Transcript: Dec. 6, 2005

ByABC News

Dec. 6, 2005 — -- Prepared by The Transcription Company,, (818) 848-6500 Which takes sole responsibility for accuracy of transcription.

23:35:02 CYNTHIA MCFADDEN, ABC NEWSTonight on "Nightline," anatomy of an attack. For the first time, theclassified video of that deadly assault on the American consulate in SaudiArabia. How defenses failed, guards fled and so much else went wrong.


23:35:19 CYNTHIA MCFADDENA daughter's pain. Her Christian activist father held hostage in Iraq,under threat of death. Tonight, her first interview.


23:35:26 KATHERINE FOX, DAUGHTERI do not think a loss of his life benefits their cause.

23:35:30 CYNTHIA MCFADDENAnd, "you're a rich man Charlie Brown." Now Snoopy and company rake inthe money with America's favorite rerun. Good grief. It's a sign of thetimes.


23:35:43 ANNOUNCERFrom the global resources of ABC News, with Terry Moran in Washington,and Martin Bashir and Cynthia McFadden in Times Square, New York, this is"Nightline." December 6th, 2005.



(OC) Good evening, I'm Cynthia McFadden. Martin Bashir is on assignment.We're about to get a close and chilling look at a terror assault. Oneyear ago today, a terrorist team launched a carefully-planned raid on theAmerican consulate in Jeddah, a major port city in Saudi Arabia. Considering Saudi Arabia's recent history with Islamic extremism, onemight think a US government headquarters there would boast strongdefenses. They did not, as you will see. ABC's chief investigativecorrespondent, Brian Ross, is back with us tonight. Brian?

23:36:29 BRIAN ROSS, ABC NEWS(OC) Cynthia, the State Department has tried to keep these tapes frombeing made public. They show just how easy it was for the al Qaedaterrorists to break into the compound, despite billions of dollars spentto enhance diplomatic security worldwide. It took only five seconds.

23:36:46 BRIAN ROSS(VO) The assault in Jeddah began at 11:16 in the morning, on a day whenthe US compound was supposed to at a critical threat level. A USconsulate vehicle pulls up to a side gate and waits for two securitybarriers to be opened. The terrorists, chanting over a cell phone totheir accomplices with almost perfect timing pull up in their four-doorsedan, just as the consulate car is cleared.

23:37:12 TONY DEIBLER, FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALObviously, they had done a surveillance detection on this facility.

23:37:16 BRIAN ROSS(VO) We showed the tape to former State Department security officer TonyDeibler.

23:37:20 BRIAN ROSS(OC) So they knew exactly how long it would take for the barrier to godown?

23:37:22 TONY DEIBLERYes. Yes.

23:37:24 BRIAN ROSS(VO) The terrorists' car is blocked. But they exit on foot and openfire. Within five seconds, they will be through the security gates,including an expensive vehicle obstacle called a delta barrier.

23:37:36 TONY DEIBLERSo did the delta barrier do what it was designed to do, i.e., stop thecar? Yes. Did it prevent the bad guys from getting in? No.

23:37:44 BRIAN ROSS(OC) It should have, or something should have?

23:37:46 TONY DEIBLERSomething should have.

23:37:49 BRIAN ROSS(VO) As the terrorists run inside, the Saudi national guard troopsassigned to protect the consulate, run in the opposite direction, awayfrom the fight.

23:37:57 TONY DEIBLERI hate to say it, because I have a lot of friends on the Saudi nationalguard, but they're running away. At least that national guardsman tookhis weapon with him. Although he's going the wrong way.

23:38:09 BRIAN ROSS(VO) It will be 1 hour and 15 minutes before the Saudi national guardmounts a counterattack on the terrorists inside the compound.

23:38:17 BRIAN ROSS(OC) Does this suggest you can't really count on the Saudi nationalguard?

23:38:24 TONY DEIBLERIt would definitely lead me, personally, to have real seriousreservations. I mean, their one unit ran away. The other unit takes theman hour and 15 minutes to get there.

23:38:39 BRIAN ROSS(VO) By 11:17, one minute into the attack, the terrorists have the run ofthe compound. Employees can be seen running for their lives. At 11:18,the terrorists open fire on several buildings. But by 11:19, allAmericans are safely secure. Most inside the consulate's main building,following what's called the "duck and cover" alarm. The terrorists can beseen outside, trying without success, to get past security doors. Tryingto rig an explosive charge that later fails. At 11:23, the Marines insiderelease tear gas. But the State Department uses a weaker version than themilitary and the gas appears to have little effect on the terrorists.

23:39:23 TONY DEIBLERYou can see it's dissipating already. And it's not - not having anyeffect at all.

23:39:28 BRIAN ROSS(OC) Is this known at the State Department that this is not really thateffective?

23:39:33 TONY DEIBLERYes.

23:39:35 BRIAN ROSS(VO) At 11:47, the terrorists take down the American flag in front of theconsulate. Over the next 43 minutes, out of sight of the cameras, theywill be unchallenged as they take four US employees and a local guardhostage. All of whom will be killed. Ten others under the protection ofthe US Consulate will be injured.

23:39:54 TONY DEIBLERI think we're very, very lucky. Had it been at lunchtime or early in themorning, when people were going to work, could it have been a differentstory? Very much so.

23:40:05 BRIAN ROSS(VO) The State Department has called what happened a success storybecause no US citizens were harmed.

23:40:11 RICHARD CLARKE, FORMER COUNTER-TERRORISM CHIEFWhen US government employees are killed on embassy grounds or onconsulate grounds, that's a failure, no matter how you look at it.

23:40:21 BRIAN ROSS(VO) Finally, at 12:30, Saudi police enter through the compound's alphagate. One terrorist is shot dead trying to run away. Three others arereported killed in a gun battle. The people in charge begin their ownbureaucratic version of duck and cover, trying to avoid blame.

23:40:38 RICHARD CLARKEThe State Department should have been on alert, should've been on highsecurity standards in Jeddah.

23:40:43 BRIAN ROSS(OC) And the fact that they weren't?

23:40:45 RICHARD CLARKEThe fact that they weren't means that someone wasn't doing their job.

23:40:49 BRIAN ROSS(VO) A secret State Department review of the incident, obtained by ABCNews, found that while security measures met standards, they wereinadequate to stop the terrorists.

23:40:59 RICHARD CLARKEThe implications of that are pretty serious because it means theworldwide standards being used to secure our hundreds of diplomaticinstallations aren't good enough.

23:41:09 BRIAN ROSS(VO) But at the State Department today, a spokesman praised the effortsduring last year's attacks.

23:41:14 ADAM ERELI, STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMANIt was thanks to the courage, the bravery and the quick thinking of ourAmerican and local staff that those terrorists were either killed orcaptured and that they were not able to penetrate the consulate building.

23:41:32 BRIAN ROSS(VO) The secret State Department review concluded no one breached his orher duty, but noted leadership problems in general. And found thatofficials in charge of security received little support from the CounselGeneral. The Counsel General, Gina Abercrombie Windstanley, is no longerposted in Saudi Arabia. She declined to speak about the incident in anappearance last week in Cleveland. The secret review also found awidespread negative perception among the consulate staff of the CounselGeneral's degree of concern for security. No surprise to former StateDepartment security officer Tony Deibler. He says over his 27 years ofservice worldwide, where he often faced armed attackers, including thisincident in Liberia, he repeatedly found ambassadors and other seniordiplomats giving short shrift to security concerns.

23:42:23 TONY DEIBLERThe man that broke me in when I first joined diplomatic security told meone day, he said you have to decide something right now. You have todecide, do you want a career or do you want to do the right thing?

23:42:37 BRIAN ROSS(OC) So, to challenge the ambassador on security is not really...

23:42:40 TONY DEIBLERIs the kiss of death.

23:42:41 BRIAN ROSS(OC) That's the kiss of death?

23:42:42 TONY DEIBLERYes.

23:42:43 BRIAN ROSS(VO) Since 1998, more than 260 people have died in terrorist attacks onUS diplomatic facilities.

23:42:51 RICHARD CLARKEThe State Department's focus on security usually lasts a few months aftera facility has been attacked. And then, they go back to making waiversand allowing facilities to be built which are inherently not secure.

23:43:05 BRIAN ROSS(OC) US officials said today they've made a number of improvements atJeddah since last year's attacks. Cynthia?

23:43:09 CYNTHIA MCFADDEN(OC) But Brian, it seems so counterintuitive that diplomats wouldn't beconcerned about their own safety and that of their staff.

23:43:15 BRIAN ROSSWell, of course they are but there's a kind of culture clash here. Tightsecurity, good security can get in the way of the kind of open accessdiplomats seek when they're overseas.

23:43:23 CYNTHIA MCFADDEN(OC) Any indications that those kind of attitudes persist?

23:43:26 BRIAN ROSS(OC) Well, they still are, according to Richard Clarke and others andwe've talked to. For instance, there's a requirement now that allembassies must be 100 feet back from the street. Yet, waivers are soughtagain and again. The US is building a new embassy in Berlin, right on thestreet, in violation of the guidelines set to provide safety.

23:43:43 CYNTHIA MCFADDEN(OC) So, in many cases, these diplomatic outposts remain vulnerabletargets?

23:43:46 BRIAN ROSS(OC) Absolutely.

23:43:48 CYNTHIA MCFADDEN(OC) Brian Ross, thank you so much for the report. Coming up on'Nightline," a daughter's plea. Her father held hostage in Iraq. Now,her message to his captors in her first interview.

GRAPHICS: A DAUGHTER'S PLEA23:43:59 ANNOUNCERABC News 'Nightline." Brought to you by...


23:47:05 ANNOUNCER"Nightline" continues from Washington. Here is Terry Moran.

EOF999 SHOW: NTLAIRDTE: 05/12/06SEGMNT: 03LENGTH: 00:17:00 STORY: A DAUGHTER'S PLEASTORY2: AMERICAN HOSTAGE IN IRAQ CORR: TERRY MORANCORLOC: NEW YORK, NY USA ANCH: CYNTHIA MCFADDENANCLOC: WASHINGTON, DC USA TOPIC:CONTENT:23:47:08Prepared by The Transcription Company,, (818) 848-6500 Which takes sole responsibility for accuracy of transcription

23:47:08 TERRY MORAN, ABC NEWS(OC) It's been ten days now since four Christian peace activists,idealists working in a dangerous land, were kidnapped near a mosque theywere visiting in Baghdad. Tonight, time may be running out for them. Their captors have vowed they will kill all four on Thursday, unless allIraqi prisoners in US and Iraqi detention centers are released. It is ademand both the US and Iraqi governments have rejected. One of the fourhostages is an American, Thomas Fox of Clearbrook, Virginia. A Quaker, amusician and a father.

23:47:45 TERRY MORAN(VO) This grainy video aired last week on the Arab network al-Jazeera, isthe last communication from the kidnappers of Thomas Fox and his threefellow peace activists. It shows Fox, 54 years old, looking tired butcalm. The four activists are victims of a disturbing resurgence in Iraq. In the past 11 days, seven Westerners have been abducted. Asked about theUS hostages today, President Bush declared that there will be nobargaining for their freedom.

23:48:15 PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH, UNITED STATESWe, of course, don't pay ransom for any hostages. What we will do, ofcourse, is use our intelligence gathering to see if we can't help locatethem.

23:48:28 TERRY MORAN(VO) Kidnapping is a grim fact of life in Iraq. 254 nationals have beenabducted since May 2003. And there are thousands of Iraqi victims. No oneknows exactly how many. The danger has forced most aid organizations,from the UN to Doctors Without Borders to CARE International to sharplycut back their programs or pull out of Iraq altogether.

23:48:54 MARK BARTOLINI, INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEEThe brutality, the torture that's occurred in some of the kidnappings andthe beheadings is really unprecedented in terms of what aid workers havefaced.

23:48:59 TERRY MORAN(VO) But Tom Fox and the Christian peacemaker team he is a member of weredetermined to brave the danger to make a difference. They work with thefamilies of detainees, seeking to highlight the abuse of prisoners. Thatanti-war agenda has made Tom Fox and his colleagues the target of someconservatives, including Rush Limbaugh, who lambasted the four even whilethey were facing death in Iraq.

23:49:26 RUSH LIMBAUGH, TALK SHOW HOSTAnd some of you might say, gosh, that's horrible, peace activists takenhostage. Well, here's why I like it. I like anytime a bunch of leftist,feel-good hand-wringers are shown reality.

23:49:39 TERRY MORAN(VO) Tom Fox has written that he believes, "there is that of God in everyperson." And he left instructions before going to Iraq that no militaryor violent police action be taken to free him in the event he waskidnapped.

23:49:54 TERRY MORAN(OC) We'll have the first interview with Tom Fox's daughter, Katherine,when we come back.


23:53:02 TERRY MORAN(OC) Earlier this evening, I spoke with Tom Fox's daughter, KatherineFox, who's in Los Angeles. And I asked her if she had any news from theUS government or other sources about her dad.

23:53:14 KATHERINE FOXNothing concrete. We know that diplomatic approaches are still beingtaken. That we are consistently trying to make contact to send outpositive messages about what kind of work they've been doing. But I haveno specific information in regard to contact at this time.

23:53:33 TERRY MORAN(OC) I want to talk about the work your father's doing in Iraq. Butfirst, do you feel you are getting all of the support you need from theUnited States government, that the Administration is doing everything itcan and should in these circumstances?

23:53:46 KATHERINE FOXI think that it proves difficult, in that the reasons that my father isin Iraq and his principles and his beliefs and my own, run somewhat inconflict to the approach that the government is presently taking. Theywould like to support me. However, their means of support are not thedirection that I would like to be taking. And my father's explicitlystated that he does not want to have taken.

23:54:12 TERRY MORAN(OC) How do you mean, exactly?

23:54:14 KATHERINE FOXIn that he, before he left, he wrote a very concise, precise statement ofconscience and conviction, that if he were to ever be taken hostage thathe does not support violent means to come in and to potentially releasehim, to rescue him. That he doesn't support that way of dealing with theproblem. That there needs to be talks. That we need to keep seeing thesepeople as human beings. And...

23:54:43 TERRY MORAN(OC) Seeing - his captors as human beings?

23:54:48 KATHERINE FOXAs human beings. That - and this is, I think, something that's very,very difficult for other people to understand, that don't come from thatsame point of view because this is not at all a validation of kidnapping. He rejects that, as do I.

23:55:01 TERRY MORAN(OC) Well, he's a man of conviction, clearly. And I want to ask youabout that. What was he doing in Iraq? Christian peacemaker teams, whatdoes that mean? What was he actually doing on the ground?

23:55:13 KATHERINE FOXWell, my father's a Quaker. Long-standing belief in nonviolence for thelast 22 years has been his mindset, the way that he lives his life. Specifically, when he arrived, most of his work is with the detainees. And more so with the families in Iraq. Has been very welcomed, verywelcomed, by his neighbors and by the people that he's been working with,trying to work with the government and also with the families to connectthem to loved ones that have been held at times illegally and get themreleased through different channels.

23:55:47 TERRY MORAN(OC) I want to ask you about the debate in this country. Your dad hasnow become part of it, it seems. What Rush Limbaugh and others aresaying, that essentially someone as idealistic as your father, in Iraqwithout a lot of protection around him, was essentially asking fortrouble. How do you respond to that?

23:56:10 KATHERINE FOXI don't think that he even saw it as asking for trouble. He saw a need. It was not going to make a statement. It was not agenda-driven. There'sa need to help the Iraqi people, especially at a time when so manyorganizations are no longer able to be present because of the danger. Butdidn't feel that that danger outweighed the need and is committed to beingthere. Which I think is ultimately courageous to believe that he canstill be of help and that he can approach things nonviolently. I thinkthat's far more courageous than so many I hear right now giving him creditfor.

23:56:47 TERRY MORAN(OC) Well, you're certainly showing some courage as well here. And Iwant to ask you, how are you doing?

23:56:54 KATHERINE FOXI am not at my best, as one might imagine. It's very difficult for me tonot be able to just experience this as a daughter who wants her fatherhome very much. But also, I mean, as you just referenced, all thepolitical aspects of this that also get thrown onto me or to the otherfamily members. That, our family members are there because of what theybelieve but mostly because they want to help. And they're committed tothat. And we're committed to them. And that does give me strength that -that kind of strength that my dad has, I try to think about right now tohelp me.

23:57:35 TERRY MORAN(OC) And Katherine if, let's hope somehow the captors are available tohear you, is there anything that you'd want to say to them?

23:57:45 KATHERINE FOXI just want to remind them how welcomed my father has always felt. Wewould speak once a week. So welcomed by all the Iraqi people. How wellhis neighbors took care of him, a guest in their country. That he isopposed to the occupation, has been, has campaigned against it. And thatthe work he is there to do is the same work that they would like to seedone. And that I do not think a loss of his life benefits their cause.

23:58:15 TERRY MORAN(OC) Katherine Fox, I know you know that the hopes and prayers of almostall your fellow citizens are with you and your father tonight. Thank youfor being with us.

23:58:22 KATHERINE FOXThank you so much.

23:58:25 TERRY MORAN(OC) There are a surprising number of Westerners in Iraq. Most of them,contractors of one sort or another making significant bonuses to work tobuild that country. There are very few volunteers, like Tom Fox and hiscolleagues. We'll be back.


00:01:47 CYNTHIA MCFADDEN(OC) And finally this evening, pricey peanuts. If you're the parent of ayoung child or if by chance you're still a child at heart, you may justhave enjoyed the yearly rerun of the Charlie Brown Christmas special hereon ABC. And as Jake Tapper reports, the show's popularity is a sign ofthe times.

00:02:10 JAKE TAPPER, ABC NEWS(VO) That sleepy, hearthy, Vince Garaldi jazz. That kid, doing that weirddance on the right side of the stage there. Charlie Brown's patheticsapling.

00:02:29 CARTOON CHARACTER, MALEI've killed it.

00:02:31 JAKE TAPPER(VO) Yes, folks, it's a 'Charlie Brown Christmas," which aired earlierthis evening, right here on ABC. When they made this animated special,which first aired 40 years ago this week, 'Peanuts" creator CharlesSchultz insisted that the show not become yet another way that Christmaswas commercialized.

00:02:48 CARTOON CHARACTERLook, Charlie, let's face it, we all know that Christmas is a bigcommercial racket.

00:02:53 JAKE TAPPER(VO) He wanted the point of the show to be answering this question...

00:02:57 CARTOON CHARACTERIsn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?

00:03:01 JAKE TAPPER(VO) Which is why the climax comes when learned Linus lets loose withLuke.

00:03:06 CARTOON CHARACTERFor on to you is born this day, in the city of David, a savior, 'tisChrist the Lord.

00:03:16 JAKE TAPPER(VO) Executives at CBS, which first ran the show, reportedly hated it,some thinking it was too slow. An Emmy and Peabody award, and 40 yearslater, ABC entertainment folks have to beat back advertisers with a stick.Demand is so high, "The Los Angeles Times" reports ad rates topped$200,000 for 30 seconds. More than many of ABC's biggest prime-timeshows.

00:03:39 CARTOON CHARACTERMerry Christmas Charlie Brown.

00:03:44 JAKE TAPPER(VO) Schultz's tribute to the true meaning of Christmas has become acommercial cash cow. Good grief.

00:03:53 CYNTHIA MCFADDEN(OC) Another interesting note. "Forbes" magazine says that there is onlyone 'dead celebrity" who is more highly paid than Charles Schultz. TheKing of Rock 'N Roll himself, Elvis Presley.

00:04:08 CYNTHIA MCFADDEN(OC) That's our report on 'Nightline." Tomorrow on our broadcast, God,Narnia, they go to the movies. The mystery at the heart of one of theworld's most-beloved tales. I'm Cynthia McFadden. Jimmy Kimmel is next. For Martin Bashir, Terry Moran, and all of us at ABC News, good night,America.


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