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Daniel Pearl Reported Dead

Aired February 21, 2002 - 16:30   ET

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.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: At 4:30 Eastern, we want to tell you again the story we just reported a moment ago. And that is that CNN has learned from sources that "Wall Street Journal" reporter Daniel Pearl, kidnapped something like four weeks ago, is dead. We are not able to give any more details at this moment. We are not even able at this point to share with you much more about who our sources are. But, as soon as we are able to do that, we will do so.

Daniel Pearl, a reporter who had been based in Asia for several years, had been working on a story in Karachi, Pakistan four weeks ago, when he had gone to interview some leaders of a religious group. And he was never heard from again, except in these photographs that were released by the group that claimed in various e-mails to take credit for what happened to him.

Joining me, still here in studio in Washington, Bob Novak.

Bob, this is a story that has had some wrenching up and downs. In the beginning, there was a sense that maybe something could be worked out. They sent these e-mails. Danny Pearl's wife gave an interview. And then silence. It has been silence out of them for the last few weeks.

ROBERT NOVAK, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, this is just the mindlessness of terrorism, as contrasted to any kind of organized resistance, where it has a motive.

Surely these people knew that their alleged demands of releasing people and getting money, that this would never happen, "The Wall Street Journal" was incapable of fulfilling those demands. And the government would never do it. It was just senseless terror. It doesn't intimidate anybody. It doesn't relax anybody's resolve. It is just a personal tragedy. And, of course, being a journalist in this war is more dangerous than being a soldier.

WOODRUFF: Well, the groups that had, again, claimed to be responsible for the kidnapping said in these e-mails, "We believe that Daniel Pearl is a spy, works for the CIA."

NOVAK: First they said CIA then they said Mossad, the...

WOODRUFF: The Israeli intelligence agency.

NOVAK: And I'm sure they know he wasn't a spy. It is just a hysterical, mindless activity with no purpose. And it is a very difficult job. Nobody likes journalists. But it is a very tough business there. And it's so sad, particularly with his young, pregnant wife, and the appeal she tried to make to these terrorists. And, of course, it went unheard.

WOODRUFF: Well, Bob Novak is here with me in the studio.

Again, CNN reporting, just a few moments ago, sources telling CNN that Daniel Pearl, the young "Wall Street Journal" reporter, is dead.

Let's go now quickly to the State Department to our Andrea Koppel.

Andrea, what have you been able to learn about this?

ANDREA KOPPEL, CNN STATE DEPARTMENT CORRESPONDENT: Judy, I have just gotten off the phone with a senior administration official who does confirm that law enforcement officials, U.S. law enforcement officials, did get ahold of a videotape about eight hours ago.

On this videotape, there is reason to believe that Daniel Pearl is dead. This official said that they didn't want to go into a lot of detail at the moment because they are still in the process of family notification. And, for that reason, all he would say is that the U.S. does believe that Pearl was killed by his kidnappers.

As we know, over the last almost one month, hopes have been raised and dashed. There have been a series of e-mails, most of which have been determined to have to been hoaxes. But it now does appear that, despite the optimism that was expressed as recently as last week by U.S. officials and by Pakistani officials -- remember, President Pervez Musharraf was just here meeting with President Bush in recent days -- they now believe that Pearl in fact is dead.

WOODRUFF: All right, Andrea Koppel at the State Department.

Andrea, stand by.

We want to go to Karachi, Pakistan. This is the city where Daniel Pearl was when he was kidnapped. CNN's Chris Burns is there now, able to join us.

Chris, can you hear me? Tell us what you are learning there.

CHRIS BURNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, no immediate report from police here.

They had been looking very hard across Pakistan, not only here in Karachi, but across Pakistan. It was a dragnet that had been going on for nearly a month now, where hopes had been raised now and then. In fact, last weekend, they thought they had caught the man that they believed was holding Daniel Pearl, Inchow Sudicki (ph). They had arrested two of his brothers and thought that they had gotten very, very close to catching the man they believed was holding Daniel Pearl. However, those hopes were dashed. At the same time, in recent days, the key person that they have been holding, Sheik Omar Saeed, had told officials that he believed that Daniel Pearl was dead, according to the information that he had. However, because of conflicting information that officials had been receiving from Sheik Omar Saeed, they were not ready to believe that report as yet, because they had no physical evidence yet.

So, this was a very, very painstaking search for the captors and the people behind this kidnapping. There had been also court hearings. In fact, a court hearing today by one of the other people who was arrested, Fahad Naseem, the man who the officials believe had sent the e-mails of the pictures of Daniel Pearl, as well as the demands for the release of Pakistani prisoners held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay.

Those e-mails had have been sent by, it was believe, Fahad Naseem, a 21-year-old . They also had not gotten any more information today from him. All he did was confirm that he had passed that information. He had not actually seen or met Daniel Pearl. So, the key man was Sheik Omar Saeed. And the last thing that he had told officials that was passed actually to the public was that he said that, from his information that he had received through a telephone call with other colleagues or cohorts, you might say, had indicated to him that Daniel Pearl was indeed dead. And that was just a few days ago -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Chris, we have just been provided with a statement by "The Wall Street Journal." And it says, in part: "We believe that Daniel Pearl has been killed by his captors. We are heartbroken."

"The Journal" has taken the lead in the last four weeks in being the spokesperson for the Pearl family in seeking his release. They have certainly worked very closely with the government. But it has been "Journal" editors and others who have spoken out most -- more than anything.

I'm going to read more from the statement. Again, this is issued just moments ago by "The Wall Street Journal": "We now believe, based on reports from the U.S. State Department and police officials of the Pakistani province of Sindh, that Danny Pearl was killed by his captors. We are heartbroken at his death.

"Danny was an outstanding colleague, a great reporter, and a dear friend of many at the Journal. His murder is an act of barbarism that makes a mockery of everything Danny's kidnappers claimed to believe in. They claimed to be Pakistani nationalists, but their actions must surely bring shame to all true Pakistani patriots." And, again, I'm reading from a statement by the "Wall Street Journal" upon the news that Danny Pearl, their reporter, is dead.

CNN's Frank Bell -- I'm sorry, CNN's Brian Cabell. I'm trying to talk and listen at the same time. Excuse me.

CNN's Brian Cabell now with a report on the life of Daniel Pearl.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN CABELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The man behind that now famous, but frightening image, the photograph of a hostage with a gun to his head, was born 38 years ago in Princeton, New Jersey. Daniel Pearl, a bright young man, graduated Stanford University with a degree in communications. Journalism was his calling. He returned to the Northeast to begin his career.

GRIER HORNER, FORMER EDITOR, "BERKSHIRE EAGLE": He was such a sharp kid that you knew he was going places.

CABELL: He joined the "Berkshire Eagle" in Massachusetts in 1988. He won an award for a story the following year.

CLARENCE FANTO, MANAGING EDITOR, "BERKSHIRE EAGLE": The way he interviewed people and the way he wrote stories made it clear that he was destined for the big leagues.

CABELL: And the big leagues it was. "The Wall Street Journal" hired him in 1990, and for the last decade, he has seen the world. He was first headquartered in Atlanta, then Washington, then overseas to London, then to Paris, where he met his wife, Marianne.

MARIANNE PEARL, DANIEL PEARL'S WIFE: We are two people who met and fell in love because we have the same ideal. And all my life, all his life and our life together is just a big effort to try to create dialogue between civilizations.

CABELL: His next stop was the Indian city of Mumbai, better known as Bombay. He arrived there in December of 2000, and his most recent articles for the "Journal" dealt with the increasing tensions between India and Pakistan. He was in Karachi, working on a story on the Islamic militant underground, when he was kidnapped on January 23rd.

Initially, his captors claimed he was an agent for the CIA.

RICHARD BOUCHER, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: Mr. Pearl is a respected journalist. He has no connection with our government.

CABELL: Later, his captors claimed Pearl worked for Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency. His colleagues at "The Wall Street Journal" called the charges unfounded. Pearl, they said, is a top- flight journalist, nothing more.

PAUL STEIGER, MANAGING EDITOR, "WALL STREET JOURNAL": This is a man who lives for three things. He lives for covering stories accurately, he lives for his wife -- they have a wonderful relationship -- and he lives for his unborn child.

CABELL: His wife is six months pregnant with their first child. Brian Cabell, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Again, reports just moments ago coming into CNN confirming -- and now confirmed by the State Department -- that "Wall Street Journal" reporter Danny Pearl, kidnapped four weeks ago today, is dead.

Joining us now from New York: CNN analyst Jeff Greenfield.

Jeff, your reaction?

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SR. ANALYST: Well, it occurs to me, Judy, that sometimes journalists, because of what we do, just have this belief, this faith, that people want their stories told and that they regard journalists, no matter where they are from, as a kind of honest broker.

And when we go on a story -- I have only been in areas of danger very rarely -- but you have the sense almost that, no matter how tough things are, the people really don't mean to do you any harm, because they want their stories told.

I will give one quick example. Years ago, in a township of South Africa, we happened to be interviewing people when two murders took place at the hands of a mob. And the mob began coming toward our truck. They thought we were South African broadcasters rather than Americans. And our instinct was to not only not go away, but to stay there and interview them, until one of the people who was helping us said, "You've got to leave here now."

And I think, somehow, we sometimes can't fathom that there are people out there for whom anybody with a Western or an American background is the enemy, no matter what we know about ourselves. And it's just one of those awful events that brings home to us, I think, the fact that our concept of what we do and what journalists do is not universally shared, and that people will do us great harm because they believe, quite wrongly, that we are not what we say we are.

WOODRUFF: You know, I think, Jeff, and, Bob Novak, who is still with me here in the studio in Washington, we all clearly grieve for Danny Pearl, for his colleagues, for his family.

And, Bob -- and you touched on this a minute ago -- the work we do may be tiring and so forth, but it is nothing like the work that these journalists do who are overseas and in these very unstable situations, outright dangerous situations.

NOVAK: And there is nobody to protect them, because, you know, the days when, in Vietnam, if you had a press card, you often were able to travel on a helicopter. You were often able to have some measure of protection. Those days are really over in this amorphous war with no battle lines.

There was no combat going on in Karachi for Daniel Pearl. But he wanted to interview people. So the thing I was struck with, Judy, is that this pathetic interview with his wife. And she said -- and I'm sure quite accurately -- that their whole life was reaching out between cultures, between civilizations.

And these terrorists, so filled with hatred for the United States and for Israel, identifying him with the CIA and then the Mossad, they are not interested in reaching out. I just was struck, as I listened to her words again -- I had heard them in the original interview -- just the gap in perception of what life is about and what the relationships between civilizations is about.

WOODRUFF: And, Jeff, I think what Bob is saying simply reinforces this notion that this war on terrorism knows no boundaries. It is not as if the enemy is one side and then the United States and its friend are over on the other side. The enemy is in our midst.

GREENFIELD: And yet, even with that, remember that, over the past two years, at least two journalists, one of whom worked for CNN -- another worked for ABC -- actually went and got interviews with Osama bin Laden.

And he had an interest -- whatever that interest was, however perverse -- in getting his story told. For some reason, Osama bin Laden wanted the United States and the West to hear what he was thinking. And, clearly, those journalists came back safely. And I can only assume that Daniel Pearl, as with so many of our colleagues, believed that: "No, I'm going to go out. I will be an accurate reporter. I will hear what they have to say. And, surely, they will understand that that is what I'm about."

And that is the sense in which I think Bob Novak is exactly right: that, for some of these groups, there are no shared assumptions that, if you are an American journalist, you've got to be a spy for the United States, because that is the way the world works in that particularly twisted view.

(CROSSTALK)

GREENFIELD: I'm sorry, Bob. Go ahead

NOVAK: I don't think journalists learn anything from this or are intimidated by it. If, at this moment, an old codger like I was given an opportunity to interview Osama bin Laden, I would be on the first plane. And even a younger fellow, like Jeff Greenfield, would also be on that plane, because we don't know any better.

Wouldn't you say that, Jeff?

GREENFIELD: Yes, that was my point: that the one time that I was faced with what actually turned out could have been a very dicey situation -- and I have no experience covering wars -- but my instinct back in South Africa those many years ago was to say: I want to talk to these people. They are running through the streets. They have just killed two people. They're coming after us. I'm assuming that they want to have their story told.

And it was a wiser person and a great South African black journalist named Percy Qoboza who said, "Get out now." He understood what we didn't.

WOODRUFF: We have been showing our audience, just in the last moment or so, the picture of "The Wall Street Journal" Web site, which, as its lead story, announces that Daniel Pearl is dead, this the first acknowledgement, aside from the statement that they made.

As I talk to Jeff and Bob, I want to remind all of us, again, that, in the war in Afghanistan -- not that we need to be reminded of how dangerous this is -- the first seven or eight people to die were not soldiers. They were journalists.

NOVAK: That is quite so.

And this has been happening a long time. I remember there was a very bright young journalist from Scripps Howard who, 40 years ago, was killed in the Congo during the Congo war, because the guard at the post didn't like his credentials. And I went to Vietnam several times and did things I shouldn't have done.

But I just feel that there is a different -- almost a different mode by these people, these terrorists, that they are so -- the hatred that they have for our culture...

WOODRUFF: Is so fierce.

NOVAK: ... is so fierce that there is no sense to this killing. They gained nothing from it, except the fulfillment of their hatred.

WOODRUFF: No matter how many arrests and so forth.

I think Andrea Koppel may be back with us now.

Andrea, at the State Department, are you there?

KOPPEL: Yes, I am.

WOODRUFF: I know it is very early since this confirmation of the death of Daniel Pearl. But what are the options for the United States in a situation like this?

KOPPEL: Well, obviously, their first objective, Judy, was to try to find Daniel Pearl alive. And that is where all of the resources of this administration were placed, certainly with the FBI there on the ground working hand-and-glove with Pakistani authorities.

I think that you are absolutely right. It is too early to say exactly what they are going to do next. But I think that it is fair to say that you can expect a tremendous amount of pressure from the U.S. on Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistani president, to find those responsible and bring them to justice.

There had been a number of suspects taken into custody that the Pakistanis and U.S. officials had been questioning. And I am sure now that what you are going to see is increased, intensified pressure to find those individuals. After all, there was a videotape that was recovered, apparently with Daniel Pearl on this videotape, which led them to the conclusion that Daniel Pearl was killed. So they are going to be using every means within their power to find those kidnappers and bring them to justice, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Andrea, I'm led to ask -- and I just want to add in here as we are talking, our White House correspondent, Major Garrett, telling us that White House is also confirming this -- of course, this coming after the State Department confirmation.

But, if they weren't able to find these people in this urgent period after his abduction, it seems to me the trail has only gotten colder.

KOPPEL: Well, that could be true.

But you could also say that they were being very careful and they didn't want to get into a situation where they would perhaps perform a raid, and, if Daniel Pearl were still alive, then run the risk that he would be killed in the process. So I think now that he has been confirmed to have been killed, they don't have to worry about that anymore. And, pretty much, all bets are off.

WOODRUFF: At this point, though, Andrea, do we know whether Secretary Powell is talking to Musharraf? Do we know what sort of contacts there have been between the U.S. and the Pakistanis?

KOPPEL: There have been intense contacts with the Pakistanis since this story first broke about a month ago. I can't tell you whether or not Secretary Powell has spoken with Pervez Musharraf in the last number of hours since the State Department and others in the U.S. government were informed of Pearl's death.

But you can bet, in the days to come, there will be very high- level communication with the Pakistani government, impressing upon them the absolute essential importance of finding those individuals and bringing them to justice.

Just yesterday, Judy, there was an announcement of a new Bush administration policy to do everything within the U.S. government's power to win the release of any American hostage -- and, certainly, Daniel Pearl was a hostage -- to do everything within their power to win their release, even if it meant that the U.S. government would pay ransom to get that person's release.

So there is obviously stepped-up intensity and really sort of laying things on the line by the Bush administration to any hostage- takers out there, that the U.S. government is very serious about getting its American citizens back alive.

WOODRUFF: Andrea, one other thing on this. Do we know any more at this point about how the U.S. was able to confirm this? Because, clearly, they have been trying to get information for weeks. Now they are saying categorically Danny Pearl is dead. Do we know how they know that?

KOPPEL: Yes, we do.

A senior administration official told me that they got ahold of a videotape. And on that videotape, while he wouldn't go into specifics, what they saw on that tape led them to believe that Pearl was dead. So, presumably, they saw him on the videotape. And the reason that they are not going into details at the moment is because they're still in the process of notifying family members and relatives.

And so, out of respect for the family and for the friends and colleagues of Daniel Pearl, they don't want to sort of lay things out for us yet.

WOODRUFF: And we are told, Andrea, that the FBI is right now looking at that tape further, trying to get more information, presumably to determine whether that gives them any more clues about who is responsible and who they might try to go after.

Bob Novak is still with me here in the studio, perhaps Jeff Greenfield in New York.

Bob, I want to come back to you.

In a situation like this, what does the United States say? What does it do? I mean, this is not a U.S. official. He is not a government official. He's a private citizen.

NOVAK: It seems to me there is almost nothing that can be done. You know, if we were a terrorist government ourselves or a dictatorial government, you take -- as the Nazis did in World War II, you take hostages and shoot them. You shoot 20 innocent Pakistanis for Daniel Pearl. We don't do things like that.

We try to find the perpetrators. We can't do any sanctions. President Musharraf's government is fully cooperating with us. So that adds to the frustration. And I'm afraid, where life is not thought of very highly, certainly not by the terrorists, they say: What's the big fuss about one journalist, more or less?

WOODRUFF: Bob, we know that this news has broken about the death of Daniel Pearl while President Bush is traveling in China. Right now, it's about 6:00 in Beijing.

But, back here in Washington at the White House, our correspondent Major Garrett joining us.

Major, I know that, even though the president is on the road, there are officials here. And I know they're talking about their reaction to all this.

MAJOR GARRETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That is correct, Judy.

As CNN has been reporting, the information about Daniel Pearl's fate has reached the White House. The White House is not, at the moment, officially confirming Daniel Pearl's death. But senior administration officials working in the White House are aware of it. They believe the confirmations to be absolutely true and are now formulating the White House response.

The current thinking is -- and there is a good deal of conversation going on between senior officials based in the West Wing and those traveling with the president in Beijing -- to have the president address this subject before departing from Beijing en route back to Washington.

The key now for the White House is to determine exactly how the president will react. In what context will he put this event in the overall understanding, both in the United States, and globally, of the war on terrorism, the various perils it presents not only to nations states, but to individuals, in this case, someone from United States?

And, of course, the president himself has spoken out before about Daniel Pearl, a couple of times from the Oval Office. He said the United States government was doing all that it possibly could to obtain his safe release, and working very closely with the Pakistani government. When Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was in the Oval Office with the president, he said not only was his government working very hard on it, but that he also, in making several reforms within his country to crack down on militants and extremists, had expected some type of resistance.

And he put the Daniel Pearl kidnapping in the category of reaction to his personal crackdown on extremists within his own country. That clearly, if, in fact, that turns out to be the case, complicates not only President Musharraf's efforts, at the White House and the United States government's urging to crack down on militants and extremists within Pakistan, but it also complicates the Bush administration's continued appeal for other nations to do the same thing.

So, right now, the White House reaction, there is none officially. But there is a good deal of traffic going in conversations between officials at the West Wing and in Beijing about how the president will respond to this, in what context he will place these developments.

WOODRUFF: All right, Major Garrett, talking to us by phone from the White House. He is here in Washington.

President Bush, as we have been saying, is on the road. He is still in China in Beijing. I think it is something like 6:00 in the morning there. And, as you just heard Major say, the White House at this hour trying to determine what exactly the president will say about the news of the death of Daniel Pearl.

We have just learned, in the last few moments, that "The Wall Street Journal" plans to hold a news conference in just a few moments here in Washington at its Washington bureau. The executive editor, Paul Steiger, perhaps others, will be talking about the revelation from both U.S. sources, U.S. State Department sources, and police officials in Pakistan in the Province of Sindh.

Based on those reports "The Wall Street Journal" now saying it does believe that Danny Pearl was killed by its captors. And "The Wall Street Journal" going on to say in a statement, "We are heartbroken" at his death.

Joining us once again from Karachi Pakistan, Karachi being the city where Danny Pearl was working and from where he disappeared, CNN's Chris Burns. Chris we just heard Major Garrett at the White House telling us that perhaps this makes it more difficult than ever before for President Musharraf to crack down on the militants in his country. What is the view there?

BURNS: Well, there had been talk, Judy, among experts and analysts we had spoken with in recent days that this kidnapping was seen, in part, as a way to embarrass Musharraf and perhaps to undermine his effort to crack down on militants. He had announced that crackdown about a month ago.

He had outlawed five groups, one of them at least indirectly related to those who had kidnapped Daniel Pearl. So perhaps it could make things more difficult. Or, because of what has happened, it might even recharge efforts by the Musharraf government to crack down. So, that is a consideration here.

The investigation here had gone hot and cold. And officials had thought, especially when President Musharraf had been visiting the United States, there was the belief by many here that Daniel Pearl was indeed alive. "The Wall Street Journal" had been issuing statements, quite regularly, saying that they had believed that he was alive.

In fact, just a few hours ago, they released a message, a statement saying they believed he was alive. So there were hopes that were raised and dashed in the last few days. But, at the same time, however, there were fears that Daniel Pearl perhaps had not survived his captivity. There was the word from Sheik Omar Saeed, who is the key witness, the key figure, in fact seen as the ringleader and mastermind behind that kidnapping. He's in police custody now.

He had told police in recent days that he did believe that Daniel Pearl was dead, according to his talks on the phone with those he believed was holding Daniel Pearl. In fact, a very key phone call that had been published in the newspaper in which, shortly before Sheik Omar Saeed was taken captive by police, Sheik Omar Saeed had a phone call with the captors in which he said he urged the captors to release Daniel Pearl, the code being, "Please move the patient to the doctor."

The response, according to the public report here, is that the response was the -- that he was -- the patient has expired. That being some pretty thoroughly clear indication.

However, still, there was no physical evidence that that was the case, and so police were continuing their nationwide dragnet, arresting dozens of people. And last weekend, the man who was believed to be holding him, holding Daniel Pearl, the police thought they were hot on his trail and were about to arrest him. That trail suddenly went cold, no explanation exactly why.

But that trail went cold and officials had to revert to simply continuing their judicial process against the -- against not only Saeed and the three others who were arrested. There was a hearing just a few hours ago of Faheed Naseem, a 21-year-old, who admitted in testimony today, that he indeed did send the e-mails with the pictures of Daniel Pearl, bound with a gun to his head. Also with the e-mail demanding the release of U.S.-held Pakistanis at Guantanamo Bay. The Pakistanis were arrested during the Afghan conflicts.

So he said that he admitted that he sent the e-mails. But he said that he never met Daniel Pearl. He was only a peripheral part of that operation -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Well, Chris Burns, from this end it certainly sounds muddled over there, to say the least, with different characters emerging and then fading into the background, but none of them providing solid information that the United States could count on. I don't know if you're going to be able to stand by, Chris, for just a moment.

But I know, also joining us by telephone now, CNN's senior White House correspondent, John King, who is in Beijing at this hour with President Bush, who is on his second day of his visit to China. John, White House reaction to the tragic news of the death of Daniel Pearl?

JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Judy, no official White House reaction yet, as Major Garrett noted a bit earlier. But they are trying to decide just how they will react here. It is certain, we are told, that they will react to the question of how Mr. Bush has been informed of this here, by senior administration officials, both in Washington and here in Beijing. We are also told that Secretary of State Powell who, of course, is traveling here with Mr. Bush for the U.S. China summit, has been informed as well.

A number of communications back and forth right now. Steve Hadley is the deputy national security adviser. He is back in Washington, and he is taking the lead in informing his counterpart, National Security adviser Condoleezza Rice, who is the conduit for the information here in Beijing. And also the communications staff back in Washington, on the phone with the staff here in Beijing, trying to decide how the administration should make its first official public comments on this.

Mr. Bush has opportunities this morning, in Beijing time. He does deliver a speech here to college students in Beijing. He also has a number of official meetings. The White House at this moment deciding exactly what they want the president to say and where to say it.

We are told that there will be -- quote -- "no finger pointing." That this administration believes the government of Pakistan, specifically, President Musharraf, made an all-out effort once Daniel Pearl was kidnaped. And the president in fact, just publicly thanked President Musharraf several times, and the administration has several times, for that effort.

So the news relay that sometimes happens on international trips, through a system that is set up to relay just such tragic information, or any developments, say, in the war on terrorism and the like, through the national security team. And it is a little after 6:00 a.m. here in Beijing. The president is due out in public about two hours from now. And we expect to have a bit more guidance on exactly what the administration will do in formulating a response very shortly -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: I'm All right, John King. I'm sure you were awakened early with this terrible news. The tragic news of the death of Daniel Pearl. I don't know whether you are able to stand by, John. If you are, we would appreciate it.

We want to go now to the State Department, where Andrea Koppel has a statement from officials there -- Andrea.

KOPPEL: That's right, Judy. I've just gotten this statement from State Department spokesman Richard Boucher.

He says, "Our embassy in Pakistan has confirmed today that they have received evidence that "Wall Street Journal" reporter Daniel Pearl is dead. We have informed Mr. Pearl's family and expressed our sincere condolences. The murder of Mr. Pearl is an outrage and we condemn it. Both the United States and Pakistan are committed to identifying all the perpetrators of this crime, and bringing them to justice. We will continue to work closely with Pakistani authorities, who have made every effort to locate and free Mr. Pearl."

As we've been saying, just last week, Pakistan's President Perez Musharraf was here in Washington. And Mr. Bush himself raised the case of Daniel Pearl. This has been a top priority of the Bush administration. They have been intimately involved from the get go, from a month ago, Judy, with FBI officials on the ground.

You had senior State Department officials, Treasury Department officials and officials at the White House, dealing intimately with Pakistani authorities to do everything they could to try to locate him. And now we have official confirmation here from State Department spokesman Richard Boucher that those efforts failed -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Andrea, thank you very much. We want to remind our audience that in just a few moments now, we are expect "The Wall Street Journal" to hold a news conference. We're told it will be at the "Journal's" Washington bureau. And managing editor Paul Steiger will be speaking on behalf of the newspaper where Danny Pearl worked.

Quickly now, as we wait for that, back to Karachi to our Chris Burns. Chris, the question comes to mind, one obvious question is, how much of an embarrassment is this to President Musharraf, to his government? They've been working what appears to be closely, with the United States in the war on the terror and the efforts in Afghanistan. But now, along comes an incident like this. One American is kidnapped, and the entire Pakistani government isn't able to do anything about it.

BURNS: Well, Judy, we have been asking officials, or people close to the investigation, in any case, about that. And they had insisted that this really was -- it had been to a great extent successful, and that they did track down the people who were very close, very involved with the kidnapping. And yes, they have been working very close with U.S. officials, including the FBI. The FBI had played a very key role in tracking down the e-mails, because the Pakistani government doesn't have that expertise.

They were able to find and track down those who had sent the e- mails. That being that suspect who was seen in court today, Fahad Naseem, and two others. So they had gotten extremely close. It was a nationwide dragnet. They had arrested dozens of people, they had arrested the families of some of these suspects, to try to get more information. It was a very, very concerted effort, as sources would say close to the investigation.

So, difficult to say whether the officials would admit or even say that they had been unsuccessful in that case. Of course, the end result being that they were unsuccessful in rescuing or securing the freedom of Daniel Pearl. However, it was a very, very broad investigation across the country, and that is something that officials would say here that they were very successful in doing.

And tracking down, within days, not only Sheik Omar Saeed, but those who also did send the e-mail. So that would be the argument by officials on this side. On the other hand, however, there had been press reports that some former, perhaps former officials or police investigators, had been involved. In fact, one of the people who was arrested was a former police investigator.

So, that indicating perhaps there had been some kind of -- some kind of collaboration, perhaps, between former people in the official places, and the kidnappers. That had been allegations, but not proven yet. And that is something perhaps that could provide some kind of source of embarrassment for the authorities here.

However, the bottom line is the sources close to the investigation are contending that they were making an amazing manhunt, a nationwide effort, a dragnet across the country, arresting dozens of people, going into towns and villages across the country, to try to find the kidnappers of Daniel Pearl. And that's what they say that they felt that they were very successful up to this point -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Chris, thank you. Chris, making the point that yes, they're able to say that they made arrests, but they were not able to get to the people who were immediately responsible. And of course, they were not able to get to Daniel Pearl in time to save his life.

Joining us, still from New York, Jeff Greenfield. Here in Washington, Bob Novak. Jeff, do you -- again, given now what has happened, does this have any bearing in the war on terrorism? Does it simply stiffen the resolve of the United States, or does it really change anything?

GREENFIELD: I really don't think it changes anything. I mean, one of the things that we need to keep in mind is that Danny Pearl was one of us. And there's no one who's picked up a pen or pencil or notebook, that doesn't feel something profound when this happens.

But you know, one of the things about this kind of conflict is, all sorts of people who are noncombatants in any traditional sense are in harm's way. Over the past years, I don't know how many stories we've heard, of doctors, humanitarian workers, missionaries, business people, kidnapped, held for ransom, murdered for one reason or another.

And an American reporter, yes, we feel profoundly. And probably that person is more in the public eye than, say, a missionary worker or a doctor who went to try the do good. But the fact of the matter is that in this kind of conflict, as we've all been saying, no borders, no insignias, no uniforms, you know, wearing a red cross or a press pass guarantees you nothing. I think it would be a mistake to say this is going to change anything.

You know, I suppose if that report is right, that there were some Pakistani intelligence officials involved in this. You know, there's been a lot of talk since September 11th about the role of some Pakistani military and intelligence people, in helping folks who have no good will to the United States. That's a story. But it's hard for me to see that this is a profound shift in anything.

What it is is just a terrible story and a loss of a human life, and more horror and more sadness and more sorrow. And unfortunately, that's the stuff of what so many headlines these days are made.

WOODRUFF: And, Jeff, I think you're certainly right. Every journalist today, this is a day when everyone's heart goes out to the family of Daniel Pearl. Certainly to his pregnant wife, who is I believe six months pregnant at this point. His parents, and all those who were close to him.

Bob Novak, you made this point a moment ago, but I just want to underline it again. This is not likely, I mean, I was talking to Jeff more about the war on terror. But bringing it back to the journalistic level, is this going to have any bearing on the desire or the determination of journalists to get out there and cover the story?

NOVAK: Absolutely not. That's what journalists do, particularly young ones, but sometimes foolish old ones as well. I had found, in going all over the world for the last 40 years, very few journalists who would say gee, that sounds dangerous, I think I'll stay in the hotel room. It's just not in their nature.

I hate to speak for all the American people, and journalists shouldn't do that, but I guess this will intensify the resentment of the American people. Of course, thousands of people died on September 11th. But just this one human face, and particularly the face of his wife -- nobody knows Danny Pearl, millions of Americans know his wife now.

And that face of his wife, I think, intensifies the nature of the enemy. And it isn't a cold, governmental enemy. It is a passionate, vicious fanaticism that we're dealing with. So I think it might bring back -- you know, we're kind of getting away from September 11th and getting back to business as usual. I think this kind of brings back the American people to what kind of enemy is faced here.

WOODRUFF: And just the sheer ruthlessness of it. Here's a young man in his prime. He's there covering a story. And as you said earlier, there was never any evidence that he worked for the CIA, much less for the Israeli intelligence. And I just want to quote again, Bob, this from "The Wall Street Journal's" statement that they put out a short time ago.

"We are heartbroken at his death. Danny was an outstanding colleague, a great reporter, a dear friend of many. At the 'Journal' his murder is an act of barbarism. It makes a mockery of everything Danny's kidnappers claimed to believe in. They claimed to be Pakistani nationalists, but their actions must surely bring shame to all Pakistani patriots."

They go on to say something else that I think is important. They say, "We will, in coming months, find ways, public and private, to celebrate the great work and good works that Danny did. But today is a day to grieve."

We go to "Wall Street Journal" managing editor, Paul Steiger.

PAUL STEIGER, MANAGING EDITOR, "WALL STREET JOURNAL": We now believe, based on reports from the U.S. State Department and police officials in the Pakistani province of Sindh, that Danny Pearl was killed by his captors. We're heartbroken at his death. Danny was an outstanding colleague, a great reporter and a dear friend of many at the "Journal."

His murder is an act of barbarism. It makes a mockery of everything that Danny's kidnappers claimed to believe in. They claimed to be Pakistani nationalists, but their actions must surely bring shame to all true Pakistani patriots. We will in coming months find ways, public and private, to celebrate the great work and good works that Danny did.

But today is a day to grieve. The loss is, of course, most painful for Danny's family, in the United States and elsewhere. We ask our colleagues in the media to respect their privacy and to permit them to grieve undisturbed. "The Wall Street Journal" is a public institution, but the Pearl's are private citizens.

We hope also that our colleagues at the "Journal" will be permitted some time and space to begin the very difficult process of making peace with this profound loss. I thank everyone around the world, including many in the media, for their many expressions of support for Danny. Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Paul Steiger is the managing editor of "The Wall Street Journal." Normally he is in New York City, but today in Washington. And there was, standing outside the building on Connecticut Avenue, where "The Journal" has its offices here in Washington.

Bob Novak, you worked at "The Wall Street Journal" and you were part of a newspaper syndicate. Now, a newspaper really is like a big family?

NOVAK: It's like a big family, and it's an enormous loss, for something like this to happen. It's like -- I would say it is almost a little bit more like an army, because in most families you don't risk death and injury, but in an army you do. And particularly, when you cover these events, as all great news organizations must do, it is the idea of losing a comrade.

WOODRUFF: Jeff Greenfield, what makes reporters go and do the kinds of things that they do to cover the kinds of stories that Danny Pearl was reporting on?

GREENFIELD: You know, I don't know how young it starts. I think maybe different people have different motives. But at some point, there is this feeling that you just want to know what's behind those closed doors, what's going on in those offices, what's going on in streets 10,000 miles from where you live. And you are willing to go there with this kind of profound belief that things will be OK.

Judy, 11 years ago, our colleagues at CNN were in Baghdad when bombs began falling, along with a lot of other reporters. And I don't think it occurred to any of them to flee. You know, you want to talk about being put in harm's way, the skies were exploding and their goal was: when can we get on the air, who can we talk to and when can we go out and see what's going on.

It's certainly not great riches. It's not like dreaming of becoming a corporate billionaire. There's just some kind of profound curiosity, and I suppose there's a kind of splendid benign ego that says, "I know how to tell people what's important, and I just believe that the world will protect me." And so you just go do it.

Sometimes you step on toes in the process, and sometimes you open doors that people don't want opened. And tragically and sadly, sometimes you run into people who, for whom what you want to do and the whole notion of journalism is absolutely irrelevant. You're on the other side and that's that.

WOODRUFF: And that freedom of the press, that we often take for granted in the United States, clearly does not exist in most of the world, and did not exist, in at least some respects, in Pakistan -- at least the work that journalists do was not respected.

To recap to some extent what we know at this hour, what we learned almost an hour ago. "Wall Street Journal" reporter Daniel Pearl has now been confirmed by the U.S. government and by police officials in Pakistan, is now confirmed as dead. And I want to bring back Andrea Koppel, our correspondent at the State Department, and also Chris Burns, our correspondent in Karachi, Pakistan -- Karachi being the city where Danny Pearl was working on a story, when he disappeared four weeks ago.

But, Andrea, to you first. Tell us how this information surfaced today.

KOPPEL: Judy, what I've been told by a senior administration official is that, I guess about eight or nine hours ago there were -- there was a videotape that was viewed in Pakistan. And on this videotape, presumably, was Daniel Pearl. And from what officials saw on that tape, they were able to conclude with confidence that he had been killed.

Officials tell me they don't want to go into any details as to exactly what they saw on the tape -- I understand the FBI is viewing it now -- out of respect, really, for his family and friends and colleagues. We do know that the State Department has confirmed the fact officially. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher has come out and said that they have note Pearl's family that they believe he is dead.

And as we suspected they might, the State Department has also said that they are going to get to the bottom of who kidnapped Pearl, and they're going to be working closely with the Pakistani authorities to find him. And I know that you have raised a very good question earlier, and that is if they weren't able to find him before now, what makes them think that they could find the kidnappers now that Pearl was confirmed to be dead?

And the only reason that I can give you is that officials were very careful, Judy. They really were extremely careful about trying to conduct some kind of a raid, if they had reached that stage, running the risk that Pearl might die in the process of any kind of a rescue. And so I know that they felt somewhat restrained by that.

Now that Pearl is confirmed dead, they no longer have that to worry about.

WOODRUFF: Chris -- thanks. Andrea. Chris Burns in Karachi, are you getting the same sense there, that now that it's confirmed that he's dead, that they won't hold back?

BURNS: Well, I had used a bit about the idea of a possible raid. I did talk to somebody close to the investigation three days ago, who said that had been a possibility, however if that would have happened, it would have been with the accord of the Pearl family, and those who cared for him. So, even if that was being considered, that would have been in conjunction with contacts with those close to -- who had been close to Daniel Pearl.

The latest we have from authorities here is from the home secretary of Sindh province, which is the province where Karachi is. The home secretary tells us -- we asked him about the videotape that we're talking about in these last few minutes. He says a tape has been received, and it appears to be correct. That is the latest information we have here on that.

This investigation, of course, had been going on for days and days. The hopes had been raised and dashed by this investigation. They thought they were very, very close to finding the captors of Daniel Pearl last weekend, but those hopes were dashed. So, as we've been saying these last few minutes, this investigation perhaps could take a different tack, now that Daniel Pearl is confirmed dead. Perhaps authorities might be a bit more aggressive on certain fronts in trying to get to the bottom of it.

Daniel Pearl, of course, was -- at the time he was kidnapped, he was trying to get to the bottom of possible links between the alleged shoe bomber, Richard Reid, and possible al Qaeda or other militants here in Pakistan. He had been promised an interview with a leader of one of the groups that Daniel Pearl believed had been exchanging e- mails with Richard Reid, and that is what he was after.

He was lured into a trap, apparently, by Sheik Omar Saeed, according to authorities, the man who is now behind bars and who was the first to say that he believed Daniel Pearl was killed by his captors -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right. We're talking with Chris Burns, who is in Karachi. Just to reiterate, Daniel Pearl disappeared on January 23rd, as Chris said, when he was working on that story. He worked for "The Wall Street Journal," its headquarters in New York City. CNN's Michael Okwu is outside that building in Manhattan -- Michael.

MICHAEL OKWU, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, hello. I'm standing in front of one of three offices at "The Wall Street Journal" here in New York. Just moments ago, we spoke to one of the staffers from "The Wall Street Journal," who described the atmosphere inside as very quiet and somber.

Again, this is one of three offices here in New York for "The Wall Street Journal." Some 120 reporters and editors relocated to this particular location after their offices, their main office near ground zero, was largely destroyed on September 11th. So you can imagine that, for the past five months or so, many of the staffers here have had to endure some very difficult emotional times.

And you can also imagine that so many people inside, the colleagues of Danny Pearl's, wanted to breathe a collective sigh of relief in hearing that he had been released. That was news that appeared to be coming just several weeks ago. And clearly, that is not news that is relative today.

So many of his colleagues here described Daniel Pearl as an intelligent man, somebody who was very insightful, who had a quirky sensibility. His boss, Paul Steiger, the managing editor here at the "Journal," described him as a man who lived for his family, essentially, his wife, Marianne, from whom we heard so eloquently from so many weeks ago, and for his unborn son. His wife, Marianne, of course, is now six months pregnant.

And he also said that Danny Pearl was somebody who lived for telling stories accurately. So many of his colleagues here, and journalists around the country -- and I dare say, around the world -- were waiting to hear about his first person account of his days in captivity. That was an account that was to be published first, of course in "The Wall Street Journal." And clearly, that is not an account that any of us will be reading -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: So, Michael, is it safe to say that most of the "Wall Street Journal" employees there have not come out in public yet since this news broke, just literally just about an hour ago?

OKWU: There have only been several "Wall Street Journal" staffers that we have seen leave this building. You can imagine that they want to be fairly tight-lipped about this. They consider themselves, as other organizations do, of course, as a family. And this is very sensitive for them. So many of them are still inside this building here.

Again, it's 120 reporters and editors. Maybe some of them were scattered, dispatched to other areas in the city covering stories. So we really haven't had an opportunity to talk to too many of them. But you can imagine again, Judy, that they were all, wherever they are, hoping to breathe a collective sigh of relief. And of course, they didn't have that opportunity -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right. That's certainly the case. Michael Okwu at, as he said, one of the relocated headquarters of "The Wall Street Journal" in New York City. They were very close to ground zero on September the 11th. Their building took an enormous hit. And although there were no casualties, they lost their entire office space and had to be relocated.

Danny Pearl, again, the announcement just an hour ago. The confirmation of the death of Daniel Pearl. That news coming from the U.S. State Department and from police sources inside Pakistan.

Here in the studio, CNN's Susan Candiotti, who has been covering the FBI and how the FBI has been following this case. Susan, what have you been learning?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Judy, you recall that from the very start, the FBI had agents on the ground trying to help the Pakistanis in whatever way they could, to try to track down where Daniel Pearl was. And one of the things they were doing was utilizing their expertise to trace where the e-mails were coming from and being sent from. And you will recall that eventually led to some of the computer terminals where these e-mails had been sent, and in turn, to those who had been sending them.

So the FBI has been working with the Pakistanis on the ground there to try to locate where he was. Obviously, unsuccessfully, now that his death has been reported. And we are still trying to learn at this time more information about what the FBI has learned from this tape, how it came to be acquired, what exactly is on the videotape. And we are waiting to hear that. As soon as we get it, we'll let you know about it.

WOODRUFF: All right, Susan, we appreciate that. And as we talk to you, I want to tell our audience that we are expecting momentarily a statement by a spokesman from Danny Pearl's family in Los Angeles. We are expecting that to come in a few moments. You can see what looks like a microphone in a garden area, park-like area there in Los Angeles. And we will bring that to you live just as soon as that takes place.

We want to show you again the statement read by Paul Steiger, who is the managing editor of "The Wall Street Journal." This was a statement issued by Peter Kahn, who is the publisher of "The Journal," and by Steiger. And it was issued just shortly after the news of Danny Pearl's death was made public. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEIGER: We just have a brief statement, which I'd like to read to you if I might. We now believe, based on reports from the U.S. State Department and police officials in the Pakistani province of Sindh, that Danny Pearl was killed by his captors. We're heartbroken at his death. Danny was an outstanding colleague, a great reporter, and a dear friend of many of at "The Journal."

His murder is an act of barbarism. It makes a mockery of everything that Danny's kidnappers claimed to believe in. They claimed to be Pakistani nationalists, but they're actions must surely bring shame to all true Pakistani patriots. We will, in coming months, find ways, public and private, to celebrate the great work and good works that Danny did. But today is a day to grieve.

The loss is, of course, most painful for Danny's family in the United States and elsewhere. We ask our colleagues in the media to respect their privacy and to permit them to grieve undisturbed. "The Wall Street Journal" is a public institution, but the Pearls are private citizens.

We hope, also, that our colleagues at "The Journal" will be permitted some time and space to begin the very difficult process of making peace with this profound loss. I thank everyone around the world, including many in the media, for their many expressions of support for Danny.

Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: Paul Steiger, the managing editor of "The Wall Street Journal," making a statement here in Washington, that statement that came from Peter Kann, "The Journal" publisher, and from Steiger, in the aftermath of the news that Danny Pearl is dead.

Again, we are waiting -- and we want to thank our CNN affiliate, WJLA, for that video.

Again, we are waiting for a statement from the spokesman for Danny Pearl's family out in Los Angeles. And, as soon as that statement gets under way, we will carry that and bring it to you live.

In the meantime, we want to go to Afghanistan to CNN correspondent Nic Robertson, a familiar face there over the last several months.

And, Nic, I know it's late at night there on this Thursday night. I just want to talk to you for just a moment about the dangers that journalists face, whether it's in a war theater like Afghanistan, or in a place like Pakistan, where we know Danny Pearl was pursuing a story about the activities of terrorists. This is not safe work.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, indeed, Judy, it isn't. And this is a very, very unfortunate day for journalism. That does have to be said. This just highlights the problems that journalists do face. And there are moments when one has to put trust in people who come to you with stories. You have to put your trust and faith in them and follow them and take their lead on ideas they may have that may move forward stories that you're covering.

And he took such a step. And these are steps that are faced by many people. And, in particular, Pakistan and Afghanistan are, clearly, at the moment, places where those pitfalls, the potential pitfalls are very, very real.

For example, in Afghanistan at the moment, security is one of the major issues. And perhaps, in Pakistan, the security problems have been masked by the fact that there have been so many journalists for the last few months operating quite freely: the government granting many, many visas to journalists, and the apparent dangers there perhaps not so clear.

Here in Afghanistan, they are more clear. There are many more armed people about. And the precautions we take every day: to check with security of where we're going; to double-check the people we're talking to; to try and have other people confirm to us that our contacts are in fact who they say they are; and to be very clear with our friends and colleagues about where we're going, who we're meeting, and to try and double-check all the people that we're meeting; and to take security precautions; even take security along with us on certain trips, Judy.

WOODRUFF: And, Nic Robertson, how do you go about doing that? We know that Pearl, on the day he disappeared, on January the 23rd, as you just said, he was on his way to meet with some Muslim fundamentalist contacts. He was working on a story about links between Richard Reid, the so-called shoe bomber, and Pakistan. But, in a situation like that, how do you know who to believe?

ROBERTSON: It's very difficult.

Often you're working -- perhaps as Daniel was -- in this case, you're working on a story that you don't want to give away to your friends and colleagues. You might be breaking new ground. You're working with people you perhaps haven't met before, your colleagues haven't met. So it's very, very difficult.

You do have to put your trust and faith perhaps in an individual, a translator you've been working with for some time. It's a very, very difficult step to take. We will, in certain situations, try and take security people with us, if absolutely necessary, on certain stories. And there are instances inside Afghanistan where you need to take local officials with you on a story just to ensure your own security.

That's something that we were doing yesterday, moving out into an area where we were trying to find out more information about the Taliban leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar. We went to a village where he has once been teaching, a village where the Taliban had come from. We took additional security with us. We double-checked the people we were going with. We cross-referenced them with other people who had been to the same place before to ensure that we were not being led into a trap and to ensure that there was some guaranties on our safety and security and our safe return.

But it's very, very difficult, as Daniel was doing at that stage, going with people who he was not particularly familiar with face-to- face, and in a situation where he wouldn't want to give away to his colleagues that he was perhaps breaking new editorial ground. It is very, very difficult. It becomes a matter of your own personal judgment. And these are difficult decisions to take.

WOODRUFF: Nic Robertson reporting for us from Kandahar, Afghanistan, a country where, as we've been reporting earlier today, where there is less security in the days and the weeks following pretty much the cessation of daily bomb there.

The warlords -- the competition between the warlords, some of it violent, as Nic is suggesting, has led to a very unstable situation, including for the journalists.

I just -- we want to go to John King in Beijing.

But before I do, I want to read something that has to be an irony in all of this. Today, the Associated Press quoting -- and this is a story coming out this afternoon, quoting a vice president of Dow Jones, Steven Goldstein, as saying -- and this is before the news was made public about the death of Danny Pearl.

He said, Steven Goldstein: "The president of Pakistan has indicated he is doing all he can to secure Danny's release. And our focus is bringing Danny back to his family. We remain hopeful and are confident that Danny is alive," he told the Associated Press.

And, again, this shows just how sudden this information came through from the State Department and, again, from police officials in Pakistan confirming the death of Daniel Pearl.

Let's go now by telephone to Beijing, where our senior White House correspondent John King is traveling with President Bush -- John.

KING: And, Judy, we can report now that President Bush will address the issue, the murder of Daniel Pearl, "Wall Street Journal" reporter later this morning here in Beijing.

It is early morning here, about 6:40 in the morning. Mr. Bush is getting ready to leave for a breakfast with the Chinese premier, Zhu Rongji. White House officials says he will either speak to reporters just before he leaves his hotel here in Beijing, or at the very top, when he is greeted by Premier Zhu Rongji here in Beijing for their breakfast this morning.

White House officials working out the logistics of that and putting the finishing touches on a statement in which, we are told, Mr. Bush will condemn as a brutal murder the killing of Daniel Pearl in Pakistan. And he will also ask for the continuing cooperation of the Pakistani government in the investigation while also offering his condolences to Pearl's wife and family and "The Wall Street Journal."

Mr. Bush putting the finishing touches on the statement, we are told, with his staff. As we reported earlier, no finger-pointing at all. The U.S. government believes it did receive full and aggressive cooperation from the government of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and will indeed ask for continued cooperation, as I noted, as the investigation continues.

Mr. Bush, at least according to aides, is going to put the finishing touches on his statement. He will voice his determination that those responsible for the kidnapping and the murder be brought to justice -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: So, John, as far as you know, they won't be pointing any accusatory fingers at the Pakistani government for not being able to prevent this from happening.

KING: No. It is a difficult environment, as Nic and other correspondents have been discussing, in Pakistan. Certainly, there have been questions raised throughout the war on terrorism, not just in this specific case -- but throughout the war on terrorism, questions raised about some pockets within the Pakistani intelligence service might not be perhaps completely loyal to President Musharraf, might have allegiances with the Taliban and with others, with extremist groups in Pakistan who might be responsible for this.

So certainly there are some questions about pockets within the Pakistani government. But, in the case of President Musharraf, State Department officials, White House officials, all the way up to the president, say that he has answered their calls for help, that he has convinced them that he has all the resources from an investigative standpoint, that he at his disposal available -- much as like we have discussed in the past in the war context of, "Why can't the administration tell us where Osama bin Laden is Mullah Omar is?" they say it is understandably frustrating to the family and to "The Wall Street Journal" and to the broader journalistic community, but trying to hunt for one man is often very, very difficult.

WOODRUFF: All right, John King has been covering President Bush's trip to Asia, first to Japan, then to South Korea and now China, where they have been for the last day or two. And, as we heard John say, the president does plan to make a statement, to make a comment about the death of Daniel Pearl in the next few hours.

I've just been handed a Reuters News Service story quoting the family of Daniel Pearl and its statement on his death. And I'm quoting: "We were shocked and saddened at the confirmation that our worst fears have been realized. Up until a few hours ago, we were confident that Danny would return safely, for we believed that no human being would be capable of harming such a gentle soul."

And I'm continuing to quote the family of Daniel Pearl: "Danny's senseless murder lies beyond our comprehension. Danny was a beloved a son, a brother, an uncle, a husband and a father to a child who will never know him, a musician, a writer, a storyteller and a bridge builder. He was a walking sunshine of truth, humor, friendship and compassion. We grieve with the many who have known him in his life and we weep for a world that must reckon with his death," that statement from the family of Daniel Pearl, a spokesman for the family saying the Pearls will be making no further statements and giving no interviews, although we have been told that a spokesman may be making a statement in Encino, California in Southern California in the next few moments.

And, if that does occur, we will carry that live.

Jeff Greenfield listening to all this, what comes to mind?

GREENFIELD: Well, there's a kind of unhappy irony in what Paul Steiger, the managing editor of "The Wall Street Journal," said, where he asked his journalistic colleagues to respect the privacy of Danny Pearl's family and to permit "Wall Street Journal" members to grieve.

Journalists usually are not very good at respecting people's privacy. I suspect that is one of things about journalism that most angers citizens, when they see journalists in times like this wanting access to people who are feeling the worst emotions that a human being can feel. And I suppose it just throws into relief another part of what journalists feel they have to do.

We cover loss and tragedy and horror as a daily business. And we go and we knock on doors of people who have just lost their relatives in a plane crash. And sometimes the less sensitive among us ask, "Well, how are you feeling right now?" that wretched question. And now one of us has fallen to an act of horror.

And it will be -- I guess it reminds us again that there are two parts of our lives. We're human beings and we're journalists. And now one of us is facing the other side of the camera and the microphone and the pen. And I wonder whether or not journalists will respect what Paul Steiger said and said, "Please give this family time to grieve."

WOODRUFF: I think, Jeff, as in so many stories, I think it's safe to say that the large majority of journalists will respect that. But there will be a small minority who will feel that they have to go and try to get what information they can. But that will develop in the days and the hours ahead.

Bob Novak is with me here in the studio.

Bob, it's just a heartbreaking statement I just read from Danny Pearl's family.

NOVAK: It is.

And Paul Steiger said that "The Wall Street Journal" is a public institution, but the Pearls are private people. No more. They are not private. All the world knows them. They know their son, Danny Pearl. They know his wife. And they are now symbols, whether they like it or not, of victims of this hatred of the West, the hatred of Israel, hatred of the United States by people who feel so frustrated that they have devolved into this bestial form of retaliation.

So, it is really a -- I hope, too, that most journalists will not bother these people. But they are not private people. This is the biggest story in the world right now. And it isn't just one act of mindless violence. It's part of the whole reason that President Bush is mobilized the entire country for this war.

WOODRUFF: Bob, joining us on the telephone now is Ben Wedeman, CNN's correspondent, Ben Wedeman, who had that exclusive interview with Marianne Pearl, the wife and now the widow of Daniel Pearl.

Ben, you are where right now?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

And I've just heard about this a few moments ago, and really in a state of shock. It's well past midnight here, but, when I heard the news, I jumped bolt upright in bed. And now I'm just trying to collect my thoughts about this. It was really quite a shock, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Ben, how was Marianne Pearl holding up? Tell us about the kinds of things that she said the you in that interview.

WEDEMAN: Well, what surprised me about Marianne was how strong she was, under the circumstances.

We interviewed her just the evening when the kidnappers had basically issued their first death threat against her husband. And despite this, this horrid news, she seemed to be in good spirits. She was confident. She was optimistic. And she made what we thought was really not an emotional appeal, but an intellectual appeal to the people holding her husband, to free him because of the work he did, because of his approach to their culture and their position.

And, really, her appeal was based upon that. It was not a teary appeal, an emotional appeal. Really, she was trying to direct her thoughts to them as people intellectually. And that is what really impressed us. And, also, it was really her strength, how well she was bearing up under it. Said had told us that she hadn't slept for six days, that, in fact, it was difficult. But she held herself very well and just impressed us, Judy, as a very strong woman.

WOODRUFF: And that optimism -- or that confidence that he would be found alive continued, as we heard in the statement from Daniel Pearl's family -- I read it a moment ago -- saying that: "Up until a few hours ago," they said, "we were confident that Danny would return safely," they said, "for we believe no human being would be capable of harming such a gentle soul."

Ben, you know as well as anyone the dangers that journalists can face in these unstable, unpredictable areas. You were shot while on assignment in the Middle East. Talk a little bit about how journalists go about doing the work they do and what keeps driving them to do that work even when you know it's dangerous. WEDEMAN: Well, really, you just have an obligation to try to find out the truth. And you sometimes find yourself in situations or even meeting people that you wouldn't otherwise be in. But simply in the pursuit of the story, you find yourself sometimes in some danger, sometimes having to deal with unsavory types, unsavory individuals.

But in the pursuit of the story, you just feel yourself obliged to do it. Sometimes, fortunately, we do step back and say, no, we won't go beyond this point. Certainly, when we were covering the Pearl kidnapping, we, on more than one occasion, found ourselves speaking with people who we didn't necessarily trust. And we did decide that we would not take up their offer.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

GARY FOSTER, PEARL FAMILY SPOKESMAN: " ... family of Daniel Pearl. We were shocked and saddened at the confirmation that our worst fears have been realized. Up until a few hours ago, we were confident that Danny would return safely, for we believed that no human being would be capable of harming such a gentle soul. Danny's senseless murder lies beyond our comprehension. Danny was a beloved a son, a brother, an uncle, a husband and a father to a child who will never know him, a musician, a writer, a storyteller and a bridge builder. He was a walking sunshine of truth, humor, friendship and compassion. We grieve with the many who have known him in his life and we weep for a world that must reckon with his death." Thank you.

WOODRUFF: That statement from the family of Danny Pearl, read by a gentleman, Gary Foster, we are told. He's a spokesman for the family, no doubt a friend of the family. Let's see if we can hear anything else he's saying.

Again, this is a spokesman for the family of Daniel Pearl, we presume also a friend of the family named Gary Foster, speaking, I believe, there in Encino, California.

Joining us now from the newsroom of "The Washington Post" here in Washington: Howard Kurtz, who is the host of "RELIABLE SOURCES."

Howard, you cover the press. And I know you've been talking to some of the reporters at "The Wall Street Journal."

HOWARD KURTZ, "RELIABLE SOURCES": Some of them, Judy, are too broken up to talk right now.

But those who were able to choke back the emotion and speak with me say, uniformly, that not only was this an incredibly talented journalist, but that Danny was a guy who lit up a room, as one put it to me. He was just regarded by friends very dearly as a very special person, a very a gentle person.

He's not -- according to some other foreign correspondents, he was not what is called in the trade a cowboy. He was a cautious person. When the war in Afghanistan broke out and he was in Pakistan, he did not volunteer to go, mindful of the fact that he had a pregnant wife. And so it's particularly sad because this is a guy who clearly touched the hearts of so many of those around him.

WOODRUFF: And, we know, Howard, that he worked in "The Journal" Washington bureau for some time. So he knew people here. In fact, I have some personal knowledge because my husband, Al Hunt, happens to be with "The Journal." He was the bureau chief who brought Danny Pearl to Washington while he was in that position.

KURTZ: Yes. And everybody, even those who know him here and in London, in New York, has a Danny Pearl story. When he was in Washington, he liked to go salsa dancing. He was really a fun-loving guy.

And I think, also, he was somebody who was a bit of a rebel, and was very questioning of the United States government, and had some sympathy with the press people around the world. And so he may have thought that -- not that he was invulnerable, but that he would not be a target, because of the kind of approach that he took to journalism.

Sadly, as we've learned from the deaths of other journalists around the world during the conflict in Afghanistan, no one is really safe. And I think we all in the news business take for granted the bravery of people like Danny Pearl and those at CNN and "The New York Times" and "The Washington Post" and other organizations who put their lives on the line to go out and meet with risky characters and bring us news in these dangerous lands.

And so the Pearl death, because he was somebody who was American, who was known to many of us in the news business, I think brings that home in a dramatic way.

WOODRUFF: And you are so right, Howard, that we do take it for granted, because, in this country, we do have an architecture of freedom of the press that's embedded in our Constitution. We don't even think about it anymore, reporters.

We may write things and report things on television that people don't like, but usually reporters are safe -- usually. There have obviously been some terrible exceptions to that. People have gone after journalists. But it's a completely different story once you leave the borders of the United States and some of the other countries. I would say Western Europe, Japan, outside of that area, reporting can be dangerous.

KURTZ: And the further irony, Judy, is that Danny Pearl was willing to meet with these shadowy figures who had ties to a terrorist group because he wanted to tell their story ,because he was trying to get news, because he was willing to take risk to his own life -- tragically, as it turned out -- in order to get the other side, to find out how people on the other side thought.

And the idea that he would then become the target and his family put through this terrible ordeal is just unspeakably sad.

WOODRUFF: All right, Howard Kurtz at the office of "The Washington Post" here telling us that he has spoken with some at "The Wall Street Journal," but, as you heard Howard say, many of those he's spoken with are just too broken up, too emotionally distraught to be able to talk just yet.

Now quickly back to Beijing, where our senior White House correspondent John King has an update from there -- John.

KING: Judy, senior administration officials telling us we will hear from President Bush here in Beijing in about 15 to 18 minutes. Mr. Bush at 7:15 a.m. local time here in Beijing will address reporters and comment on the murder of Daniel Pearl, "The Wall Street Journal" reporter first kidnapped in Pakistan.

We're told by senior administration officials that Mr. Bush will condemn this as a brutal murder. He will offer his condolences to the Pearl family and also ask for the continuing cooperation of the government of Pakistan in the investigation. Mr. Bush will give voice to his desire that those responsible be brought to justice.

Obviously, early morning in Beijing -- the word relayed through the National Security Council, the deputy at the White House calling Condoleezza Rice, the president's national security adviser here and the White House communications apparatus, then decided that Mr. Bush would speak to reporters before he goes to a breakfast here this morning with the Chinese premier, Zhu Rongji.

We should tell our viewers, we will bring you word of exactly what the president says as quickly as possible. He is in a location where we cannot give you live coverage of that, but we will certainly get on the air with what the president said and turn that tape around and bring it to our viewers as soon as we can -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: John, just to clarify, the White House has obviously scrambled to put this comment by the president together, which you said was taking place in another 15 minutes or so.

KING: That's right.

He' is in Beijing. He was already up and preparing his morning. We were told he was earlier notified about this, and the White House pulling together what it knows. And I'm in Beijing, so, forgive me, I have not seen everything on the air back in the United States. I don't know what we've discussed about the videotape.

One senior official back in Washington saying the reason the government can say with certainty that Daniel Pearl is dead is because -- quote -- "of undisputable evidence" on that tape, the official not wanting to discuss it, saying it is of a graphic nature. But, obviously, the sad news coming in through the State Department relayed to the president here. And Mr. Bush wanting very much to make a statement here in Beijing condemning this murder. Again, we are told he will use terms such as brutal or barbarous, voice his condolences, and once again call on the Pakistani government to bring those responsible to justice -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, John King, as you heard, traveling with President Bush, where it is now just about 7:00 in the morning Beijing time. Well, to recap this sad story we've been talking about for just about the last hour and a half today, today the worst fears of Daniel Pearl's family, his friends and his colleagues around the world were realized: U.S. government officials confirming that Danny Pearl, 38- year-old "Wall Street Journal" reporter, is dead.

Before his kidnapping last month in Pakistan, his name was on bylines, not on headlines.

CNN's Brian Cabell looks back at a life cut short.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN CABELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The man behind that now famous, but frightening image, the photograph of a hostage with a gun to his head, was born 38 years ago in Princeton, New Jersey. Daniel Pearl, a bright young man, graduated Stanford University with a degree in communications. Journalism was his calling. He returned to the Northeast to begin his career.

GRIER HORNER, FORMER EDITOR, "BERKSHIRE EAGLE": He was such a sharp kid that you knew he was going places.

CABELL: He joined the "Berkshire Eagle" in Massachusetts in 1988. He won an award for a story the following year.

CLARENCE FANTO, MANAGING EDITOR, "BERKSHIRE EAGLE": The way he interviewed people and the way he wrote stories made it clear that he was destined for the big leagues.

CABELL: And the big leagues it was. "The Wall Street Journal" hired him in 1990, and for the last decade, he has seen the world. He was first headquartered in Atlanta, then Washington, then overseas to London, then to Paris, where he met his wife, Marianne.

MARIANNE PEARL, DANIEL PEARL'S WIFE: We are two people who met and fell in love because we have the same ideal. And all my life, all his life and our life together is just a big effort to try to create dialogue between civilizations.

CABELL: His next stop was the Indian city of Mumbai, better known as Bombay. He arrived there in December of 2000, and his most recent articles for the "Journal" dealt with the increasing tensions between India and Pakistan. He was in Karachi, working on a story on the Islamic militant underground, when he was kidnapped on January 23rd.

Initially, his captors claimed he was an agent for the CIA.

RICHARD BOUCHER, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN: Mr. Pearl is a respected journalist. He has no connection with our government.

CABELL: Later, his captors claimed Pearl worked for Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency. His colleagues at "The Wall Street Journal" called the charges unfounded. Pearl, they said, is a top- flight journalist, nothing more. PAUL STEIGER, MANAGING EDITOR, "WALL STREET JOURNAL": This is a man who lives for three things. He lives for covering stories accurately, he lives for his wife -- they have a wonderful relationship -- and he lives for his unborn child.

CABELL: His wife is six months pregnant with their first child. Brian Cabell, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: That report from CNN's Brian Cabell.

Again, confirming -- government officials here in Washington, as well as Pakistani police officials now confirming, just about an hour and a half ago, that Danny Pearl, the 38-year-old reporter for "The Wall Street Journal," is dead, based on videotape which, in their words, confirms his death.

CNN's coverage will continue throughout this evening. And, as we receive any updates on this story, we will bring them to you at that moment.

I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington -- "MONEYLINE" coming up after this.

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