Ups and Downs for the Week of Oct.21-27

This partial transcript of Special Report with Brit Hume, October 27, 2001 was provided by the Federal Document Clearing House. Click here to order the complete transcript.


Up, President Bush

 He continues to enjoy the confidence of the American people in his war on terror, a campaign that got a critical boost Friday with the enactment of sweeping anti-terror legislation.  And if you listen to Bush, you'll see he really means it about enforcing this stuff.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  The changes effective today will help counter a threat like no other our nation has ever faced.  We've seen the enemy in the murder of thousands of innocent, unsuspecting people.  They recognize no barrier of morality.  They have no conscience.  But one thing is for certain, these terrorists must be pursued.  They must be defeated.  And they must be brought to justice.


BARNES:  You know, I think Bush is going to get an aviation security bill, a stimulus package, maybe even a TPA, trade promotion authority fast track.  After all, Mort, he has these extraordinary job performance numbers.  Look at these numbers that show up in all these polls.  They're just amazing.  You know, people respond to that.

MORT KONDRACKE, CO-HOST:  Well, and I think that Bush, Bush's positions on these things is not partisan Republican.  He compromised with Patrick Leahy, the Democrat from Vermont, on anti-terrorist legislation.  His position on a stimulus package is not the corporate welfare scheme of the, of the House Republicans.  I'm  -- the one thing that I'm afraid of, though, is that, that he's let too much time pass, and he's going to lose on, on making federal employees of, of all the, the airport workers, yes.

Up, Tennessee Senator Bill Frist.  

The surgeon-turned-senator emerges as Congress's go-to guy on anthrax, providing members and the public with information on the dangers and realities of anthrax, and often serving as a voice of reason and calm during the recent outbreaks.

We have a common hero here, Senator Frist.  I mean, he has been way ahead of everybody in town on bioterrorism.  And what he's working on right now is trying to get more anthrax vaccine and smallpox vaccine prepared in case, in case they're, they're needed.

BARNES:  Yes, you know, in his case, knowledge is power.  He knows a lot.  He's a heart surgeon, but he's learned all about these other infectious diseases and anthrax.  And the truth is, I mean, he was invited as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to go to the White House and meet with Bush when Bush came back from China.

He didn't go, he was out working on the anthrax thing with local officials here in Washington and doctors and researchers.  You have to praise him for that.  OK.

Down, anti-Taliban forces.  

They suffered two huge setbacks this week.  First, the Northern Alliance loses ground in its attempt to take over the key northern city of Mazar-e Sharif, and a top leader of the Afghan opposition, Abdul Haq, was assassinated Friday by Taliban forces.

KONDRACKE:  Well, the, the assassination of Abdul Haq, who, by the way, was a great anti-Soviet hero in the resistance  -- I mean, this is the second such person who's been killed in the last two months.  And the question is, where was the CIA?  I mean, if a man like this is willing to risk his life to go into Afghanistan and try to organize resistance, you'd think that he would have protection and, and  -- from, from the CIA, and that there would  -- and be Special Forces troops guarding his path.

BARNES:  That's right.

KONDRACKE:  Instead, all the CIA did was give him a cell phone, you know, a satellite phone, which he tried to call for, for help as he was being captured.

BARNES:  Right.  And, and then executed.  You know, the fact is, he should have had that kind of protection.

Now, my question is, where are all the defectors?  I mean, who were supposed to be coming from the Taliban?  You know, that's why Abdul Haq was so important.  They could have gotten  -- he's the guy, he's a Pashtun, he could have gotten defectors from the Taliban and, and that would have made all the difference.


Down, the liberal bastion of Berkeley, California. 

The city council last week passed a resolution criticizing U.S. strikes on Afghanistan, and now faces an economic boycott.

In an open letter to Berkeley citizens, Mayor Shirley Dean, who voted against the resolution, wrote, quote, "We have heard of contact  -- contracts being abandoned, boycott flyers being distributed, dinner reservations being canceled, real estate transactions being terminated.  And the movement seems to be growing.  This is a serious consequence for our city coming out of a time of economic downturn," unquote.

Well, you know what I'd like  -- you know, what I'd...


BARNES:  ... hardy perennial, Mort.

KONDRACKE:  ... like to see  --  Yes, exactly, well...

BARNES:  The U.S. is always wrong even when somebody kills 6,000 Americans, innocent Americans, the U.S. response is always wrong and immoral and so on.  The good news is, on the Berkeley college campus there, a lot of the students are pro-American.

KONDRACKE:  Well, the councilwoman, Donna Spring, who, who pioneered this resolution, ought to take a little deputation of progressives, as they call themselves, off to Afghanistan and see if  -- how they like living under the Taliban.  Since she's not going to do that...


KONDRACKE:  ... what I favor is, boycott Berkeley.

BARNES:  Well, they don't have many products, so I don't know what  -- but I'm with you.  All right.


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