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THE SITUATION ROOM

New 9/11 Images Released; President Obama Prepares to Unveil Jobs Plan

Aired September 7, 2011 - 18:00   ET

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


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: And you're in the SITUATION ROOM. Happening now, the unveiling is still a full day away, but President Obama's highly anticipated jobs plan is already under fire up on Capitol Hill. This hour, new specifics of what we expect the president to propose. Also, a CNN exclusive. Hundreds, possibly thousands surface-to-air missiles missing, missing from Libya. One expert warns it could turn all of North Africa into a no-fly zone.

And just days before the 10th anniversary of 9/11, haunting images of that dark day that have never been seen before by the American public.

We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. Breaking news, political headlines and Jeanne Moos all straight ahead. I'm Wolf Blitzer. You're in THE SITUATION ROOM.

We are now just 24 hours from what will be one of President Obama's most closely watched speeches. Tomorrow night, he will unveil what Democratic sources now tell us is a $300 billion plan to strengthen the economy and try to stimulate job growth.

Our sources say it will include $120 billion to extend the current payroll tax cut, possibly $50 billion to extend unemployment benefits and it may include $30 billion to refurbish schools along with billions more for roads and state aid for teachers and first- responders.

But opposition to the plan is already forming, some of it very stiff and some of it actually from President Obama's own allies.

Our congressional correspondent Kate Bolduan is joining us from Capitol Hill with more.

Kate, what are you hearing about all of this?

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well said, Wolf.

As you said, the president's plan hasn't yet been formally announced but we are already getting signals up here that it could be a tough sell. Not only to those on the right, but also some on the left.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BOLDUAN (voice-over): A full day ahead of the president's speech, Republicans panned his jobs package of roughly $300 billion as nothing new which they read as won't work. The top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell arguing if government spending were the answer, the country would be booming right now.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: We will listen politely to what he has to say and take a look, but our view is we need to go in an entirely different direction. A direction that reassures the private sector.

SEN. JOHN THUNE (R), SOUTH DAKOTA: From everything we hear, it sounds like it will be more of the same, which is more job crushing regulations and policies.

BOLDUAN: The top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee went even further, specifically rejecting one idea being considered by the White House, roughly $30 billion to refurbish schools across the country.

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: I don't think school buildings is the problem with our education right now. And when you don't have any money, you have got to be careful about borrowing more to spend.

BOLDUAN: While many in the president's own party say they want to see the plan first, it seemed to receive a lukewarm response from the Democratic leader who would have to move it through the Senate.

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: I would have to see what the $300 billion consists of. If it's only the extension of the tax holiday, I'm not sure that's enough.

BOLDUAN: And downright frustration from one liberal Democrat and chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

REP. RAUL GRIJALVA (D), ARIZONA: We have read the $300 billion that he is talking about. It's not enough. I think the demand by the American people for something bolder and more robust.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BOLDUAN: Now, interestingly, the number-two House Republican, Eric Cantor, who you might expect to be one of the toughest critics of the president's plan, he came out today to call for more civility going forward. In a meeting with reporters earlier today, he said that public officials need to work to build consensus, rather than impugn motives or question each other's patriotism.

Cantor even expressed some openness to trying to find common ground with the president on his job proposal, but we of course should mention that they have very different views still on how to move forward and spur job growth -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Nice conciliatory tones though from Eric Cantor. Thanks very much, Kate, for that.

Let's get more now on the president's jobs speech.

Joining us, our chief political analyst Gloria Borger.

Gloria, the president seemed to have raised the stakes dramatically by insisting that this speech be done before a joint session of Congress.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: In many ways, Wolf, they are treating this like a State of the Union speech.

And I spoke with a senior White House adviser today who said, look, the president wants to make the case to the American public that this is urgent, that Congress needs to do its job. And what is implied by what that senior White House adviser said to me is that if Congress doesn't act, then the president can then turn around and blame the do-nothing Congress for not doing its work.

There is a high risk here because when you go before a joint session and when you call one, the point is that you might want to come with something large. You might want to say I have something big to promote because the expectations are so high. But I spoke with another senior administration official who said to me today, look, Gloria, the truth of the matter is that there is a limited number of levers that the president can pull so he has just got to do what he can do. And again $300 billion is not an awful lot of money these days.

BLITZER: What the American public wants to see is leadership when it comes to job creation and the economy.

BORGER: They do.

BLITZER: I have some numbers to show us. Well, maybe you have some numbers to show us. Why don't you show us these numbers?

BORGER: OK.

The question that NBC News/"Wall Street Journal" asked was about President Obama's leadership qualities. Look at the number of people who believe that he has strong leadership qualities. This August it was 42 percent, in May, 54 percent, down 12 points.

And then look back to when he was inaugurated -- 70 percent believed that he had strong leadership qualities. Clearly people are losing confidence in President Obama. The debt ceiling fight had an awful lot to do with that. But I think, Wolf, being the most reasonable man in the room which is what the president is trying to be is not going to be enough anymore.

He has to go beyond that and show that he can lead and that he has a way out of this economic mess and that Congress needs to listen to him.

BLITZER: I wrote in my blog today at com/situationroom that it's not just the president, but the Republicans need to show some something too. Because as bad as has job approval numbers are, congressional job approval numbers are at record lows right now and so much worse.

BORGER: They are absolutely worse. Take a look these, NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll -- 13 percent, our own CNN/ORC poll, 14 percent approval rating.

That is why I believe and Kate was just talking about this, we heard that Eric Cantor was being a little bit more conciliatory. Because the Republicans realize that the public is not giving them a vote of approval either.

So I hate to be Pollyannish about this, Wolf, but it just might be that something could get done because both the president and Republicans understand that it is in their own self-interest now and their own political survival to work together.

BLITZER: You will be with us tomorrow night for our special coverage that will begin here in THE SITUATION ROOM 6:00 p.m. Eastern, looking ahead to the president's address.

BORGER: I will.

BLITZER: Gloria, thank you.

BORGER: Sure.

BLITZER: We also expect the president to talk about something that he and fellow Democrats have been talking about extensively in recent weeks. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There is a bill sitting in Congress right now that would set up an infrastructure bank.

An infrastructure bank.

An infrastructure bank.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Infrastructure bank.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Infrastructure bank.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: infrastructure bank.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: What does that mean?

Let's bring in our chief business correspondent, Ali Velshi -- Ali.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, President Obama is expected to announce the creation of a national infrastructure bank during his jobs speech on Thursday.

The bank is basically something that would take money and send it to projects that work on repairing roads, bridges, rail, waterways. It would be seed money to get private investors involved. It is estimated that more than $2 trillion is needed to be spent just to improve our existing infrastructure and get it up to standard. We are not talking about new projects. We're talking about maintenance and keeping things up to scratch.

Now, the way this infrastructure bank works is that the bank will serve as a source for low-interest funding for large projects, probably more than $100 million if it's an urban project, $25 million if it's a rural project. It would provide up to half the money. It would combine with private investors. Think about that as pension funds and things like that, people with a lot of money to invest and no real great place to put it right now.

The projects would only be approved after a thorough cost analysis and they would be intended to be profitable. Now, the infrastructure bank would operate independently of Congress. It would need an initial investment of between $5 billion and $30 billion. But remember it would only be a part of the total investment. The rest would come from private enterprise.

And it does have brought support. The AFL-CIO, the labor union, is supporting it. Even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is supporting it. The intention is that these projects would create thousands of construction jobs, but critics are worried that it could take too long to get those projects up and running -- Wolf.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: Ali Velshi, good explanation. Thanks.

As he says, it's the infrastructure bank right now, but not that long ago, the president was touting green jobs as a way to spur employment. So what happened? Lisa Sylvester is standing by. She is investigating.

Also, it's al Qaeda's weapon of choice, some way. Just a small amount can bring down an airliner. And experts warn the U.S. is still vulnerable right now to that explosive called PETN.

Plus, surface-to-air missiles vanish, vanish in Libya, possibly by the thousands. It's a CNN exclusive. We will show you what is going on when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Jack Cafferty is here with "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Here's just one more example of where the jobs have gone or are going. Ford Motor Company says it's broken ground on a $1 billion manufacturing and engineering plant in India. It will employ 5,000 people when fully operational in India.

Translation: 5,000 additional jobs in India while America struggles with 9.1 percent unemployment.

The Ford plant is expected to open 2014, eventually produce 240,000 vehicles and 270,000 engines a year.

It will be Ford's second plant in India. So far, Ford has invested $2 billion in that country. It's also one of seven new plants that Ford is building in China, Thailand and India. It's not unusual for manufacturers to build plants where the customers are. Happens all the time.

Ford says the new Indian facility will help them reach the goal of increasing worldwide sales by 50 percent to eight million vehicles a year by 2015. They say they're expanding in markets like India that have the most growth potential.

Makes perfect sense. India likely has more people itching to buy cars than the United States. Their middle class is growing. Ours is rapidly vanishing.

And therein lies the problem. People in America who don't have jobs are less likely to buy a new car or a lot of other stuff, too. As President Obama prepares to address the nation with his jobs plan tomorrow night, the American worker is facing a real uphill struggle.

Unemployment, 9.1 percent nationally. Underemployment is even higher and last week we learned that there were zero jobs added to the economy in August. Zero.

Here's the question then: What message does it send that Ford is opening a new plant with 5,000 jobs in India?

Go to CNN.com/caffertyfile and post a comment on my blog or go to our post on THE SITUATION ROOM's Facebook page.

Am I on that page?

BLITZER: Yes, you are.

CAFFERTY: Oh, good, OK.

BLITZER: Facebook pages are good. There is a billion people in India almost. I guess Ford wants to sell some of the cars in India, Jack. That's their objective, right?

CAFFERTY: India, China, those are the exploding markets where there is a big middle class that is beginning to develop up from the lower classes. Our middle class is disappearing. But those economies are expanding and growing by leaps and bounds.

BLITZER: Good point, Jack. All right, thanks very much.

Long before the U.S. jobs crisis reached its current troubling state, President Obama was touting so-called green jobs as a way to spur employment. Where are all those green jobs now?

We asked Lisa Sylvester take a closer look at what is going on. And she is here to tell us what she found out.

What did you find out?

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi there, Wolf.

Well, people who thought green jobs would really start blooming and save the U.S. economy have been a little disappointed. China with lower labor costs and taxes and generous subsidies to its industries for the most part has really been the market leader here. And the United States is playing catchup.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SYLVESTER (voice-over): More than 1,000 workers were shown the door Solyndra, a solar panel manufacturer in Fremont, California, the company filing for bankruptcy. The employees had no warning.

DAVE MCFARLAND, SOLYNDRA EMPLOYEE: It came as a bit of a surprise that it was 100 percent layoff.

SYLVESTER: A far cry from last year when President Obama toured the facility and touted green jobs as the wave of the future.

OBAMA: We are poised to generate countless new jobs, good-paying middle-class jobs right here in the United States of America.

SYLVESTER: The president while campaigning in 2008 had a lofty goal, five million jobs created in alternative energy fields. But critics say that promise has fallen flat despite millions in subsidies and loans pumped into the industry.

DAVID KREUTZER, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: I think green jobs as a solution to our economic problems have been way oversold. We created some green jobs in some industries for some period of time, but through heavy subsidies. When the subsidies stop, those green jobs stop. So it's not a solution to an economic problem.

SYLVESTER: Solyndra received a $535 million loan guaranteed by U.S. taxpayers as part of the stimulus package. Now they can't pay back the loan and the government will have a hard time recovering the money.

Another company, SpectraWatt, received a $500,000 grant in 2009 also from federal stimulus funds to improve solar cells. That company also filed for bankruptcy late last month.

So where are the green jobs that were promised? We asked the administration, which offered us the agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack.

(on camera): A lot of people, the president included, have talked about how we need to get those cutting-edge jobs. But the reality is China when it comes to producing, for instance, solar panels, China has been the market leader.

TOM VILSACK, U.S. AGRICULTURE SECRETARY: Well, you can take a look at one aspect of clean energy jobs and you can always look for one country or company example.

I like to take a look at biofuels, for example, and nobody is doing a better job of that than the United States. And I am very, very, very confident that the president has the right vision on this. I have seen it in my home state of Iowa. I am convinced it is going to continue to work for the United States.

SYLVESTER: Vilsack points to a Brookings Institute study that says 2.7 billion people now work in green industries. But with zero job growth last month, green is no silver bullet.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SYLVESTER: The Obama administration remains committed to helping these clean energy companies grow. But in many cases, you are talking about building something from the ground up. There is lots of money required in initial investment. And often you won't see the jobs from that effort for months or even years down the road -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Good report, Lisa. Thank you. Thank you very much.

We are following some breaking news, the breaking news we reported here first in THE SITUATION ROOM more than an hour ago. The former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is scheduled, he's right now supposedly in Cuba. We know he was flying. We believe he is already there.

He is trying to negotiate the release of the jailed American contractor Alan Gross. The 62-year-old Gross was jailed in December 2009 when he was working as a subcontractor for the U.S. Agency for International Development on a project to spread democracy that was deemed illegal by Cuban authorities.

Last month, Cuba's highest court upheld Gross' 15-year prison sentence. The State Department is reacting, saying: "We are aware of Governor Richardson's trip to Cuba and have been in contact with him. While Governor Richardson is traveling as a private citizen, we certainly support his efforts to obtain Alan Gross' release."

Gross' family, by the way, has also put out of statement saying: "We are pleased that the Cuban government invited Governor Richardson to Havana. We welcome any and all dialogue that ultimately will result in Alan's release. We are grateful to Governor Richardson for his continued efforts. We hope that the governor and Cuban authorities are able to find common ground that will allow us to be reunited as a family before the Jewish High Holy Days."

Those High Holy Days at the end of September. We will see what happens. We will stay on top of this story.

Ten years after 9/11, al Qaeda's weapon of choice is still hard to detect. We are asking the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee what the United States is doing to counter the threat.

Plus, 9/11 photos never seen at least until now. We will show you some of those very moving images. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Its leaders is dead, its forces are scattered, but a decade after its deadliest attack, al Qaeda remains a potent threat thanks in part to a powerful hard to detect explosive.

Here's CNN's senior international correspondent, Nic Robertson.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): Ten years after 9/11, al Qaeda is still trying to blow up planes.

SIDNEY ALFORD, EXPLOSIVES EXPERT: Here we have proof positive for the forensic examiners that this is something to do with a printer.

ROBERTSON: Bomb expert Sidney Alford is recreating their last attempt a year ago. 400 grams, about one pound of the high explosive PETN hidden in a printer and sent as air cargo from Yemen to the United States.

ALFORD: If that had been part of an airplane's fuselage, then heaven help the airplane. It would have -- that would have been a terminal event I'm afraid.

ROBERTSON: Is there still a vulnerability to this type of bomb getting through?

ROBERT LISCOUSKI, FORMER DHS EXPERT: I think it's fair to say there is. You know, we haven't gotten everything covered yet because it's a -- the system is very large.

ROBERTSON: Liscouski, a former top DHS official, fears air cargo is still a weak link in passenger safety as so much of it flies on passenger aircraft.

LISCOUSKI: There's opportunity for improvement there. We need to be employing the standards more uniformly. And the technologies probably need to be upgraded a little bit as well.

ROBERTSON: And the threat could be about to get a lot worse. The printer bomb and the device smuggled on board as U.S. airliner, the so- called underpants bomb, were both made in Yemen. And that country is close to civil war.

The man who made the underpants and printer bombs, Ibrahim al- Asiri is still on the loose. And western diplomats say he is always working on new ideas and fear that as Yemen slips into chaos and al Qaeda takes advantage taking control of more towns and villages that al-Asiri will use the time and space to develop even more dangerous hard to detect bombs.

It raises the prospect Asiri and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula could establish camps similar to those the terrorists had in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

LISCOUSKI: You've got to keep them moving. Once you give them an opportunity to be comfortable, once you give them an opportunity that they can have a safe haven and then they can, then they can operate, they can communicate, and they can ultimately try to be successful.

ALFORD: He is at the clever end of the scale, there's no doubt about this. This is an ingenious way of doing it.

ROBERTSON: Alford assesses that Asiri's bombs are increasingly cunning not just hiding circuitry in plain sight and replacing toner powder with the explosive PETN, but knowing it could pass undetected through an X- ray machine.

Keith Riordan is an expert with a leading explosives detection company.

KEITH RIORDAN, SMITHS DETECTION: Some of the evidence is that some techniques they have used, some of the means of attack they have used is based on what measures are in place now, which shows that they understood what was happening. They understood the technology and what it did up to a point.

ROBERTSON: And he agrees that the explosive PETN, colorless and odorless, is very hard to detect.

RIORDAN: Managing the risk is what we're trying -- what we're all trying to do which means the risk is never removed totally.

ALFORD: I bet that every airport keeps its eyes well open now for these so-called terror cartridges, but other containers exist in the world and they will be wondering, oh, what else have we been careless about, what else should we now be considering?

ROBERTSON: In the 10 years since 9/11 al Qaeda has proven itself a learning enemy. Asiri epitomizes that. Yemen may yet give him the space to prove it to deadly effect.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Kabul, Afghanistan.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER: Pretty scary stuff.

Let's dig deeper on this with Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California. She is the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Senator, thanks for joining us.

Quickly, is the U.S. prepared for this type of bomb?

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: Well, the report we just heard from Nic Robertson is essentially 100 percent correct.

It is a real threat. It emanates out of al Qaeda in Yemen. Al- Asiri is the person of concern. Awlaki is the person of concern as well. There actually were two tubes found in Dubai of PETN loaded into the printer tubes. And this was an intelligence source. They went, they looked, they didn't find it. The source said, go back. You have to open the printers. And in each one of the tubes, there was enough PETN to blow up an airplane. No question about that.

Abdulmutallab used PETN in the Christmas Day attempted attack. Now, they have improved, no question about. So I think we have to be concerned. I think it's important that we keep upgrading our technology at airports to be able to detect it. How that's going to be done is more likely through body searches, in addition to improving magnetometers.

But it is correct. I would say that Yemen is at the top of my list as a source of a terrorist attack.

BLITZER: Because the concern is not so much checking the bodies as people go through the metal detection or whatever devices. It's that cargo that goes undetected on some of these huge airline -- these huge aircraft. Are we doing a better job inspecting the cargo?

FEINSTEIN: Well, I can't really answer that. I can find out and let you know.

Whatever it is, it's not enough. I think that's clear. Not only is that a worry, but there is a worry about a bomb being implanted in a human being and placed on an airplane. So, I think there is a lot to worry about.

Now, having said that, there is no specific intelligence. We do know that Osama bin Laden was encouraging an attack on the United States. And I think it's logical to assume that revenge is a very strong motive. So, I think we should be on guard. I think this next week and the following week are critical. People who travel should be on guard. All our military, our police and I think the word has been spread. And people know to be careful to watch, to report. Something that looks suspicious to you, don't be embarrassed to go to an authority and say, "Look, I saw this and it seems suspicious to me."

BLITZER: Because, as all of our viewers know, I've been concerned about this for weeks now, that there might be a revenge attack in coordination with the tenth anniversary of 9/11, which is on Sunday.

Without there being any specific credible information, as you point out, Senator, is there, though, any increased chatter, shall we say, that would really concern the U.S. into raising threat levels at military bases and embassies around the world and wherever?

FEINSTEIN: I think there's increased chatter in terms of propaganda. I've just reviewed the intelligence yesterday of the last one. And a -- the way I, at least, see it, it's in more finished form, and I don't see the unfinished intelligence that may have the chatter in it. But I would assume -- assume -- that there's a good deal of talk about it. BLITZER: Because when I interviewed President Obama a few weeks ago, he said his main concern right now, it's always some sort of spectacular attack against the United States, but maybe something more modest from the so-called lone wolves, along the lines of what we recently saw in Norway.

How concerned are you, Senator, as chair of the intelligence committee, about the lone wolf or sympathizer, someone supportive of al Qaeda?

FEINSTEIN: Well, I'm concerned. The lesson of the Christmas Day bomber was that the Yemenis went out of their way to get a Nigerian, somebody whose family was very well-respected in the country, who was not likely to be a suspect. And he had the underwear bomb on him.

And the fact that he couldn't detonate it and it caught on fire and he was burned but the explosion did not take place was not lost on us that this is a potential real hazard. And the fact that it's undetectable by magnetometers, it is another deep concern.

So there's only one way, and that is to be very careful, to take time in screening people, and to utilize some of the Israeli methods of talking with people and doing the kind of quick interviews. That's easy with a country of a very few million people. It's difficult in our country with all of the air travelers we have. So I think people have to look out for each other.

But a lot has been spent on technology. We have now a counterterrorism center. The stacks are down. Intelligence is streamlining. The analysis is better. The red teaming is better. And everyone is on the alert.

We also have an FBI that now has in this country FBI agents essentially looking for the lone wolf in this country. And they've become much better, much more sophisticated in these last few years, as well.

So it's not that things are not happening to provide the protection. They are. What it is, is our enemies are smart. And they're going to be determined to stay one step ahead of us. Therefore, if they can't put it in a computer, can they put it in a human being? All of these things, I think, are going on and being explored. And so we have to be doubly alert.

BLITZER: Good advance from Dianne Feinstein, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Senator, as usual, thanks very much for coming in.

FEINSTEIN: You're welcome, Wolf. Thank you.

BLITZER: Let's hope for the best around this tenth anniversary of 9/11.

Surface-to-air missiles, meanwhile, possibly thousands of them, missing from Libya right now. Just one of those surface-to-air missiles can bring down an airliner. We'll have an exclusive report. And a decade later, new images of 9/11 being seen by the public for the first time.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: It's not just Muammar Gadhafi and his regime that have vanished from the Libyan capital. Vast amounts of ammunition and weapons have also disappeared, including possibly thousands -- thousands -- of surface-to-air missiles. Ben Wedeman is joining us live from Tripoli. He's got an exclusive report.

Ben, what are you learning?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we're seeing, Wolf, is that in the aftermath of the fall of the regime, at least here in Tripoli, a lot of people are happy, but many others have taken advantage of the lack of law and order to essentially throw open the gates to the city's arsenals.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WEDEMAN: The empty boxes are scattered over the floor in a Tripoli warehouse, their deadly contents gone. This packing list from a single box, written in Russian and English, describes the goods as 9 M-342. That's the Russian designation for the Igla-S surface-to-air missile. This box contained two missiles and four power sources.

The Igla-S can shoot down a plane flying as high as 11,000 feet. It's the Russian equivalent of the U.S.-made Stinger missile. The U.S. supplied hundreds of Stingers to the Afghan Mujahidin during the so-called Soviet occupation, then spent millions of dollars trying to buy them back, fearing they'd fall into the hands of terrorists.

Peter Bouckhaert of Human Rights Watch has been tracking these weapons in Libya for months.

PETER BOUCKHAERT, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: In every city, we arrive, and the first thing to disappear in the surface-to-air missiles. We're talking about some 20,000 missing surface-to-air missiles in all of Libya. And I've seen cars packed with them.

WEDEMAN: If Bouckhaert's assessment is accurate, thousands of surface-to-air missiles could be on the loose. American officials worry they might end up with Iran, al Qaeda or other terrorist groups.

BOUCKHAERT: They could turn all of North Africa into a no-fly zone.

WEDEMAN: On the black market, just one of these missiles can fetch many thousands of dollars. And it's not just the missing missiles. This warehouse still contains thousands and thousands of artillery rounds packed with high explosives.

BOUCKHAERT: Just one or two of those artillery shells is enough to make a car bomb. And we should remember what happened in Iraq. It turned the country upside down by using artillery shells like the ones in this warehouse.

WEDEMAN: And with little in the way of authority at the moment, not much is being done to stop all of this from getting into the wrong hands.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WEDEMAN: And in this case nothing is being done at all. At that compound where we found this ammunition, the gates had literally been blown off. There was a guard house but no guards. Anybody could just drive right in, pick up whatever they like, drive right out, unmolested -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Ben Wedeman, excellent reporting. Thanks very much. Ben's in Tripoli.

As the tenth anniversary of 9/11 draws near, we've got photos of that tragic day. They are now surfacing that you've probably never seen before. We're going to show them to you right after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Some really compelling photos of 9/11 are being published for the very first time. You can see them in a special issue of "TIME" magazine. That's our sister magazine. It's commemorating the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. "TIME's" managing editor, Rick Stengel, is joining us now from New York.

These unforgettable images, Rick. Thanks very much for coming on. I'm going to put some of them on the screen. These are still photos. We've never seen them before. They're in the new issue of "TIME" magazine. Explain, for example, here, what we're seeing.

RICK STENGEL, MANAGING EDITOR, "TIME": Wolf, that's -- these pictures, by the way, are by Jim Nachtwey, the world's greatest war photographer, who happened to be there that day on 9/11. That's a picture of St. Peter's Church on Church Street that Jim took. That's about a block away from Tower One. And incredibly poetic image, and it's showing the collapse of the first tower.

BLITZER: Amazing how powerful a picture like that is. All right. Let's put the next one up on the screen. Look at this, and look at the faces of these firefighters. Go ahead, Rick.

STENGEL: Yes, these are firefighters and first responders, Wolf. You know, Jim went down there that day with 28 rolls of film. He gave one of them away. We ended up publishing only 14 images with the special issue we did 10 years ago.

And so Jim came back and, you know, about a month ago, I called him. I said, "Is there anything that we haven't seen?"

And he said, "Yes, there's 27 rolls of film." So he came into the office, and we spent, you know, days going over his contact sheets. It was very moving and very powerful.

BLITZER: A lot of us remember that day very vividly.

All right. Let's put the next one up on the screen. Look at this. Where was this photo taken?

STENGEL: Well, you know, I saw you, Wolf, flash that before I came on. And that picture I haven't even seen before. So I don't even know where that is.

BLITZER: I'm told it's in a building, not one of the World Trade Center buildings, obviously, but a nearby building that survived. But you can see the destruction there in the lobby. The escalators are what's going on. It's just -- it's just brutal. That's one of the buildings, obviously, that survived.

Let's go to the next one. This one, I think it's fair to say, is apocalyptic if we look at this. You've seen this photo, right?

STENGEL: Yes. And Wolf, Jim's photos have a terrible beauty to them. I mean, it's tragic and also beautiful at the same time. That's the collapse of the second tower. Jim himself almost was caught in the collapse, and in the issue he writes about the personal experience for him.

But again, he always has this incredible presence of mind and ability to shape something into something that turns out to be stunning.

BLITZER: And you see those firefighters on the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. They're working. I don't know what they're doing. They're spraying water right there, but it's sort of hopeless, as we can all tell.

I think we have one more. Yes, this is -- you talk about the other one being apocalyptic. Look at this one right there. That's the remnants of the World Trade Center.

STENGEL: Again, these pictures have incredible power, Wolf. There's a kind of dark poetry to them that Jim manages to manifest. Even a kind of religious awe about them. And, you know, he talks about the horrible and terrible beauty of that day, which he captures for all of us. You see the small firefighter to the right, because you know, the firefighters risked their lives, but there was almost nothing they could do.

BLITZER: The new issue of "TIME," the cover, "Beyond 9/11." It's a powerful issue indeed. A commemorative issue on this, the tenth anniversary. Rick, thanks very much for coming in.

STENGEL: Wolf, great to be here, as always.

BLITZER: Thank you.

So what message does it send that Ford is opening a new plant with 5,000 jobs in India? Jack Cafferty is back with your e-mail right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: All right, this just coming in to THE SITUATION ROOM right now. What's going on?

LISA SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the White House says that President Obama called Governor Perry today to express his concerns for Texas residents. We were just looking at live pictures outside of Houston. But he called about Texas residents who were affected by wildfires that have been raging across that state.

The president made it clear that federal assistance will be available to state and local officials as they battle the fires. The wildfires have scorched thousands of acres and destroyed hundreds of homes.

Russia's president is ordering an investigation into a plane crash that killed at least 43 people today, including several hockey players with ties to the NHL. Officials say the plane was carrying a Russian hockey team to a game in Belarus when it crashed about 150 miles from Moscow. Several victims were former NHL players. Officials say two people survived.

Hurricane Katia is expected to pass between the eastern United States coast and Bermuda tonight and tomorrow, but the Category 1 storm is expected to trigger big waves and deadly rip currents along the East Coast. Forecasters are also keeping an eye on two new storms, Tropical Storm Maria in the Atlantic and in the southern Gulf of Mexico, Tropical Storm Nate. Forecasters say it could become a hurricane by Friday.

And a frightening accident at the Washington National Cathedral today. A 500-ton crane collapsed, crushing several cars and damaging two smaller church buildings. The cathedral itself wasn't damaged. The crane was lifting supplies to the top of the cathedral, where workers are repairing quake damage. It's unclear, though, what caused the crane to collapse -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Scary stuff indeed. All right, Lisa, thank you.

Let's go back to Jack. He's got "The Cafferty File" -- Jack.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: The question this hour is: "What message does it send that Ford is opening a billion-dollar plant with 5,000 jobs in India?"

Lou writes, "That we live in a global economy. The company I work for here in the U.S. is from Germany, and yet they employ several thousand people here and thousands more elsewhere. We're just one link in a manufacturing chain that gets parts and services from other businesses in the U.S. Global economics is here to stay. Maybe instead of worrying so much about jobs we're losing to other countries, we ought to grow up and start innovating again. There's a whole new world emerging out there, a market that is ripe for us to sell things and ideas to."

Bob in New York writes, "The message Ford is sending is the same every big business sends. They're concerned about their bottom line and not about American workers or the impact on our country. Big business cares about business, and not people."

Lee on Facebook says, "We need India more than ever. It's going to be huge. Good job, Ford, putting the American brand overseas."

Justin writes, "That shows progress on Ford's part. The American society has changed. We're now an information society, not a manufacturing one. Why can't we accept this change and evolve in order to fulfill this need? Education and training's not an excuse with Pell grants, federal student loans to help with financial burdens. We need to evolve in order to fix the problems of our country."

Jesse writes on Facebook, "American companies don't care about Americans. Leave everything up to the private sector, and you might as well start writing the obituary for the United States right now."

And Pat in Michigan says, "It means we might get jobs working at the help desk for Ford here in America."

You want to read more on this, go to my blog, CNN.com/CaffertyFile, or through our post on THE SITUATION ROOM's Facebook page -- Wolf.

BLITZER: See you tomorrow, Jack, thanks very much.

A man dressed like Gumby tries to rob a store in California. The unbelievable video, that's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Let's take a look at this hour's "Hot Shots."

In India, the border security force patrols the India/Bangladesh border.

In Egypt, a vendor tries to sell food to riot police.

In Nairobi, students instruct themselves as teachers in Kenya strike.

And in Germany, a woman does her laundry at a wall of washers and dryers.

"Hot Shots," pictures coming in from around the world.

San Diego police say a man tried to rob a convenience store dressed up like Gumby. Here's CNN's Jeanne Moos.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Pick your favorite robbery disguise. Was it Darth Vader robbing a bank or the bony bandit robbing a convenience store? How about the guy who wore a President Obama mask to stick up Austrian banks or the robber who dressed head to toe as Santa and pulled a gun out of his red sack?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And he explained that he was robbing the bank because Santa had to pay his elves.

MOOS: Possibly you'd like "nun" of the above, as in bank robbers dressed as nuns.

Well, there's a new contestant in the robbery costume contest, skin color green, alias Gumby.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let's get cracking, Pokey.

MOOS: Only instead of his usually sidekick, Pokey the horse, this Gumby walked into a San Diego 7-Eleven convenience store with an unmasked guy. First Gumby asked for Marlboros.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh.

MOOS: Then he said, "This is a robbery."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The clerk, thinking it was a joke, said, you know, "I don't have time for this. I'm cleaning."

MOOS (on camera): Gumby didn't get away with any loot. He actually ended up losing money, 27 cents to be exact.

(voice-over) When he reached into his costume as if reaching for a gun, he managed to drop some change, which the attendant later swept up after Gumby hightailed it out of the store.

(on camera) The clerk behind the counter had never heard of Gumby, so when he described the suspect, he said he looked sort of like a greenish version of Spongebob Squarepants.

TOM KENNY, VOICE OF SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS: Oh!

MOOS (voice-over): Actually, a real robber once wore a Spongebob mask as he and an accomplice knocked off a Florida bank at gunpoint.

And don't just call the police, call the fashion police! When a male suspect shows up wearing a dress and underwear on his head. The trend extends to thongs at this Colorado convenience store holdup. Or for a more masculine look...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It appeared he had plaid boxers on his head.

MOOS: But Gumby doesn't need no stinking boxers!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, no!

MOOS: So far the San Diego case is a head scratcher. Could the robber have been Eddie Murphy...

EDDIE MURPHY, ACTOR/COMEDIAN: I'm Gumby, dammit. You don't talk to me that way!

MOOS: ... rehearsing for his gig hosting the Oscars?

KENNY: Well, good luck with that.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos, CNN...

(MUSIC: Michael Jackson's "Beat It")

MOOS: ... New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BLITZER : Leave it to Jeanne.

That's it for me. Thanks very much for watching. I'm Wolf Blitzer in THE SITUATION ROOM.

For our international viewers, "WORLD REPORT" is next. In North America, "JOHN KING USA" starts right now.