CNN SATURDAY EDITION
Sniper Attacks Set D.C. on Edge; Congress Delivers Iraq Attack Endorsement to Bush; Wall Street Wobbles Through Another Week
Aired October 12, 2002 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Welcome to a special two-hour CNN's SATURDAY EDITION, where our journalists have the inside scoop on the stories they covered this week. I'm Jeanne Meserve in Washington.
The sniper attacks set capital region on edge. We're awaiting two news conferences with the latest information.
KATE SNOW, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Kate Snow. Congress talked and talked and delivered to President Bush the attack- Iraq endorsement he expected.
CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN FINANCIAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I'm Christine Romans. Wall Street wobbles through another week, and people look all the way back to the Great Depression for lessons.
KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: I'm Kelli Arena. New concerns about al Qaeda attacks, as U.S. officials try to evaluate new messages.
KELLY WALLACE, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: And I'm Kelly Wallace. The president and Iraq: Now armed with a congressional resolution, where does he turn next?
We'll talk about all these stories. We'll also listen to the president's weekly radio address. But first, a check on what's making headlines right now with Heidi Collins from Atlanta.
MESERVE: A week and a half since the first sniper shooting in suburban Washington D.C., a week and a half that saw seven, maybe eight people shot dead and two wounded. It brought a new level of anxiety to the whole region of the mid-Atlantic. The police have lashed out at news organizations, pleaded for leads, and welcomed hundreds of thousands of dollars of reward money, and so far they've come up empty.
ROMANS: Jeanne, what about the progress that's been made in the last week and a half? Clearly, there's got to be something positive we can take out of the last few days.
MESERVE: There is. They have more witnesses, finally. In the early shootings, they had very little to go on. Now people are attuned to this story, they're on the lookout. They are reporting things to the police. There were several witnesses down in Spotsylvania County, if that turns out to be a related incident. That will be very useful.
Also, there was the matter of the tarot card. If it pans out, if it turns out to be authentic, that could be crucial.
Kelli, you were telling us about some of the testing they've been doing on that tarot card at the FBI labs.
ARENA: Right, at the FBI labs. They can do DNA testing, they can do fingerprinting. I mean, you can get DNA from anything. I mean, ear wax, for example, could fall -- you know, you shed and it could fall on the card. He doesn't necessarily have to touch it. You know, he may have thought he was very careful, but you can pick up anything.
But what was astounding to me, Jeanne, was that the latest shooting happened right where there was a state trooper that was giving a ticket, and they put this big dragnet trying to...
MESERVE: We don't know it's been connected. That's what we're probably going to find out in a few minutes' time.
ARENA: But that is scary.
MESERVE: Well, it shows that he is extraordinarily brazen. And in some respects, maybe that's a good thing, because perhaps this person will eventually make a mistake.
SNOW: Mess up.
WALLACE: One question, you said "this person," but also it's not clear if it's person or persons, right?
MESERVE: That's right.
WALLACE: And I wanted to ask both of you guys, is there anyone talking about the possibility that this could be linked to terrorism -- I mean, the traditional sense of a terrorist group in some way being responsible for this?
MESERVE: Well, it certainly has spread terror. So it is terrorism of some sort.
ARENA: But no, they do not believe.
MESERVE: Well, they haven't crossed it out yet either.
ARENA: Right, they haven't, but I have to tell you, though, because this is a question I ask every single day to federal law enforcement, and they say there's absolutely no evidence to suggest that this is related to al Qaeda or another known terrorist group.
And the tarot card that was left is totally not the signature that -- you know, terrorists don't leave tarot cards and say, "Dear policeman, I am God," so... MESERVE: OK, we're going to go over to Daryn Kagan. Daryn is out in Montgomery County where this sniper investigation is headquartered -- Daryn.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, Jeanne, good morning to you and good morning to all the ladies with you there in the studio.
We are standing by here. We were waiting for Montgomery County. We thought this briefing was going to be the first one to go at 9:30 a.m. Eastern. They have pushed this one back at least to 10:15, allowing Spotsylvania County to go first. And it looks like they are getting ready to go there. This, of course, the county where the latest shooting taking place yesterday, and that being with the victim -- the 53-year-old man from Philadelphia losing his life and dying at the Exxon gas station. Just went to get gas on a business trip and shot.
Now, as we heard earlier, we heard that The Washington Post going with a ballistics test as a match. Let's go ahead and listen and see if we can learn more from Spotsylvania County officials.
MAJOR HOWARD SMITH, SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: ... Secretary of Public Safety John Marshall, Colonel of the Virginia State Police Gerald Massengill, Sheriff of Spotsylvania County Ronald Knight, Special Agent in Charge of ATF Jeff Reign (ph), and Supervisory Special Agent in Charge of the Fredericksburg Field Office of the FBI Mike Foster.
Late night, at approximately 8:30 p.m., I received a telephone call from the ATF. Their message was that the ballistics evidence has conclusively linked the shooting yesterday in Spotslvania County to the other shootings in Virginia, D.C. and Maryland.
The victim was 53-year-old Kenneth Bridges of Philadelphia. He was hit one time in the left upper back.
Since yesterday's shooting, the sheriff's office, from 12 o'clock until midnight last night, has received over 1,900 telephone calls, tips coming in. That's just to this office alone.
At this time, I'd ask Mr. Warner if he'd like to come up and make a statement, please.
MARK WARNER, GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA: Thank you, Major.
Good morning. I, first of all, on behalf of the people of the Commonwealth, obviously want to extend my sympathies, condolences to the family of Mr. Bridges and to the families of all of the other victims who have been struck down.
Obviously, this is a very challenging time not only for Spotsylvania but the whole D.C. metro area, for the whole Commonwealth of Virginia. And I'm here today to assure that all available public safety resources are being brought on to this task and this challenge.
I want to publicly commend all of the law enforcement officers who are so ably going about this investigation, and particularly commend the level of cooperation.
Yesterday with Colonel Massengill, we briefed the press in Richmond. He pointed out the level of cooperation between the sheriff's office, between the various local police departments throughout Northern Virginia, between the state police, between ATF, FBI, and the corresponding task force in Maryland has basically been unprecedented.
And I want to publicly thank my good friend Sheriff Knight for the great job that he does in the Spotsylvania Sheriff's Department, as well as, obviously, the ongoing great job that Colonel Massengill and the state police do.
These are trying times. I talked last night with my three daughters about what's been going on. I think it's terribly important, from a family standpoint, that we do all we can to reassure our children, to tell them the truth, but not let them get overly exposed to the wall-to-wall media coverage, to assure them that parents are trying to take care of them in terms of safety, that there are responsible people in terms of our police officers and others who are investigating and will bring this criminal justice.
So it's also important to realize that we all in the community obviously feel concerned and feel stressed. But that is a normal reaction. It's all right to feel that way.
We need to continue going on with our lives. I'm actually going to go on to a parade over in a neighboring county, in King George, after this today. We obviously have to be on guard. But we have the best and the brightest behind us here and their teams who are working, and we will bring this matter to a conclusion.
QUESTION: Governor, what did you tell your daughters? What did you say to them?
WARNER: Well, they came home from school and were -- obviously had heard about it. I said that, yes, there's a bad person out there doing bad things, but that I reassured them that they were going to be safe. I reassured them that the police were out investigating this, and they were doing all they could. I told them I loved them.
And I think that level of reassurance, that level of trying to keep the kids -- one of them had a sleep-over. Another one was going to another sleep-over last night. You know, I told them -- we tried to keep their normal schedule as much as possible in place.
QUESTION: Governor, we just got information that this information came to authorities at 8:30 last night. Now, given all of the stress in the public, can you tell me whether there was an investigative reason for this information about this conclusive link to be held on to by the authorities for 13 and a half hours, or was it investigative convenience?
WARNER: Well, I'd let the law enforcement officers comment on that. I think they're doing an excellent job. I think they're getting this information out to the public in a timely fashion.
Clearly, starting yesterday, yesterday morning, based upon the way we shut down the region, we were operating under the presumption that there very probably was a link, the actions that the sheriff's department, the state police and all took. So I'm not going to be here trying to second-guess this group of law enforcement officers that I think are doing a great job.
QUESTION: Could one of the law enforcement officers answer that?
WARNER: They'll get a chance to. I'm going to finish my comments, let Sheriff Knight come up, and then...
QUESTION: What more can the state do? Should the reward money perhaps be increased? Obviously, the state can't afford to put any money into the reward fun, can it?
WARNER: Well, I see that the reward fund is up now to about $400,000. I think that obviously is one of the larger rewards we've seen in recent history.
One of the most valuable aspects of this investigation is the public's involvement. The major indicated the 1,900 calls that have come in just in the last 24 hours. That's on top of earlier calls that have come in based upon the other shootings, both here in the county and in Prince Williams and the shootings in Maryland and D.C.
The eyes and ears of the public are some of our best assets right now, and that's why we continue to call upon individuals if they see anything suspicious or have any possible information about who the assailant might be to contact us.
QUESTION: Once this person is caught, how is the prosecution going to work? Are there going to be a series of trials in different jurisdictions?
WARNER: I think it's premature to comment on that.
QUESTION: Governor Warner, what -- are there any other state resources that you're prepared to commit to this investigation?
WARNER: I've indicated to Colonel Massengill that any resources that he needs we're going to make available. My friend Sheriff Knight -- I know the sheriff's department has been working long and hard hours. The fact that all of the leaves have been canceled, that deputies are working 16-hour shifts. We're going to do all we can. I know we've already talking with the compensation board a little bit about trying to make sure they get some help on that.
QUESTION: Governor, if the sniper is watching, sniper or snipers, what would you say to them?
WARNER: I'm not sure what kind of appeal could be made to someone who is creating so many senseless acts of violence.
Thank you. I'll turn it back over to the major. Or do you want me to just go straight to the -- I'll bring up my good friend Sheriff Knight.
SHERIFF RONALD KNIGHT, SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY: The 1,900 calls that they were referring to yesterday is just a small part of what this office has to do. Trying to reassure the citizens of the county that we are averaging somewhere between 40 telephone calls a minute coming in to the communications center downstairs, and that includes all the calls that we still have to cover. This county is 406 square miles with 98,000 people.
So we're covering all the schools, all the private schools. We're running the corridors on Route 1 and Route 3. We have canceled all leaves; we're keeping everybody working. The detectives and everybody else are following up on cases -- on the calls that we're getting as pertains to this sniper.
I just asked the public's indulgence, if you will, because some of the detectives that were assigned their case will not be working on their case for a while. And my phone rings all the time on that particular issue. Their case is important too, and we try to tell them that. But this one, of course, is priority.
So we just ask for some patience there because we only have 99 people here covering this county, and some of those we have by right to take care of the five courts that we run every day. So you can see, if it wasn't for the help of the state police and other agencies that are here to help us follow up at least on these leads, which will free us up a little bit to do the day-to-day stuff that we have to do and should do.
So mainly, I'm just here just to reassure the county residents that we're doing everything, you know, that we can with the amount of people that we have.
Just getting over the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) task force. Of course, we are faced with another one, but again, we have unprecedented help from all agencies -- the FBI, ATF, Marshal Service, Secret Service, Virginia ABC. And if I've left anybody out -- our local Fredericksburg, Stafford, are letting some people come in -- Prince William. Both the sheriff's office and police department have assigned people down here.
KNIGHT: So we're continuing to follow up on everything that we can, but at the same time we've got, you know, 21,000 students that we have to look after.
So we just, you know, kind of ask for the public's indulgence. If they call for mailbox vandalism, if we're not there in 20 minutes, please don't call me. We're going to get to you, it's just going to take us some time. So again, I just want to reassure.
QUESTION: What do you have to say to the delay? Why was the information that this is linked to the other shootings delayed 13 hours?
KNIGHT: Well, I'll -- Major Smith is going to be handling the calls as far as -- there is certain evidence that we're just not giving out. Obviously, we were working on the idea obviously -- and "obviously" is the word that I'm using -- that it was the same snipper, but we have to be pretty deliberate in what we say.
And having said that, I'm going to step aside, and the major will answer your questions.
QUESTION: Sheriff, have you ruled out terrorism? Has that been ruled out?
KNIGHT: Well, to me it is terrorism. Now, is it Al...
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) the Middle East?
KNIGHT: ... but I'm certainly not going to stand here and say it's al Qaeda or anything like that.
But anytime somebody is doing something -- the terror is here, and that is terrorism. So whether it's a local terrorist or a global terrorist, I don't want to say. But, you know, it is striking terror in people's hearts. Parents and everybody that wants to go to the gas station and fill up their tank, of course there's terror there.
And we're doing our best to patrol those areas. The state police, again, is patrolling. So we're doing all that we can to maintain the order, if you will. And mistakes are going to be made by us, of course, in certain things, and we're human beings, too, so...
QUESTION: Are you all working under the assumption that the killer is sitting out there watching the television coverage and so forth and getting some satisfaction from it?
KNIGHT: Well, I'm -- I don't want to -- I'm not smart enough to kind of figure out what he's feeling. And I say he, because the percentage says it's more likely a male.
That's why we're trying to close the vest on some of the evidence -- what we say about evidence, because we don't want that person to really get the idea what we are doing.
If I had something to say to him, I'd say, "You're under arrest." That's what I'd like to say.
SMITH: Before we start the questions, I'm proud to stand up here and say this morning that the Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to put $50,000 toward the reward fund.
At this time, I will try to answer any questions. If we can kind of keep it orderly and maybe start on the left and work our way around.
QUESTION: The question is out there about the delay. Why was the delay made, or why was there a delay in...
SMITH: Well, once again, I got the information last night at 8:30. We had already had two press conferences yesterday and got the information that we felt was important for the public to know, to get out to them.
By getting that information out that the ballistic evidence had come back last night was not going to -- is nothing that could help us solve this case with the public. That's the kind of information that we don't need to get out there right away. We knew we were having a press conference this morning. We knew we could release it. And it certainly in no way at all jeopardized this case. And it was nothing that was in dire need to get out to the public at that time.
QUESTION: Any thought to the fact that the recent, most recent shootings have occurred after public confirmation has been made of linkage?
SMITH: Well, I won't talk about the investigation part of the case.
QUESTION: Major, yesterday, the shooting happened under the best possible circumstances for police. You had the task force already up and running, not just in Virginia but in Spotsylvania County. And you even had a state trooper on the scene who heard it happen. And yet you came up with nothing after this very fast deployment. What does that say to the task of catching this guy?
SMITH: Well, I think it's going to be difficult. We know it's going to be difficult to catch this person. That's why we have stressed over and over it's extremely important for the public's help. We desperately need the public's help in this case.
We need anybody that may have saw anything, that may have witnessed anything yesterday, anybody that suspects anybody of this, to call the hotline and give us that information.
QUESTION: Are you still looking for the white Chevy Astro van?
SMITH: Yes, we are. Once again, as I said yesterday, we don't know if that was involved in the shooting or not. It was seen by a couple people there. We obviously -- the van and the folks there, certainly we want to question them.
QUESTION: Is there any significance to the color white? I mean, there have been several different sightings of different vehicles, all the same color, white. Do you think this could be some sort of a decoy?
SMITH: I'm not going to talk about any part of the investigation, what we might speculate.
QUESTION: Major, as far as the weapon being linked to the other shootings, my question is, was it a type of weapon, or are all these rounds coming from the same weapon?
SMITH: Well, once again, I didn't mention anything about any weapon this morning. I said the ballistics test showed that there was a conclusive link. Once again, we're not going to talk about any evidence that we might have.
QUESTION: Hunting season is coming up. Is that going to pose a special problem? Is there any thought given to maybe delaying it or cancelling it if you have other people now running around with guns?
SMITH: Well, I'm certainly not in a position to answer that, whether hunting season is going to be delayed or not. That would have to come from somebody higher than myself.
QUESTION: But could that pose a problem?
SMITH: I don't think so. I don't think so.
QUESTION: Major, are there any certain criterias as to how you're handling all thse calls that are coming in? Or are they all top priorities?
SMITH: Well, what we're doing with all the resources we have here -- once again, we have at our disposal all the resources from the federal government and from the Virginia State Police. And we have a task force set up, and obviously we've been through this before with the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Silver (ph) case, so we have a handle on it already.
With the amount of leads that's coming in here, what we've done is the state police and the FBI and the ATF and the sheriff's office have assigned one person as a lead investigator from their agency. They're sitting down, as these calls come in, they're put onto an information-control sheet. They're reviewing those leads, and they're separating them and looking at the ones that need top priority and the ones that can wait.
And they're being entered into a program called Rapid Start, which the federal government, the FBI, has furnished for us. It's set up -- we have it set up here. We also have it set up in Prince William and it's also set up in Montgomery County. So therefore, we all can work on the same sheet of music, per se, and we're exchanging information on a daily basis.
QUESTION: I guess of out of all the 1,900, how many have been separated as top priorities?
SMITH: Well, at this time, I don't have the exact number. They were going through them last night. They're still going through all the leads this morning.
Obviously, the 1,900 calls that came in here was just a part of it. I think every agency around us were getting calls yesterday, so all those were brought in. The state police were getting calls at their offices. So all of that is being brought in. The FBI was getting calls. So they're still in a process of going through that tremendous amount of paperwork.
QUESTION: Major, could you or Colonel Massengill talk about what, if any, modifications you all are making, or if you are making modifications, to the quick shutdown of the interstate plan, in light of its failure to catch the guy yesterday? I mean, are you changing...
SMITH: Well, you know, I don't think it would be proper for us...
KAGAN: We've been listening in to the Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Department, and also the governor of Virginia, their news conference. I'm in Montgomery County right now, and we're waiting for this news conference to begin any minute. We've gotten the one-minute warning.
But let's quickly recap what we've learned from Spotsylvania County officials, and that is the confirmation we were looking for that in fact the ATF saying that they have run ballistic tests on the shot that was fired yesterday at that gas station in Fredericksburg, and indeed it is a match.
So yesterday's victim, Kenneth Bridges, becomes the eighth fatality in this sniper shooting. That makes 10 people shot in basically the last 10 days. Eight dead, two wounded.
Also learning of Kenneth Bridges, this man, this businessman on the road from Philadelphia, he was shot once in the left, upper back.
Since then, police and sheriff's officials saying they have received a large number of tips. In the last 24 hours alone, just in Spotsylvania County, they say they have received about 1,900 tips from the public phoning in to that 1-888 number.
Jeanne, so we're going to stand by here. As I said, we have a one- or two-minute warning, Montgomery County. But the big news we are looking for today: It is indeed a match. Kenneth Bridges yet another victim of the sniper running loose around the Washington D.C. area.
I'll stand by here waiting for this news conference.
MESERVE: Daryn, thanks so much.
And it's a sort of sad and gruesome commentary, but in a way, it's a relief that it's linked. Because if it were not, they'd know they had a copycat situation and they'd be looking for more than one individual.
SNOW: Talk a little bit about the mode of operating here. I mean, this person is striking now near highways, near on-ramps, and seems to be almost responding -- it seems like he's responding to what's happening in the media or what the police were saying. I mean, you know, there was mention that school-kids are safe and then the next day there was a shooting at a school. MESERVE: And that, I think, is one reason why you've seen briefings being cut back, the number of briefings, the amount of information coming back in those briefings being limited. They are being extraordinarily cautious about every word they say, because they know he or they may be out there with their ears wide open.
WALLACE: How much did that Tarot card -- and we obviously saw Montgomery County Police Chief Moose outraged about the release of that information. Was there a sense that investigators hoped in some way to use that information?
I think though, let's go back to Daryn. I think the news conference is about to get under way -- Daryn.
KAGAN: Yes, Kelly, it looks like we're getting close. We can see Police Chief Charlie Moose up there, also Doug Duncan, executive of Montgomery County. This is the news conference we've been expecting for about the last hour.
Let's go ahead and listen in to the officials.
DOUG DUNCAN, MONTGOMERY COUNTY EXECUTIVE: ... Mr. Bridges, to his six children, and to everyone else involved in this horrible shooting yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
I also want to just mention the funeral I was at yesterday for Sonny Buchanan, a victim last week. A wonderful man, gave so much to our community, so much particularly to the children of our community. And what I saw at his funeral was the strength of Montgomery County, the strength of the people of our county, of the Washington region, of Maryland, D.C. and Virginia.
And that's what we need to turn to now. We need to turn to our family, we need to turn to our friends, we need to turn to our faith for the strength that we need to help each other get through these very, very trying times.
I want to thank the public for everything that they've done. They have been an active participant in this investigation, through the calls that they've gotten. We heard from Spotsylvania County, 1,900 calls yesterday in terms of giving them information that's going to help us make an arrest here. Thank you for being part of the investigation.
Thank you for your contributions to the reward fund. Spotsylvania County just announced that they are contributing $50,000 to the reward fund. With their contribution, we have now reached our goal of $500,000. We've reached our goal of half a million dollars in the reward fund. So any dollars that we get above and beyond that we will contribute to the families of the victims of these shootings. And now I'd like to turn the briefing over to Chief Moose for his update.
CHARLES MOOSE, MONTGOMERY COUNTY POLICE CHIEF: Thank you, sir. As we have heard, the Spotsylvania County sheriff report that the shooting is linked. Remind you that they are already a member of the task force, the work group. They will continue to be so.
Whereas it is not particularly news, I just want to say that, from a housekeeping standpoint, that the task force has a commitment that if this tragedy, if a shooting similar to the type that we're dealing with occurs in anyone's community, the agreement is that that law enforcement sheriff, police chief will certainly report to that community that there's been a shooting and that it may indeed be similar. That kind of reporting to the local community is important, is necessary, it is tradition.
There's also an agreement from the task force that once any information is back from ATF with regards to any ballistics, that that local agency will report whether or not the message is it's linked or not linked. Because we want to recognize that if it is not linked, that community will deal with that as a local homicide.
So we want to respect the fact that that is something that their people expect from them on a daily basis. And we also have agreed that if it is linked, then that will be the last public comment, public press about that situation, because then that agency and its investigators in that case will be folded into the task force.
It makes sense to us. Hopefully it makes sense to everyone involved. And again, it is not news but it is, I think, in my mind, a housekeeping matter. It is the way that we want to address it as a law enforcement community. It makes a great deal of sense to us.
We talked about the graphics that would be presented. We are dealing with a number of witnesses, and when we're dealing with those witnesses and a graphic preparation, we are committed to not putting it out until everyone involved is comfortable.
So we do have a delay. We are working on it diligently. We remain hopeful that it is later today that the graphics will be available. Again, we think it will help people understand, have a clear idea, prompt their memories with regards to the box truck that you've heard so much about from us in Montgomery County.
So again, please understand that when you're dealing with witnesses, we want to do so in a respectful way. And we want to make sure that we have a product that they are comfortable with before we provide it to you and provide it to the general public.
So the delay is hopefully understandable. We again hope to have it by late this afternoon.
MOOSE: Again, I remind people of our national tip line, 1-888- 324-9800.
The next briefing will be at 5:00 p.m.
Questions? QUESTION: Chief, Major Smith said that the information he got was at 8:30 last evening with the link, and it's just being announced this morning. Realizing the importance of protocol between police departments, do you think that the -- wouldn't it be like that the public could get that information a little bit earlier than waiting these 13 hours before that announcement was made?
MOOSE: Well, sir, I would -- I appreciate the need to know and the right to know. We have tried to be very cognizant of that throughout this very complex investigation. But there certainly are some investigative protocols that needed to take place. There are some victim notifications, there's some outreach pieces that needed to take place.
We feel like we made the appropriate decision. Again, we will continue to consider if there's anything that anyone in the community would have done different if they had that information earlier when we processed that.
Certainly the concern is there. I'm not personally aware of what people would have done different. But I know that investigative-wise, there are some things that we needed to accomplish. And certainly, in due respect to the victim, the family, we had some things to do there that clearly said that running out to a podium or making a lot of phone calls to the media, the timing was not right.
So we're trying to be respectful. We're trying to be cognizant. But please understand, there are some things that we had to accomplish. And we feel like we got those done.
In addition to the fact that our agreement is that the sheriff in that jurisdiction needed to make that announcement and not be overridden by dislocation or by me, but respect the fact that that person provides police services in that community.
QUESTION: As far as the graphics are concerned, are you getting conflicting statements from some of your witnesses or is it a matter of their information just not being clear?
MOOSE: Well, sir, we will have those graphics, and we will ask your help in getting them distributed.
In terms of -- I guess your question of why, is because we're doing everything we can to get the person or the people involved in this into custody. That's why we're putting this graphic out.
QUESTION: Chief, do you have a witness that you're confident has seen the shooter?
MOOSE: Sir, it is not appropriate for me to talk about anything that we've gotten from our witnesses. That would be a violation of their confidence and perhaps would violate the integrity of the investigation.
QUESTION: Do you feel the focusing on a white van, a white box truck is limiting, if there's a shooting and people automatically look for one of these two vehicles and aren't looking at other vehicles?
MOOSE: I do not feel that us following up an investigation and getting more information out about the white box truck that we're looking for limits anyone.
Unfortunately, sir, I think the people that I've talked to and listened to, members of the task force, report conversations with their families and their relatives, we may be in a position certainly in this community, where everyone is looking at everything and everybody.
We don't want that to happened, but I don't think it's limiting in any way.
QUESTION: Are you also looking for something other than the white trucks, or are you just solely focusing in on them?
MOOSE: Ma'am, we want to have the graphics done so that it will assist us in our investigation. And to talk any further about what things are happening in the investigation would be inappropriate.
QUESTION: Chief, do you plan on releasing the tarot card at any time, and if not, why not?
MOOSE: Sir, we are trying to follow the kind of things that our investigators feel would be helpful to them. And I have found it, you know, very unwise to predict or make some decision. We'll make decisions as we all deem they're appropriate. So I really can't answer that.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) has been linked, I'm wondering if there's more about the shooter that you can tell us, that you learned from that shooting? And if not, how frustrating is that?
MOOSE: Could I ask you to repeat the question?
QUESTION: Now that yesterday's shooting has been linked, is there more about the shooter that you've learned from that that you can tell us? And if you haven't learned more, how frustrating is that?
MOOSE: Ma'am, it would be inappropriate for me to talk about any of those details that you just asked.
QUESTION: Chief, I didn't hear that last question. I hope I'm not repeating it. But a gentleman in Fredericksburg reports that he was shown an image evidently taken from a videotape that purportedly is of a suspect. Do you have any type of videotape of someone you believe may be responsible for these shootings?
MOOSE: Again, sir, it would be inappropriate to talk about those kind of details in the investigation. And in regards to people that we have talked to or have not talked to, we're committed to keeping them confidential. So I really can't expand on your question.
QUESTION: If I could ask one other question, very early on in this process, your department said that it would look at previous shootings in Montgomery County to see if there was any relationship. Have you had a chance in the past week to do that? And are there any previous shootings in Montgomery County that you have reason to believe might be connected with this spree?
MOOSE: Sir, we are continuing to conduct the investigation, and to talk about any of those specifics would be inappropriate.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) that yellow piece of paper that was collected at the crime scene yesterday in Spotsylvania County, what if anything you can tell us about that piece of paper? And is it at all linked to this case?
MOOSE: Sir, I appreciate your question, but as has been the practice, it would be totally inappropriate to talk about any evidence in this case. To compromise the evidence may stop us or hinder us in our bringing this case to closure, and it may compromise our ability to get a conviction.
QUESTION: Chief, if you do have an image of a suspect, why wouldn't you release that in the hopes that somebody might recognize this person?
MOOSE: Sir, it would be inappropriate to talk about the investigation. And whereas you may have some thoughts about what I know and don't know and how I should and should not do my job, we're doing the best that we can. We will continue to do so.
But I remind you that there are a lot of people surmising and making thoughts. But, again, we have the best that the FBI, the ATF, Montgomery County, Prince George's County, Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office, Prince William County Sheriff's Office.
We have a lot of investigators, a lot of very experienced investigators, people who have solved homicides, people that have solved very complicated cases. And certainly I am working with all of them, taking their advice. And I remind everyone we're doing absolutely the best that we can.
QUESTION: Could you talk a little bit about the task force itself, about the mood in there? I mean, there's got to be some level of frustration (OFF-MIKE). How is it inside the building?
MOOSE: Sir, in terms of how is it inside the building -- and the word that continues to come up, I think, from people in their questions is "frustration."
And I remind you that people inside the billion, people who are working on the investigation are very compassionate. Our job is to protect and serve. And yes, we have people being assaulted, being killed, and that doesn't please any of us. That tells us that we need to continue to work harder. That means we need to do everything in our power to make sure that nothing is compromised. That means to make sure that we need to focus, focus, focus.
Maybe we can't even talk to our families about this matter, because if someone says something that then appears in public that slows us down, causes us all to alter some progress, then that is unfortunate.
Our job is to protect and serve. And the spirit in the building is that we want to do that, that we don't want to disappoint people in this region, people throughout this nation.
So it is not a feeling of frustration, but it is a feeling of we have work to do, let's stay on task.
QUESTION: Chief, with all the ballistics evidence that you've gotten to date, have you been able to narrow it down what kind of weapon this is?
You started out, I think about a week ago, giving us -- the ATF gave us a printout of a bunch of different weapons it could be. My understanding is that you can pick up some evidence from fragments that might link it to a specific weapon.
Have you made any progress or narrowed down that list of what you gave us a week ago?
MOOSE: Ma'am, it would be inappropriate to talk about any of those details of the investigation.
QUESTION: Can I also ask you if yesterday's weather was a hindrance to you, in terms of getting helicopters up once the expressways were closed?
MOOSE: Ma'am, everyone involved in this investigation did everything that they could to the best of their ability yesterday. And we feel very confident in their performance.
QUESTION: With such an extensive highway system, when you look at where all of these shootings have occurred, it spans hundreds of miles. And with the gas stations obviously playing such a role, apparently with easy access to highways, is there anything you can tell us about, for public safety or to put people at ease, about what kind of coordinated effort might under way to throw numbers, to throw a quantity of law enforcers at what might be considered the hot zones so that people traveling through or others using the highway system right now aren't totally on edge about just stopping to fill up with gas?
Is there any coordinated effort between Virginia, Maryland, state police, anything like that where you can talk about throwing a lot of resources into giving people any kind of sense of security in that zone?
MOOSE: Sir, certainly where I understand the need for people to want to feel comfort, I also remind people that law enforcement community needs some ability to design and implement strategies to bring this case to closure. If we simply want to tell the world all about strategies and everything about the investigation, I have no knowledge that that helps us in bringing this matter to closure.
So, again, it is inappropriate for us to talk about any of our strategies to bring this person or these people into custody.
QUESTION: Chief, have the leaks hurt that sense of focus you're trying to engender in your task force? Have you instructed members of the task force that leaks are harming our ability to have faith and confidence in one another and to stay on task, as you put it?
MOOSE: Sir, there has not been anything to destroy the cohesiveness of the people that are working together, the investigators.
But I think that earlier or later this week, this past week, I think that was pretty clear what I felt about the potential of that. And we unfortunately did spend a few hours on that, and I tried to be very clear that we're going to set that aside and not let that disrupt us.
And I don't think there's anybody that's working on this investigation that hasn't experienced the hindrance of leaks in the past. So they all know that, and we'll continue to remain focused. We have not been thrown off track.
QUESTION: Chief, obviously the gunman is probably enjoying his own press. What do you have to say to him?
MOOSE: Ma'am, the message remains the same, "To think about what you're doing and turn yourself in to law enforcement."
The next briefing will be at 5:00 p.m. Thank you.
KAGAN: And we've been listening in to Montgomery County Police Chief Charlie Moose giving us the latest briefing.
Three important points to take away from this briefing: Number one, he confirmed exactly what we had just heard from the officials in Spotsylvania County, and that is in fact that this latest shooting that took place just over 24 hours ago in Fredericksburg, Virginia, is indeed linked. Ballistic tests shows that it is linked to the earlier sniper attacks.
Also, that there is a graphic that this police department plans to put out. We have learned, and they have confirmed, it shows some type of truck or vehicle. They say they're working with witnesses. They're not completely happy with what it looks like yet, but they do plan to put that out later today.
And finally, we learned the reward fund is growing quickly. It has now reached their goal of a half a million dollars, $500,000. And so, you heard Doug Duncan, the county executive here, announce that any other money that comes in for the reward fund, instead of going to that, will be passed on to families of the victims.
We heard the chief say the next briefing is at 5:00 p.m. Our special coverage continues throughout the day. You'll see that briefing as well as our reports every hour.
And then we want to bring your attention that at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, we're going to have a special for you called, "Sniper on the Loose: Search for a Killer." You will see all of it right here on CNN, the latest news at it becomes available.
So, Jeanne, as we toss it back to you, I know it's of great interest to you, since you've been covering the story most of the week, that there is indeed a link between this latest shooting in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and the other sniper shootings.
MESERVE: That's right, Daryn. Thanks.
And we're going to be talking a little bit more about what that FBI graphic could be and more, when SATURDAY EDITION continues. Stay with us .
MESERVE: And we now have what we've waiting for, the confirmation that the shooting yesterday in Fredericksburg, Virginia, was indeed linked to the other. We know they have the description of a vehicle. There are some witnesses who have apparently have seen some individuals.
And we also gleaned from that press conference that there is evidence besides ballistic evidence that authorities are looking at in this investigation.
WALLACE: Jeanne, it was interesting, our own Mike Oller (ph) is at that news conference, was asking about were there cameras around? Is there the possibility that someone has someone on videotape? What are your sources telling you about that?
MESERVE: Well, of course, anywhere you look in the Washington area, there are surveillance cameras. I'd almost be surprised if there were not surveillance cameras there.
There was a report this morning in one of the newspapers, The Washington Post, that one of the individuals questioned by police yesterday was shown a video image, a profile of an individual. I can't imagine where they would have gotten that if not from a surveillance camera.
Now, is it definitively related to these sniper shootings? That we don't know, but apparently they must have found something of some interest.
ROMANS: Let's talk about where these shootings have taken place. Walk us back through. Four now confirmed at gas stations. Obviously investigators are looking at where they happened and what kind of threads there are there.
MESERVE: The gas station link is a little bit easier to talk about than some of the others. It's a well-lit area. People are relatively stationary. Someone familiar with sharp shooting was telling us that if you're standing at a considerable distance, you can sort of set up your shot, and at a gas station, if the first person doesn't get in exactly the right position, wait for the next one. WALLACE: Right.
MESERVE: There's a steady stream of people going through there.
ARENA: And you're not moving. You're just sitting there filling up your...
ROMANS: What about that bullet, the .223 caliber? What is it usually used for? I mean, I've never heard of it.
MESERVE: High-powered hunting and military-style rifles is what they've said. And they have a considerable list...
ARENA: Hunters are very...
MESERVE: ... of possible weapons here.
ARENA: Well, hunters are very familiar with that. And this is why, I mean, there's been a lot of talk of calling this person a sniper, but I will tell you, at least in my neighborhood, there are a lot of hunters, and they say that from that distance they could get a good shot with that ammo and...
SNOW: We're talking about 100 yards or 100 feet?
ARENA: A hundred yards.
MESERVE: And someone from the ATF I spoke to indicated that it really doesn't take a highly trained marksman...
ARENA: Right, it doesn't.
MESERVE: ... to hit someone from that distance. This could be someone of moderate ability.
ARENA: And especially if you're scoping out a location, I mean, that they believe, investigators believe that he's scoping out locations, not necessarily people. So you're waiting for someone to come into your shot, and then you go. And that doesn't take a great deal of skill, at least according to federal investigators.
MESERVE: And we have a little bit of information from this briefing too about what this graphic is going to be. Apparently it is going to be of some sort of white vehicle.
Now it's unclear at this point whether it's going to be a van- type vehicle as has been described in the last few days or whether it might go back to the white box truck, which was seen at some of the earlier shootings. So that's going to be interesting to look for.
Clearly, it seems to me they've delayed the release of this because with each shooting they've gotten new descriptions. And they're incorporating all of that.
ARENA: And conflicting descriptions, too.
MESERVE: That's right.
ARENA: ... because this time it was an Astro van, and the last one and the first one it was one of those box trucks, you know, one of those shortened cab trucks.
MESERVE: And some of these reports have turned out to be wrong.
MESERVE: In Manassass, they saw a white panel van that was later discounted. There's sort of a feedback loop going on here potentially.
ARENA: And do you know how many white vans there are?
MESERVE: Exactly. And people, and people in the area may be looking specifically for white vehicles, because they've heard that's what investigators are looking for. Who knows, they may turn out to be a blue Chevy or something.
WALLACE: I can tell you what it reminds me of, and you know, from Brooklyn, Son of Sam, 1977. There was talk that Son of Sam could be riding around in a yellow Volkswagen.
Well, my friend's mom actually had a yellow Volkswagen. It was such a frightening time, because...
ARENA: Right, and killing brunettes at the time. I remember that distinctly.
Well, you know, obviously President Bush is focusing on this. He is now getting an update on the shooting as part of his daily FBI intelligence briefings.
In his weekly radio address though, he sort of shifts the focus from Iraq to the economy. Let's take a listen to the president now.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Good morning.
This week, both the House and the Senate passed strong bipartisan measures authorizing the use of force in Iraq if it becomes necessary. Our country and our Congress are now united in purpose. America is speaking with one voice: Iraq must disarm and comply with all existing U.N. resolutions, or it will be forced to comply.
Confronting Iraq is an urgent matter of national security. America's economic security, especially the creation of good jobs, is also an urgent matter, requiring presidential and congressional action. For that reason, I acted on Tuesday to reopen our Pacific Coast ports, which have been shut down for more than a week due to a labor dispute. The crisis in the western ports was costing our economy up to a billion dollars a day in lost business and lost jobs, hurting truckers and rail operators who transport goods across America, workers on assembly lines, cashiers in retail stores and manufacturers and farmers who sell across the world.
An auto plant in Fremont, California, was forced to shut down its assembly line for two days, keeping about 5,100 employees off the job after it ran out of parts. A company that manufacturers televisions and VCRs had to stop production and lay off 150 workers in Vancouver, Washington. Produce from America's farms was stuck on docks, unable to be sold overseas. Retailers across the country were worried about having enough merchandise for the holiday season.
The American people had been working hard to bring our economy back from recession. We simply cannot afford to have hundreds of billions of dollars a year in potential manufacturing and agricultural trade sitting idle.
The action I took this week will help keep our economy moving and allow labor and management more time to resolve their differences. I expect the port operators and worker representatives to bargain in good faith and reach a final agreement as quickly as possible.
Reopening the ports got people back to work. Another important step in putting America's hardhats back on the job is passing a terrorism insurance bill. Congress is close to a final agreement, and I look forward to signing this good piece of legislation if and when it gets to my desk. After September the 11th, many insurance companies stopped covering builders and real estate owners against the risk of terrorist attack. The lack of terrorism insurance has hurt the growth of this economy and cost American jobs. The lack of terrorism insurance has delayed or canceled more than $15 billion in real estate transactions. The $15 billion worth of delay has cost 300,000 jobs, jobs to carpenters and joiners, bricklayers, plumbers and other hardworking Americans.
This terrorism insurance legislation will cost us nothing if we experience no further attacks. Yet it will mean thousands of new jobs for America's hardhats and billions in new investment. And if we do face another attack, we'll be able to compensate victims quickly and limit the economic damage to America.
This week leaders of Congress put partisan differences aside to confront a grave danger to our country. Clearly, we are able to get things done in Washington when we focus on getting results rather than scoring political points.
For the good of the economy, for the good of the workers who need jobs, senators should again put politics aside and take one last step to reach a final agreement on terrorism insurance.
Congress is still in session next week. There's still time to reach an agreement. Our workers have waited a year. It's past time for Congress to finish the job.
Thank you for listening.
SNOW: President Bush's weekly radio address.
More on the economy, the Iraq debate, the political season heating up, plus the latest on the sniper hunt, in the second hour of this special CNN's SATURDAY EDITION. Stay with us.
MESERVE: Welcome back to our extended CNN STAURDAY EDITION where CNN journalists talk about the stories we covered this week. I'm Jeanne Meserve. The latest on the sniper investigation that has the capital region on guard.
SNOW: I'm Kate Snow. We'll talk about political ads. We'll talk about the campaign and the vote on Iraq in Congress.
ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. The mixed signal from the political front as both political parties chime in.
ARENA: I'm Kelli Arena. New concerns about al Qaeda attacks as U.S. officials try to evaluate new messages.
WALLACE: And I'm Kelly Wallace. The president and his national security team plot their next step about Iraq. We'll talk about all these stories. We'll continue to update you on the sniper investigation.
MESERVE: Ten people shot now, eight of them fatally. It's spraying the nerves of the public also, I must say of the police.
ROMANS: What are police and investigators saying in terms of advice to people who live here, people who are visiting here? There's a lot of talk about, you know, my children, you know, were concerned last night and I told them this. You know, hug your babies before you go to bed. But I mean what are you supposed to do when you're driving to work?
MESERVE: Well, they are recommending that people stay inside to a certain degree. They're also saying when you are outside don't stay in one position. Don't walk in a straight line, walk in a zigzag. So that sort of practical advice is in fact being offered, terrifyingly enough.
SNOW: One of my relatives was asking me, where is all of this because she didn't have a sense -- you know, I live in this area, and she wanted to know how safe we were. What is so crazy about this is these areas -- these shootings have been all over the map. I meant these aren't close -- these aren't -- you know he's not going from one corner to the next. He's going from here and then 40 miles away over to here.
MESERVE: And being effective in spreading the fear.
ARENA: I think that -- of course, you had, you know, all of Montgomery County, then Prince George's County with, you know, the state of high alert and then, he moved to Spotsylvania County.
ARENA: He's also hit in the district.
SNOW: But Spotsylvania County is -- look at the map there. It's down south of Washington. It's what, an hour's drive or so? I mean this is not...
MESERVE: Midway between Washington and Richmond.
WALLACE: I wanted to ask about the tarot card. Obviously, the police chief was outraged when that news was released, that there was a tarot card left behind. Was there a sense that investigators were hoping to develop some goodwill with the alleged assailant to try -- and I guess, the alleged suspect said, "Don't release this information." Was there some sense they were hoping to keep that under the wraps?
MESERVE: They were. They clearly were. There was additional writing on that card besides, you know, "Mr. Policeman, I am God," which advised the police to be quiet about the existence of the card and the message on it. They felt that that was perhaps a possible way to open up a channel of communication and felt that was -- no.
ARENA: Well, they're 99 percent sure, though, that the shooter did leave the tarot card. I mean they're working on that presumption. It was found near the shell, and they do believe that was it. And it looks like they do have some evidence or that -- although they didn't say it, but they alluded to other evidence that they were looking at from this latest shooting scene too. So whether or not we'll ever find out what that is...
MESERVE: Well, we will when it's solved. When and if. But they were slicing and dicing their words very carefully yesterday even in background conversations I was having. But the clear thing I came away with was that they've got something besides ballistics here.
WALLACE: And they're not giving us a psychological profile. But they are...
MESERVE: Yes, no.
ARENA: They have one. They have an...
MESERVE: And a geographical profile, too.
ARENA: And we've talked to lots of profiles who are not necessarily working on this case, but adjacent to and say, "Look, you can assume that it's somebody who's probably working alone. White male. Young white male. Late 20s, early 30s." They think that the reason they're working alone is because this is a hard secret to keep. You know it's hard enough to keep one person from talking, but two, you know, multiplies that -- the risk of word getting out. MESERVE: But profiling isn't a perfect science and so they don't want people to hear that profile information and then start calling in.
ARENA: They're already getting, what they said 40 tips a minute?
MESERVE: Well, they want them to call in, but they want people to be looking at a broad range of possibilities not focusing on a man of a certain age group.
ROMANS: What about the communication strategy of investigators and officials? We saw the Spotsylvania press conference first and then Montgomery County. I mean where is the central command for all this?
MESERVE: Well, it is in Montgomery County, but this is extraordinarily difficult to pull together, this kind of investigation, where you have so many different jurisdictions involved, plus, all the federal agencies and the state police from Maryland and Virginia. So they're trying to be careful, I think, in their choreography to give local officials their opportunity to speak to their communities, to give the big news -- yes, there's been a shooting and then afterwards, yes, there's been a confirmation. Then, everything shifts up to Montgomery County.
SNOW: And Daryn Kagan is out -- our colleague out in Montgomery County, this morning.
Daryn, I know you got there early today. Chief Moose not answering a lot of questions there this morning. Not that that surprises us, but I mean most of his answers were "That's evidence that I can't " -- "You know, I'm sorry I can't get into that." What's the sense there on the ground? Are they being more quiet than they have been?
KAGAN: Well, perhaps even Jeanne can talk about that because she's spent more day the out here than I have. But I can say it's pretty evident ever since -- well, you were mentioning about the tarot card that came out a few days ago and you saw his frustration. None too pleased about getting information out. And it has been a balancing act for the last 10 days. The police, if they had their way, would want everything contained, and then there's the need to know from the public, who -- people who are just trying to conduct their lives and make choices. Do you go to the market? Do you fill up with gas? Do you take your kids to school? They need and demand information and that part's our job.
MESERVE: Clearly, they are saying less than before and part of it's the fallout from the tarot card incident.
ARENA: And that's really amazing because you have such an extraordinary number of law enforcement agencies involved. Just from the federal level, you have -- we've heard about FBI, ATF, but the Secret Service is involved as well. MESERVE: The U.S. Marshall Service.
ARENA: Right. And they are -- they're providing extra eyes and ears, just to provide extra eyes and ears on certain locations to look. I mean they're trained to look and see anything that's out of the ordinary or suspicious. And so they are using, you know, several Secret Service agents around in those areas to see. Well, wait a minute I'm seeing something that maybe you're not.
MESERVE: You know a lot's been made about Chief Moose and his relationship with the media. I mean I'd say first of all, that's not the central issue. The central issue is whether they can solve this investigation, but he clearly is tired. He's exhausted. This is a guy who feels a lot of responsibility. These shootings are continuing, deaths are continuing, and he must to a certain degree feel that it's on his shoulders.
I also think to a certain degree he's exasperated with the media. People filter in and out of there all the time. The questions can be very repetitive. And I'm sure from his point of view; he could be spending his time better elsewhere.
SNOW: Daryn -- look behind Daryn. There's about, you know, dozens of people around you out there, right?
KAGAN: Yes, it's actually kind of thinned out a little bit. But I think one way that the frustration goes the other way -- we're finding out, of course, just within the last hour, that it is a link, the flash shooting. But we come to find out that ATF confirmed this at 8:30 p.m. last night and officials waited more than 13 hours to make that information public. I think on the media side and I think on the public's need to know, I think the frustration goes both ways.
MESERVE: Yes, but the police -- the -- Chief Moose was very explicit there, saying, "We had things we had to do investigatively over the last few hours. And so...
ARENA: And did the public -- I mean the public knew there was a shooting.
ARENA: The public knew that it was the same M.O. as, you know, the previous shooting. So...
SNOW: They shut down the beltway, the major artery around Washington yesterday morning, so it's clearly, something, you know...
ROMANS: Daryn, something about officials being exasperated and exhausted. What happens next today? We know the next press conference is at 5:00, but during the day are you expecting to learn anything more?
KAGAN: For right now, we've -- for here in Montgomery County, we know the next news conference, as you mentioned, is at 5:00 p.m. Of course, we heard earlier from Spotsylvania County -- have not heard from any other law enforcement agencies that they'll be coming out.
As Jeanne knows, this has kind of been command central for where the information is coming out. And Chief Moose's last comment was, "The next briefing is at 5:00 p.m. Eastern."
WALLACE: And one thing, I think, for all of us being here in Washington, the big picture -- I mean you have September 11, attack on the Pentagon. Then you had the anthrax attacks on Capitol Hill, which you covered firsthand...
ROMANS: About a year ago right now, right?
WALLACE: ... at the same time. And now, again, we're now putting terrorism in the sense of those two, but it really has taken a toll on the community. And I wonder how much the, you know, frustration you're seeing on some of these officials. They've been working, you know, many of them -- and so, it's a federal effort...
ARENA: Well, you heard them say that they are -- you heard them say that they are -- they're just shorthanded. They have their own regular crimes to deal with, plus they've all been stretched on the terrorism front. Now they're stretched on this front and that's even with the extra federal help that they're getting. So this is -- this is a -- this is a law enforcement community, at least here in this area, that has been dealing with an unbelievable stress level and restraint in resources for a very long time.
MESERVE: Although there seem to be slightly conflicting statements coming from officials. On the one hand they say, you know, this is a little difficult. But then at other briefings, we've been told, "We have adequate resources" and you have state and federal officials in various positions saying you'll get whatever you want. So...
MESERVE: ... a double edge thing there.
ARENA: Well, from the frightening story of the sniper to the ongoing war on terror. And at home and overseas, this week, the feds gave a fresh warning to be on guard for additional attacks. We'll talk about that when CNN SATURDAY EDITION comes back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARI FLEISCHER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The possibility is still, unfortunately with us that there are terrorists, al Qaeda terrorists, who are seeking to regroup, still want to bring harm to the United States and to our interests abroad. So it is a source of concern and that's why the FBI acted.
(END VIDEO CLIP) ARENA: That was White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer talking about the FBI warning this week of possible terror attacks. Welcome back to CNN SATURDAY EDITION.
A new audiotape from Osama bin Laden's lieutenant may -- that's may -- be a signal that a new terror attack has been approved and further, could be an effort to persuade al Qaeda sympathizers to act.
MESERVE: Kelli, given those developments, why didn't they upgrade the threat alert level?
ARENA: They say it's because they just don't have anything specific and credible. We've heard those terms before. But there was no timing, no location, no nothing, just a general sense that this could have been -- could have been a signal.
Now, just to get back to what was on this tape, this is from Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is considered to be al Qaeda's top planner and strategist, number two, to Osama bin Laden. And an audiotape was released that investigators do believe was made pretty recently, around July, they think, because of some dated references that were on the tape that he couldn't have talked about beforehand. So recent audiotape and not a videotape because we've seen videotapes...
ARENA: See, this is -- there's lots of -- lots of theories going on. A, was that because they're worried that if they do a videotape, that they may be found and compromised? Is it because maybe he's not in good health or he was wounded, on his last legs and, you know, ready to kill whoever? Who knows. But the information is out there. It follows another audiotape from -- with Osama bin Laden's voice on it. When that was made, though, we don't know. But they both say, attacks on the United States, U.S. interests, U.S. allies, and the U.S. economy.
WALLACE: How much are your sources saying, you know, how concerned are they...
WALLACE: ... number one and number two, how much do they think this is a sense that al Qaeda is really intact and their structure in place?
ARENA: Obviously, there's still some structure in place. But you do have a lot of the terror cells that have dispersed, obviously, since the action in Afghanistan. They have dispersed around the globe. Investigators would say here, as well in the United States. You don't necessarily need to hear from the al Qaeda leadership to act because they do have a fatwah that was issued in 1998 that said, go kill Americans. Do what you can to harm the enemy. And so, they have that OK, that green light to act when they see an opportunity.
However, they do believe that there is enough of the al Qaeda leadership left intact. Whether Osama bin Laden is alive or dead is another issue. But you have Zawahiri, you still have Khalid Sheik Mohammed out there somewhere. Who knows where, that are available to get in touch with, arrange financing for, get messages to their troops that are out there around the world, and get something going.
MESERVE: And then this week you have the attacks on U.S. forces in Kuwait. You also had a link made to terrorism with the attack on the French tanker last weekend.
MESERVE: It's got to be heightening their concern even...
ARENA: Right, and all of those recent issues -- those recent events, smaller attacks we saw -- and that is something that investigators point to. They said, perhaps we won't see the large September 11 type attack pulled off, but you may continue to see some of these smaller, isolated incidents where there's a vulnerability, where terrorists sense an opportunity and where they can act with few people and little resources.
SNOW: How does all of this link in with what the FBI's doing domestically? We had -- lately, they have been all these arrests involving potential cells, out in Portland, Oregon, Buffalo, New York. How does it all link?
ARENA: Investigators will tell you that what they're doing is they're rounding up anyone who poses a legitimate threat. And in a lot of these situations, it's the people -- at least here in the United States, they're not charged with an actual act of terrorism or preparing a specific act of terrorism, but rather, providing support and resources to terrorist organization.
But critics will point out, well, wait a minute. One of those people that was arrested in New York, for example, Buster, New York, was actually let go on bond because the judge said, "Wait a minute, you don't have enough information to prove this guy poses...
ARENA: Right. So you have critics who say, "Well, this is a little bit too aggressive and they're really reaching and these cases are thin." But investigators, saying, "You know what, if you want us to act preemptively before a strike occurs, well, this is what you get."
MESERVE: But it's small fries.
ARENA: Well, little fish, right. But, you know what ask before September 11, those 19 hijackers would have been called small fish, too.
WALLACE: Wondering, because you say your sources are very concerned. Are you picking up any concern from your sources about the administration's focus on Iraq and sort of making the case for any potential military attack on Iraq, that that -- are they concerned that that's taking any attention away from the worldwide fight against al Qaeda?
ARENA: Yes, it is. They are. And you saw the -- and you saw that the CIA sent a letter to the intelligence committees that were investigating the September 11 attacks saying, you know what? We could see an action from Saddam, you know, a terrorist attack. But also, there's a real concern about...
MESERVE: But why does that take a CIA report? That's sort of a duh kind of thing!
SNOW: You know, the way that letter was read on Capitol Hill, you would kind of interpret it two different ways. But the way it was read by opponents of the resolution authorizing the president to go at Iraq was that this is George Tenet saying that they're not likely to do anything, unless the U.S. goes first. You know what I mean? He was essentially saying the -- he was citing an intelligence official who gave a closed-door briefing on Capitol Hill, who said that the probability, at least in the foreseeable future, low that Saddam Hussein would go ahead and launch some weapons of mass destruction attacks without first being...
ARENA: Unless -- without being pinned against the wall.
SNOW: Right, without being pinned against the wall.
ARENA: Since this is my last opportunity, let's go now. You know, that was sort of the gist of it. But, still, with or without -- you take out -- take out Iraq, you still have forces that you need. And Afghanistan, according to every U.S. official, is a breeding ground for terrorists and remains so. I mean just because we -- you know the U.S. troops went in there and did what they, you still need a military presence there to help rebuild.
You have the situation obviously, if you go in to Iraq that -- that the concern is well, now we take even more energy, put it there. We're already strapped now in trying to deal with this whole -- because this terrorism fight is not only, you know, law enforcement and intelligence, but it has to include, according to officials, a broad approach, which would include the administration and the military and a whole national approach and not just have this on the shoulders of law enforcement and intelligence, because that's impossible.
ROMANS: All right, Kelli. As if the world of terrorism isn't scary enough. What about the U.S. economy? From stocks to docks, from the wild gyrations on Wall Street to the dispute that closed major West Coast ports, until Washington intervened. We'll have more when CNN SATURDAY EDITION continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BUSH: Americans are working hard every day to bring our economy back from recession. This nation simply cannot afford to have hundreds of billions of dollars a year and potential manufacturing and agriculture trade sitting idle. We can't afford it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMANS: President Bush making a rare acknowledgement that the U.S. economy is struggling. He had just flexed some federal government muscle and forced (UNINTELLIGIBLE) back to work in the west.
We're back with CNN SATURDAY EDITION. And the markets plumped up from five-year lows in the middle week. That was good news, right? But we've seen these gyrations before, and at least in terms of the docks, and what happened this week, that was good news for the market. A billion dollars a day the economy was losing with those docks on the West Coast shut.
ARENA: Christine, wasn't there already a great deal of economic damage that was done just -- I mean I was reading reports about, you know, warehouses that were...
ROMANS: Absolutely. Absolutely. Ten billion dollars was the estimate of the damage done to this economy. To put that into context, some of the low-end estimates for a quick strike against Iraq is about 50 billion. This is a cooling off period. We got 80 more days, so if this rears its ugly head again -- there are some folks who are concerned that it could be a big cost to the U.S. economy.
Meanwhile, you got toys out on ships in the middle of the ocean.
ARENA: Right, so what does this mean for Christmas?
ROMANS: Right, t-shirts, toys, GM auto parts. We've already plants closed down. So folks are very optimistic that this is resolved, but it doesn't mean by any stretch of the imagination the economy is moving along here.
WALLACE: As you know, President Bush was reluctant to get involved. He was hoping the two sides could resolve their differences and he would not have to step in. He did. Is there a sense from the people you talked to you he got in too late?
ROMANS: Well, some people would say that. Although one source of mine told me that this was a tailor-made crisis for him, to flex his economic muscle and sort of say, "Hey listen, no, I am really paying attention to the economy and I have saved this economy billions of dollars by this move." His opponents of course would say that he did wait too long and already, there was already $10 billion of damage to the U.S. economy.
MESERVE: Hey, the stock market! It went up a little bit.
ROMANS: It did, but it had to hit five year lows early in the...
ROMANS: I know. It was terrible. I tell you, it's like a death march when I go in and do these reports early in the week. Then, later in the week, we had to two triple digit rallies. That was...
MESERVE: How excited should we be about that?
ROMANS: That was to tell us it's getting better, to tell us it's getting better.
ROMANS: We still have the Dow down 26 percent from its...
ARENA: Have we -- are we near bottom? Are they are saying...
ARENA: ... are they giving us the bottom? Is 5000 -- what's...
ROMANS: Experts have called about 10 bottoms so far and you know, as far as I know, there's usually just one.
MESERVE: It keeps sinking.
ROMANS: Right. So it has been difficult. We're going to be getting our mutual fund statements in the mail. I already got mine, everyone. Terrible.
SNOW: Which by the way, Tom Daschle, the Senate majority leader, was very quick to point out yesterday -- he actually made an analogy between last year, we were worried about opening our mail because of anthrax. This year, we're worried about opening our mail because it's the fourth quarter 401k statement that's looming there. You were telling me that the stock market didn't like that comment very much.
ROMANS: That was not well received. And the folks who trade on Wall Street and people who are in the investment business did not like to hear, first of all, a Democrat weighing in on the economy and equating it with anthrax because, you know, people are upset by what's happened in the economy and they're upset by the, you know, declines in the stock market and they see -- also, there's one guy on Wall Street who always tells me, if the stock market were a registered voter, it would be a card-carrying Republican. So you know to see the Democrats as being the people who are stepping in and making a stand on the economy...
SNOW: But they're trying -- but they're trying -- I mean yesterday, we had the Iraq vote. The Senate didn't vote until 1:00 a.m. in the morning, Friday morning, right? And then seven hours later, they're back. They've gone home. They've showered. The Democrats come back and they hold an economic forum most of yesterday morning to try and -- desperately trying to shift the focus, get the focus on the economy. The Democrats think they've got a huge winning issue.
MESERVE: But who's on the front page this morning?
SNOW: That's true.
WALLACE: There's the point. And also, you know, how they invited all of President Bush's top economic advisers and how Tom Daschle said, "You know, you're calling for regime change in Iraq. I think you should have regime change when it comes to your economic team." And of course, I could tell you, the White House called it all a publicity stunt and they did say, "This is the strategy of the administration. Look, Democrats could do more on the economy." You heard President Bush in his radio address. The Democratic-led Senate is standing in the way of bills that could boost the economy.
MESERVE: Some of those...
ARENA: ... a little faster in Congress, right, Alan Greenspan? OK, what's the thought in -- does he lower?
ROMANS: Well, interest rates are already quite low, at 40-year lows. You've got 44-year lows for the 10-year note. You've got the fed funds target very low. Right now people think that there will not be another move in interest rates because they're going to, you know, use up all of their ammunition. But you've got to watch what happens over the next few months. Heating oil prices for all of us here are going to go higher this winter. The average estimate is up $100 to $300 per household.
MESERVE: And is that Iraq?
ROMANS: But that is higher oil prices and that is also -- it's going to be a colder winter. Last year was a mild winter. So that's something that's going to...
SNOW: Does that depend on what kind of heat you use?
ROMANS: It does and that's where the 100 to 300 comes in. But it's going to be a higher output for the American families. That's a problem. The Christmas season is expected to be horrible. September was terrible for retailers. It's expected that the momentum is going to continue.
ARENA: Well, everybody that I talked to is cutting back.
ROMANS: Well, obviously...
SNOW: And that's not good for the economy.
ROMANS: It was empty. It was empty. There were five people in a major department store.
SNOW: I mean I just bought a car and I know lot of people did because of that -- because of all of those -- right, all those deals.
ROMANS: So that means the car companies aren't making money off you, you know, and there's...
MESERVE: A lot of us have got foreign cars.
ARENA: They're still making a little bit of money.
ROMANS: They're making a little bit of money. They're making a little bit of money. But I have to tell you it'll be interesting to watch what happens at Christmas and how the sales are. The sales now have been -- retail sales have been disappointing.
ARENA: But they said this last year too, Christine.
ARENA: They said that they didn't expect the sales to be up because of terrorism attacks and there was a comeback. And all of a sudden, bingo, last two weeks everyone ran in and bought.
ROMANS: This is true. But now, the sales now are up very slightly over a terrible year a year ago. This will be good for American consumers all over the place because after Christmas and maybe the two weeks before, there'll be lots of different sales. But you know sale priced merchandise does not drive the economy.
MESERVE: Well, they have to be expecting this. I mean they didn't expect consumer corporate confidence and spending to stay high indefinitely in the face of stock statements and...
ARENA: Well, why not? Investors expected stock prices to stay higher! I know I did!
WALLACE: Well, I know. Christine, I'm wondering what your sources on Capitol Hill are saying? I mean do they really think -- we're all talking about the economy -- do they think the voters are going to go to the polls and say economy...
SNOW: Democrats do. The Democrats certainly do. And they -- I mean they think that it's being completely ignored by the White House, is what they'll say. This is what -- the point they were trying to make yesterday with this forum is that President Bush is ignoring the economy. And so they think they've got a lot of traction.
You know, everything -- they're lumping everything together, from the failing stock market to 401(k)s to unemployment. They say unemployment insurance has to be extended. They're talking about the social security. And you know they're linking in President Bush's plans to, as they call it, "privatize social security," which the president won't call it. So there's a whole range of issues that Democrats think that they can get traction on.
Well, we're going to talk a little bit more about Democrats. From the politics of the economy to the politics of war, Congress, of course, giving President Bush this week a victory by overwhelmingly endorsing his Iraq policy. We'll talk about that in just a moment.
REP. JOSE SERRANO (D), NEW YORK: The ability to fabricate an issue, to create a crisis that doesn't exist and to shove it down the throat of a lot of people, running against the best wishes and the will of the American people is totaling amazement.
REP. TOM DELAY (R-TX), MAJORITY WHIP: Put faith and freedom and raise your voices and send this message to the world -- the forces of freedom are on the march and terrorists will find no safe harbor in this world.
BUSH: It was spirited, civil, and it was informed. This is a debate and the decision that all Americans could be proud of.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SNOW: President Bush praising the debate, claiming victory when the House and the Senate gave him a green light for his Iraq policy. Welcome back to CNN SATURDAY EDITION.
It was political drama, but also, very much a foregone conclusion that the president would get the endorsement that he wanted, that he would get this big vote overwhelming bipartisan, the vote in the House and the Senate for the resolution authorizing him to use force in Iraq if it comes to that.
Foregone conclusion doesn't even do it justice. I mean this we knew weeks ago where most members were going to fall not to say that there weren't some fence sitters. There were. But if you watched -- if you went out on the floor or in the gallery and looked out at the floor of the House, most times in its debate, which went on about three days in the House -- there would be a handful of members on the floor. There'd be one person talking to the CSPAN camera, knowing that folks at home are going to watch that and want to hear their speech. Everyone was signing up to do their five minutes on the floor, so they could get their message out, but it was all very much preordained.
ARENA: Wasn't there though a lot of deal making, obviously, behind the scenes, but several concessions that the White House made?
SNOW: Yes, there were, early on. And I mean the White House negotiated with the Congress to get the language -- you know, they did make changes. You're right. They did. Where they significant changes? It's debatable. They weren't -- the resolution does not say you have to go to the United Nations, Mr. President. It does not say you have to -- you know, you can't fight on your own unilaterally. It doesn't say that at all. In fact, it allows him to use unilateral force.
WALLACE: But then, something else was in there too -- sorry to jump in there, Christine -- that you know, in terms of dealing and trying to restore peace and security to the region. There was obviously some concern that that could be the president unilaterally going to other parts of the Middle East. They took that out. The White House saying all along no big deal.
SNOW: They didn't mean for it to apply to the region. They wanted it to apply only to Iraq. But there were concessions that Democrats wanted that they didn't get, as in going to the United Nations, making sure that the threat from Saddam Hussein is clearly delineated as a weapons of mass destruction threat. That's not -- that kind of language that they wanted is not in there.
WALLACE: I wonder how lawmakers are reading this because the White House is saying, "This shows we're all speaking with one voice. We're united in purpose. If Saddam Hussein does not comply, well, we can force him to comply." Are lawmakers, those -- even Democrats who voted for this, are they saying that that's the message they're sending to the world?
SNOW: You know the majority of lawmakers, OK, most of the Republicans, almost all of the Republicans and a majority of Democrats in the Senate, although not a majority in the House, are saying, "Yes, we're speaking with one voice." But if you look at the numbers, more than 120 Democrats in the House voted against this. That's a majority of the Democratic caucus in the House, of all the Democrats in the House. The majority of them went against the president. So there was a fairly significant number of lawmakers who are not -- who are not on board with this.
ARENA: So at the end of the day though, this hasn't seemed to persuade France or Russia or China on this issue.
ROMANS: Or the American people. I mean the polls still show people more concerned about the economy than Iraq, right?
WALLACE: Well, right. I mean if the White House (UNINTELLIGIBLE) say, "Well, it depends on which polls you look at," they're sort of discrediting a little bit in their eyes that "New York Times/CBS News" poll that said that. But no question, the big sell is to the American people, also to the U.N. allies -- France, China, Russia -- hoping the leverage from this vote can send a message to the world.
But I'm curious, Kate, too, because it seems like a lot of lawmakers said, "Hey, the reason I voted for this is not because I believe we should go to war. It's because I think this is the only way to prevent going to war," which is sort of an interesting thing. Aren't they trying to send a message, hoping the president now is forced to go more to the U.N.?
SNOW: There were some who liked that argument form the president that if he has this resolution, then maybe we get to avoid war because if he's got it in his pocket, then he's strong and he can go to the U.N. He can get a strong resolution there and thereby avoid war. There were definitely some who signed on to it at the last minute because of that.
On the other side, I was talking to some members who told me -- who were fighting for the opposition, who wanted to oppose this resolution, who told me that politics came into play in a way that is not surprising, but I want you to listen to something Lloyd Doggett said to me. He's a Democrat from Texas, form the Austin area, very much opposed to the resolution. He was leading the opposition. Listen to what he said about what other members were telling him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LLOYD DOGGETT (D), TEXAS: There were a number of my colleagues that would have joined me in opposing this resolution had we had not this eminent election. We don't have an eminent threat from Saddam Hussein. We do have an eminent election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SNOW: On camera acknowledging that it's the eminent election. The election's about three-and-a-half weeks -- three weeks away now, and there were -- I mean I don't mean imply that every member was thinking election year politics because certainly, that's not the case. There are a lot of members who have deep convictions. There were people crying on the House floor, for Pete's sake. But there were some who felt they couldn't go back to their district and say, "I voted against the president. They would lose their seat."
MESERVE: You know the public piece of this is really curious to me because I actually am old enough to remember Vietnam and the turmoil that caused. And the public debate, by and large on this, seems to be fairly muted.
SNOW: No protesters on the steps of the capitol. There were a couple thrown out of the gallery. There were two people arrested at one point. But you know, not a huge...
ROMANS: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) I think is interesting -- one, it doesn't expire, right? There were some who at the last minute wanted to put something in here where this thing would expire.
SNOW: Bob Byrd. Did you see Bob Byrd?
ROMANS: Yes. Second, it's interesting to me as well, the preemption debate. It wasn't a little bit louder. What kind of signal does that signal send to the rest of the world that the U.S. can have this -- I mean we've talked about this before? You translate this into Russia and the Chechnya and lots of different places.
WALLACE: Well, there's no question. A lot of critics of the administration say that this administration, by saying we can act with a preemptive strike against a country like Iraq because we believe it poses a grave and growing threat, that is something that the administration can do and now has sort of the Congressional backing...
ARENA: They're able to get it together on Iraq but not on homeland security before the elections. So how do you go home -- you know, how do you go home and tell your voters oh, OK, you're...
SNOW: They're not going home yet. They're coming back next week and the Senate, it is completely bogged down. This homeland security, creating a brand new department of -- Jeanne knows all about this -- department of homeland security.
MESERVE: Well, I used to, before snipers!
SNOW: It's very much bogged down. The issue still, this labor issue about how federal workers in this new department will be treated. The president adamant he wants flexibility, wants to be able to move people around, hire and fire. Democrats say that's just not -- it's a complete non-starter.
MESERVE: And real questions about what impact this is having on homeland security efforts. Is it stalling things in the water? Are people reluctant to really press forward with measures that would actually affect and improve our homeland security, because they don't know who their boss is going to be?
ARENA: Right, and we heard at least before the Senate intelligence -- well, Senate and House Intelligence Committees that were talking about 9/11. They said, "Well, how would you feel if you go home to your constituents without having done anything on homeland security and then having to be faced with another terrorist attack on U.S. soil?
SNOW: There are a lot of things that they want to do before they go home. One of them is, next week the House is going to take up some tax cuts, Christine, some interesting tax incentives. Why do you think that is? Because then they can go home and say, "We tried to help the economy?" House Republicans will do that. So it's going to be interesting to see how long the Congress sticks around. There are some issues that they -- certainly, including homeland security, they want to get to before they clear the slate and go and campaign for the election.
WALLACE: And we've been talking a lot about the Congress, obviously. We're going to focus the next segment on the president. He started and ending the week -- end of the week talking about what he calls "the grave and growing threat of Iraq." We'll talk about what the president and his national security team plan next when CNN SATURDAY EDITION continues.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: As Americans we want peace. We work and sacrifice for peace. But there can be no peace if our security depends on the will and whims of a ruthless and aggressive dictator. I'm not willing to stake one American life on trusting Saddam Hussein.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: President Bush speaking at the start of the week. Welcome back to CNN SATURDAY EDITION. For President Bush, the challenge now is how to build on his Congressional victory, how to push forward with building public and international support and to do all this in the final weeks of the Congressional campaigns.
Well, I can tell you two things. Number one, White House officials feeling very good about the victories in the Congress, believing that does give the administration leverage convincing France, Russia, China to sign on. They are cautiously -- they use the word "cautiously optimistic" in the not too distant future they will get a resolution, but it does look like the...
SNOW: A U.N. resolution.
WALLACE: A U.N. resolution. Thank you, right. A U.N. resolution. But it does looks like the administration is going to have to compromise a little bit. You're likely to have a resolution, which says Iraq must do all these things. Here's what it has to do. It will face consequences if it does not do these things, but it's likely not to include the words "military force."
ROMANS: This is the top presidential priority at this moment?
WALLACE: Top presidential priority. I mean, you have the votes in the Congress; the administration believing that gives the president kind of the moral, political backing. And it sends a message to the world that if the U.N., according to the administration, doesn't deal with Saddam Hussein, we'll let the U.S. -- and a new thing you've heard the president say over the past week or so -- the U.S. and a coalition of allies because the administration is saying, no no, no, we won't have to go it alone. We can have countries like Britain, Italy, Australia, other countries like Romania and Bulgaria saying you can use our air bases. So they're saying there's more support than people might realize.
MESERVE: But any sings of progress yet with the critical people here -- China, France, Russia?
WALLACE: The key is really the French. I mean they seem to be the toughest sell right now, and it looks like they want this two- stage resolution. And what looks like could happen is all parties can say they've won, that you could have this two-tier resolution, one saying what Saddam Hussein must do and he could face consequences and then, down the road, another resolution spelling out those consequences.
The administration would feel that it still has the backing, based on Congress, and this resolution, if Saddam Hussein does not comply for any military force, but again, a tough sale. They're not there yet.
SNOW: So France wants a two-stage thing. But after the first one is over, the administration might have the power to go after Saddam?
WALLACE: U.S. officials say they believe so. But, I mean, let's talk about on the world stage. How do you sell that? And obviously, you have a -- you're also trying to reach out to the Russians and you still have the Russians saying, OK, we will agree that we probably need a new resolution, but, again, they're not backing the U.S. proposal just yet.
SNOW: You were saying the U.S. needs allies not just going in, but for the aftermath, right? I mean because that was something that came out this week, the plans about what to do post Saddam Hussein. Kind of getting ahead of ourselves here, but if they wipe him out, then what? They need allies to help.
WALLACE: Absolutely. And a lot of the critics of the administration say this administration has not been doing enough thinking about a post Saddam Hussein Iraq.
MESERVE: They're getting a bit of a boost in all of this from Iraq, right? I mean, Iraq keeps needling over the terms of inspections -- is probably fueling the administration's international case.
WALLACE: Right, the latest is in a letter that appears after the meeting with Hans Blix, the chief of the U.N. Weapons Inspection Team, saying we still have to have some more consultations, kind of hedging on the agreements made in Vienna. And that just adds incentive to the administration or gives momentum and might even have countries like China and France and Russia say, you know what? Time's up. They need to deal with this country now.
ARENA: You know while all of this is going on very quietly, we see some troops moving into Kuwait, you know, to get established there for strategic planning, military planning, first, sort of, you know, non-vital deployment of U.S. troops. So to me, who -- you know, I don't cover -- it looks like a forgone conclusion that at some point we're going in.
WALLACE: Well, you know, and as we hear from Barbara Starr when -- she's on the panel all the time, I mean there is a little bit of a timetable the administrations faces, of course. But if there is some military action, it has to happen by March, the latest because for men and women to be wearing these chemical and biological protection suits, they won't be able to wear them as soon as the weather gets warmer in March.
So you are seeing all of these resources in place. The question is and I've heard people debate this. Could this be the ultimate bluff of really one of the best diplomatic offensives in the country, or ever seen? Is all of this threat of force moving all the resources to put the maximum pressure on Saddam Hussein, or is it truly a forgone conclusion of a war?
ROMANS: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) irrational, then, you know, his strategy is irrational. His behavior is irrational. The only thing he's interested in is preserving himself. It's sort of difficult to put on this big bluff and hope that he acts rationally, which is, you know, we're holding this hammer over your head. ARENA: Well, Kelly, what sense do you get that this is, perhaps personal for the president? I mean, he did -- he did, for that one point that I saw, slip -- well, it seemed like a little bit of a slip and maybe that's not the right word, but when he said, "You know after all, this is the man who tried to kill my father."
WALLACE: Right, it seemed a little bit of a slip because it was in Houston. That's where his parents now call home when they're not in Kennebunkport, Maine. The former president, his father, dealing with Saddam Hussein during the Persian Gulf War and he said, "After all, this is the man who wanted to kill my dad" in an assassination attempt during, I think, the former president's visit to Kuwait in 1993. You know White House officials so sensitive to that.
So much so that when the president came out in the Rose Garden and was talking about the agreement with the House leaders and Senator Warner, apparently, was talking about Mr. President, we got together for your dad, your father, we're going to come together for you. I'm told you could see Condoleezza Rice kind of putting her head -- the president's national security advisor -- in her hands. Not clear why, but they don't want the message to be, we're there for your dad. We're here for you, because they don't want to...
WALLACE: ... as any vendetta by the Bush family against Saddam Hussein.
SNOW: Because that's read -- I think you were telling me this, but that's read in the Arab world as there you go. It's all about Daddy; it's all about senior Bush.
ROMANS: Which brings me to the possible scenarios. Clearly, the White House has a list of 10 to 20 different things that could happen in the Middle East. You know none of them look like they would be good, any of the reactions to an invasion of Iraq. You know, is the Bush administration prepared for what's going to happen next, which, you know, several editorials writers have said the Middle East does crazy a lot better than the United States does crazy? Is the United States prepared for that?
WALLACE: That's clearly what they have to be talking about and they are. And that's why we saw some ideas floated out there about a post Saddam Hussein Iraq. Maybe even American military occupation of Iraq modeled after the occupation of Japan after World War II.
SNOW: That was downplayed yesterday, right?
WALLACE: Downplayed, although it appears possibly some short- term military rule. And again, it does -- one aide said, "Look, the more we're showing that we're talking about a post Saddam Hussein Iraq, the more we show our resolve." But the question is how do allies respond to anything that could seem like a U.S. occupation of that country?
SNOW: Up next on SATURDAY EDITION, we change subjects rather dramatically -- the gender wars. National nag, Andy Rooney, of "60 Minutes" fame slammed women sportscasters this week. We'll talk more about that when we come back.
WALLACE: An important source of information about the news of the day, the war and the terrorism investigation can be found online at CNN.com, AOL keyword, CNN.
Well, former President Jimmy Carter was named yesterday as the winner of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel committee used the occasion, though, to indirectly criticize the current U.S. administration, saying the president is -- quote -- "a situation marked by threats of the use of power."
Now, I can tell you in the White House briefing room yesterday, Ari Fleischer, the press secretary, was asked about this. The criticism coming from the chairman of the Nobel committee. It was somewhat interesting and a little out of the ordinary. He just dodged that one. He just said, "The president called the former President Jimmy Carter Friday morning, 7:00 a.m., wished him congratulations." He says this is all about Jimmy Carter and the work he has done. We are not jumping into that one.
ROMANS: The one thing that Jimmy Carter talked about how he graduated from the White House. He ended his stint at the White House, he said, at a relatively young man. And he had to think -- you know, I've got 25 more years. I can really do some good with this amazing prestige that I've been given as the former president of the United States. And he said that he spent the rest of that time building his legacy. Interesting that an American president gets his legacy well after he leaves the White House.
ARENA: Yes, but this seems to though underscore the fact that the international community at every chance it gets takes a shot at the United States over this situation in Iraq.
WALLACE: Well, it does appear that some part of this was the sort of growing European sentiment. You're seeing it on the streets. Anti-American, or anti-American sentiment when it comes to a possible unilateral attack on Iraq. So it has happened before. In previous awards, there have been political circumstances. But it did seem possibly fueled by that sentiment, that this president, people believe, is going it alone.
MESERVE: Hey, let's not forget, it is a peace prize!
SNOW: Yes. I have to say no matter...
WALLACE: Very good point, Jeanne, say no more.
SNOW: ... no matter what you think about Jimmy Carter's politics -- politics aside, I interviewed him in Cuba last spring, when he was down there trying to make friends with Fidel Castro, which some people criticized. He is a class act. I mean I have never interviewed someone who I felt more comfortable with. He's so gracious, just a wonderful human being.
We're going to switch subjects. Did CBS "60 Minutes" commentator, Andy Rooney, step out of bounds when he criticized women doing sideline commentary at football games?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDY ROONEY, "60 MINUTES" COMMENTATOR: The only thing that really bugs me about television's coverage is those damn women they have down on the sidelines who don't know what the hell they're talking about. I mean I'm not a sexist person, but a woman has no business being down there trying to make some comment about a football game.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SNOW: I'm not really sure he wanted to take on this group right here.
WALLACE: All I can say, it's 2002! Hello! Women are -- I can't believe it, really. It's like look, if he can criticize a man or woman, if they're not doing a fair job. But there are enough people, Hannah Storm, Lesley Visser, enough people...
MESERVE: Lesley Visser's not on the air any more, is she?
WALLACE: Who is that?
MESERVE: Lesley Visser.
WALLACE: I believe she is.
ARENA: Do we really take him seriously?
ROMANS: He's a curmudgeon.
ARENA: I mean he hates everybody. He hates everybody. And so, he came out there and he said -- I mean...
WALLACE: Are we just too sensitive, Kelli?
ARENA: I don't know. I don't know.
MESERVE: But there's another aspect to this, too. I mean, we're all in television and we know how that you look has something to do with it, and, of course, they put attractive women on the sidelines. It's part and parcel of the Dallas cheerleaders and everything else. They may know what they're talking about, but appearance has something to do with it.
ROMANS: He said women on the sidelines of a football game. And so I can sort of see that he is a curmudgeon as well. We all know this. But my mom always told me, if you have to start a sentence saying, I'm not sexist but -- don't say -- just don't say whatever it is you're going say after that because you're probably going to be perceived as a sexist.
SNOW: You know I don't know anything -- I don't know the first thing about football. But there are women who do! I mean there's -- these women are trained for these jobs. I mean they've got the background to be there. I don't understand how he could even argue.
ROMANS: And I don't even like the sideline reporting ever because it's distracting. And it's a quick question, and you know -- so male or female, it doesn't really appeal to me.
MESERVE: And I'm like you Kate, I don't know a lot about football, but my husband who does pointed out to me last night that women are doing the analysis. They're doing the sideline stuff. And is that a reflection that there's a glass ceiling in sports broadcasting, too? Or does it indicate that the kind of knowledge they have is different than a John Madden or whoever may be in the booth? I don't know the answer.
ARENA: You know I'm not his father or his mother.
ROMANS: I mean I could really relate that to me, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. I mean do they want to see a woman talking about stocks, you know, which is the...
MESERVE: And the old debate about women in throw weight. Women shouldn't be talking about nuclear arms accords because -- remember that debate? Remember that debate?
ROMANS: That debate was lost by the...
SNOW: It's got to be generational thing too, though. I mean I'm sure if we talked to my grandfather who watches football, he might have the same -- I don't know. He may have different views than me.
SNOW: We're going to say thanks to my CNN colleagues and thanks to all of you for watching this morning. Up next, the latest on the search for the sniper around the D.C. area and a check on other stories making headlines.
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