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America's New War: Moran, Friend Discuss Airline Security; Did the CIA Fail America on 9/11?; Parties Prepare for 2002 Elections

Aired January 19, 2002 - 12:00   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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NORMAN MINETA, TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: It is better today than yesterday, and it will be better still tomorrow.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KATE SNOW, HOST: Does the administration have its head in the clouds about airline safety? We'll have the latest on baggage screening, and reaction from Congress and flight attendants.

Plus, nagging concerns about the CIA and the 9/11 intelligence failures.

On the political front, how has the war on terrorism changed the rules for campaign 2002?

And the faces of ground zero: the photographer and his images of the aftermath of the attack.

All just ahead on CNN's special coverage of AMERICA'S NEW WAR.

Welcome to this edition of AMERICA'S NEW WAR. I'm Kate Snow in Washington.

As we look at the home front and the war front, we want your questions and comments as well. You can reach us, call us or e-mail us at security@cnn.com.

We'll look at airline security in a moment, but first, let's take a look at the latest developments in America's new war.

(NEWSBREAK)

SNOW: Yesterday, the nation's airlines began screening every checked passenger bag. This is the latest of several new aviation safety measures to be implemented in the coming months.

Joining us here in Washington today are Virginia Congressman James Moran -- his district includes Reagan National Airport -- and Patricia Friend. She is the president of the Association of Flight Attendants.

Welcome to you both today on a Saturday afternoon. Thanks for being with us.

We're going to talk a little bit about aviation security, and let's start with yesterday's deadline to get bags checked for explosives.

SNOW: How did it go? What are you hearing from flight attendants?

PATRICIA FRIEND, PRESIDENT, ASSOCIATION OF FLIGHT ATTENDANTS: We haven't heard of any problems. I think today may be a bigger challenge. That's what everyone was afraid of, is the first weather delay. But from everything that I heard, everything went very smoothly yesterday.

SNOW: It's snowing outside in D.C., and I know that's going to slow things up.

Congressman, not every bag is being searched. Not every bag is going through a machine to search it for explosives. Some bags are just being matched to make sure a person doesn't get on a plane -- or a bag doesn't get on a plane without a person, without a passenger.

Is that enough?

REP. JIM MORAN (D), VIRGINIA: No, it's not enough, but it's as much as we could reasonably expect by this point in time.

By the end of this calendar year, all bags will have to be checked by a machine for explosive devices. We just don't have the capacity to be able to require that now.

You know, it was easy for the Congress to pass a law to require these deadlines be met, and then we take credit for it, and then we hold them accountable if they haven't met them.

The fact is that I think that they have done as much as is humanly possible.

I know that Leader Gephardt and the ranking member of the Transportation Committee, the Democrat, Mr. Oberstar, have had problems with the fact that the bags are only checked for the initial leg of an airplane flight. So in other words, if the passenger didn't get on in the second leg, their bags are automatically transported.

SNOW: So somebody can get on a plane with a bag and transfer in Chicago and jump off the plane presumably?

MORAN: That's conceivable. But again, you've got to have a balance between what's reasonable. We just can't stop all of the flights.

And we're making progress. It's safer than it has ever been to travel by air. And I trust that this law is going to be fully implemented by the deadlines in a reasonable manner.

FRIEND: Well, I think it's important that we recognize that when we're talking about the deadlines that were met yesterday, the screening of checked baggage, we're talking about only one piece of a really very comprehensive aviation security program that has been implemented so far and continues to roll out and will continue to do so this year.

SNOW: We're just getting started here. Stand by. We're going to take a quick break, and we're going to comeback.

Coming up, we will talk about whether we are more secure, and are we willing to suffer inconvenience to comply with what the government says is increased security?

More with Congressman Moran and Pat Friend in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NORMAN MINETA, SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION: We are looking for maturity of judgment, steadiness in a crisis, and leaders who can in turn attract top professionals in the field.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SNOW: Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta with his druthers for airport security workers and their qualifications. We did ask the Department of Transportation to participate today, by the way. They declined.

So we're talking with Congressman James Moran of Virginia and Patricia Friend, president of the Association of Flight Attendants.

Congressman, you were adamant last fall. In fact, we talked on this program about the screeners and the fact you thought they ought to be federal employees. You basically got what you wanted.

Are you comfortable now that we're going to see improvements once they phase in?

MORAN: Absolutely. We had a situation that was really the Achilles heel in the airport transportation system. The majority of people, for example, at the close-by airport at Dulles were not even U.S. citizens, which means it's almost impossible to do an adequate background check on them. They were being paid minimum wage. They could have been paid more if they had gone to the fast-food restaurant around the corner of the airport.

Now we're going to have much more professional people. They will have gone through 60 days of classroom training and, I believe, another 40 days of on-the-job training. And so, that will be completed by mid-November of this year. They will all be in place. They will be federal personnel.

Now, two years later, if the airlines decide to, they can then hire private screeners. But we had to upgrade the quality of the people performing this function because, as the secretary said, we need maturity of judgment and you have to pay a little more than we were paying to get that.

SNOW: I think, actually, it's 60 hours and 40 hours.

MORAN: 60 hours, yes.

SNOW: I just want to make that clear.

MORAN: Yes, 60 hours. Excuse me.

SNOW: That's OK.

MORAN: Good. Thank you for clearing that up.

SNOW: Which is a few weeks of training.

MORAN: That's right.

SNOW: Are you confident that that's enough? Are you -- do you feel, and do the airline flight attendants feel, that it's going to be better once we get those new screeners in place?

FRIEND: Well, the training that's being proposed is absolutely better than what they've had, which is almost nothing. And we have strongly advocated that the federal government take responsibility for the security checkpoints at the airport.

And we want to make it clear that we're not blaming the people that work there. They have simply not been provided the adequate training. They have been underpaid and, as a result, under-motivated.

So, yes, we are quite anxious to see this transition.

SNOW: The rules of the game changed, clearly, after September 11. And Federal Aviation Administrator Jane Garvey talked about that this week. Let's listen to her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JANE GARVEY, FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATOR: The approach has been cooperate with the hijacker, just really get to your destination, bring the plane down safety. That, obviously, all changed on the 11th.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SNOW: I know that you've talked about that, Pat Friend, about -- and you've actually worked, as I understand, on the new rules and new training that will go on for flight attendants.

Tell us a little about that. How is the approach changing? What are the new -- what's the new training?

FRIEND: The guidelines for the new security training for cockpit and cabin crew members were forwarded to the airlines yesterday. And they were truly a collaborative effort with representatives of those workers, with the FAA, with the FBI, with the airlines. And we are very pleased with the result.

We start with a brand-new premise, and the premise is that even the most minor disturbance in the aircraft cabin may, in fact, be a precursor to something much more serious.

And so, we begin the training to respond at that very first sign of a disturbance and be prepared for escalation and put everything in place to respond appropriately, as it does -- as it escalates, if it does.

SNOW: But don't, necessarily -- I mean, didn't the old rules used to be "a hijacker is on the plane, you do whatever they say"?

FRIEND: The old security training was based on the profile of a hijacker of the 1970s who, without a doubt, was someone who wanted something over which you could negotiate. We learned on September the 11th that that is no longer true. That is not the current profile.

We know of one profile. There are potentially other profiles, but we don't believe -- we do believe, I should say, that the day of negotiating with hijackers is over.

SNOW: Are we asking, Congressman, too much of our flight crews?

MORAN: I think that we oftentimes ask too much, depending upon the composition of the people on the plane. I've seen some unacceptable situations where the flight attendants have had to handle them.

But just to show you an example, underscore what Pat is saying, that the change in the federal rules -- used to be a federal rule that you have to be able to knock down the cockpit door into the pilot's cabin by a 170-pound person, I think it was. And now, of course, we bolt it from the inside. We're not going to let anybody open it up.

But there's been an entire watershed change after 9/11. In terms what we expect of the flight attendants, we've always expected a lot of them because people get awfully cranky on planes, its seems.

But I have been impressed that, where we have had incidents, all of the passengers, certainly a sufficient group of them, responded together. And, of course, the epitome of that is the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania, where those few men took their life into their -- risked their lives and lost them.

SNOW: One last question to both of you about consistency. We went out and talked to some folks out in the public, and they asked, you know, what guarantee do we have that it's going to be safe from one location to the next? And I know in my own travel over the holidays, it was different ever airport I went to.

Are you still worried about that? FRIEND: The federalization of the system, we believe, will put some consistently into the system, because currently there are no national guidelines, if you will. And people are really, in a sincere effort to help, making up the rules on a day-to-day basis.

So we believe the federalization process will lead to the consistency which we're all looking for.

MORAN: Another watershed change when we deregulated the airlines. And so, now, some of it is dependent upon the resources that the airport and the airlines choose to put into security. For example, at your more rural airports, they can't afford to have the kind of technology nor the trained personnel that we require.

And so, that is, if you will, a weak link in our security system. And that's why, you know, there needs to be balance. There needs to be some public subsidy of those airlines to protect everybody that is on a plane that connects to those more rural airports.

SNOW: Quickly, should flight crews or flight attendants have stun guns?

FRIEND: We are calling for the presence and training in the use of non-lethal defensive weapons in the cabin of the aircraft.

SNOW: OK.

MORAN: That's interesting. No kidding?

SNOW: Did you want to comment on that?

MORAN: No, no. I just...

FRIEND: Didn't know that was -- we're waiting for a report from the Institutes of Justice, due next month, on what would be the most appropriate and efficient.

MORAN: You're going to have firing ranges of some sort?

FRIEND: We might.

SNOW: These are stun guns, though. We're not talking about lethal weapons.

FRIEND: Right. No, these are non-lethal defensive weapons, yes.

SNOW: We'll have you back. We'll talk more about that.

FRIEND: OK.

SNOW: Thanks so much for being here today.

Just ahead, September 11's terror attacks exposed weak links in U.S. intelligence. We'll talk about the lingering concerns with a member of the House Intelligence Committee and an author and observer of the CIA. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: George and I have been spending a lot of quality time together.

(LAUGHTER)

There's a reason: I've got a lot of confidence in him, and I've got a lot of confidence in the CIA.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SNOW: President Bush visiting the CIA last summer following the terrorist attacks, an agency facing many questions in the aftermath of September 11, giving his confidence in George Tenet.

Joining us is California Congresswoman Jane Harman, a member of the House Intelligence Committee; and in Vermont today, Thomas Powers. He is an author, most recently of an article in the New York Review of Books, titled "The Trouble With The CIA."

Thomas Powers, let me start with you. It's a compelling article. You suggest that the CIA essentially needs to do a review. They need to look at what happened on 9/11, an inquiry of what went wrong. And to do that, you feel they don't need -- they shouldn't have George Tenet around.

THOMAS POWERS, AUTHOR, "THE TROUBLE WITH THE CIA": Well, I do feel that we suffered a terrific intelligence failure on September 11, and we don't know why it happened. And we're not going to be able to find out why it happened until we seriously investigate it.

And I do feel that it's very hard to conduct such an investigation with the man in charge on the fatal day. People won't speak honestly and respond honestly. And you can't actually find out what's going on as long as George Tenet remains the director of the agency.

SNOW: Congresswoman, do you agree with that?

REP. JANE HARMAN (D), CALIFORNIA: I don't. We have had a lot of intelligence successes during the four years that George Tenet has been head of the CIA. And it is very important to keep him and his staff working at full speed to protect us against the second wave of attacks.

I think what we need to do is reform the way that agency is organized, give it more tools, give it more money. But I don't think that we need an outside commission looking into this at a time when we're still so vulnerable.

SNOW: Thomas, what did the CIA miss? POWERS: Well, it missed everything. It missed the magnitude of the event that was being planned. It missed the timing of the event. It missed the depth of the anger in the Islamic world focused on the United States. It missed the operational capacity of al Qaeda.

I mean, 19 people came to the United States and moved freely here and operated as if we weren't paying any attention at all. It missed everything.

HARMAN: We were paying attention. I was a member of the congressionally mandated commission on terrorism, which wrote a report highlighting the U.B.L. threat. The CIA knew that.

Your own report -- your own article yesterday points out that there was a section of the CIA devoted to countering the threat. In fact, a lot of things that we can't discuss publicly were very successful in countering that threat.

Our porous borders are something that we need to address. That's a different agency. And we are now moving to make student visas harder to get and to police what students are doing and correct a lot of those other issues.

And I do agree that we should reorganize the way we do intelligence. We need a digital capacity to confront a digital threat. But you can't hang all of that on George Tenet and the hardworking people at the CIA.

SNOW: Is U.S. intelligence back on track following September 11?

We're going to take a quick break, and we are going to talk a lot more about this. We'll continue our conversation with Congresswoman Jane Harman and also with Thomas Powers.

Plus, we'll take your phone calls and e-mails. You can e-mail us or give us a call, when AMERICA'S NEW WAR continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SNOW: An important source of information about the news of the day, the terrorism investigation and also the progress of the war against terrorism can be found online at cnn.com; the AOL keyword, of course, CNN.

We're continuing our discussion right now about U.S. intelligence with House Intelligence Committee member Jane Harman and author Thomas Powers, who has written several articles about the CIA, some interesting articles.

Thomas Powers, let me go back to you. Congresswoman Harman was defending the CIA, saying, "Look, they did what they could here."

What do you think the real issue is? Do you think the CIA has had a change in mentality, become too cautious, too conservative? What's the problem? POWERS: Well, it has a series of problems that were revealed on September 11, but in my opinion, the biggest problem by far is that it has lost its ability to listen to the world.

We've become insular and trapped inside of our own language, in our own culture, and we didn't really understand the level of anger focused on us in the Islamic world.

I don't feel that the problem of September 11 has a classified explanation or a classified answer, or that correcting it involves tinkering with the machinery or making the organization more digital. I think it has more to do with listening to the world.

SNOW: One thing that critics have said, Congresswoman, is that there were none, if maybe a few, operatives of the CIA who spoke the language in Afghanistan, and that they really didn't have enough people on the ground to be studying Osama bin Laden. Is that true?

HARMAN: Well, let me be clear that I think the comment about the hatred of America in the Islamic -- or the extreme Islamic threat, because most members of the Muslim faith are law-abiding, and the faith certainly doesn't urge violence against anybody. So it's a very extreme group. Perhaps we underestimated that.

And certainly, things like language capability are deficient at the CIA, and Congress has been adding money, and that's changing.

But the good news here is that I learned just this week on a trip to four countries in the Middle East how closely foreign intelligence services are working with our services, and how much they regard George Tenet personally, and so do foreign leaders.

And I came away thinking that this is the answer. The answer is to have close alliances with intelligence services in Arab countries who, I think, will have better ability than we will, no matter how many good agents we grow in the U.S., to penetrate these foreign terrorist cells.

And that's where we need to go. I mean, we need to shut down terrorism, not just al Qaeda.

POWERS: I would say that that's not the answer; that's part of the problem.

We have always been very heavily dependent on liaison with foreign intelligence services. And we don't really know what it is they know. We don't know how much they're sharing with us or how extensive it is. We have a lot to share with them of course. So of course they're glad to see George Tent coming, and they're glad to see the CIA arrive on the scene. We have all of these technical means that many of them can't afford to maintain on their own.

But we need to have our capacity and our own capability. You can't totally depend on these countries, which are very inward-looking in the Arab world and mainly worried about threats to their own internal security, doing our work for us. We need to be able to do it on our own. So I think it's a mistake to depend on those liaisoned relationships.

HARMAN: Well, we have our own people doing very good work, and we do share intelligence.

And I would argue that the role that Jordan plays, for example, as a buffer between Israel and Iraq, is a critical role. And that relationship, which is very old, established by the late King Hussein and continued by his very able son, King Abdullah, is something that gives value to Jordan, no question, but gives enormous value to us.

And I am confident, having met with all of the relevant people in the region and the leaders of those countries, that those relationships are critical.

Syria is an interesting point, Kate, because there we have a mixed relationship. Bushar al-Asad, the son of Hafiz al-Asad, who recently died, is now cooperating with respect to rounding up al Qaeda terrorists. He's not cooperating with respect to other vicious terrorist organizations that are causing harm to Israelis. And he is still the enemy of Israel.

But that's a relationship we could nourish, and I think we should. And I think we all benefit from that.

SNOW: Let me ask you one your question about your...

POWERS: Well, you...

SNOW: Could I just jump in with one question about your...

POWERS: Sure. Go ahead.

SNOW: ... to the Middle East, Congresswoman, because you just are back from Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Israel, as well as meeting with Chairman Arafat, as well.

HARMAN: Yes.

SNOW: You put out a statement, and you mentioned Hamas and Hezbollah and said...

HARMAN: Right.

SNOW: ... that they need to be eradicated too. Are you suggesting that the U.S. should broaden the war?

HARMAN: Well, I hope the U.S. will broaden the war. I think we all agree that just eliminating al Qaeda, which we are in process of doing although there are still sleeper cells in Europe and Canada and the United States -- it's still a dangerous world -- is not enough.

We need to eradicate terrorism, and I applaud the president's statement that you're on one side or the other. And that message is being received. HARMAN: We also need to do a better job with our homeland security effort. We have a highly coordinated international effort to fight the war on terrorism. At home, people are still confused about where we're going and there's mixed information about anthrax vaccinations, et cetera. And that's a project for this year. And I hope Congress will work on it with the administration.

SNOW: Thomas Powers, do we -- does the U.S. even still need a CIA?

POWERS: Yes.

SNOW: I'm not kidding.

POWERS: It absolutely needs a CIA. I know you're not kidding. And a lot of people wonder if that's the case.

We definitely need a Central Intelligence Agency, of some kind, under some name, gathering information about what's going on in the world.

We have become so isolated, in a way, inside of our own culture and our own language that we forget the rest of the world is there. We are quite ignorant of that world, and the CIA has the job of trying to tell us what it is they're doing.

But I would like to make a comment about the suggestion that we go after Hamas and Hezbollah. This is somebody else's quarrel, somebody else's argument. I would think it would be very unwise for the United States to take on every political dispute in the world that has a terrorist element involved.

We are already very closely identified with Israel and the Middle East. And to take on the job of crushing Hamas and Hezbollah, which the Israelis seem to have well in hand anyway, would expose us to a further level of hatred and a...

SNOW: What about that?

POWERS: ... further level of polarization.

SNOW: What about that, Congresswoman -- the U.S. can't be the police officer for the world?

HARMAN: Well, I'm not urging that we be the police officer for the world. I'm saying that we're fighting a war on terrorism, not just a war on al Qaeda. And these terrorist organizations, I know, the other -- I know the last speaker agrees are lethal in capacity.

Israel is our democratic ally in the Middle East. It's the only democratic regime in the Middle East. And what worries me is not just the attack on Israelis, or even the attack on Americans who happen to live in Israel -- that just happened this week -- but the fact that Iran now is getting a toehold in the Palestinian Authority and is going to expand its influence in that region. And that does concern us directly. SNOW: Let me take you back for a minute to 9/11 again. Is your committee going to be looking into the possible intelligence failures or, I guess...

HARMAN: Yes.

SNOW: ... the obvious intelligence failure of 9/11?

HARMAN: Yes. There has been a proposal in the Senate. McCain and Lieberman -- now Senators McCain and Lieberman have proposed that a commission be set up, and that may be what we do.

But if it isn't that, there will be a look by the intelligence committees, perhaps working together, on the failure of 9/11.

No one's arguing it wasn't a failure, but the question is, do we play a blame game or do we try to reform our capability while we're protecting against the second wave? And I go for the second option.

SNOW: Another question about that. We have an e-mail here on that very point. They ask: Will the investigation proposed by Senators Lieberman and McCain be held behind closed doors, with the results released at a later date, so as to avoid disclosing what may be current opportunities for terrorists?

Should we really be telling terrorists, this viewer writes, where we're vulnerable?

HARMAN: Well, let me speak to that. I mean, it's very tricky. I think there should be public hearings.

We've been holding hearings. I'm ranking member on the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security. We held one in New York. We've held a number here with appropriate people to assess what happened.

But part of it has to be public, and part of it has to be classified. Otherwise, we will reveal secrets that could hurt us in the future, and that's a mistake.

SNOW: Thomas Powers, do you think that would be helpful, for Congress to have open, public hearings on this?

POWERS: Oh, yes. My own feeling is that the failure is not fundamentally a classified failure, that it doesn't require a lot of secret information to be made public. It's to address directly the way that the CIA actually listens to the world.

What we missed here was a kind of a sea change in attitudes towards the United States and in the level of operational capability and of aggressiveness on the part of al Qaeda and other organizations.

And that's the way we go about these things. The kind of careers that people follow in the agency, the degree to which they're immersed in the cultures that they're trying to pay attention to and trying to listen to -- we've pulled way back from that human engagement and depend far too heavily on technical means.

SNOW: One last comment to you. We're running out of time.

HARMAN: Human intelligence is important, and we should invest more in it and we will.

But I don't think we missed a sea change. I think our State Department, now led by Colin Powell, understands how the world has changed. I think many in the CIA do too.

Now the goal is to make sure we don't miss another major wave of attacks in the United States. And we need people who aren't demoralized to do that.

SNOW: Congresswoman Jane Harman from California, always a pleasure to have you here.

And, Thomas Powers, thanks for joining us from Vermont.

POWERS: Thank you.

SNOW: Appreciate both of your time this afternoon.

HARMAN: Thank you.

SNOW: When AMERICA'S NEW WAR continues, as President Bush prepares for his State of the Union address later this month, we're going to talk with two former presidential speechwriters about crafting a memorable message.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: I will not forget the wound to our country and those who inflicted it. I will not yield, I will not rest, I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SNOW: President Bush addressing Congress and the nation after the September 11 attacks, a speech that was unanimously praised.

Later this month, the president returns to Capitol Hill for his first State of the Union address. And joining us are two guests who've had firsthand knowledge of what goes into penning those presidential speeches.

Joining us from California is former Reagan speechwriter Peter Robinson. He's now a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institute. And here in Washington with me, former Clinton speechwriter Michael Waldman, now a professor at Harvard University.

Thank you to both of you for being here this afternoon.

PETER ROBINSON, FORMER REAGAN SPEECHWRITER: Thank you, Kate. MICHAEL WALDMAN, FORMER CLINTON SPEECHWRITER: Thank you.

SNOW: My first question -- let me start with Michael. It's a wartime state of the union. What's the first thing you tell President Bush he has to do?

WALDMAN: Well, he needs to keep doing the good job he's done at uniting the country, keeping our spirits up, reminding us of the real stakes here.

I think it's also important that he not just give a pep talk. He's also got to give some guidance and some information about what next, what are we going to do about Iraq and all sorts of other things. It would be a missed opportunity if he didn't do that.

SNOW: Peter, how much of the speech should be devoted to the war, to 9/11? How much of it should be looking forward rather than looking back?

ROBINSON: Most of it, most of it. Unusual for me to find myself agreeing completely with Michael...

(LAUGHTER)

... but I do.

The president has to do something very tricky here. Consider the education bill he just signed. The press was in on it. Public hearings were held. Now consider Donald Rumsfeld's announcement that we have 200 or so troops in the Philippines. Nobody knew about that.

And that's the way a war goes. It relies on the president to tell us what he's up to. Why are we in the Philippines instead of Iraq? Who are we looking for? How do we intend to find them?

We have to rely entirely on the commander in chief for our information. And it's up to him, and him alone, to sustain public support for this effort. That's the most important job he has in that speech.

SNOW: It seems like we've heard him say over and over again that this is going to be a long effort; we're in this for the long haul. Is that a message he has to continue to repeat to the American people?

WALDMAN: I think he has to continue to repeat that. But, look, our spirits are fine. We're really behind this. I think that's true for Democrats and Republicans.

But, shockingly, I agree also with Peter, that...

(LAUGHTER)

SNOW: We're going to find an area where you disagree.

WALDMAN: We'll work on it.

You know, the president is not only the commander in chief, he's the information officer in chief.

If you remember during the anthrax scare, it really made things scarier that he didn't talk about it. And I think that if you look at some of the great speeches, say, by Franklin Roosevelt during World War II, even when we were losing, when we were falling back across the Pacific, he had people pull out maps, and he went over, island by island, our troops are here for this reason.

SNOW: He had Americans pull out the maps and sit by the radio.

WALDMAN: Yes.

And he also pointed forward. If you remember when he talked about the four freedoms -- freedom from want, freedom from fear -- that was at the very beginning of the war. He said, this is what we're fighting for after the war is over.

SNOW: Peter, you wrote a lot of speeches for President Reagan. There's one that probably most of our viewers are going to remember. I'd like to play a little piece of that from the Berlin speech.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate.

(APPLAUSE)

Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SNOW: Absolutely a memorable line. Does Bush, Mr. Bush need a line like that?

ROBINSON: It would be nice, but he doesn't need one. He doesn't need one. He's a different kind of president from Ronald Reagan or indeed from Bill Clinton, who was also gifted in giving speeches.

What he needs to do -- I have nothing against memorable lines, as you just demonstrated. But what he needs to do is demonstrate what he's had to demonstrate since he took the job: that he is up to the job. The job has now gotten bigger. That he has something to say; that he's in command. He needs to reassure us.

Now, a paragraph will do just fine in that regard. It doesn't have to be a memorable phrase, although I have nothing against those if they come.

But it's dangerous for a speechwriter to sit down and say, I've got to come up with something for Bartlett's Familiar Quotations. What they should be doing -- what I'm sure they are doing is sitting down and saying, what do we need to convey to the people?

WALDMAN: You can't write for words to be chiseled on the wall at the Bush library. You've got to write now, what is the goal right now?

And it's interesting. This is the first one of these big speeches that George Bush has given where expectations are not really low. He usually gets, as we know, ankle-high expectations that he can jump over. He's now the popular president of a united country, and people really want him to reach beyond what he's been doing before.

WALDMAN: You know, we all have been in flag-waving agreement here on the war. I think that the consensus could very easily break down on the domestic part of the speech and the tax cut and all of those kind of issues.

SNOW: Peter, do you agree that this is historic, that he has got to make a memorable speech just because of the moment that we're in?

ROBINSON: Kate, you have got to find something for Michael and me to disagree about or it just won't feel normal.

(LAUGHTER)

It won't feel normal.

SNOW: All right, let's talk about the economy.

ROBINSON: I agree with Michael. Bush's speech on September 20 raised the bar for him for the rest of his presidency. He now has a harder job. He's got to live up to an absolutely marvelous speech.

But now we can get into the stuff Mike and I disagree about. He also, to some extent, while focusing on the war -- that has to be overwhelmingly the focus of this speech -- he has to do a little of what he's told all of us to do, which is get back to leading our lives.

And in Washington, for the president of the United States, leading a normal life means engaging in politics.

Mike, over to you -- fight about it.

(LAUGHTER)

SNOW: How about this one: Should he beat up on Senator Daschle? Should he blame the Democrats for stalling, for not passing an economic recovery plan? Because that's been a real drum beat by everyone but President Bush.

ROBINSON: Michael, do you want to take that one?

(LAUGHTER)

WALDMAN: Well, I think that if he does that, he may get some applause in the hall from about half of the people in the hall, but he'd be making a long-term political mistake.

He can go one of two ways on the domestic issues. He can find a more eloquent State of the Union way to say "over my dead body": "Not over my supine form," whatever they're coming up with in the speechwriter's office.

(LAUGHTER)

And he'll dig a hole for himself that will give the Democrats the ability to show how his economic policies have prolonged the recession or Social Security or whatever.

Or he can try and find a way to summon some of the unity that we see on the war toward some domestic policies that are new post- September 11, you know, such as a greater call for national service would be something that I think would fit that.

SNOW: We're going to talk more about that in a minute.

Peter Robinson, I want to get your take on that, but let's take a quick break and we'll come back and talk to you about the economy.

Michael Waldman, stay with us, as well.

Your phone calls and e-mails for our guests are welcome, as well, when AMERICA'S NEW WAR continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SNOW: President Bush will be giving his State of the Union address just a couple weeks from now. We're talking about presidential speeches and the State of the Union and what sets some apart from others with former Reagan speechwriter Peter Robinson and also with former Clinton speechwriter Michael Waldman.

We're getting them to agree on almost everything, so we've got to come up with some controversial questions.

(LAUGHTER)

Peter, let me go back to you. We were talking before the break about whether the president should take on the Democrats. Should he mention Senator Tom Daschle by name and accuse him of being an obstructionist?

ROBINSON: He would be out of his mind if he mentioned him by name, and he's not out of his mind. But if he doesn't take on the underlying argument of the Democrats, that would also be a terrible mistake.

The president has a problem now. It's been masked by the war effort, but it's a problem, and it's on his side. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill has been pulling one way; Larry Lindsey, the economic czar, has been pulling another way. The House Republicans have been pulling yet another way. On the economy, it's been a mixed and messy message. The president needs to enunciate the underlying theme, and he can do it by taking on Senator Daschle's argument and saying, "Look, we are succeeding in this war. The smart bombs have impounded all kinds of technological information that's been developed in the free marketplace. We're strong not because we're big; we're strong not because we're rich, we're strong because we're free. And as we prosecute this war, we mean to preserve the freedoms of the people, both their civil liberties to the greatest extent possible, and the freedoms of the marketplace." I'd try something like that.

SNOW: We're doing equal time here, Michael. Let us listen to one of the speeches that you wrote for President Clinton. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now, if we balance the budget for next year, it is projected that we'll then have a sizable surplus in the years that immediately follow.

What should we do with this projected surplus? I have a simple, forward answer: Save Social Security first.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SNOW: That's one of those lines we heard a lot of times from President Clinton.

Did he agree to say that? Do you ever get resistance from the president? Does he ever say, "Oh, I don't really want to go there?"

WALDMAN: You know, it's often the president who sees the political and policy benefits of being strong on something, and the dozens of policy aides who have a million reasons not to do it.

That was actually the product of a lot of thinking about how to address the surplus. And of course, I'm sort of misty-eyed with nostalgia of the good old days of a budget surplus

That speech showed the kind of impact that these kind of words can have because that really -- when he said that -- and as you saw, Newt Gingrich stood up and applauded and the Republicans of Congress did, too -- $1 trillion in the budget shifted from the column marked tax cuts to the column marked Social Security.

SNOW: We have a phone call on the line from New Mexico. Are you there, caller?

CALLER: Yes, I am. I have a question. I want to know why today's society is so compelled by speeches and everything has to be about one good speech? And if a president messes up on a speech, society will jump on them and call them stupid or not know how to use grammar when, in the first place, they don't even write the speech? Why do we have to be so obsessed with one good speech? SNOW: Peter, is there too much emphasis on the State of the Union and other speeches?

ROBINSON: In my opinion, there isn't. The presidency -- well, look, we have some very old institutions here.

SNOW: Of course, you're a speechwriter.

(LAUGHTER)

ROBINSON: Yes, exactly. I like speeches. I went into the trade, after all.

We have some very old institutions here. It is still the case that policy gets thrashed out in committee and on the floor of the House and on the Senate. And it is still the case that the primary way in which the leader of this great and modern nation communicates with the people, the main instrument estimate of democracy, as it regards to the presidency, is talking, words. It's still very important.

SNOW: A quick e-mail here for both of you: It seems that President Bush, writes a viewer, is using a lot of the exact same words in his rhetoric since 9/11 -- i.e., "the evil ones," "We will not falter," "They cannot hide," et cetera. Does the president need to change the wording of his message to keep the war on terrorism fresh to Americans and the worldwide arena?

That's from Mike in Santa Monica.

Michael, what about that, quickly? Does he need to freshen up the language a little bit?

WALDMAN: I do think that some of the speeches that came after the great speech to Congress were a bit of a replay, like somebody who tells a joke and gets a laugh and sort of tells the same joke over and over again.

But the problem is not that we're not rallying around the cause. I think it's that it's time for him to broaden it out a bit, to talk about other countries, to talk about the future and not just the immediate urgent crisis of when the buildings came down.

SNOW: Peter, last word to you. The president was often ripped apart for his language fumbles early on. Is he over that now?

ROBINSON: Well, he's still like his dad. To give a really good speech, the Bushes have to set aside time, focus on it and really work at it. They don't have the natural talent of Reagan or Clinton. But we know this man is capable of it now. That's different.

SNOW: Practice is the key. I'm going to have to stop it there. Thank you both for coming in today. It was a really interesting conversation. We'll have you back, I'm sure. Thanks so much.

ROBINSON: Thank you, Kate. WALDMAN: Thank you.

SNOW: Coming up in our next hour: Are future tax cuts good for the economy now? Two members of Congress square off on that. What impact is the war on terrorism having on election-year politics?

And also, the faces of ground zero, telling a dramatic and poignant story with pictures.

We're also looking for more of your e-mails and calls, when AMERICA'S NEW WAR returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SNOW: I'm Kate Snow in Washington. Welcome back to our special coverage of AMERICA'S NEW WAR.

Still ahead, the women in charge of communicating the message for the Democrats and the Republicans will join us to talk about how September 11 changed the political world.

A photographer talks about the faces of ground zero.

And we want to hear your telephone and e-mail questions. Our address again is security@cnn.com.

Straight ahead, the politicians are talking about our money, our tax cuts, and two members of Congress give their opinions. But first, here is Jeanne Meserve with a news update.

(NEWSBREAK)

SNOW: Moving on, some political tensions surfaced in recent days. Democratic Party leaders slammed the Bush tax cut, and the president and the Republicans fired back, accusing the other side of trying to raise taxes.

Helping us sort it all out, Congressman Pat Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania, joining us form Allentown this afternoon, and Congressman Jim McDermott, Democrat of Washington state, is joining us from Miami.

Thank you both for being with us.

Congressman McDermott, you look like you have a tan a little bit there.

(LAUGHTER)

REP. JIM MCDERMOTT (D), WASHINGTON: I got it over Christmas.

SNOW: Well, good, good. I am glad somebody is in a warm place.

Start with Senator Kennedy's policy speech this week. It was billed as a major policy address. Let's take a listen to what he had to say. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Future additional tax breaks for the wealthy do not deserve higher priority than strengthening education, covering prescription drugs under Medicare, or protecting Social Security or meeting other urgent national priorities.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SNOW: Representative Toomey, why not save a little money, pull some money out of the tax cut and use it for priorities in this post- 9/11 world?

REP. PAT TOOMEY (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Well, certainly they're not mutually exclusive. I think we need to increase spending on defense, homeland security, intelligence gathering.

But the fact is if we really want do the best thing we can for the American people and for the federal government, we need economic growth. And history is very clear, if you lower marginal income tax rates, lower taxes on capital, you get greater economic growth. That's prosperity, jobs and the revenue the federal government needs to meet its priorities.

SNOW: Congressman McDermott, why do what Kennedy is suggesting? And do all Democrats agree with pulling back some of the tax cuts?

MCDERMOTT: I think more and more of them are agreeing with Senator Kennedy because we cut taxes already by $1.7 trillion. And we've done nothing to stop the recession. In fact, it's gotten worse. Giving more tax cuts that are estimated to come in 2004 and beyond is not going to do anything for the problem today.

And it does not use money for things like a prescription drug benefit for seniors. When we started, Mr. Bush said he had $400 million set aside for that program for seniors. It's not there today.

SNOW: There are a lot of Democrats though, who voted for this tax cut -- 12 in the Senate and a number in the House. Aren't they risking something if Democrats get out there, saying "Let's pull back some of the cuts?" Aren't there some Democrats who really want to keep those in place?

MCDERMOTT: If you look at today, today is different than when those tax cuts passed. And I think that it is reasonable for people to say, "I have additional information, and I'm going to change my mind."

If you are so rigid in politics that you can't change your mind and go back to another position, then you simply aren't paying attention to what the facts are.

SNOW: Congressman Toomey, what about that?

TOOMEY: You know, one of the important things that's happened, every time we have had significant tax relief in the 20th century in America -- the Mellon tax cuts of the '20s, the Kennedy tax cuts of the '60s, the Reagan tax cuts of the '80s -- what happened invariably was tremendous economic growth and in increase in revenue to the federal government.

John F. Kennedy understood this, advocated it, and it worked.

Senator Kennedy proposed (UNINTELLIGIBLE) affect today because people are making investment decisions today based on future tax rates. And we don't want to discourage those investments which create jobs.

SNOW: Congressman, you actually accused Senator Kennedy after his speech of inciting class resentment. You said that in a written statement. But isn't this just a philosophical difference between Republicans and Democrats?

TOOMEY: There are certainly legitimate (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and to try to squelch lowering the tax burden. And I just think that's very inappropriate.

SNOW: Congressman McDermott, do you -- how do you take this comment that this is inciting class resentment?

MCDERMOTT: Well, that's the typical Republican response. They're the ones that said they were going to save Social Security (UNINTELLIGIBLE). They have now spent every dime of Social Security surplus had, every dime of Medicare surplus.

And I really think that you have to look at that and say, well, why we giving a tax cut where 55 percent of it goes to people above $100,000 a year? Those people are not in danger.

TOOMEY: Kate, this is ironic that Jim is talking about the level of spending, but I believe Jim voted against the last several Republican budgets because he didn't think they spent enough. And most Democrats did vote against our budgets (UNINTELLIGIBLE) keep growing the federal government.

And the tax cuts, as I said before, consistently generate our economic growth and opportunity. You know, we (UNINTELLIGIBLE) economic stimulus bill (UNINTELLIGIBLE) respect to unemployment spending, health care coverage, worker training, a number of (UNINTELLIGIBLE) got to get this economy moving again to get people to work. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) tax rates and encouraging (UNINTELLIGIBLE) investment hits people. And that's what we should be focusing on.

(AUDIO GAP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

SNOW: Now we go back to our guests. We were talking about President Bush, the Congress.

SNOW: President Bush has been rallying support for tax cuts this week. Let's listen to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: There are some in Washington, however, who seem to be indicating that in order to come out of a recession, you should raise taxes.

AUDIENCE: Boo.

BUSH: I don't know what economic textbook they've been reading.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SNOW: Continuing our conversation now with Republican Congressman Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Democratic Congressman Jim McDermott of Washington state.

Thank you both for your patience. We kept you on hold for a little while.

Let's go back to where we were. We were talking about taxes. You just heard what the president said. We were also talking about an economic stimulus plan.

Congressman Toomey, do we still need an economic plan in the United States?

TOOMEY: Oh, I think we very much do. First of all, the tax cuts that we passed last year phase in very gradually. The more that we can do, the faster that we can accelerate the phase-in, the more we can allow small businesses to increase their depreciation deductions and expensing provisions, the more quickly we'll get people back to work. That's what this is really all about.

The president's, of course, exactly right. Even Democratic economists acknowledge taxes slow down economic growth. When you lower taxes, you increase economic growth. That's what we need right now, is to help people get back to work.

SNOW: But some economists have suggested that perhaps the U.S. economy will get out of the slump without any intervention from Congress.

TOOMEY: It may, and eventually I certainly think it will. But why not have that happen sooner? Why not have the growth become more robust so, you know, more people are working, income levels are rising, productivity levels can rise?

And, again, as I've pointed out, the ancillary effect of that, which is of secondary concern but still important, is revenues start flowing into the federal treasury and allow us to do all the things that we need to do, including continuing to pay down the debt.

We've paid down almost $500 billion of our nation's debt in the last several years. If we get this economy growing again at the kind of rates it was at, we'll be right back to paying down that debt. SNOW: Congressman McDermott, before the holiday recess there was a real effort to try to pass something that both sides could agree on, in terms of stimulating the economy, and it bogged down; it couldn't get through. Can that be revisited when Congress comes back next week?

MCDERMOTT: I think it can if the Republicans will admit that the biggest problem you have in a recession are those people who are unemployed. How do they pay for their expenses? How do they deal with their health care?

Right now, we have an unemployment system in this country where only 40 percent of those people who are unemployed are eligible.

MCDERMOTT: The Democrats wanted to expand that and extend it. In health care, if your average benefit is $230 a week, you cannot buy health insurance. So there has to be a program that guarantees that people will have their health insurance. Otherwise, they lose everything if they get sick.

If those kinds of programs were built into the program, you might be able to get an agreement. But they really never wanted to guarantee anything. They put in big amounts of money, but no guarantee it would get to the workers.

SNOW: Let's turn now away from the economy just for the moment and to the war, because we want to cover a little bit of that.

Tony Blair, the British prime minister, this week talked about the people being held at Guantanamo Bay. Let's listen to what he said.

OK, we actually don't have that, but he was talking about international concerns about the treatment of those detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

Let me start with you, Congressman Toomey. Do you worry that the U.S. is going too far in making sure that those detainees are held and aren't going anywhere?

TOOMEY: No. Actually, my worry might be, in fact, in the other direction. They're quite close to our shores. I think it's vitally important that we have an extremely secure method for detaining these people.

Let's face it, these people were part of an effort to engage in horrific attacks on the United States. They are 90 miles from our shore. I hope we've got very rigorous security measures in place.

SNOW: Congressman McDermott, is there a risk there that we go too far?

MCDERMOTT: Well, one of the problems we have in this whole exercise is how it appears to the rest of the world. If we don't treat prisoners of war in a humane fashion, we will create enmity which will only accelerate people volunteering for this kind of thing and we will, in fact, have made the problem worse for ourselves.

So I think we have to be firm and deal with them, but I don't think we have to be inhumane in the way we do it. And we have to make people understand what it is we're doing and how we're treating them.

SNOW: One last question to both of you about John Walker, the American who was charged this week with fighting for the Taliban. Do you feel that that's being handled appropriately? Are those charges appropriate, Congressman Toomey?

TOOMEY: I think, at this point, it is. I wouldn't second guess our Justice Department and attorney general on those decisions. Many charges that come to mind are difficult to prove, but I think he will be brought to justice.

SNOW: Last word to you, Congressman McDermott.

MCDERMOTT: Well, I am the same. I don't know the specifics of the case, and until he is given a full, just trial in the United States, I don't think members of Congress should be commenting on it. I think we ought to let the justice system work in this man's case.

SNOW: OK, thanks so much. We will wrap it up there.

Congressman Jim McDermott, Democrat from Washington, and Congressman Pat Toomey, Republican from Pennsylvania, thank you both for your patience this afternoon and for coming in on a Saturday. Appreciate it.

TOOMEY: Thank you, Kate.

SNOW: We are going to recap just quickly the news that we have been telling you about. A Virgin Atlantic Airline flight from Britain, flying from London's Gatwick Airport, and flying to Orlando has been diverted -- there you see a map -- in Iceland. It's landed at the Keflavik Airport in Iceland.

We understand now that the passengers have been evacuated off the plane, and that's gone well. There are 339 passengers on board, 18 crew members.

But it did land, we are told, after a bomb threat. We will endeavor to get more information on that and get it to you as soon as we have it.

It's an election year with control of both the House and the Senate at stake.

We'll talk with the spokeswomen for Democratic and Republican parties about the war's impact on campaign 2002, when AMERICA'S NEW WAR continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SNOW: Brace yourselves. The politicians are starting to talk already about the 2004 presidential race even earlier than before. The 2002 campaign is already up and running, and the national parties are meeting this weekend to plot their courses, which have already been altered, obviously, by the war on terrorism.

How did September 11 change the political landscape? Attending the Democratic National Committee meeting here in Washington is the DNC communications director, Maria Cardona. And from Austin, Texas, where Republicans are holding their winter meeting, Mindy Tucker joins us for her first television interview since taking over the job of Republican National Committee communications director.

We appreciate both of you being with us this afternoon.

Let me go first to Maria. The DNC is urging Democrats, as I understand it, to hold back on attacking President Bush on taxes. Why?

MARIA CARDONA, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Well, Kate, I think what you're going to see from Democrats this year is we're going to question a lot of the things that the Republicans have done, what President Bush has prevented.

And we're going to look to the president, during his State of the Union, to answer a lot of the questions that we need to hear. What is he going to do about this recession? What is going to do about the 8 million people that are now unemployed? What is he going to do about seniors who are looking to him to find out his plan on Social Security?

These are the questions that really need to be answered. And he, as the president of the United States, it's his role. He needs to show some leadership and present a plan to the American people.

So we'll be looking to see what he has to offer.

SNOW: Speaking of the president, Karl Rove, one of the president's chief advisers, in a speech last night, Mindy, said, as I understand it, that the war will be key in this upcoming campaign. In fact, he seemed to encourage Republicans to use the war as a political issue and use how well you're handling the war.

Does that risk looking like you're taking advantage of tragedy, though, if you do that?

MINDY TUCKER, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: At first, I would guide you back to actually what he said. He talked a lot about the war and the way that people have been able to see what a great leader President George Bush has been.

And what the war actually gives us an opportunity to do is show people what we've always known, that he is wonderful in a crisis. He's got excellent judgment. He's got really smart people around him, and that elections do matter because they have an impact on our daily lives.

And it's not just the war, that was Karl's point. We have a wonderful leader who can also do wonderful things on education, on the economy, on other issues that are of great importance to the American people.

He just recently signed into law his bipartisan education bill. He's already showing us on things besides the war just how effective he can be because he brings people together to get things done.

And on the economy, which Maria brought up, I think it's very important that we talk about it and we talk about why Senator Daschle has refused to allow a vote on President Bush's agenda for the economy in the Senate.

He's got an economic stimulus package that's been sitting over there with bipartisan support -- Democrats in the Senate support it -- and he won't bring it up for a vote.

So those kinds of issues are going to be on the forefront. We're happy to talk about them.

The importance of the war is that it's shown President Bush's leadership, and we can talk about that on a variety of issues.

SNOW: Maria, Mr. Bush does enjoy a very high, a sky-high approval rating right now. In fact, I think the latest poll that we have shows 82 percent of the American public approve of the job that he's doing as president, with just 13 percent disapproving. That's a very high number.

Are you in trouble, battling against that? How do Democrats counter that?

CARDONA: Absolutely not, Kate. I think that we're very excited going into the '02 elections.

What you saw in '01 is that Bush has absolutely no coattails. He had none in 2000, as a matter of fact. He had none last year. We won in New Jersey. We won in Virginia. We won 39 out of 42 targeted mayors races. We won up and down the ticket, all over the country because Democrats really spoke to the issues that matter to the American people.

We talked about fiscal discipline. We talked about education. We talked about public safety. We talked about job creation and economic opportunity. And these are the issues that the American voters are really going to be looking to their leaders this year, as we go into the '02 elections.

And I think Republicans really feel like they are in trouble on this, Kate, because I think what Rove did during the RNC meeting was to completely politicize this war. And I don't think the American people are looking to their leaders to do that, especially at a time when Americans are looking to us for unity on this war on terrorism.

And President Bush has called for unity on this war, and Democrats have stood up with him in a bipartisan spirit and supported him and supported our armed forces and our American men and women who are putting their lives on the line. And for Karl Rove to come out and politicize the war like this is absolutely outrageous. SNOW: What about the Democratic...

TUCKER: Again, I would refer her back to the speech and make sure she knows what the facts are.

But she said an important thing. She said Democrats are going to be talking about education and talking about the economy. They're not doing anything.

The important thing is, who's getting things done? President Bush signed into law an education bill. Senator Daschle was holding up the economic stimulus plan in the Senate.

American people don't want people to just talk about issues. They want people who get things done, and that's what George W. Bush has done as president. That's what a lot of Republicans have done.

TUCKER: And this is going to be an important election year. We realize historically Republicans don't -- or historically, the party that's in power doesn't do well in off-year elections. But we going into it hopeful, with a great agenda, a great president who has shown leadership, lots of accomplishments to talk about, a unified party. We're well-funded, unlike our opponents. And we're hoping for a very good election year.

We realize it's going to be tough. There are a lot of challenges out there, but we're excited about it.

SNOW: I think it's been since 1862, Mindy, if my research is right, that only one election since 1862 has gone well for the party in power, for the party in the White House. You mentioned the mid- term elections. That is a tough hurdle for you guys to get over, I'm sure.

TUCKER: There are a lot of challenges.

SNOW: Maria, are the Democrats unified? And if so, who is their leader? You mentioned Democratic leadership, but I think the American people -- some have said that the American people don't know who leads the Democratic Party right now.

CARDONA: Well, Kate, if I could just respond to what Mindy was talking about, the economic stimulus package. What you have seen is that the Republicans have offered an economic stimulus package that doles out corporate welfare. And I think what the American people are looking for is an economic stimulus package that actually stimulates the economy.

Our package was part of a package that included -- three-fourths of it was tax cuts, that they were stimulative tax cuts. They were tax cuts that actually helped stimulate the economy. In their tax package, the majority of it was corporate welfare. And I don't think that's what the American people are looking for.

TUCKER: Actually, a lot of what was in Senator Daschle's proposal that day is in the bill that President Bush and Democrats in the Senate, I remind you, have put forth that Senator Daschle won't allow a vote on. It was very interesting that he supported all of these things in his speech, yet is holding up a bill that has these very things in it.

CARDONA: Well, the reason that he was holding up the bill is because Democrats don't think that an economic stimulus package that includes tax breaks for the wealthy and did nothing to help those who needed it the most and did nothing to stimulate the economy immediately was what the American people wanted.

TUCKER: Maria, that's a lot of great rhetoric, but that's not what's in the bill.

SNOW: Let me break in here. Maria, Mindy has mentioned Senator Daschle, I don't know, at least three times now in this conversation. Obviously, the Republicans see Tom Daschle as the leader of the Democrats and the person they can go after.

Let me go back to the question I just asked you. Is Senator Daschle the face of the Democratic Party right now? And if not, if there are other faces, then how do you get your message across if there is not just one person with the message?

CARDONA: Well, of course Senator Daschle is a great leader as the leader of the Senate. We are working with him on a plan. And he did lay out a very good plan that we can use as a blueprint to go into this dialogue with the president once he announces what he is going to do.

We are looking to him in his State of the Union, to look to see what he is going to offer the American people to get us out of this economic recession.

And he also is going to be looking to the plan to make sure that it includes help to those who need it the most -- the unemployed workers, the 8 million people who are out of work and those who need it the most. Those are the people who are really looking for leadership.

And Senator Daschle, as well as other Democrats, have some great ideas on how to do this.

But President Bush is the...

TUCKER: I don't understand what Senator...

CARDONA: ... one who needs to come up with a plan.

TUCKER: I don't understand what Senator Daschle is afraid of. There is a plan. It's an economic stimulus plan that both Democrats and Republicans have agreed to. Why won't he let it come up for a vote? What is he afraid of? Is he afraid that his own party will support the president's plan? Is that what the problem is?

CARDONA: Mindy, the plan...

TUCKER: Why won't he let it come up for a vote?

CARDONA: ... that is out there right now, the one that you're talking about, does not give help to those who need it the most. The head of the CBO...

TUCKER: That's not true.

(CROSSTALK)

CARDONA: ... policy adviser...

SNOW: Clearly you don't agree on the economic stimulus.

CARDONA: He is the one who said our plan was the one who stimulated the economy.

SNOW: Let me take you back to bigger-picture issues.

And, Mindy, I wanted to ask you about the president and his role in all of this. Because there was some criticism last fall from even fellow Republicans, saying the president should have gotten more involved, particularly in the governor's races in Virginia and New Jersey, that he should have gotten out there and campaigned and helped out.

Is he going to take a more active role now? Does he need to take a more active role now?

TUCKER: I think he will do what he can, and he will do what needs to be done. Obviously, it's an important election year. And he will have an appropriate role.

I think there are a lot of things that go into the races and the result that we had last year. There are local effects or candidate effects or different things that go into every race, and you can't group them all into a box and say, "Look at these races, the Republicans are horrible, and the president did poorly." I think you have to look at each individual race.

And the president is going to do what he needs to do to support Republicans this year.

But we're very strong. We've got a unified party. We're well- funded. We have done very well in redistricting. We've got good candidates that we've recruited. And most importantly, we've got a president who has shown he's a leader, who has got an agenda and who also has lots of accomplishments that he can go out and talk to the American people about.

That's going to help Republicans, but we still are going to have a tough fight on our hands. But we're ready for the challenge.

SNOW: Does the fact that the nation is at war right now, does that mean that some other issues are not going to be on the table the way they were in 2000, issues like prescription drugs for older Americans, issues like Medicare reform, Social Security reform? Are those kind of issues -- education -- are those kind of issues going to fall off the table because so much focus will be on the wartime footing.

CARDONA: Well, I think what you'll see is that...

(CROSSTALK)

... will certainly try to not focus on those issues which, again, I think, just like Karl Rove tried to politicize this war, because Democrats are the ones who have the solution to these very important issues. That's why Democrats ran the table last year. That's why our candidates did so well.

And we're going to go out there in '02 and talk about these issues in the upcoming elections.

TUCKER: What the Democrats wish that Karl Rove said is not exactly what he said. But what his point was, was the president is a leader. He's been a leader not only in the war on terrorism, which is very important and it's obviously a priority, but also on domestic issues, on the economy.

The largest tax cut in American history passed last year under President Bush's leadership. Education reform, bipartisan education reform that guarantees that every child in America is going to have the opportunity to learn, he just signed that into law. A prescription drug card for seniors. There are so many things that we can point to, not just agenda items, but accomplishments, things that have been done.

We are happy to talk about all of them. The Democrats, they hope that Karl Rove said we're only going to talk about the war on terrorism, but their greatest fear should be that we go out and talk about domestic issues and the fact that George W. Bush has gotten things done, despite the Democrats opposing a lot of it.

CARDONA: We welcome that because it's the Democratic candidates who actually have solutions to the problems that Americans are feeling right now.

You know, you talk about education, but the plan does not go deep enough into education for -- into special education. It does not do enough to increase the salaries for teacher. It does not do enough to reduce class sizes. These are very important issues that were not included in the education bill.

And the tax cut, again, as Mindy brought up, was tilted toward the wealthy, toward the corporate welfare, and these are not things that the American people are looking for.

SNOW: Mindy, Democrats are, if you will, sort of coming out of the woodwork with major policy addresses. They all call them "major policy speeches." Kennedy gave one this week. Daschle gave one a couple of weeks ago. Dick Gephardt, the minority leader in the House, is going to be giving another speech next week. How do you go -- how do you compete against all of these different voices? It's sort of a flip side of the question I gave Maria about not having one voice but having many different voices. How do you combat that?

TUCKER: It's actually an advantage for us because there are many different voices.

Some of the ones you didn't mention are Senator Dianne Feinstein, whose voice has been saying "We support the tax cut." She doesn't think they should be repealed. She thought they were very important to the women in her state of California.

Senator Zell Miller of Georgia, he gave a great speech last week, talking about the importance of keeping the tax cuts and the importance of putting partisanship aside to get things done, the importance of the education bill that he supported of President Bush's.

And I think there are a lot of voices. And one of the problems they're going to gave on the Democrat side is their voices aren't always going to be the same. There's a lot of bickering going on in the Democrat Party, just within themselves, about whether or not the tax cuts are the right thing to do, whether or not the education bill was good.

And they need to get on -- they're going to have problems in this area themselves, where that before they even get to where they can, you know, battle the Republicans in some of these elections.

SNOW: Maria, last word.

CARDONA: I think what you've seen, Kate, is that because the president's plan is so lacking, Democrats have a lot of ideas on how to actually solve the problems that Americans are looking to their leaders to solve.

And we hope to hear from President Bush what those solutions will be and that he will work with us on a bipartisan basis.

Instead of just attacking Senator Daschle as an obstructionist, we can maybe focus on the issues and give the American people what they deserve.

CARDONA: You can tell we're in an election year, can't you?

SNOW: Thank you both to Mindy Tucker and Maria Cardona. We'll have you back again.

And thanks, Mindy, for your first interview here. We appreciate it.

TUCKER: Thanks.

SNOW: We want to update you on this story that we've been following for about the last hour about a British plane that made an emergency landing in Iceland.

The Associated Press now reporting that the bomb threat was a hoax. Again, the Associated Press reporting that a bomb threat aboard a Virgin Atlantic Airlines flight, which we've been reporting on, was indeed a hoax.

We're going to continue to follow up on that and get you more information just as soon as we have it.

Up next, though, how photographs show us the faces of ground zero.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SNOW: Strong emotions stirred strong images in New York City's Grand Central Station, the larger-than-life photos of the famous and the lesser-known, all who played a role in the aftermath of the terror attack on September 11.

Joining us in New York is the award-winning "Life" magazine photographer, Joe McNally, who took those photos you were just looking at.

Thanks for being with us, Joe, today.

JOE MCNALLY, "LIFE" MAGAZINE PHOTOGRAPHER: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

SNOW: How difficult was this project emotionally?

MCNALLY: It was difficult and rewarding at the same time. The folks who came into the studio in the aftermath, we worked so intensely for three straight weeks, it was hard to sort it all out immediately.

I knew in the aftermath, I have just been privileged to meet all these folks. And that the project had a sense of cohesion, just in the subjects wanting to participate in something. And there was sense of healing about the project that they shared with us. There was a sense of comraderie. There was also a sense of loss. And, you know, there was sorrow in the studio oftentimes.

But I think overwhelmingly in the aftermath of those days, people wanted to tell their stories and participate in something, and the project gave them a bit of an opportunity to do that.

SNOW: We could see from some of that video you showed that these are life-size, or actually, I think, larger-than-life -- right -- size photos of these folks. Tell us how you did that.

MCNALLY: Well, there's this camera, and it's a one-of-a-kind camera, invented by Dr. Land (ph) back in the mid-'70s, who was the originator of Polaroid and it lives down on East 2nd Street in a studio called Moby C (ph).

And it's the only one of its kind in the world, and it renders a one-to-one reproduction. Ninety seconds after you make the exposure, you have a life-size reproduction of your subject. So in other words, if you're six feet tall in real life, you're six feet tall in these prints.

SNOW: Oh, so they actually are exactly life-size.

Talk to us about some of these photos. I think we're going to show some of them. Mayor Giuliani, was he the last person that you photographed?

MCNALLY: Yes. He came on the occasion of his fourth appointment, having canceled the first three times, you know, due to his schedule. He was actually terrific to work with.

I had not known this prior to his visit, but he's a bit of a camera buff. And he became intrigued by the process, and we ended up shooting two life-size Polaroids of the mayor.

And his one concern that night was how Andy Pettitte was pitching in Seattle.

SNOW: There's a single firefighter, I think, as we go to the next photo here. Jason Koskoni (ph), I'm told is his name. Tell us about him.

MCNALLY: Jason is a probationary firefighter whose amazing story -- and everyone has them who participated in 9/11 -- he graduated at the fire academy on 9/10, so his first day on the job was ground zero.

So if you can imagine going to work, your first day on the job on a bus with a priest giving you absolution. Jason came to the studio, and he actually holds the record for most Polaroids shot. We photographed him four times before we got the right look and the right exposure from Jason.

SNOW: How long does it take to do that? When you said it's 90 seconds to get the exposure, right, but it must take a while to take four shots?

MCNALLY: Yes. Several firefighters were kidding him about it, because Jason kept looking like a deer in the headlights. He kept popping his eyes, so we ended up photographing him four times. It probably took close to a half an hour.

We had the situation, it's a big, bulky, difficult camera to work. But we got it down to, oftentimes, seven, eight, 10 minutes per session. Generally speaking, I'd only shoot one exposure of each subject. And we had to move fast sometimes because an entire ladder truck would show up at the studio and, all of a sudden, the room was full of firefighters. And you know, those guys don't stay around for very long.

SNOW: Was it difficult, Joe, to get them to go back to the moment? Because I assume you were trying to capture that moment of September 11. MCNALLY: To a degree. When I invited them to the studio or asked for their participation, the one thing I told all the subjects was, bring the tools of your trade. Bring something that's evocative of what you do or who you are, in relationship to 9/11 or that aftermath.

And so, the firefighters obviously brought their bunker gear, their axes, halogens, rescue equipment, came with the cops. People just brought some sort of visual totem that harked back to their involvement. So that was the one thing that I asked them to do.

Other than that, they really posed themselves. I simply asked them to stand and look at the camera. And I'd say 90 percent of the subjects just did that without direction.

SNOW: Look at this Red Cross volunteer. I think his name is Larry Krumbly (ph). And tell us a little bit about him, if you would?

MCNALLY: Larry had what he described as perhaps the worst day of his life, because he went down and pitched in and volunteered all day long, knowing that his wife had been at the Trade Center and not knowing, all day long, whether she was safe or not.

It turned out that she was safe at the end of the day. But he put his concerns aside, and he worked all that day volunteering and didn't hear from his wife until about five or six o'clock that night.

SNOW: That must have been terrible. Do you have -- did you have trouble with people being too emotion to take their picture?

MCNALLY: Occasionally. Not too emotional that we didn't get the photograph done, but there were folks who were very emotional during the session. The crew, myself and the crew included, were occasionally just -- were working in tears. You can't help but be moved by the stories folks related when they came into the studio.

SNOW: We're going to talk a little bit more about those stories and visit with one of your subjects, one of the women that you photographed, when we come back, Joe. Stay with us.

This exhibit, just to remind folks, is at Grand Central Station through tomorrow. It goes on to Boston at the end of the month and then comes back to New York in late February, before going over to London and then to San Francisco in April.

Stay with us. We'll continue our discussion with photographer Joe McNally in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SNOW: ... goings-on at ground zero, we're talking to Life photographer Jim McNally, who brings us the faces of this tragedy. He is joined by one of the people that he photographed for a new exhibit. Carrie McGuinness (ph) is kennel manager of the Humane Society of New York. Carrie, let me start with you. Let's put that picture back up there. You were photographed holding an animal. Tell us about what you did.

MCGUINNESS: I went down to Pier 40, where the Parks Department had set up for the residents of Battery Park City who were evacuated. Thousands of residents were out of their apartments.

Many of them were at work or just had to leave the house so quickly they couldn't take their pets with them. So what we did was assist them into their buildings and get their pets out of there.

SNOW: These were people who had survived, and you were taking them back in to get their pets out of harm.

MCGUINNESS: Yes.

SNOW: A lot of people might think that's sort of one of the things you wouldn't think about in a moment like that.

MCGUINNESS: Yes, a lot of people were like, "You know, there's people down there that we need to worry about." But these are people who had already lost their apartments, friends, you know, neighbors, things like that. They shouldn't have to lose their pets also.

SNOW: Joe, when you were taking her photo, was it a challenge having a dog there, or was it an easy shoot?

MCNALLY: Well, Carrie is a great subject, so that part of it was easy. But trying to photograph an animal with that particular camera had its own challenges, for sure. Carrie calmed the dog down, and the tortoise -- you know, as tortoises tend to do, they stayed put.

SNOW: I didn't even notice the tortoise in the photo there too.

There's a couple more photos that I want to go through with you. One of Billy Ryan (ph) and Mike Morrissey (ph), two fire fighters. We will put that back up. Tell us a little more about that photo.

MCNALLY: Well, Mike and Billy (ph) -- actually this is one of my favorite pictures from the exhibit. Their poses are so resolute, and the way they're dressed, it could be, except for their radios, could have been shot in the 1800s, really.

They are firefighters with Rescue 3 in the Bronx, and Rescue 3 suffered major losses from the first truck that responded.

And they had come into the studio after spending some two, two- and-a-half weeks just digging through the rubble searching for their brother firefighters.

SNOW: The Marino (ph) family is another one that we have it, and I looked at this last night. It's a woman and her two children. I understand she's a widow of 9/11.

MCNALLY: Yes, her husband Kenny (ph) was a firefighter. Catrina (ph) is just one of the sweetest and most direct and wonderful people I have ever had the privilege of meeting.

She came to the studio out of the sense, I think, of sharing her story with others who had experienced loss and tragedy, some sort of source of solace or inspiration. And she and her kids were just wonderful subjects to have in the studio.

SNOW: Carrie, how did you get involved with this? Did somebody ask you to come and pose for this or did you hear about it?

MCGUINNESS: Yes, somebody gave me a phone call and told me what he was doing and asked if I could come down, and I said sure.

SNOW: And have you gone and seen the whole exhibit now?

MCGUINNESS: Yes. It's wonderful. Just amazing, the pictures.

SNOW: Tell us about it for those -- you know, a lot of our viewers won't be able to catch it on one of its stops, so tell us what it's like to visit it.

MCGUINNESS: It's emotional in many ways. The firefighters, I think the widows especially, people who have lost their brothers and family members, that's really tough.

But I think the best part for me was we had a special night for people in the pictures. So I got to meet a lot of these people, you know, who were rescued, who survived being in the World Trade Center. It was amazing meeting those people.

SNOW: Has New York gotten beyond this yet? Has New York recovered fully yet?

MCGUINNESS: I don't know if they ever will. I mean, for the most part, I think things are back to normal. It's still hard to go down there and see what -- I mean, it's still such a massive site to see. It's tough to look at.

SNOW: Joe, we have one more image that I will put up on the screen and we can talk through that. Louie (ph), I think, is the name of this gentleman. Tell us his story.

MCNALLY: Louie Catracelli (ph) from Engine 47 in Brooklyn. Louie probably should have been dead twice over that day, to hear him tell his story. But he still managed to save quite a few people out of Tower Number One.

He had thrown away his oxygen mask when the building came down, and he was just covered with black smoke, and he couldn't breathe. And in the darkness he reached out, and he stumbled across a discarded oxygen mask. And it still had some air in it. And he said it was the biggest miracle in the world. He cleaned it out, put it on his face, and it saved him as he was crawling along the street.

SNOW: He's a lucky man.

Joe, I have one quick question for you. What happens to these photos after they travel all around. Where are they going to go?

MCNALLY: Unsure at this point, unsure of the final destination. There's been some talk of perhaps incorporating them into a memorial. We're not sure at this point.

SNOW: OK, thank you so much, Joe McNally and Carrie McGuinness, for being with us on a Saturday afternoon. It looks like a fascinating exhibit. We appreciate your time.

And thank you for watching.

MCNALLY: Thank you.

SNOW: Thank you.

And thank you for watching this edition of AMERICA'S NEW WAR. I'm Kate Snow in Washington.

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