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Text: Powell on 'Fox News Sunday'

eMediaMillWorks


eMediaMillWorks
Sunday, October 21, 2001

Following is the transcript of 'Fox News Sunday,' hosted by Tony Snow.

Guests: U.S. Senator Bob Graham (D-FL); U.S. Senator Bill Frist (T-TN); Fox News Military Analyst Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney; Fox News Military Analyst Major Gen. Paul Vallely; Secretary of State Colin Powell; Fox News medical analyst Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld, and Fox News correspondents Juan Williams, Mara Liasson and Brit Hume.

SNOW: U.S. forces step up the pressure in Afghanistan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are slowly but surely encircling the terrorists so that we can bring them to justice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SNOW: We'll discuss the military and diplomatic options with Secretary of State Colin Powell.

What's next on the battlefields for American troops? We'll take a detailed look at the ground and air wars with retired Air Force Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney and retired Army Major General Paul Vallely.

Anthrax--authorities find spores in a mail sorter used for the House of Representatives. Where did the bacteria come from, and who sent them? We'll assess the bioterror threat with the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Bob Graham, and the Senate's only physician, Bill Frist.

Plus, our panel: Brit Hume, Mara Liasson and Juan Williams. This is the October 21 edition of Fox News Sunday.

Good morning from the Fox News map room. We'll talk with Secretary Powell and our other guests after an update on the war on terror, first from senior White House correspondent Jim Angle, who's in Shanghai with President Bush.

Good morning, Jim.

JIM ANGLE, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Tony.

Well, while the war raged on in Afghanistan, a U.S. diplomatic offensive was under way in Shanghai to build international support for the war against terrorism.

The Asian Pacific Economic Conference went out of its way, Chinese President Jiang Zemin said in the closing session, to condemn the murderous deeds of September 11.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIANG ZEMIN, PRESIDENT OF CHINA: And to prevent and stop future terrorist acts in any form and anywhere in the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANGLE: President Bush met with Jiang for the first time ever here in Shanghai, then with one leader after another to win cooperation against the terrorists, ending today with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In a news conference with Putin, the president praised Russia's full and responsible role in the war against terrorism and said he got similar support from everyone else.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: I'm most appreciative of the support we've received. It was strong, it was steady, and it's real. And the people of the United States need to know that we're not conducting these operations alone. We've got universal support around the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANGLE: But some summit leaders are uneasy about the U.S. military operation in Afghanistan. Several leaders, especially those of Muslim nations, like Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir, have been critical of civilian casualties, concerns the president tried to allay.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: He is concerned about the death of innocent people in Afghanistan, and I assured him I am too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANGLE: There is already a growing chorus of nations calling for a quick end to military action in Afghanistan and the formation of a new government there. But first, of course, the Taliban must fall.

Meanwhile, sources say that President Bush has expanded the authority of the CIA to track and kill Osama bin Laden and has given it another billion dollars to help in that task. Now, the CIA already had the authority to kill bin Laden, so this is not a change in policy, just a broadening of authorized tactics.

One final note, Tony. A senior U.S. official tells Fox that the recent U.S. raids into Afghanistan were not the beginning of a ground war there, just an effort to gather intelligence from Taliban command centers. There are some things that can only be done on the ground.

Tony?

SNOW: Thanks, Jim.

Now the latest on the fighting from Fox News correspondent Steve Harrigan near Bagram, Afghanistan.

Steve?

STEVE HARRIGAN, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Tony, we've seen a remarkable display of air power this last hour from the U.S.

For the first time flying low enough to be seen with the naked eye, we've seen U.S. jets circle above. And then when they come just above here to the east of the capital Kabul we've seen them drop their payload. We saw two jets at a time flying overhead, at least six or eight involved, making several circles around Kabul.

Then after that, we saw lower-flying jets as well. We can't be sure whether they were F-15s or not, but these lower-flying jets came in also at a much lower angle just overhead, fired two missiles apiece.

Now, these targets were not hitting the Afghan capital. They were hitting far in front of the Afghan capital on the plains just about a quarter mile, half mile ahead of us. We could actually see the entire strike, the two missiles leaving the plane and then exploding onto the plain below in a giant fireball.

So, this is exactly where those Taliban front-line positions are. We've been down there. We've seen them. They're about two miles from us. So we've heard a lot of talk about whether these Taliban front-line positions are being it.

It's clear today, for the first time that we've been able to see, they are being hit, and being hit hard. There was nothing symbolic about these attacks. Circle after circle after circle, time and time again, fireballs exploding on that plain just about a half mile from us.

HARRIGAN: We're going to take a look tomorrow morning, but I doubt there's anything left out on that plain.

Of course, these attacks coming just one day after the first U.S. special forces on the ground in the south of Afghanistan near Kandahar. Apparently a successful raid by more than 100 U.S. Army Rangers showing their ability to extend force on the ground.

This raid came against an airport near the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar, also a former residence of the Taliban leader Mullah Omar. Reports from the Pentagon say the raid was successful. There was light resistance. An arms depot was destroyed as well as some intelligence gathered.

Back to you, Tony.

SNOW: All right, Steve. Thanks.

Now we're going to get a military briefing on the war on terror. Joining me in the Fox News map room are retired Air Force Lieutenant General Thomas McInerney and retired Army Major General Paul Vallely.

And, General Vallely, I want to begin with you. Let's talk a little bit about what's happened in the last 24 hours on the field and how it all might fit into a general battle plan.

What we're going to do is we're going to pull up our map of Afghanistan, laying out the major cities, and you can go to work on the telestrator (ph) and explain what's going on.

VALLELY: Well, Tony, to wrap up the last 14 days, last several weeks, we've talked about how busy it is over there.

And here's what's happened. We've had air operations. We've had psychological operations. We've had humanitarian aid. We've had ground forces go in. And then we've had a lot of things happening in the political diplomacy area. So, it's been very busy but at the same time very frustrating.

SNOW: It's frustrating why?

VALLELY: Well, frustrating because what we're trying to do here is forge up the alliance members. So you have groups down here, the Pashtuns in the south. You've got different groups up here in the north making up the Northern Alliance. Now, to try to bring them all together so they can go in and take the symbolic capital of Kabul has been the frustrating part of this whole thing.

SNOW: All right, you mentioned the Pashtuns. Let's take a look at an ethnic map of Afghanistan. A lot of people don't understand how ethnically diverse the country is and how that complicates not only diplomatic but military efforts.

Here we see up in the northern area Uzbek, Tajik and Hazara areas. That is the Northern Alliance area basically, through here.

VALLELY: That's correct.

SNOW: But, as you see from this big circle, the Pashtun are by far the largest tribe, and that's the tribe from which the Taliban comes.

VALLELY: That's correct.

SNOW: If you don't have Pashtun, you don't have long-term peace.

VALLELY: You don't have a coalition of the ethnic groups. So that's why it's so important to concentrate efforts down there.

And as I understand it, some of our special forces probably were in there doing what we call internal defense, trying to bring those people together, trying to get them to move over from the Taliban and forge an alliance with the people up here.

So, the other interesting thing up here in Jalalabad are the more moderate Pashtuns. They don't like the Taliban necessarily. So they're a little different than the mixture down here in the Kandahar area.

SNOW: What you're trying to do is to come up with a coalition even of Pashtun. If you get more than 50 percent, you're feeling pretty happy.

VALLELY: Well, you are. But, you know, what are the alternatives?

SNOW: Absolutely.

OK, now, the next thing that's going on is America is trying to work it's diplomacy. A lot of people have the impression, when you say special operations, there's a bunch of Rambos going in with guns blazing. That's not how it works.

VALLELY: No, very well planned out, very well-trained special forces, SEALS, Rangers, psychological operations people.

SNOW: Now, when you say psychological operations, I'm cutting you off here because that's an important part to explain. Talk about what psychological operations are into doing.

VALLELY: Well, first of all, as I said, the busy battlefield, we've been doing strategic and tactical psychological operations. And what that means is, basically, we have done leaflet drops with messages to the Afghan people throughout the country. One of them was, come over, these are what the bad guys have been doing, giving that message.

Also, giving them the radio frequency because, you know, they're dependent on radios over there. They don't have TV.

SNOW: So we tell our side. All right, now let me bring in General McInerney.

VALLELY: Plus, yes, the radio broadcast. That's a real important thing on that frequency.

SNOW: So they get to hear our side.

Let's bring in General McInerney, now, to talk a little bit about the air campaign. We know that there were strikes in the general area of Bagram. That is really one of the battle fronts. Talk a little bit about what Steve Harrigan just reported, what it all means.

MCINERNEY: Well, as Steve reported, Tony, we now have airstrikes on just south of the Bagram airfield. And that's important because that will allow the Northern Alliance at the appropriate time to head down toward Kabul.

Now, there are 8,000 Taliban there. There's 20 percent of the Taliban force in this area.

MCINERNEY: And if Steve really wants to see air power, we ought to see B-52s come in there and decimate them.

Now, I'm not saying that they're not getting intensive and very focused air power.

SNOW: Why do you think B-52s have not done that so far?

MCINERNEY: I think that they still have a major problem. We've got the air campaign; it's well out in front of the ground campaign. And that's because, as you all were talking about, the ethnicity problem, the spear's of influence, Pakistan's influence, they don't want the Northern Alliance...

SNOW: So for political reasons, we are not pushing the war as hard as we might.

MCINERNEY: That's correct, and it's important that we decouple the two now. We, I don't think, have any choice. We've really got to move out in the military, both air and ground, and the air is out ahead of the ground. And, of course, in the political one, that's way behind. We're not going to solve that right away.

SNOW: The political problem, those always take quite awhile to resolve. The real question for a lot of people is, if we do not resolve this before another month passes, that is before the onset of winter and, of course, the beginning of Ramadan, what does that mean for our military strategy?

MCINERNEY: Well, it's just delaying it. We are using about 20 percent or 10 percent of our real power on effectiveness. In other words, we're not striking Taliban, we're striking a lot of facilities and their infrastructures, they say that. We need to strike Taliban, and we need to do it quickly.

SNOW: Let me bring in General Vallely. We're going to have a ``general'' discussion here--bad pun.

The mission is, at least originally, to take out Al Qaeda, the Taliban presumably and the terror network. How do we do that, what do we do next?

VALLELY: Well, we have to attack, as General McInerney says, the troops and the structure of the ground forces. That's how this thing will work, because then we can measure success on how well we take out the Taliban, the Al Qaeda network and track down all these terrorists. And that has to be done. And that's how we measure success in this operation.

SNOW: General McInerney?

MCINERNEY: Well, I would isolate the north right across here. I would seize within the next two days Mazar-e-Shariff, break out of Bagram, start heading toward Kabul and then start working the southern area later. We've got special ops in there, but I'd let them know that Afghans are retaking Afghanistan.

SNOW: In the final point here, Mazar-e-Shariff and Bagram are both sites of former Soviet airbases, and they're important strategically for precisely that reason.

VALLELY: That's right.

MCINERNEY: Exactly.

VALLELY: Forward basing.

SNOW: All right. Generals Paul Vallely and Thomas McInerney, thanks for joining us.

MCINERNEY: Thank you, Tony.

VALLELY: Thank you, Tony.

SNOW: Next up, Senators Graham and Frist on protecting our homeland.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(UNKNOWN): Our antenna are up for all conceivable risks, and you ought to be reassured of that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SNOW: Here's the latest on the anthrax scare. A positive anthrax sample was found in a mail-bundling machine in an office annex for the House of Representatives.

On the medical front, more than 4,400 people have been tested for anthrax exposure. Thirty-seven have tested positive. Of those, eight have been infected, and one man in Florida died. In addition, authorities report at least 2,300 false alarms and hoaxes.

Joining us to discuss this problem and more are Senator Bob Graham, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Senator Bill Frist, the only physician in the Senate.

Also here Brit Hume, Washington managing editor of Fox News.

Senator Frist, a lot of people are afraid of anthrax. Should they be?

FRIST: They should be vigilant. It is potentially a deadly organism, a bacteria, this protective spore around it.

The beautiful thing is, the system's working. We've seen these other exposures. We've seen these other little outbreaks. The public health system has identified these early exposure incidents early on, has responded in an appropriate way. And as long as we do that, as long as the American people, all 300 million, are vigilant, we're going to be OK.

SNOW: What have more people died of in the last two weeks, anthrax or flu?

FRIST: Oh, they've died of flu. We've only had one anthrax death, and I predict we'll see no more deaths from anthrax, but it will take everybody pulling together.

The scary thing about it is that it does instill fear and insecurity in every single American. But there is an appropriate response by our public health system and by individuals, and that is to get educated, to learn a little bit about what that rash looks like, to recognize it early on, and then we can all be all right.

SNOW: Senator Graham, there is a lot of speculation about where this strain of anthrax came from. Tom Ridge, the new head of homeland security, says that all of the anthrax incidents so far come from a single strain.

Do you know if that's a domestic or a foreign strain?

GRAHAM: No, and I don't believe that we've answered that question yet. There is a great deal of effort from the CDC, as well as from law enforcement, intelligence sources, trying to trace back what might be the origin of this particular seed of anthrax. But that's a question, like many others, for which we do not now have an answer.

HUME: If the serious illness of one person, the man who regrettably died, can cause a level of alarm and enable hundreds and hundreds of hoaxes and false alarms, what does that tell you about our nation's psychological readiness for this war on terrorism, Senator?

GRAHAM: The difference between biogerm warfare and--in terms of terrorism--and conventional type terrorism is that, from the bio standpoint, the objective is to really scare and to frighten all 300 million people. It really personalizes terror.

It's not watching a building come down, something done to other people. It's fear that you will get infected, that you'll infect your children. And that level of insecurity and fear can be used against us, and that's what the terrorists want. They want to take that infrastructure and turn it on in.

So what we need to do, and our challenge, is to translate that potential for paralysis and for panic into resolve, resolve for understanding, because there probably will be more events, in terms of anthrax.

HUME: Well, but, Senator, wouldn't a somewhat less, I don't want to say hysterical, but excited response by officials in Washington, including members of Congress, have been in order here?

I mean, you think of the royal family during the blitz, when England and London were being bombed every night, they stayed in Buckingham Palace. Parliament didn't miss a day.

Now you have the U.S. Congress, or at least part of it, shutting down and going home a day earlier than scheduled and so forth, all because of--well, nobody's sick.

GRAHAM: Well, first of all...

HUME: Is that a--sends the right signal?

GRAHAM: First of all, Brit, our leaders of the United States of America right now have 27,000 people working on the Hill, right now. And, first and foremost, yes, leadership of the country, but they need to be caring and express that care for those 27,000 people.

This is evolving. The event that we saw in the Hart Building was identified, contained. Everybody's going to be OK there. There won't be any deaths from that event.

What we are obligated to do is determine whether there are other events. The discovery yesterday of at least some contamination, potential contamination by anthrax, in the Ford Building, that is on the House side.

We know that outside, earlier in that mail delivery system, there's also contamination. Is that one letter, or five, or 10?

Yes, there's only been one death--and that's called the index case, but there is likely to be other cases of inhalation anthrax that will come forth.

FRIST: And we have a responsibility to identify them early, to spread that news broadly and to treat aggressively, and if so, everybody's going to be OK.

HUME: Senator Graham, there's a whole school of thought that's developed with some strong advocates that says this has got to be Iraq, that this--that not only might Iraq have had some hand in what happened on September 11 atrocities, but that this anthrax scare has the fingerprints of Iraq.

What is your assessment as intelligence chairman of the potential role of Iraq in any of this?

GRAHAM: First, I'd like to say something about my friend and colleague, Bill Frist. As the only medical doctor in the Senate, he has played a very significant role in helping to explain, to educate and to keep down the level of anxiety of both on Capitol Hill and, through his web site, to the whole nation. And I think he deserves a great commendation for his personal service during this time.

As it relates to Iraq, yes, there's been a great deal of speculation about what has Iraq's role been both in the attacks of September 11 and subsequent events. While we are putting a great deal of intelligence effort on trying to make a determination, not only for this immediate instance but because this is not just a war against bin Laden, this is a war against global terrorism, and we know that Iraq has played a role in the past in supporting other groups of global terrorists, Iraq will continue to be in our crosshairs. But at this point we don't have the basis upon which to pull the trigger.

SNOW: You say in the crosshairs and that you don't think we have the basis to pull the trigger. You mean over anthrax or period?

GRAHAM: Period. That we--there is not yet a...

SNOW: We don't think Iraq is involved in the international terror network?

GRAHAM: Oh, yes, we think Iraq is involved in the international terror network. Whether they were involved in the acts of terrorism from September 11 forward, we don't have the kind of compelling evidence that we've had against bin Laden and the Taliban.

SNOW: A lot of people argue that in a time of war you don't need precise legal standards. If somebody's hostile to you, that ought to be enough.

GRAHAM: Well, the standard that we're really using now is the standard of what it's going to take to hold this coalition together. It's very important that we keep all of the nations, particularly the Muslim nations that are now supporting us, engaged. And one of the keys to doing that is convincing evidence that we're going after a target that clearly is the culprit.

HUME: Well, Senator, doesn't that raise the prospect, or at least the concern, that the coalition becomes the objective, not the war on terrorism?

GRAHAM: They are very closely intertwined, because a successful pursuit of this peculiar type of war, which is not going to involve sending in 100,000 ground troops or thousands of tanks, but rather a very delicate combination of economic, political, diplomatic, covert action as well as military operations in order to achieve this goal, will require the sustained cooperation of a number of nations and particularly Muslim nations.

HUME: Senator Frist, people seem now to be getting it, that anthrax is a bacterial infection, that it can be successfully combated, at least in the forms we've seen, with not only ciprofloxacin, but ordinary penicillin, doxycycline.

The next thing you hear people talking about is smallpox. What about smallpox? What kind of--who's got it, in your estimation, which nations, I mean? And how prepared are we to counter it if it crops up?

FRIST: Well, first of all, of the anthrax, there will be other cases come forward, so we can't drop our vigilance there. And it's very important that America realizes that.

HUME: But it is imminently treatable, correct?

FRIST: It's imminently treatable. The inhalation part has to be identified early. Most physicians have not seen it. Because of the, not fear, but the public information, we can recognize it early. But there will be more cases, it's important for America to understand that.

Smallpox, jumping to it, really it's not just smallpox, it's tularemia, it is the pneumonic plague, which killed millions, 30 million people, a third of Europe at the time. There are 20 organisms out there.

What we need to do is establish a public health infrastructure that can address each one of these, not just one, not just concentrate on a vaccine for this one, because the terrorists will move to the next element, to the next element, to the next element.

Smallpox, smallpox itself, right now, eradicated 1979. People were vaccinated 1972 last time. None of our vaccines apply today. All of us are susceptible. There are two sources of smallpox that out there today, one in United States, one in Russia, maybe several in Russia, maybe in several other countries. We don't know. Our intelligence doesn't know.

HUME: Do we have any reason to believe that it is in several other countries apart from Russia?

FRIST: There is some reason to believe. It has not been documented yet, and I'm just uncomfortable naming those other countries at this juncture.

In terms of preparedness, we do have 10 million doses of vaccine. We'll have 40 million within about eight months. We will work up to about 300 million. Smallpox is contagious; anthrax is not. We will be able to address it if it appears in this country.

SNOW: Senator Graham, are we expecting the Russians to help us on this?

GRAHAM: Yes, and they have been very helpful throughout, particularly in the provision of intelligence and their influence over those former parts of the Soviet Union that have a direct boundary with Afghanistan.

GRAHAM: If I could just extend what Dr. Frist has just said, and that is that we cannot get into a mentality of just responding to the last aspect of this crisis, whether it's the way in which airplanes are used as weapons of mass destruction or anthrax. We've got to build up our total systems to be able to defend us against what could be almost an infinite number of attacks.

For instance, if you'd asked people five years ago who were knowledgeable, which do they think are the more vulnerable, airports or seaports, overwhelmingly they would have said seaports would be the more likely place in which we would see a terrorist attack.

So we've got to focus on the system being strong, not just responding to the last vulnerability of the system.

SNOW: All right. Senators Graham and Frist, thanks for joining us.

GRAHAM: Good to be with you.

SNOW: We're going to take a short break. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SNOW: Now joining us from Shanghai, China, Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Secretary Powell, the president has been meeting with Asian leaders this week, especially talking with China about possible cooperation in Operation Enduring Freedom. Can China help us with intelligence?

POWELL: We hope so. And we had good conversations with the Chinese leadership, and the president in his first meeting with the president of China, I think, hit it off very well. A good relation was formed. And I think that in the weeks and months ahead we can look at intelligence cooperation, financial activities, all sorts of things.

The Chinese were supportive, and we are very pleased with their support, as well as the joint statement that was provided by the APEC leaders, coming down strongly on the side of the coalition against terrorism.

SNOW: You mentioned financial activities. Do we suspect that Al Qaeda has been doing some banking operations through China?

POWELL: I don't have any knowledge of that, but I'm sure that our intelligence agencies, if they do have information of that kind, will make it available to the Chinese.

And the level of cooperation that I have seen from them so far in my conversations with Foreign Minister Tang and in the president's conversations with President Jiang Zemin, I think they would be responsive.

SNOW: There's an ongoing debate here in the states, you're well aware of, that some people think that we are spending more time maintaining a coalition than running a war. Can we work with the coalition? Is the coalition ready now to say to the United States, OK, go ahead, do what you need to do to bring down the Taliban if that's what it requires?

POWELL: Nothing in the coalition, no aspect of the coalition, keeps the American president from doing what he feels he has to do to go after Al Qaeda and to deal with the Taliban. But his efforts are so magnified by the presence of a coalition.

This is a coalition that came together to go after this common enemy, terrorism. And the suggestion that somehow the coalition keeps us from doing what we want to do is just absolutely wrong.

Quite the contrary. Without this coalition, we wouldn't be able to do what we are doing. We wouldn't be getting the support from the Central Asian nations. We wouldn't be getting the support from the United Nations, the United Kingdom. Everybody has come together for this common goal.

And so, coalition, in this sense, is a good word. And to suggest that somehow it is in competition with what the president wants to do is simply a misreading of reality.

SNOW: We want the Northern Alliance to be part of a coalition government within Afghanistan. We do not want them to be the dominant partner, correct? POWELL: I think that's a fair statement. They are a minority group, and I think if we want a stable Afghanistan, all parts of Afghan society in the Afghan political spectrum have to be represented. And the Northern Alliance would have to be represented.

It would be an important part of that new government, but at about 15 percent of the population, I don't even think they think that they're in a position at this time to be the dominant figure. They would certainly be an important part of the post-Taliban government.

SNOW: The Pashtun are the largest ethnic group in the country. Also they have close ties with Pakistan. Can Pakistan help us persuade the Pashtun to play a more active role in trying to form a post-Taliban coalition?

POWELL: I think they can, and I think the Pakistanis are being helpful now. I had good conversations with President Musharraf, and he understands now that the Taliban, its days are numbered, and we have to start looking toward the future. And we talked about that.

And as you know, Ambassador Richard Haass, on my staff, is now working with the United Nations and other nations who have an interest in this to see what kind of an arrangement can and should be worked out to deal with the post-Taliban era.

SNOW: There are reports that the United Nations may request the cessation of bombing right now because it is hampering humanitarian efforts within Afghanistan. If the United Nations were to make that request, what would the American reply be?

POWELL: I'm not aware of any such request, and we have been conducting our military campaign in a way that it would not interfere with humanitarian efforts.

We're constantly reviewing this. And, as you know, our airplanes are providing humanitarian aid through airdrops. And we're working hard to get truck convoys in, because that's how you get the heavy tonnages in. And we're trying to do it and, at the same time, conduct a military operation.

So we do not have such a request. The reports are mixed as to how much food is getting in, and when I get back to Washington, this is one of the first things I'll be looking at. Because this war is not against the Afghan people. We have to prepare them for the winter that is just a few weeks away, and we'll be making every effort to do that.

SNOW: As winter approaches, it is important for us to achieve such strategic goals as taking Kabul or even Kandahar before the onset of winter?

POWELL: I think it would be in our interest and the interest of the coalition to see this matter resolved before winter strikes and it makes our operations that much more difficult.

The actual seizure of land in which cities might be the right ones to cause that to come about, I'm not sure. But certainly the Northern Alliance is on the march in the North toward Mazar-e-Sharif, and I think they're gathering their strength to at least invest Kabul or start moving on Kabul more aggressively.

SNOW: There's been talk also of ceasing operations or slowing them down during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Good idea, bad idea?

POWELL: Well, we have to be respectful of that very, very significant religious period. But at the same time, we also have to make sure we pursue our campaign. So, I will yield to my Pentagon colleagues as to what might be required if we are still in this kind of a military campaign mode when Ramadan approaches in the middle of November.

SNOW: You're a military man. It sounds to me like what you're saying, even though you're now secretary of state, from a military point of view, you can't really cease hostilities at that point.

POWELL: Well, I think it depends. It depends on what more has to be done, what the military operation looks like at that point. So I don't want to speculate on what we might be ready to do at the middle of November. And it's best that I remember that I am secretary of state and no longer wearing a uniform, and not speculate on what my military colleagues are thinking or what Don Rumsfeld is thinking over in the Pentagon.

SNOW: Senator John McCain is saying he's a little unhappy right now with the roles of Egypt and Saudi Arabia. He says they're playing both ends of it.

SNOW: And, on the one hand, they permit mullahs and Islamic Muslim speakers to issue anti-American diatribes weekly. On the other hand, they say from time to time, no, no, no, we're really with you.

Is it important for the United States to say to both of those nations, especially on the propaganda front, that is the kinds of discourse they're permitting, to say, you need to be with us?

POWELL: Well, they are with us. I mean, both Egypt and Saudi Arabia have responded to every request we have made of them. Saudi Arabia was especially helpful just a few days ago, when they held the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and 56 Islamic nations came to the support of the coalition by condemning terrorism. And Saudi Arabia played an important role in achieving that outcome. So they are being responsive.

At the same time, they do have public opinions. They have people within those two countries who are not happy with what we are doing. And I think it's a little odd for us to say to them, you have to muzzle dissent, you have to muzzle those who are speaking out against us.

I think, if we want them to be the kind of nations and lands that we preach about, we have to expect that, if there is another point of view within that country that differs from the official point of view of the government, you have to give it the opportunity to be expressed.

SNOW: Secretary Powell, the president met with his Russian counterpart today. Is American policy on the ABM Treaty unchanged, which is to say that we're prepared within the next six months to begin testing of technologies that may, in fact, require us to abrogate the treaty?

POWELL: I don't think that is yet American policy, Tony. What the president has said all along, and what he said again to President Putin this evening, was that the ABM Treaty is a relic of the past. We need to move beyond it.

I was pleased that President Putin responded that we are in a new era, and there are some new ideas on the table, there are some new parameters we should be looking at. And Foreign Minister Ivanov and I and Donald Rumsfeld and his counterpart, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, will be working hard in the weeks ahead, approaching Crawford, when President Putin visits with President Bush again, and beyond Crawford, to see how we can move forward.

President Bush has made it clear, however, that, in due course, if we aren't able to get an agreement that'll allow us to move forward in a new framework, he is prepared to unilaterally withdraw from the treaty, because he is determined to move forward with missile defenses, and he has said that to President Putin from the first day they met.

SNOW: Secretary of State Colin Powell, thanks for joining us.

POWELL: You're welcome, Tony.

SNOW: Still ahead, stories you won't find on any other Sunday program, and our panel on the House's closing up shop.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE DICK GEPHARDT (D-MO): We don't know if there's been involvement of any of our buildings. We need to make sure, and the best way to do that is to get people out of the buildings.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SNOW: Now let's check out some stories we found this week below the fold.

Hollywood stars have expressed their solidarity with Congress--by canceling scheduled flights and events. Actress Heather Graham bagged an appearance on the David Letterman Show, staying in Los Angeles instead. Drew Barrymore skipped the debut of her own movie, as did most moviegoers. Rosie O'Donnell called off taping her show for a week. And Liza Minnelli stayed in New York, rather than flying to L.A. for a charity appearance. Said she to gossip columnist Cindy Adams, ``I should risk my life for one f'ing song?''

Some tales of extreme caution: Northwest Airlines announced that it no longer will carry artificial sweeteners or creamers on its flights. Too many people think the dust looks like anthrax spores.

Philadelphia authorities prevented 22-year-old Neil Godfrey (ph) from boarding a flight to Phoenix. His crime, carrying a copy of the book ``Hayduke Lives,'' the cover of which features a picture of a bomb.

And Triumph International, a Japanese apparel firm, has engineered a product for women sick of embarrassing airport searches. It boasts that its metal-free bras can help streamline immigration and boarding procedures.

Finally, some of the week's best false rumors: Contrary to Internet opinion, Osama bin Laden does not own Snapple, the beverage company. Nor does he control global supplies of Spirit gum.

And you cannot kill anthrax spores by running a steam iron over your mail. This tale first appeared on a CNN broadcast. In fact, ironing can heat the air inside the envelope, causing the envelope to blow open and expel its contents.

And with that precaution, it's panel time for Brit Hume, Mara Liasson and Juan Williams.

Brit, maybe the most interesting story of the week is the House of Representatives closing up shop.

I want to show you a couple of pieces of tape to set up the conversation. It's House Speaker Dennis Hastert, first on Wednesday announcing the fact that the House is going to take a precautionary move, and it's going to close up early, and then talking a little further about that yesterday in a joint appearance with Tommy Thompson, the Health and Human Services Secretary. Let's take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE DENNIS HASTERT (R-IL), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We don't have the tests back, but we know that it was sophisticated, in that it was very friable, it was almost an aerosol type of a situation on a powder. And when they opened the envelope, this thing sent out a flume. And we have at recent count probably 30 people or so that have been infected with it.

HASTERT: I have to make a decision. I have the personal lives of more than 5,000 people that I have to be concerned about. I think I made the right decision. I think most of those people that live and work in those offices, and certainly the parents of interns and others, think we made the right decision as well.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

SNOW: Interestingly enough, Brit, the New York Post, an employee of which also had anthrax, had this particular headline in response.

And there you see both House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt and House Speaker Dennis Hastert. This was a bipartisan production.

You heard earlier today, Brit, Senator Bill Frist saying there are 27,000 people working for Congress in and around the Capitol. People are naturally concerned about their employees.

Is Congress getting a bad rap?

HUME: Well, you listen to what Speaker Hastert said, he talked about more than 30 people being infected. In fact, they didn't have anybody infected; they had some people exposed. So far as we know, no one was infected.

Worth noting that the woman who had a little cutaneous anthrax on one of her fingers and had it treated with antibiotics, she didn't miss a day of work.

HUME: And I think there's symbolic importance in how leaders behave. And when Congress shuts down on an anthrax scare, which nobody's been made sick yet in Congress, it seems to me that people begin to wonder whether they shouldn't be heading for the tall grass, too.

This has been--if this is an anthrax attack, it has been, I think, an almost complete failure as a weapon of mass destruction. It has been a stunning success, however, aided it seems to me by Congress, as a weapon of mass distraction.

LIASSON: Yes, that's right. I think that in the early days after the World Trade Center attack, what did we see? We saw the incredible stories of firefighters and rescue workers who were heroes and who were incredibly brave.

I think that there was a lot of confusion this week, a lot of contradictory information, a lot of misunderstanding about what was weapons grade, what wasn't.

I think there are ways that you can protect all of those people and interns who work in the Senate and House office buildings. The Senate actually closed the office buildings, but kept the Senate in session, which is certainly I think would have sent the right message.

And I think in the future, we've got to have one source of clear information. And I think once that happens, it's going to be easier to do the right thing.

WILLIAMS: You know, in thinking about this, I just think that it--the basic idea of terror is that you scare your opponent. And if that's the goal that the terrorists had, they have scared America.

Now, what happened up on the Hill, I mean, the reporting behind that is that Hastert says they were over at the White House that morning. He thought that Senator Daschle, the Senate majority leader, had agreed to shut down by the end of the day, but of course, the Senate then goes back. And Charles Schumer, the senator from New York, apparently said, look, that's a bad idea, sends the wrong signal, let's not do it. No communication then between Daschle and Hastert, so Hastert gets sort of left hanging out to dry because he comes forward and makes this announcement.

SNOW: So, do you think Hastert got sandbagged?

WILLIAMS: I think he got sandbagged a little bit--not intentionally. ``Sandbagged'' has some sense of intent to it. I think he just made a call. He thought it was the right thing to do.

You know, Representative Gephardt, who's the minority leader in the House, said, why put people in harm's way? So, maybe they just took the cautious step for themselves.

But in terms of their role as leaders of this country, what they did was to send a panicked message, and that was wrong.

SNOW: Brit uncharacteristically seems to have a contrary opinion on this.

HUME: No, no. Well, one thing I think is clear is that Senator Daschle did communicate a lot of very grave sounding information at that White House meeting that Juan mentioned--that's all true--and scared the daylights, I guess, out of everybody.

He then came back up to the Hill and got an update and also heard from senators who thought, look, this sends the wrong signal. He reversed course, came outside with his colleagues, held a news conference, brought the guy from Fort Detrick, which is the U.S. weapons--you know, I mean, bioweapons experimentation laboratory, forward, explained why this wasn't that big a deal, that it was common variety anthrax, not some super strain that had been developed for weapons purposes, and the Senate changed course.

Hastert came out and said the stuff you heard him saying about people being infected, when no one was and so forth, well after that news conference. And he seemed somehow to have missed it. This, friends, is not a good sign.

SNOW: Now, let me, as a public service, show people--it's a little gross but not terribly--something that Senator Bill Frist brought to us today. Here are a couple of pictures of anthrax infections. They're very--it's pretty easy to see. So here we go.

HUME: That rectangular thing is not the infection. It's the thing below the eye, right?

SNOW: That's right. That's right, it does not take out...

LIASSON: They're very obvious, in other words.

SNOW: They're very obvious. There was also, we had a picture of...

HUME: And important to note, Tony, that when they reach that stage where you have the blackness occur on the lesion, it's still--you're still plenty of time to treat it with antibiotics. You know, you're going to be sore and it's a little ugly, but it's imminently treatable, as Dr/Senator Frist made very clear.

SNOW: The fascinating thing about the New York Post employee is that she evidently had this for several weeks, had been treated with antibiotics, she didn't know it was anthrax until all the stories came out. And then finally she went back and they said, oh yes, it's anthrax and keep taking your antibiotics.

There's another problem, Mara, which is a lot of people, in running out and taking antibiotics, may be doing more harm to their health than if they didn't do anything.

LIASSON: Oh yes, doing more harm to their health because there are side effects, but also doing more harm to the efficacy of Cipro or whatever it is they're taking to work the next time, because you can develop antibiotic resistant bugs. And that's why people are saying don't go out and take a course of Cipro for some prophylactic reason, it's not going to help you.

But, you know, I think the other concern about this anthrax hysteria is what it's doing to our law enforcement energies. We want the law enforcement, the FBI and everybody else to be focused on what they're going to do next, not chasing down every hoax and every lead about what they've already done. This could be a dry run for something else if, in fact, this is the Al Qaeda network who's doing this. And that's where we want law enforcement to put its efforts.

WILLIAMS: I think people are skittish, you know.

LIASSON: Yes.

WILLIAMS: And I think it's regrettable, unnecessary. You're wasting police time and police energy. These reports of bombs up in Philadelphia in lockers at the bus station, that's of greater concern to me.

WILLIAMS: But it seems that almost under-reported is the fact that law enforcement officials have been thwarting a number of these efforts, that there have been success in defeating this.

And, to my mind, that's what should be getting more attention, that we are having some success, the nation is continuing business as usual. We're saying to people they should proceed as usual. At the same time, we have this conflicting image of our nation leaders running away into their little barracks. But so be it.

SNOW: We've had an interesting debate, Mara, about whether our diplomatic efforts are getting in the way of our military efforts.

But let me first tee it up by showing you a Fox News Opinion Dynamics poll question about the war. The question was: The military response, is it about right? Most people think so, although an interesting percentage, 30 percent, say we're not aggressive enough, and 8 percent say we're too aggressive.

LIASSON: Well, look, this is a very tough question to answer. I mean, ``aggressive enough.'' We wanted to do the job. We want to get rid of Osama bin Laden and disrupt his network, so they won't have the capacity to do anything further.

In terms of holding back, it sounds like we are now going against the front lines of the Taliban forces. There is an effort being made, as you heard from Colin Powell and others, to try to put together some kind of a government that's going to replace the Taliban.

The other thing that we hear from Afghanistan is, the Taliban isn't really a government. In other words, it doesn't...

SNOW: A militia.

LIASSON: It's a militia. And they can fade into the hills and go back to the form that they were for so many years against the Soviets.

HUME: I think, Tony, that it is worrisome, in a situation like this, when you know, and I think we do know, that the military effort is being held back by authorities worried about the political atmosphere that would be created by victory--and victory for the forces friendly to us.

And I know it's complicated, I know it's a problem. But, you know, you do have this issue, within Afghanistan and broadly, where you get into--where the diplomatic takes priority, and you have the coalitions become the objective, not the victory.

SNOW: But you did have the secretary of state saying he thought they had to wrap up the important business of securing Kabul and other places within the next month.

HUME: Well, I think there's good reason to hope now, based on what we've now heard from Steve Harrigan about the bombardment along the front lines, that the military campaign is now going forward in that area, and they're beginning to hit the troops and move.

WILLIAMS: You think they have two...

LIASSON: And that one-month deadline has to do with winter and Ramadan.

SNOW: Right.

WILLIAMS: I think you have two sets of issues here.

One is, you have Pakistan. You have to make sure that Pakistan remains in the coalition broadly, because of their military importance to executing the mission. And Pakistan clearly wants to be sure, for some reason, that some elements of the Taliban remain in whatever government comes to rule over Afghanistan.

The second thing is this broader coalition issue. And this week there's been an argument in Washington about whether or not the U.S. effort, the military effort, should stop in Afghanistan or proceed to go after Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

Now, this argument's very interesting. Joe Lieberman, the senator from Connecticut, has said, yes, you have to go after Saddam Hussein. Henry Hyde on the other hand, says, no, that's not our business, and it will fracture whatever coalition exists.

Now, if that's the case, that means that the coalition interests are paramount, more so than the military efforts.

HUME: I would just say about that that it appears that we're in a one-step-at-a-time situation here. We're going to try to go for the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, and, if--when that objective is achieved, focus on the next thing. The next thing may be Saddam Hussein. Who knows? It may be terrorists in Syria.

I mean, my sense about that is that the administration is probably wise not to take too big a bite of this thing at any given moment.

WILLIAMS: They may not have a choice because of events in the Middle East. With the assassination of the Israeli cabinet minister right now, you have heightened tensions between Palestinians and Israelis. The idea is that, if that conflict were to escalate at this moment, the United States is going to have to have something to say. And therefore, the coalition on the larger issue of Afghanistan may suddenly become secondary.

SNOW: You really--on the other hand, Mara, the defense secretary, the president and others talk about coalitions, plural, knowing that...

LIASSON: Right.

SNOW: ... sometimes people who are with us now aren't going to be with us...

LIASSON: That's right.

SNOW: ... which is why, as Brit said, it's sort of a case-by-case approach.

LIASSON: That's right. It's case-by-case. And after you finish with Osama bin Laden and his network, then you have to build a case, if you want to go forward against Iraq, and see who's going to be with you on that one.

Yes, there are coalitions on money laundering, and there are coalitions for the military purposes, which pretty much consists of us and Great Britain. But, yes, those are things that are going to have to be taken step by step.

HUME: It is an interesting posture, though, for the United States, isn't it, to have declared war on terrorism, and then, within a month, we're telling Israel, ``Oh, and by the way, dear Israeli friends, try not to kill those Palestinian terrorists who have been committing terror against your country for so long.'' Peculiar posture.

WILLIAMS: But it's a posture required, in terms of keeping that coalition together. So that's the difficulty right now, is, what is the goal? Is the goal holding all terrorism at bay or not?

SNOW: We'll find out.

Juan, Brit, Mara, thanks.

When we return, my parting thoughts on fear.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SNOW: I don't know about you, but I'm sick of fear. I don't care whether the topic is anthrax or explosives or killer crop-dusters, things are getting ridiculous.

Some people are behaving as if we're on the verge of annihilation and they're doing their best to transform panic into a communicable disease.

Fear stems from one source, a lack of faith--a lack of faith in God, a lack of faith in our fellow man, most of all a lack of faith in ourselves. To live scared is to assume that the impersonal regiments of evil are more powerful and resolute than the forces of good, the very personal forces of good.

But we've seen since September 11 that this just isn't true. We're a vast and varied nation, large not only in geography but in heart. America's a glorious place, blessed by decency and bounty. So each day, let's count our blessings, take sensible precautions and enjoy. Don't live in fear, just live.

That's it for today. Stay tuned to Fox News Channel and this Fox station for the very latest on the war on terror. And remember to start your Sunday's right here on Fox News Sunday.

END

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