Copyright 2001 Burrelle's Information Services
CBS News Transcripts
SHOW: CBS News Special Report (8:48 AM AM ET) - CBS
September 11, 2001 Tuesday
TYPE: Special Report/Newscast
LENGTH: 5029 words
HEADLINE: Aftermath of attack on World Trade Center in New York City
ANCHORS: DAN RATHER
REPORTERS: ELIZABETH KALEDIN
DAN RATHER, anchor:
We mentioned earlier that Taliban rulers from Afghanistan were out quickly,
because realizing that they've been under some pressure to help the United
States and others come up with Osama bin Laden. Whether Osama bin Laden had
anything to do with these attacks today or not is not known. Yes, there's a lot
of speculation out there that this was, quote, "a signature of--of bin Laden,"
but nobody knows who's responsible for this. And a lot of people will have
ideas, but nobody knows. And Bob Schieffer talks of a quiet rage in Washington;
no doubt as was the case after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor December 7th,
1941. There certainly was rage in the country at that time, but the rage
quickly became a steady direction of determination. And the world knows how
that eventually turned out. And one of the strong signals coming from our
beloved United States of America today is that same kind of spirit i--is being
mustered in the--the wake of this.
Now Mayor--Mayor Giuliani--Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's on the telephone with us
now. Mayor, thanks for being on the phone with us. Tell us what you know and
what you think are the most important things for not just the people of New York
but the people of the United States to know at this hour.
Mayor RUDOLPH GIULIANI (New York City): Well, the first thing that I would
like to say to the people of New York is to remain calm and just to try as best
they can to go about their lives today, and if they're in Lower Manhattan, to
evacuate it and leave so that we can get all of our rescue efforts going. We
have hundreds--thousands, actually, of emergency workers down in Lower Manhattan
now trying to save as many lives as possible. The governor has deployed the
National Guard, and they should be relieving us sometime early or late this
afternoon. And we've gotten tremendous cooperation from both the state and the
federal government from the first--the first--the first time that the plane hit
the World Trade Center, the federal government closed down the air space around
the city and they've been in close communication with us. And we're doing
everything we can to try to save as many lives down there as possible.
RATHER: Mayor Rudolph Giuliani live on the telephone with us now, as you look
at pictures from Lower Manhattan. Mayor, you've been quoted as saying that
unquestionably, the loss of life has been heavy. Any indication of how heavy
that loss of life?
Mayor GIULIANI: I--Dan, it's going to be some number that I--I almost don't
even want to say. You know, I don't--I don't--it's going to be a very large
number of people. I--I saw people jumping out of the top of the World Trade
Center. I was in a building that got hit with the debris from--from the--from
the first tower that collapsed, and I know how many people were in the building
at the time, and...
RATHER: An--any doubt in your mind that the final death toll is bound to be
in the thousands?
Mayor GIULIANI: I--you know, I really don't want to say that.
RATHER: I understand that.
Mayor GIULIANI: It--it's going to be very, very large and something that it
would be very hard for us to comprehend.
Mayor GIULIANI: Right--right now...
RATHER: Go ahead.
Mayor GIULIANI: Right now, the only thing we can really focus on is to try as
hard as we can to keep that number down as low as possible, and I'm very worried
about a lot of my police officers and firefighters, some of whom I saw go into
the building and we haven't--we haven't been able to find them yet.
RATHER: Mayor, what are the possibilities th--that many people are still
trapped in the debris?
Mayor GIULIANI: There are--there are people that are still trapped there and
there are par--part--parts of that area we can't get into right now because of
the smoke condition and the fact that some buildings are--are still collapsing.
We just got a report that two other small buildings in that area collapsed,
including one that we were possibly in. So it's still a very dangerous
situation for the firefighters and police officers that are there. But they're
the best. I mean, they're the best in the world, and if--whatever number can be
saved, they will do it.
RATHER: Mayor, you've just pointed out something that we were not aware of.
That because of--when you have two tremendous buildings, 110 stories high, both
these buildings collapsed, then there are building around these two twin towers
that have collapsed.
Mayor GIULIANI: And I was in--in one of them, 75 Barclay Street, and
when--when the first tower collapsed, it--it created a tremendous smoke
condition, it hit our building, and we were trapped in our building for maybe
10, 15 minutes. So there are other buildings there that are--that are affected
by this. And--and there's no question that there are--there are people--many,
many people still trapped there that we can save. So that's--that's what the
police department and the fire department and the emergency services people
are--are working on furiously. And the governor has deployed I think it's about
1,600, 1,700 National Guard that will be ready to relieve our people
later--later this afternoon.
RATHER: What are the chances, Mayor--and I--everybody knows we're in the
early stages of this. What are the chances that you're going to need help and
support from outside the city, perhaps even outside the state, of--of fire
departments, police departments, as was the case in Oklahoma City?
Mayor GIULIANI: We--we have already received offers of help and the urban
search and rescue teams, I think at least two of them, if not three, have been
tasked by FEMA to come here, and they'll probably be here later today or
tomorrow. So, yes, we are going to need that help. We've already used hospitals
outside the city of New York in Westchester, in Nassau, in northern New Jersey,
Rockland County, and we're working with fire personnel there to come into the
city later today, tomorrow or the next day to relieve our fire department.
Because, you know, this is going to be a terrible strain on them, not only
the--the people who are injured and hurt and worse, but rescue efforts like this
really drain you. And so we're going to need as much help as we can get. We've
had excellent coordination from Governor Pataki and from President Bush.
RATHER: Mayor, we have reports from all over the city that hospitals in this
c--in this city--and everybody knows New York has more better hospitals than any
other single place in the world, but that the hospitals are absolutely being
Mayor GIULIANI: The hospitals are absolutely overwhelmed. I was just on the
phone with the director of St. Vincent's Hospital, which is the hospital that is
the closest to where the--the--the attack took place. In fact, when I was
rushing down there after the first plane hit, they were already deploying
people, getting ready for triage, and they are--they're overwhelmed. All the
hospitals in the metropolitan area are overwhelmed, and we're getting a lot of
help, as I said, from northern New Jersey, Nassau, Westchester. We'll move
people there and we are now in order to take some of the pressure off the New
York hospitals. And we are blessed with, you know, 170 hospitals in New York
City, so in that--in that sense, at least we have 170 that we can call on; plus
the surrounding area with another 200 hospitals that we can utilize.
RATHER: Mayor, as the mayor o--of New York City, had you received information
from intelligence agencies to be on some--any kind of special alert or special
Mayor GIULIANI: No. No specific information of any kind right up to the
moment--right up to the moment that it happened.
RATHER: Didn't have anybody saying, 'Listen, be on--on some kind of special
alert because Osama bin Laden or somebody else might be striking'?
Mayor GIULIANI: No--not--other than what the situation has been for the last
three or four years, where, you know, obviously, given the tensions in the
world, there--there is almost a continued alert, but nothing--no specific
information, no warning of any kind. And I've checked both with the police
department and the FBI, and they had--they had no warning.
RATHER: Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, I appreciate you speaking to us live on the
telephone as we played some videotape.
Mayor GIULIANI: And I--I--I would just like to say to the people of New York
and to the peo--people of America that this country, the city of New York and
the United States of America is much bigger and greater than this, and we're
going to overcome this. We--we're going to--we're going to get through it.
We're going to overcome it, and we're going to prove that democracy and law
is--is our future, not--not this kind of vicious, horrible, inhumane kind of
RATHER: Mayor Giuliani...
Mayor GIULIANI: Thank you.
RATHER: ...thank you very much.
Mayor GIULIANI: Thank you, Dan.
RATHER: Dateline: Shreveport, Louisiana, Barksdale Air Force Base; Air Force
One is reported to have taken off from Barksdale Air Force Base where a--we
played a videotape of what the president had to say there a short while ago for,
we're told, points unknown.
Now to bring you up to date quickly on what's happened, particularly for
those of you who may be joining us late or just tuning in, a plane crashed into
one of the World Trade Center towers in Lower Manhattan shortly before 9 AM this
morning. The second plane crashed into the second tower of the World Trade
Centers shortly after 9 AM. President Bush was in Sarasota, Florida, called the
crashes at that time an apparent terrorist attack and a, quote, "national
tragedy." Then an aircraft of some kind crashed into a helicopter pad at the
Pentagon, damage, including some fatalities there. The Pentagon, of course,
just outside Washington, DC, in northern Virginia. That was about an hour after
the first planes--plural--crashed into the first towers here in New York. The
Federal Aviation Administration shut down all aircraft takeoffs nationwide. One
World Trade Center tower then collapsed shortly after 10 AM, about an hour after
being hit by the plane. American Airlines said one of its planes that crashed
into the World Trade Center was American Airlines Flight 11 hijacked from--after
takeoff from Boston en route to Los Angeles.
Senior law enforcement officials said a car bomb exploded outside the State
Department. Then later, senior federal officials said well, no, that they might
have been wrong about that. There was a report of a plane crash in the area of
Camp David, the presidential retreat in rural Maryland. The facts on that have
never been quite squared. And then there was what was described as a big plane
crash, a strange one, near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
All those have been the events o--of this day so far. No one doubts that the
casualties are extremely high in the collapse of the World Trade Center
buildings. You just heard live on the telephone Mayor Giuliani did not even
want to speculate how many, but when the ma--thousands were mentioned, he just
said he didn't want to contemplate that; that the loss of life has to be high.
How high no one knows in the crash of these World Trade Center buildings. So
that's the situation at this hour.
We have with us in our CBS News world news headquarters in New York R.P.
Eddy, former official of the National Security Council. Thanks for being with
us. What government, quote, cons--"continuity" issues went into effect today?
I--I'm puzzled, I think a lot of people are, about what's happened with the
president. Put this in some context. Give us some perspective, Mr. Eddy.
Mr. R.P. EDDY (Former NSC Official): Well, the US government has a plan
called continuity of government that has been in place since the Cold War to
protect the constitutionally mandated succession of the executive. And when an
event of this magnitude or this sort of threat appears, those programs go into
effect and take the different principles that would potentially be in line of
succession and put them in secure locations. So there's proximity issues and
there's also protection issues. The president would, as he has here, quickly
move to Air Force One, which is a mobile command center. That allows him a
certain amount of protection and mobility, and other officials are moved to
other secure locations throughout the--throughout the country.
RATHER: Why would the president not want to go directly to the White House
and be seen in--in the center of the executive branch of government and in
command there? Why not go directly back to the White House?
Mr. EDDY: Well, the White House is the symbol of US government, and it's the
home of a US president, but it's also not the most secure location that one can
imagine. Living in a democracy like we do, we expose ourselves to certain
vulnerabilities, and we don't live--we don't have our executive housed in
armored cars, so the White House isn't an armored vessel. So the most secure
location for him and the place he needs to be, is where he is safe, and that
doesn't tend to be the White House in a situation like this.
RATHER: Was or was not the top levels of the government--were they not
concerned today about a possible chemical or biological attack?
Mr. EDDY: Well, I think when you have an event like this occurring, you have
to recognize the psychology of the terrorists. If, in fact, it is a terrorist
attack--and I can't imagine it's anything else--it would be the same psychology
that would drive them to--to do a chemical and biological attack. So if they
were to undertake this kind of event, then you could pr--suppose they would also
be willing to--to do a chemical and biological attack. Although it should be
noted that this kind of attack is much easier to pull off than an effective
chemical and biological attack. This isn't a highly sophisticated terrorist
attack. A chemical and biological attack takes a lot more planning and
RATHER: On the basis of your experience in government, as a former official
with the National Security Council, would this kind of attack require some kind
of state support for this act of terrorism?
Mr. EDDY: I wouldn't want to--I wouldn't want to make a guess on that
question if it did or didn't actually have s--state sponsorship. But I--I don't
think so. The reality is that a lot of the groups that would pull something
like this would be ones that do have state sponsorship, and we know that. And
I--my--I would bet dollars to doughnuts that we're going to find that whoever
did do this di--did have state sponsorship of one degree or another.
RATHER: R.P. Eddy, if you could stick with us here for a minute, we want to
go to Elizabeth Kaledin, one of our CBS News correspondents, who's at Bellevue
Hospital, one of the world's best-known hospitals here in New York. Elizabeth.
ELIZABETH KALEDIN reporting:
I'm standing by outside two of New York City hospitals, NYU Medical Center
and Bellevue Hospital just down the street. The only way to describe it here is
it's a scene of, I would say, organized chaos. There are hundreds of people
lining up to give blood. Blood is going to be a big need in this situation. And
also doctors rushing in to work and family members looking for their loved ones.
Now Bellevue is one of the biggest trauma centers in New York City, so the
majority of the most seriously injured patients will be taken here. The deputy
director of emergency services here at Bellevue did tell me they have quadrupled
the size of the emergency room. They have hundreds of doctors coming on from
their days off, getting here any way they can to help with the situation.
The way it's working is there is an emergency medical services team down at
the site of the World Trade towers there doing triage, determining which
patients are the most severely injured and should be sent on to the hospital,
and--and the doctors say so far they have no idea how many injured there will
be. They are expecting thousands. They are prepared for thousands. They've
gone through drills preparing them for this day many times they say and are also
trying to cope with the psychological trauma of this situation. I'm Elizabeth
Kaledin, CBS News, reporting from NYU Medical Center and Bellevue Hospital.
RATHER: This was videotape of Elizabeth Kaledin made a very short while ago.
Now the mayor of Washington, DC, has declared a state of emergency there.
According to the FAA, all US commercial flights now have been accounted for,
keeping in mind that the airlines have confirmed that at least four aircraft,
commercial airplanes were hijacked earlier in the day. American Airlines says
that two of theirs, one each, hit the World Trade Center towers. So American
Airlines says it was their hijacked planes, hijacked aircraft--what an
incredible story this is--hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center.
Now David Martin reports from the Pentagon. Remember, the Pentagon a--an
aircraft of some sort was crashed into a helipad. It caused damage and some
fatalities and injuries at the Pentagon. David Martin now reports the aircraft
carriers USS George Washington and John F. Kennedy have been deployed to New
York with the amphibious--with the amphibious ships, cruisers and destroyers
that are part of their normal battle groups. Keep in mind that aircraft carriers
do not sail alone. Of course, they have very large battle groups with them and
that the battle groups centered around the George Washington and John F. Kennedy
have now been deployed toward New York City. Some of those ships also coming up
the Chesapeake Bay to Washington. That is that some of the battle carrier
groups from these two battle carrier groups apparently going to be sent up
Chesapeake Bay to Washington. The ships will provide hospital beds,
humanitarian assistance and, of course, defense for those two cities. Both the
Washington and the Kennedy are--are out of Norfolk, Virginia.
Now R.P. Eddy, formally of of the National Security Council staff, I know
that there's a s--there's a scenario that a state enemy of the United States
might want to have an attack at or about the same time that some terrorists
attack. What would the US military, as a whole, be doing today under the--under
Mr. EDDY: Well, as soon a this attack was reported, a--a coordinating
subgroup of the White House was immediately called to effect, and all the
Cabinet officials that were involved with that met via a secure teleconference
to discuss the intelligence about the attack and the preparations to deal with
further attacks and to deal with the--the--the catastrophic effects of this. And
then the final thing they would probably discuss is if they could establish
culpability and what kind of response would be necessary if they are able to
figure out, you know, who is behind this, if it's a state sponsor or not. Now
that usually takes a little while, though.
RATHER: In our State Department, I mean--which has been responsible of trying
to pressure the Taliban government of Afghanistan to give up Osama bin Laden
unsuccessfully so far, where would they be in all of this at the moment?
Mr. EDDY: Well, the State Department would be responsible for all
international diplomacy that we do vis-a-vis this attack, including talking to
the Taliban, which we do through certain channels here in New York to explain to
them that--and we have previously--that we hold them responsibility--responsible
for any attack that occurs against US citizens by the Talib--by the--Osama bin
Laden. So that message has gone out again. I'm sure that we've insisted that
they give us any cooperation they might be able to, and we've asked that of our
allies and other countries around the world. Part of that will be intelligence
sharing and part of that would be deploying of resources.
RATHER: R.P. Eddy, thank you very much.
Mr. EDDY: My pleasure.
RATHER: James Kallstrom, who is--was formerly head of the New York City FBI
office and was the assistant director of the FBI, is on the--not just on the
telephone. He's with us now, former director of the FBI office in New York.
Jim, it's good to see you again.
Mr. JAMES KALLSTROM (Former Director, FBI Office, New York): Hi, Dan.
RATHER: I--put this in context and perspective for us and to let our
viewers--listeners know you were in charge of the investigation of the TWA 800
crash investigation. You have a lot of experience with this kind of thing. Give
us some context.
Mr. KALLSTROM: Dan, it's a--it's a huge event. It's--it's a black day.
It's--in my view, it's a bigger event than Pearl Harbor. It's--it's war. It's
declared war, and we need to now pull together as a nation and--and accomplish a
bunch of things.
RATHER: Well, nearly everybody's been talking today about the FBI's role, and
obviously, the FBI has a large role, but the FBI alone cannot possibly
investigate something such as this. What other agencies, what other resources
of the US government will be pulled in to find out who's responsible for this?
Mr. KALLSTROM: Well, all the intelligence agencies--the CIA, NSA, law
enforcement at every level--I m--work together on a daily basis as a team now.
The--the idea, though, that we can know everything--and obviously, we didn't
know everything. When I say 'we,' I'm talking about that team that I used to be
a part of. This event happened, so we did not stop it from happening. It's
terribly difficult in a free society with open borders, and on any given day,
people land at Kennedy Airport and other gateways undocumented. It's--it's very
difficult and particularly with Middle e--Middle East terrorism, these cells
are--are not joined together. The only thing that joins them together is their
hatred for us, our way of life, our foreign policy.
RATHER: Well, Jim Kallstrom, you--you say that these various terrorist
organizations are--are not necessarily as well connected as we sometimes might
imagine them to be. Give us some perspective on who, among the world's states,
helps them with what they do. I'm not suggesting that we know anything about
who did this today, but the questions just tumble out, well, can someone do this
without some state support from someone like Iraq or Iran?
Mr. KALLSTROM: Well, you know, Dan, whether or not this is state supported,
there has been state support over the years and, you know, if this was 1 percent
or 10 percent or 100 percent state supported, I don't know. I'm a civilian now.
I'm sure that the FBI and the agency and all the other intelligence apparatus of
the free world, for that matter, is trying to figure out exactly who's behind
this. And we need to act with massive power, in my view, without a lot of
collateral damage, and that's difficult to do. But this is an act of war and we
need to act accordingly. Now is the time to step up to the plate and do the
things that we need to do here as a country.
RATHER: Well, Jim Kallstrom, when you were still active with the FBI, true or
untrue, that there were a number of terrorist acts in which the threads of
evidence led back to certain states, but that for reasons perhaps
understandable, reasons of diplomacy and what we call geopolitics, there was a
tendency to say, 'Well, we may know that but we don't want to deal with it'?
True or untrue?
Mr. KALLSTROM: No, I think that's true, Dan. I think that obviously, there
has to be balance in actions that we take. I mean, these events look very clear
once they happen. I mean, now that this ter--horrific act has happened and that
we have untold dead people in New York and Washington and some airplane in
Pittsburgh, it's crystal clear that we need massive effective high morale law
enforcement, intelligence. We need to act as a--a unified country. We need to
stop the hypocrisy, not that hypocrisy got us to this day. I'm not saying it
did. But this is serious business, and--and those of us in law enforcement over
the years and intelligence work over the years didn't know what day this would
happen, hoped it would never happen, but thought surely some day, it might
I mean, we saw the World Trade Center bombing, we saw--in the United States.
Then we saw events, the blind sheikh blowing--going to blow up the Holland
Tunnel, the Lincoln Tunnel, the United Nations building, the FBI building. We
saw Ramzi Yousef plot in the Philippines well--after he escaped the United
States to blow up 9 or 10 jumbo jets simultaneously. We saw the bombing of the
Cole. We saw the bombing of the barracks in Saudi Arabia. We saw the bombing
of our embassies in Africa. W--there's plenty of evidence that people hate us
for who we are, what we are, what our foreign policy is. And we need to act,
and we need to act together as a country.
RATHER: James Kallstrom, formerly head of the FBI office in New York and a
man who helped run the FBI for a long while, thanks for being with us this
morning. We appreciate it.
Mr. KALLSTROM: Thank you, Dan.
RATHER: Rulers of the Taliban have rejected all suggestions that Osama bin
Laden could be behind these attacks. We mentioned earlier that some leaders of
the Taliban got out early to disassociate themselves from this whole thing. And
the background of this is that by last reports, Os--Osama bin Laden was in
Afghanistan. There have been some pressure to get him out of there. The
Taliban is responding today. The Taliban condemned the attacks, and they said
that bin Laden had nothing to do with it. Tony Blair, the prime minister of
Great Britain, is speaking. We'll go to him live.
Prime Minister TONY BLAIR (Great Britain): ...the utter carnage and terror
which has engulfed so many innocent people. We've offered President Bush and
the American people our solidarity, our profound sympathy and our prayers. But
it is plain that citizens of many countries around the world, including Britain,
will have been caught up in this terror.
I have just chaired an emergency meeting of the British government's Civil
Contingencies Committee, and I would like to explain some of the measures that
we have agreed to take here. There are a range of precautionary measures. We
have stepped up security at airports to the highest levels. No flights will
take off from the United Kingdom for which we cannot apply the highest standards
of security for air crew and passengers. Private flights have been stopped,
except where specifically authorized. Flight paths into London have been
changed so there will be no civil overflights of central London. Security has
been increased across the full range of government buildings and military
premises. The police across the whole of the UK are on full alert.
All our defense facilities around the world have been moved to high alert to
ensure the protection of British service personnel. Advice is being given to
major financial and business institutions about appropriate security measures. A
number of other security measures have been taken and, of course, we are in
close touch with US, European and other allies and are cooperating with them on
issues of security. All relevant ministers remain in communication and the
committee--the Civil Contingencies Committee will meet again tomorrow at 8 AM.
Obviously, some of these measures, not least the effect upon airports, will
lead to some disruption, and I hope people understand that. But other than the
specific measures we have taken or that we have advised others to take, business
and everyday life can continue as normal. As for those that carried out these
attacks, there are no adequate words of condemnation. Their barbarism will
stand as their shame for all eternity. As I said earlier, this mass terrorism
is the new evil in our world. The people who perpetrate it have no regard
whatever for the sanctity or value of human life, and we, the democracies of the
world, must come together to defeat it and eradicate it. This is not a battle
between the United States of America and terrorism, but between the free and
democratic world and terrorism. We, therefore, here in Britain stand shoulder
to shoulder with our American friends in this hour of tragedy. And we, like
them, will not rest until this evil is driven from our world. Thank you.
RATHER: Live from Great Britain, Tony Blair, the British prime minister, with
his response and comments on what had happened today. In one of the most
horrifying attacks ever on US soil, terrorists crashed two airliners into the
World Trade Centers today. This is a photograph taken at the time of one of the
planes--American Airlines says it was one of their commercial airliners--crashes
into one of the towers. This was around 9 AM Eastern time this morning, about
five hours ago. Another plane crashed into another tower. One of the towers
began collapsing. The hope was that it would only be a partial collapse. It
turned out to be a total collapse. Debris, including concrete and steel,
raining down on a wide area around that building. And then incredibly, almost
unbelievably, a short time later, the other tower began to creak and wobble and
then collapsed. Other buildings in the vicinity, as reported by Mayor Rudolph
Giuliani in a live television report to CBS News a short while ago, also began
to collapse. This was the scene just after the collapse of the buildings, New
York City high school students being evacuated. Teachers and others counseling
them to be careful as you flee.
Unidentified Man: It's just us, don't run.
RATHER: At the World Trade Centers, some people jumped and were forced out
from windows that--high up, 110 stories were those buildings. This was the
scene, horrified spectators cried aloud as they saw one after another persons
jumping or forced out of the building. There were secondary, then third
explosions and then a fourth explosion--apparently, no one knows for sure--from
the high octane fuel and other causes in the interior of the building brought
about by the crash of the two planes into the World Trade Centers.
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