors got burned too. Seventy-year-old Mary Bane Pearson bought stock after studying the company's managers and books, which masked questionable accounting. When the fall came, her accountant advised her not to sell.

MARY BANE PEARSON, ENRON INVESTOR: But sometimes at night, I do feel real bitter over what I've lost, because it was a big part of my future, and I don't know how I'm going to handle the future now. All I can do is hope and pray I don't get sick.


NORTH: You know it may have seemed like a good idea at the time but the web site Invest Better 2001 turned out to be a bust for those who sank their money into it.

And as CNN's Brooks Jackson reports, to add insult to injury, the mastermind who developed the site and allegedly scammed his investors out of millions is only 17 years old.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE) BROOKS JACKSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was obviously too good to be true. A Web site called "Invest Better 2001" offering to double your money and more in just days risk free. Hard to believe anybody would fall for this but hundreds did.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said that thousands of persons were fleeced of $1 million by this site. Trusting the anonymous promoters behind it sending in their money by Pay Pal and other net payment services. Before the SEC filed a suit to shut down this site last month.

And now a new SEC complaint says investigators have tracked down the person who organized and maintained the scheme. And amazingly he`s not even old enough to vote. Cold Bartiromo seen here with his father Monday is a 17-year-old high school student from Mission Viejo, California. The SEC says the teenager is the principal and controlling person behind the Web site and what the SEC calls false promises and fraudulent investment offers. Neither the Bartiromo`s nor their attorney would comment.

Bartiromo seen here in an ESPN interview from last August previously trafficked in Tiger Woods trading cards before the alleged Web scam began.

Starting around November the Web site promised investors would get 200 percent of their money back in a week plus another 50 percent to be donated to the Red Cross. It also promised an even more outlandish Christmas miracle. A 2,500 percent return to be paid December 26 of money invested by December 15.

How? According to the SEC, the Web site claimed to have a sure fire method for betting on sports. A gamble not an investment. Investigators shut down the operation within weeks, but say that before they found him, Bartiromo had shipped $900,000 of what they call ill gotten gains to an account at a casino in Costa Rica.

Now the SEC says Bartiromo has agreed to settle the civil lawsuit by agreeing to bring back that $900,000 to the U.S. and to give it back along with possible additional sums. A final settlement is pending.

And if you`re wondering how a 17-year-old can pull off a million dollar fraud without help, so does the SEC. Investigators say they`re still looking for one or more others as yet unidentified persons behind the alleged fraud.

Brooks Jackson, CNN, Washington.


NORTH: This week the Food and Drug Administration issued a slew of new guidelines designed to improve the safety of the nation's food supply.

Casey Wian has the report from Los Angeles.


CASEY WIAN, CNNFN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Farmers, food processors and retailers all say the United States' food supply is the world's safest, but it's not safe enough to stop a terrorist from contaminating at least some of what Americans eat. So the Food and Drug Administration is issuing a sweeping set of voluntary guidelines to encourage food safety from the farm to the fork.

JOE LEVITT, FDA FOOD SAFETY DIRECTOR: In light of September 11, we have to take one more step. We have to increase our vigilance and look at that system through a new lens, through the lens of possible intentional contamination of food. And that's what these guidelines are to do.

WIAN: Guidelines include criminal background checks for job applicants, watching for employees who linger after their shift and installing fences, surveillance equipment and other security devices at farms and restaurants. In all, more than 100 recommendations developed with the help of the food industry, but without the usual input from the public. The FDA and the food industry dispute claims by some consumer advocates that the voluntary guidelines will be ineffective.

RHONDA APPLEBAUM, NATIONAL FOOD SAFETY ASSOCIATION: Knowing what you need to do is much better than giving a command and control requirement in terms of you must have this. The companies vary. There's a variety of company sizes, a variety of company resources out there, and we leave it up to the companies then to determine how they're going to get from Point A to Point B.

WIAN: The food industry says it's too early to determine the costs of complying with the FDA guidelines. Food producers, importers and sellers say insuring food safety is in their own interests.

JOE MILLER, AMERICAN FARM BUREAU: We do think the industry itself does want to take care of a lot of these problems, so I think suggested guidelines with voluntary enforcement would actually be fairly safe.

WIAN: But fairly safe may not be enough to prevent terrorist attacks on the food supplies, and Congress has appropriated money for an additional 600 FDA food inspectors.

Casey Wian, CNN Financial News, Los Angeles.


FREIDMAN: Extreme cold weather in Afghanistan can be as lethal as any enemy, and to combat the cold, U.S. troops train under harsh conditions.

CNN's Beth Nissen reports that such training is vital for high flying jet pilots as it is part of their mission to be prepared and return home safely.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BETH NISSEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Winters in Afghanistan can be brutally cold, especially in the mountains. U.S. military planes flying over the region risk going down or being shot down into arctic cold -- minus 20 to minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

To learn how to survive that, pilots and air crews come here to Alaska, 150 miles south of the Arctic Circle to Eielson Air Force Base, outside Fairbanks, home of the Arctic Survival School.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, the will to survive is a big factor for you, the survivor, and it's the desire to live. All right. And this what's going to drive you. This is what's going to give you the motivation to get yourself home to your family, get yourself home to your job.

NISSEN: The school's motto: learn and return. It is part of mission training for a military pilot.

CAPT. STEVE BENTON, U.S. AIR FORCE: If I had to eject, and I'm surviving in the arctic conditions, then that is my new mission. My job at that point is to survive and make it home.

MASTER SERGEANT DAVID MILLS, U.S. AIR FORCE: The primary focus of our school is to train a pilot for the unthinkable, getting shot down, engine malfunction over a very austere location. It could be here in Alaska. But we also prepare them for other environments too, Afghanistan being one of them.

NISSEN: Students get two days of classroom instruction, covering everything from making shelters out of life vests and parachutes, to avoiding frostbite.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it was your hand or your foot, it can actually become useless, and you've got basically a frozen club that you're trying to deal with.

NISSEN: Classroom work is followed by demonstrations on how to find good drinking water.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once I've got water, now I can start thinking about food.

NISSEN: And how to forage for dinner.

MILLS: And that's where we can start looking at some of the plant life that's out here.

NISSEN: A survival hint: 90 percent of blue or black berries are edible; only 50 percent of red ones are.

MILLS: Starting off with the academics, it gives you a chance to hear it. Now, this gives you a chance to visually see it, and then the next step is to go out in the woods and do it.

NISSEN: Just after 07:00 hours the next morning, students and instructors head into the Alaskan interior for two days and two long nights of field classes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to have to find a way to come back to the cold, so that we can maintain 98.6. Remember, that's our main goal here, maintain 98.6, and then we can try to activate rescue. We have to stay alive to get rescued.

NISSEN: On a hike to the outdoor classroom, through snow so cold it squeaks, students set priorities, use the first of their few hours of winter daylight to build a rescue signal.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The idea that I'm looking for here is having an area with as much visibility as possible to where I can see an aircraft coming, or the aircraft can see me.

NISSEN: Students use what materials they can find, small pine trees and branches. They arrange them into a standard rescue symbol, a giant letter V.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If someone was injured here, I would put out an X... That would be telling rescue forces that we need medical attention. Since we are not in that situation, we'll put out a V. That basically means need assistance.

NISSEN: The survival school does not teach winter warfare, although it does teach students to combat the cold.

How dangerous an enemy is cold?

MILLS: It will kill you. The cold will take you down very quick. I mean, as fast as 15 to 20 minutes, you would be done.

NISSEN: At the sun's feeble high on this day, the temperature is 25 degrees below 0, cold enough to kill a near exposure to cause lethal dehydration. Extreme cold speeds up body metabolism, burns water. Students learn to gather snow and ice in pouches and melt it with body heat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One, I would go ahead and brush the outside of the bag off, so as I'm putting it into the layers of my clothing, I don't end up with a whole bunch of wet clothing due to the snow melting.

NISSEN: Wet clothes harden into an icy shell and drop body temperatures sharply. Students are taught to stay active but move slowly, avoid breaking into a sweat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to go in and just start loosening my layers of my clothing, open up the flight suit a little bit just to let that heat get out.

NISSEN: Students use another hour of weak daylight to find wood, to make shelter frames and fire. Dead trees can be processed into logs, into kindling with emergency kit tools and a little knowledge of back wood's physics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wipe the snow off of it, and I've got a pretty good piece of split wood.

NISSEN: Standard issue emergency kits contain a knife and matches. Students learn how to use them and later how to use flint to make a fire in the icy cold.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, strike the match, cup my hand, wait until that match head gets going really well, put it in there.

NISSEN: And a survivor has fire, essential warmth, a flicker of hope. It looks like a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) process, until the students try to do it themselves with cold, numbed hands.

MILLS: We push them out there and make sure that they can do it. And if they need a little help, we'll give them some help. So one day if they flame out or if they get hit by a surface-to-air missile or something happens they need to get out of that aircraft, and they find themselves in an arctic situation, it will all come back to them. They may not think it will, but it will all come back to them.

NISSEN: And give them a better chance of coming back home.

Beth Nissen, CNN, in the Alaskan Interior.


FREIDMAN: New York officials say that since the September 11 terrorist attacks long lines of people have been streaming through trying to pay their respects at ground zero.

NORTH: Well as of Wednesday, visitors are now required to get tickets in order to go onto the viewing platform.

As CNN's Maria Hinojosa discovered, those lines are just as long.


MARIA HINOJOSA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): So many tickets are sold in New York City for shows that the word has been abbreviated to simply TKTS.

(on camera): What are you going to do while you're here in New York?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go to the Bucks game on Saturday and do a few plays. Go to ground zero tomorrow morning.

HINOJOSA (voice-over): But now New Yorkers and tourists need tickets for something else, something we could have never imagined.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: May I have three tickets for ground zero?

HINOJOSA: Tickets for ground zero, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How much would it be?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's free. HINOJOSA: Maybe free, but on the first day given out, there was already a line. Surreal is a word that comes to mind.

(on camera): You probably stood in line to get tickets for a rock band. Standing in line to get tickets to go see ground zero?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well something like this is more important than a concert. I mean it just is.

HINOJOSA (voice-over): But like concerts, there is ground zero memorabilia, snow globes, tiny Trade Center replicas, firefighter statues on top of manufactured rubble.

(on camera): It seems like ground zero has become a tourist attraction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's something that you have to see, I think. My mom went down and saw it, and she said she didn't expect the emotion that she was going to have after seeing it.

HINOJOSA (voice-over): So many different reasons to want to see that place, that sacred spot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We still have the right to go see what happened and see what we're fighting for and everything. And everyone lost something.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tickets, thank you.

HINOJOSA: At the site, a poster with the guidelines for viewing and police officers becoming ushers for the curious. Up a newly built ramp, it seems as if they really are going to a show, but then the looks of consternation, feeling dumbstruck, trying to figure out just where everything once was. Binoculars give way to cameras. Someone you'd never guess writing memorial graffiti on the platform ledge. The mangled wreckage like a ship breaking through the sidewalk.

Firefighter Bob Daily (ph) lost friends and has been trying ever since to find them on the site. The tickets, the platform, they don't bother him.

(on camera): There's not a part of you that just kind of feels like you guys are gawking and I don't want you to gawk?

BOB DAILY, FIREFIGHTER: I haven't quite -- no, I haven't quite gotten to that point -- no, not at all. I really feel most people here are just here to show their support and also just to feel what maybe we're feeling.

HINOJOSA (voice-over): Feelings that are anything but touristy.

(on camera): But inside, do you have any kind of oh this just feels strange?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How could it not? It has to be inside, it's very, very strange. The whole situation is strange. The whole -- it was strange from day one, and it's not going to be anything but strange even for the future.

HINOJOSA (voice-over): Strange and unsettling.

Maria Hinojosa, CNN, New York.


FREIDMAN: Healing will definitely be an ongoing process.

NORTH: It's only been four months.


NORTH: I'm Sharon North.

FREIDMAN: And I'm Susan Friedman. We'll see you next week.




Back to the top