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America's New War

Aired September 21, 2001 - 17:28   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Truly a brutal week on Wall Street. Steep losses again today. The Dow down 140 points, the Nasdaq off 47. And for the Dow, the worst ever one-week point loss, bringing its slide for the week to more than 1300 points. It was a wild ride. Christine Romans at the Stock Exchange tonight. And Christine, I saw a report where 21 economists were polled today, 18 of whom think the U.S. right now is in a recession. Is that the sentiment you gather down there on Wall Street?

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's absolutely the sentiment you get here on Wall Street, Bill. And that is why the market is having so much trouble, here. Traders and analysts say stock prices have to move lower if you're going to factor in a new reality. And that reality is major U.S. companies coming out and warning for their third quarter, saying they're not quite sure what the impact of last week's disaster is going to be longer term, saying they're not quite sure when things are going to turn up. So Wall Street is starting to expect the worst, and that is a recession here in the near term, overall.

The Dow losing 1300 points. We have never seen this average lose so much ground in just one week on a point basis. Percentage wise, it wasn't quite so bad. It was the worst percentage drop in perhaps 60 years or so, but that's all relative.

Folks here looking at big names like United Technology is down 35 percent this week. Honeywell down 32 percent just this week. Boeing. It makes airplanes. Airlines are in trouble. Boeing down 31 percent this week and Eastman Kodak down about 28 percent this week. It was pretty widespread. There were a lot of different segments of the economy that were warning about what their bottom lines are going to look like going forward. And there were a lot of stocks that really got hammered here, Bill.

HEMMER: And we haven't mentioned the Nasdaq at 1423, a staggering week. Christine, thank you. We'll see you again on Monday, all right?

ROMANS: OK.

HEMMER: OK, to Joie in Atlanta.

JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: Bill, back on the issue of military deployments. Over the past few days, and perhaps maybe over much more over the coming weeks, we've been hearing a lot about U.S. carrier battle groups being deployed, what exactly is a carrier battle group?

Joining us to explain, CNN's Miles O'Brien. You can depict this for us, Miles.

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Let me explain it for you. Let's take a look at the Arabian Sea, for example. We're not telling you specifically where carrier battle groups are located. We know that there are three at least, in the region, or on their way to the region: the Carl Vinson, the Enterprise, and the Roosevelt, which left the Virginia coastline not too long ago.

Let's take a look at what a carrier battle group is all about. At the center of it, surprise, an aircraft carrier more than a 1,000 feet, $4.5 billion dollar price tag, 85 aircraft on its deck, and a deck that is 4 1/2 acres. 50 of those aircraft are considered attack aircraft.

The rest are used in to either refuel or defend the carrier itself. The crew is 5600. This is a floating city. And if you can imagine, something as big as this, more than 1,000 feet traveling in excess of 35 miles an hour, that's what an aircraft carrier can do.

Now there's an awful lot of ships around it, supply ships and defensive ships as well as offensive ships. Now let's go take a look at the second-largest ship in a carrier battle group.

Cruisers, there are two cruisers in the Vinson group. They are the Antiedem and the Princeton. They are equipped with the Aegis radar system, which is the most advanced in the naval fleet.

Four helicopters on board, a crew of 360. And perhaps most significantly for this discussion when we're talking about this rather unconventional war we've been talking about, Tomahawk Cruise missiles, which are very precise and can travel up to 700 miles, pinpoint accuracy on targets.

In addition to the cruisers, the next ship in the fleet which is important is the destroyer. This is smaller than a cruiser, and is designed primarily to defend the aircraft carrier battle group.

The U.S.S. Cole, by the way, was a destroyer, is a destroyer. It was damaged, as you recall in Yemen, allegedly by groups affiliated with Osama Bin Laden. Once again, more Tomahawk missiles on there, a crew of 320. Torpedoes and canons can be used in an offensive posture as well, with those Tomahawk missiles.

And finally, the other significant class of ship involved are the ones under water. Two nuclear submarines, Los Angeles class subs and the case of the Vinson battle group, the U.S.S. Key West the U.S.S. Olympia, and on board those submarines, yet again more Tomahawk missiles, a crew of 130.

Now multiply all of this times three, which is ultimately what you'll get in this general vicinity, once all these carrier battle groups are on site. And there is a tremendous amount of firepower, a lot of options for military planners is they try to pull this all together.

CHEN: All right, Miles O'Brien, thanks very much for that insight on the carrier battle group. Appreciate that. Take a break here. More of our continuing coverage after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HEMMER: Welcome back. Here in New York City, I'm Bill Hemmer.

Let's take a look now at the latest developments in America's new war tonight. Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia says it will not hand over Osama Bin Laden, the prime suspect in last week's terror attacks without proof of his guilt.

That statement coming in response to President Bush's demand last night during his address in front of the nation and Congress that the Taliban turn over Bin Laden immediately.

Mr. Bush, meanwhile, left the White House about an hour ago for Camp David. This after meeting with insurance executives about the industry's problems, following last Tuesday's attacks.

The nation's top law enforcement officials Attorney General Ashcroft and FBI director Robert Mueller toured the wreckage of the World Trade Center today. Ashcroft vowed that the area lower Manhattan destroyed by the terror attacks of 10 days ago would indeed be rebuilt. At last word, the number of missing and presumed dead in the World Trade Center, stands at more than 6,300.

Also Wall Street suffering its fourth big drop in five days, giving the Dow Jones Industrials its biggest one week point decline ever, the Dow down 140 today, losing almost 1400 points for the week. The broader markets also lower again today.

CHEN: Across Pakistan today, thousands of people rallied denouncing the United States and cheering suspected terror mastermind Osama Bin Laden. They shouted, "Long live Osama" and burned effigies of President Bush, protesting their government support of U.S. the campaign against terrorism. Three people died during the demonstrations. As we mentioned, Afghanistan's ruling Taliban said they will not hand over Bin Laden to the United States.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SOHAIL SHAHEEN, TALIBAN EMBASSY SPOKESMAN: Our position in this regard is that if America have evidence and proof, they should produce it. And we are ready for the trial of Osama Bin Laden, in the light of evidence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please answer the question. Are you willing to hand Osama Bin Laden to the United States or not?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no.

SHAHEEN: Without evidence, no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHEN: There are many people in Afghanistan apparently preparing for possibility of a U.S. military strike.

CNN's Nic Robertson was the last Western journalist to leave the Taliban controlled country. He was asked to leave two days ago. He traveled from Kandahar across the border to Quetta in Pakistan. And that is where he is at this hour with the latest details on the situation.

Nic, I understand that you were witness to some of the demonstrations in Pakistan today? Can you fill us in a little bit more detail on that?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Joie, those demonstrations, analysts say, were perhaps, less in terms of volume, than President Musharraf might have feared. Here in Quetta, there were about 3,000 men out on the streets. It was a sit-down protest, burning effigies of President Bush.

To the south of here, Karachi, the port city about 10,000 people on the streets. To the east of here, Lahore, perhaps about 12,000 north of here, Pashawa (ph) about 10,000. And General Pervez Musharaff has been having a long running battle with Islamic clerics over the last couple of years.

And it's these Islamic clerics in Pakistan that called the demonstrations and called for those strikes on Friday, the holy day here in Pakistan. So President Musharraf, perhaps breathing a slight of sigh of relief also likely, glad to hear international diplomats reporting that there may be some debt relief in the pipeline for Pakistan.

Pakistan has a $40 billion international debt outstanding of this time. And international diplomats indicating there may be some relief on that, that to help Pakistan through this difficult time.

Also Pakistan, may along with India, have some of the sanctions imposed on it in 1998 for testing nuclear missiles, may have some of those sanctions removed. So for President Musharraf at this time, perhaps a better day.

However, should there be attacks on Afghanistan, likely that might anger these clerics more and drive them to try and build up support for them against President Musharraf's support for the United States. And that may in fact, lead to more demonstrations on the streets.

It should also be noted that there are a lot of people in Pakistan that do support President Musharraf, particularly the middle classes, particularly the population living in the east of Pakistan. They would be much more supportive of President Musharraf.

CHEN: And Nic, of course, the President is a general himself. What about the military? That is support full and stable behind the president? ROBERTSON: There are no indications at this time that they wouldn't be. The military, of course, part of Pakistan's legacy of involvement with the Taliban and very much a part of the necessary apparatus to bring pressure on the Taliban noted when Pakistan was asked deliver a message to Taliban earlier in this week, it was an intelligence chief from the defense forces that went to Afghanistan to deliver the message that Taliban leadership. So there's every indication at this time that the military is on board with President Musharraf.

He is the chairman of the defense council. And the core commanders that he meets with on a regular basis have generally given him support on a broad range of issues. In particular, one will remember in July when went to negotiate with India, went to talk with India on the issue of Kashmir and other issues, that he had the support of the core commanders then.

So General Musharraf still very much respected by the generals from whose ranks he rose to become president in a bloodless coup two years ago.

CHEN: Nic, talk a little bit about your own experience. I read earlier in the day that there in Quetta, Pakistan, that many of the journalists, western journalists, are being advised to stay in for your safety. As well, you have the experience of coming across the border from Afghanistan. Can you talk to us some about your personal experience?

ROBERTSON: Well, certainly today, security was stepped up at this hotel. There are wrought iron gates across the entrance of the hotel. They've been closed all day. We had to seek special written permission from the local Pakistani authorities to be allowed out on the streets.

This of course a day when they feared the demonstrations and they feared putting foreigners in harm's way. The roads to the border with Afghanistan, some 80 miles away, there are 20 military checkpoints on that road.

When we traveled in two nights ago, we were stopped at almost every checkpoint. And we did have an armed police escort with us through the whole journey, despite that armed escort. Army officers wanting to search our vehicle and check out documents and papers.

They are on high alert for, not only refugees coming across the border, but also for possibility of any Taliban wanting to move in this direction to get out of Afghanistan. The Pakistani authorities in this area have had a long running dispute with Afghans in many of the refugee camps that sprang up here during Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

We were on tour here with an Afghan -- with a Pakistan army officer a few years ago, over flying some of the border regions. And he was pointing out to us some of the refugee camps there and saying this is a region and these are areas where we've long had problems, he told us -- Joie. CHEN: Extraordinary reporting from CNN's Nic Robertson now in Quetta in Pakistan. Thank you very much for taking our questions today, Nic --Bill.

HEMMER: Joie, up close and very, very personal at ground zero at New York's Governor George Pataki when we continue from New York, after this break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HEMMER: We were afforded an opportunity today here in lower Manhattan to understand truly the immense devastation at the World Trade Center south of here in lower Manhattan as you can see over my left shoulder.

New York's governor George Pataki took our small group through earlier today. And I can tell you the site down there is devastating. And it's also mesmerizing. Here's the governor from a few hours ago.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

GOV. GEORGE PATAKI, NEW YORK: It's like a scene out of a horror movie. You know, after the nuclear bombs have struck, but it's not a movie.

HEMMER: Can you point out, what is what in this maze of rubble and destruction?

PATAKI: This was the south tower. This was 104, 106 stories tall. My office used to be in this building. Up there was the north tower.

HEMMER: What happened to the concrete?

PATAKI: Concrete was pulverized. And I was down here Tuesday. And it was like you were on a foreign planet. All of lower Manhattan, not just this site from river to river, there was dust powder two, three inches thick.

HEMMER: The buildings have been marked, 2 WFC, 2 World Financial Center.

PATAKI: Right.

HEMMER: Almost as if the workers down here need the indications, too, to find out what is what.

PATAKI: Now the last time I saw buildings marked like that, I was in Kosovo. And there, people just would spray paint the side of their buildings with their name that it was their house. And you don't expect anything like that here in the heart of the global financial economy, but it's there now, but people will be back, in sooner than anybody thinks.

HEMMER: What kind of reaction do you get when you come on site? You say you give tours maybe, two, three times a day to different dignitaries, different politicians. When you talk to the workers down here, what kind of response and reaction do you get?

PATAKI: You know, I'm always reluctant to come because you don't want to be in the way. And you want them to be able in quiet to go about to do their job, but they like to see you. They like to know that they are not forgotten. How are you? God bless you. Thanks for all you're doing. Stay safe down here.

Now there's another crew ready in 12 hours a day, seven days a week in here, just rotating in and rotating out from all over country. And it's just incredible, incredible spirit. That spirit is going to get us through this and make sure that we come back stronger than ever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, we're so proud of you guys. You know, we lost a lot of heroes.

PATAKI: Thanks for your support. You guys are true heroes. We're so proud of you. God bless you. We're really proud of you. Stay strong.

It's something you can't really even imagine happening. And to be here, it's like a dream, hard to believe, a bad dream. Yes, a bad dream.

HEMMER: That has to be very dangerous job. Those men climbing on the steel. There's still fires burning below.

PATAKI: It's incredibly dangerous. And they've been here since Tuesday. Just a wall of firefighters or rescue teams going through the rubble, bucket by bucket, lifting off the smaller pieces. And it's incredible that the heroism that they have shown 24 hours a day, since this has happened.

When you stand right here, when you see the magnitude of it, it gives you a totally different perspective of the devastation that's occurred all around, the magnitude of the effort to get beyond this.

HEMMER: How long do you think, best-case scenario, before this is cleaned up? And how important is that?

PATAKI: They're just saying best-case scenario six months to actually -- to finish the debris removal.

HEMMER: It's remarkable to see the perimeter of this area, the buildings on the outside that are now so open and exposed where before, they were completely blocked and shadowed by the World Trade Center Towers?

PATAKI: You know, whenever you come downtown, and my offices were here for 3.5 years, whenever you wanted to orient yourself, you'd look up. You know and you know oh, there's the tower, so I'm over here in relation to the towers. And now you look up and they're not there.

(END VIDEOTAPE) HEMMER: Six more months, the governor says. They have done incredible work down there, but again as you can see, there is quite a bit of a ways to go at this point. I want to update you on one thing. You have may have seen in that videotape what remains of the south tower.

At this point, there's about a 20-story structure, that is still leaning quite precariously off to the right. The workers down there say they're trying to get some enormous cables on top of it and pull it down to the ground.

They have a fear that this may collapse on the workers down below, but they're saying they may not get to that and clear it out until Tuesday of next week. Our tour today with the governor of New York state.

When we come back here, tracking Bin Laden's money.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHEN: Following up on the terror trail now, terrorists often use dirty businesses and dirty money to carry out their plans. Right now, investigators are not only looking for who was behind last week's attacks, but they're trying to figure out how they were financed.

CNN's Allan Dodds Frank takes a look now at the secret world of money laundering.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALLAN DODDS FRANK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the dusty bazaars of Pakistan and Afghanistan begins the money trail that links Osama Bin Laden to the outside world. Sometimes it's cash, moving through underground networks that do not leave paper trails.

Other times, money moves through legitimate businesses, shell companies and banks, zipping around the globe in wire transfers through western capitals and offshore money-laundering havens. That make Osama Bin Laden's network of funding a major challenge to investigators.

JIMMY GURULE, TREASURY UNDERSECRETARY: Clearly, I would suspect that what we're talking about at a minimum is in the millions of dollars to underwrite just the expenses related to this operation.

FRANK: The United States promises extraordinary pressure on countries currently blacklisted for money laundering. Panama, the Cayman islands and two other havens just taken off the list have promised to open their records. But six others have just been added.

There's also a new twist in the investigation. A possible scheme to profit by betting that certain insurance and airline stocks would be hurt by the September 11 attack. On Capitol Hill, officials cautioned about jumping to conclusions.

PAUL O'NEILL, TREASURY SECRETARY: These are very sophisticated things. You find in many cases that you've got to go through 10 veils before you get to a real source. So this is tedious, complex work. Believe me, we are pursuing it.

FRANK: Unraveling the trades could provide critical clues to terrorist funding.

WILLIAM MCLUCAS, FMR. SEC ENFORCEMENT CHIEF: Who is behind the trading? Where did the money come from? Where did the proceeds of any profits go?

FRANK: In the financial capitals around the world, tracking Osama Bin Laden and his money from the sidewalks through cyberspace is becoming the biggest detective story ever.

Allan Dodds Frank, CNN Financial News, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHEN: Baseball back in the big apple, as the New York Mets get set to take on the Atlanta Braves. We'll check out live at Shea Stadium right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HEMMER: Tonight in New York City, the first major league baseball game will be played since the disaster of last week. The hometown Mets host the Atlanta Braves out at Shea. And Josie Karp at CNNSI is out there right this evening.

Josie, good evening to you.

JOSIE KARP, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Bill. Where I'm standing here in the parking lot outside Shea Stadium, it's a much different site than it was just a few days ago when this was being used as a staging area where trucks were packed and supplies were sent down to the rescue workers.

But both teams playing tonight. The Mets and the Braves say they think they are contributing to the survival of this community and also this country. In fact, the Mets are putting a monetary statement behind that. They've all elected as a team to donate what would have been their game check from tonight's game to a charity that will benefit the family members of public servants who died in the tragedy. That's the sum of more than $450,000.

They're expecting over 30,000 people here at Shea Stadium. And just like all over the country we've seen it, a stadium that has held an event that has come after this tragedy. Those fans will be subject to much stricter security measures. That includes metal detection wands. Every bag that comes in will also be checked.

And if you're interested to know just how unified this community is, you just have to listen to New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani today, the biggest Yankees fan who said he's coming to the Mets game tonight, Bill. HEMMER: Might be the first thing people have a chance to smile about in this city since 10 days ago. Josie, thanks. Josie Karp out at Shea Stadium. That does it from here. I'll see you again tomorrow morning, 7:00 a.m. East coast time.

From New York City. Until then, I'm Bill Hemmer.

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