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America's New War: President Bush Rallies the Troops

Aired September 17, 2001 - 21:00   ET



GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There is an old poster out west, as I recall, that said "Wanted: dead or alive."


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, the commander in chief rallies the troops for the tough fight to come.

Meantime, as the stock market gets back to business and average Americans try to get on with their lives, recovery operations continue at ground zero. We will hear from the attorney general of the United States, John Ashcroft, and the president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak. Plus former Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia, who once chaired the Armed Service Committee. General Brent Scowcroft national security adviser for presidents Ford and Bush. And General Alexander Haig, secretary of state for President Reagan. Those guests and more next on LARRY KING LIVE.

We begin with a very happy new year on this auspicious new year for Jewish viewers and listeners around the world. The headlines as of this moment: The Dow plummeted today as the markets reopened and airline stocks hit very hard.

Hopes of finding any survivors at ground zero fade fast. And the Secretary of State Colin Powell says that plans for an anti-terrorism coalition are coming together.

Lots of guests tonight. We begin with the attorney general of the United States, John Ashcroft. He spoke with us a few short moments ago. I began by asking him about all rumors connected with Tuesday's terrible attacks and their aftermath. How do you we check them out?


JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, that is one of the reasons we have 4,000 agents assigned to the case. It is another reason that I took 300 more DEA inspectors and assigned them to the FBI. There is a lot of information; some of it is true, some of it is partially true. And to get to the bottom of this situation, and to prevent further incidents -- and there is a risk always of further incidents like this -- we've got to get to the truth. So we -- I guess we don't rush to judgment. We try to take the information we can, we work hard to verify it and validate it. And then once we have a solid core of verified evidence, that is what we build our -- the integrity of our effort on.

KING: How many, General, have been -- how many people have been arrested?

ASHCROFT: Well, we are not going to comment on the number of people arrested. We have some people that have been arrested under warrants as witnesses so that they can provide evidence.

Others have been detained as a result of their nonmaintenance of status, as it relates to immigration issues. Wherever we find in this operation those who can help us with information, or those who might have some responsibility, this operation will detain them, and we will make sure that they provide the information, and that they are available to us to assemble an understanding not only of how this event was conducted, but how we prevent and disrupt any attempt to further inflict damage like this on the American people.

KING: General, what's the difference between a material witness and a suspect?

ASHCROFT: Well, a material witness is the kind of person who may know something about the event, but wasn't involved in the event. A person who was eyewitness to an event can be a material witness. There can be people in New York who saw what happened with the airplanes, who actually witnessed the event happening. They could be material.

A suspect is a person suspected to be responsible for criminal activity. So cases are directed against suspects, and the evidence is developed by material witnesses.

KING: A material witness can be held.

ASHCROFT: It is possible with the arrest warrants to make sure that individuals who might otherwise flee and not be available as witnesses, that they be held.

KING: How concerned about you -- are you about another attack?

ASHCROFT: Very frankly, the magnitude and nature of these attacks, the coordination the sophistication of these attacks indicates to me that they are not sort of random acts by people who are just angry. These are long, prolonged, planned activities. It is very likely there was significant ground support and reinforcement assistance from collaborators.

Frankly, I think we need to be careful, and we need to understand that there is a risk. And when this nation responds globally, I think it is fair to understand that it may be that -- that there would be an increased risk associated with acts against the American people.

KING: So you're saying be careful. ASHCROFT: I think the president has said it totally accurately. We should be at work as Americans, but we should work with heightened awareness. And frankly we should take whatever steps there are necessary to try and improve our abilities to curtail or disrupt other attacks.

That's why we are assembling a legislative package, here in the department of justice, that would strengthen our hand against terrorism.

I have spent considerable time talking to members of the Congress on the Hill and they are interested in, I think, helping us get that done.

KING: Do you expect passage? You're proposing wiretapping, electronic surveillance, new laws, immigration enforcement. Do you expect passage?

ASHCROFT: Well, very frankly, some of these things just reflect the fact that we hadn't regarded terrorism as a very serious threat previously. For us to have tools to use against organized crime that we can't use against terrorists doesn't make sense. I think the Congress would pretty quickly conclude that those kinds of adjustments and remedies ought to be made.

KING: Any evidence, General -- is this just a protective measure for the future -- that if these laws had been in place a year ago, this might not have happened?

ASHCROFT: I don't think we are in a position to say that at all. But I think what we want to do, as its relates to the potential of terrorism in the United States, is to be in a position to disrupt and to protect against as many acts as we possibly can. And frankly, we need to have our ability to surveil be current. The new kinds of telephones that are throwaway and disposable make rather out of date laws which say that the search warrant attaches to the hardware and instead of to the person.

KING: As the attorney general, you have to be involved in the civil liberties of all Americans. But you are also involved in protecting us, in a sense. Is this difficult balance of you? Intelligence, terrorism, civil rights?

ASHCROFT: Well, frankly, we always have to be careful that the rights which America stands for are not sacrificed. But we have also to understand that in order for those rights to be enjoyed by citizens, the citizens have to be protected.

We are very careful in this instance, for instance, to make sure that the rights of Arab Americans, law-abiding patriotic citizens, are protected. And the Justice Department has taken steps and actions to do that, where those rights have been under attack already by those who don't understand or are improperly motivated against their fellow citizens. And we will protect those rights.

But we need to protect the safety and security of this society against those who would destroy America and what we stand for. And we will do it within the confines of the Constitution. We're not proposing any changes in the fundamental rights of Americans as expressed in the constitution, but we need some upgrades in terms of the legislative framework and to make sure that our capacity to track criminals hasn't been rendered antique by the advances in technology.

KING: A few other things. How is the investigation going?

ASHCROFT: I believe the investigation is going well. We are making progress. And this is an anomaly, this is a strange circumstance. The main perpetrators obviously perished. It is not in most crimes. In previous terrorist attacks, those who perpetrated the attacks sought to escape, did escape, were later apprehended. Left a trail, created evidence after the fact.

In this situation, we have a little tougher circumstance, but we are beginning to develop an understanding who these people were, who their associates were, how this attack was perpetrated, and beginning to develop links of evidence that indicate the source of the -- of the design against the United States.

KING: Should we worry about our law enforcement? Should we worry about our intelligence communities?

ASHCROFT: Well, frankly, I think we have to understand that all the assets of America were attacked. As a matter of fact, the assets of the civilized world -- hundreds, perhaps thousands of people from overseas, from Argentina to Zimbabwe -- were killed in this attack. And on the day of the attack, we sent out a special notice to those who are safeguarding or maintaining vital infrastructure components of the United States that we should have a heightened alert.

I don't think we should be a society at worry. But we should be a society at watch. When the president said to be at work, but to have heightened awareness, I think that is frankly a wise thing. We should watch and work.

KING: On a personal note, where were you when this happened?

ASHCROFT: Well, I was flying to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

KING: And you were in an airplane.

ASHCROFT: I was in an airplane. We landed. The plane refueled and then came back to Washington, D.C. And we were one of the planes that came back with a fighter escort, and landing in a setting which was very troublesome. I could see the smoke from the pentagon from about 50 miles out, and it was a very distressing thing, obviously.

It is not nearly as distressing for me to have witnessed that as it was for the people and the families whose lives were destroyed in that attack. But it obviously is very disconcerting to return to this city in a setting where -- where the kind of attack which had been launched on America was still underway.

KING: One other thing. We know how strong a believer you are. Were you a at church yesterday? And yes or no, has your belief at all been shaken?

ASHCROFT: Well, my belief has not been shaken. And frankly, I was doing Sunday morning shows yesterday morning instead of going to church. But I have constantly invoked the protection and blessing of God, and asked for wisdom and courage of God that we would do the right thing. And I believe that America is going to survive this, and I believe America has reopened a window on its own soul. And it has looked into the hearts and lives and the spirit of Americans.

What it has seen here is the spirit of a strong nation. And it's a nation that will survive, and it will survive by being bound together with resolve. And I'm very gratified with the spirit of America that I think has been galvanized in these moments. And every American is at one with those whose families have been deeply touched, both in Pennsylvania, and in New York, and Washington, and in passengers from all over the United States of America and people from all over the world.

KING: Thank you, General.

ASHCROFT: Delighted. I'm sorry about this tragic event, but we are going to work our way through this.


KING: General John Ashcroft, the attorney general of the United States.

Before we talk with President Mubarak of Egypt, here are some of the thoughts of President Bush earlier today.


BUSH: Their network is extensive. They have no -- there is no rules. It is barbaric behavior. They slit throats of women on airplanes, and in order to achieve an objective that is beyond comprehension, and they like to hit and then they like to hide out. But we are going to smoke them out. And we are adjusting our thinking to the new type of enemy.


KING: Today I spoke with president of Egypt Hosni Mubarak. He was at the Red Sea port of Sharm El-Sheikh. My first question was his reaction to the tragedy last Tuesday.


HOSNI MUBARAK, PRESIDENT OF EGYPT: Before all this, I would like to express my sympathy toward the American people, to the leadership of the United States, and the families of the victims in the United States. Of course when I saw this incident on the television, I was sitting by chance listening to one of the channels, so I saw this plane coming to the one of the towers. I couldn't believe it at the beginning. I thought maybe something, a dream. Then after some time, it changes the channel of front and CNN, another -- the other tower. Really it was shocking. I couldn't believe my eyes. I thought the nightmare. I was wondering how could something like this happen in the United States.

KING: Mr. President, do you have any thoughts as to who or whom might be responsible?

MUBARAK: Really, I cannot foretell, because I'm not in the field. But I think the investigation going on in the United States, it would reach sometime who did it. But in general terms, I would like you -- terrorism, as I said, is an international phenomena. I said several times. I asked for an international conference for fighting terrorism to reach a convention. And this convention should be implemented by all countries in the world, small or big, to avoid this catastrophic instance like that.

KING: Is that conference going to happen?

MUBARAK: I don't know. I think the there was a proposal of making a coalition for fighting terrorism. But I could tell you very frankly it is too early to think of this. To fight terrorism -- all the world should fight terrorism, not the small group of countries. We cannot imitate what happened in the Gulf countries. It was another thing, small area.

But the coalition, that means we are going to divide the world into different groups. Groups for fighting terrorists, group against this group, third group may be neutral. Then we are going to fight each other without any reason. Let us go through an international conference to reach a convention in the United Nations. And this should be implemented by all countries in the world. Like the convention of the nuclear facilities.

KING: Do you have fears for your country?

MUBARAK: We have -- we suffered a lot from terrorism. And the terrorism started after the withdrawal of the Soviet forces from Afghanistan. These people in Afghanistan who are supposed to fight the Communists, when the forces were withdrawn to former Soviet Union, these people didn't find any income.

So they went to different countries. We received some of them, and since that time terrorism start in our country. I -- I was taking tough measures against that, although some countries in the world, including America, were criticizing us human rights -- not human rights, but I am responsible before our people, our parliament, about the security of the people.

I took very tough measures, by law. Not violating the law. Then after that -- it took some time -- then I asked for international conference. So many countries said "Oh, Mubarak is saying that because he has some terroristic groups working there." But I think this not going to go here or there. I said several times, it is an international phenomena. It is much more dangerous than the war.

KING: All right. We know that Bin Laden's organization has links to groups like the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Do you confirm that? MUBARAK: I think the Egyptians in the Islamic Jihad are with bin laden. Here we are -- we are controlling everything very well. Our intelligence is working very hard. We never leave one of these elements come to this country, and do anything. But there are so many elements.

There are so many elements in other countries in the world who are active. They are in Europe -- in some countries in Europe -- they are very active. And we warned of that several times, but nobody listened to us. I think that time now is ripe. We have to take tough measures against such kind of people.

KING: Mr. President, if Bin Laden does not turn himself in, as has been asked by the people in Pakistan through the United States, do you expect the United States to take military action in Afghanistan?

MUBARAK: Look. Military action, that means you may kill innocent people. Such a thing, if it is Bin Laden -- as I heard from the United States officials -- we have to find where is Bin Laden? How could we work with him? But to attack a country because of some individuals, you are going to kill innocent people. We have to be very careful of that. We have to work hard not to be in a hurry, not to jump at the conclusions, unless you have hard evidence about who did it. And in this time, I think whole world should cooperate in this direction.

KING: Have you spoken to President Bush in the last few days?

MUBARAK: Yes, we had a good discussion with George Bush, and I spoke with him about the Middle East problems, maybe one of the elements which encouraged such a thing. So I think he told me he is going to be very active, and he is going to do his best. But what I'm seeing now, that the Israeli government is seizing the opportunity and launching attacks now. And then this will have terrible repercussions after that.

KING: Did you hear from Muammar Qadhafi as well, as has been reported? Did you hear from him yesterday?

MUBARAK: Muammar Qadhafi is against terrorism. He told -- send me a message (UNINTELLIGIBLE). He is against terrorism by all means. And I think he is dealing with them in a very tough way. This I know personally. I don't want to mention things. But I know personally that he is against them. And he is treating them very toughly.

KING: Is that a change on his part?

MUBARAK: He has already changed his course since quite a long time. Since we restored diplomatic relation, I spoke with him several times now. Muammar Qadhafi had not single element of this terrorist group. I'm sure of that.

KING: We thank you for your time, Mr. President. One more thing. Are you optimistic or pessimistic?

MUBARAK: Concerning what? KING: Concerning tomorrow, the future, this whole war against terrorism. Do you think there will be a winner?

MUBARAK: I said several times, terrorism is spreading all over the world. Unless there is tough measures implemented by all countries in the world, we will be in a mess. This planet will not be safe. I said that since 1991. Nobody listened to me. I'm not biased. I'm not supporting this or that. If any country is doing wrong, I tell you they are doing wrong. I don't care about anything else.

KING: Thank you very much, Mr. President.

MUBARAK: Thank you, Larry, thank you very much. I would like to make an interview with you in pleasant time, no such situation happening there.

KING: Me, too. I look forward to visiting your country. From the Red Sea resort Sharm El-Sheikh, the president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak.


Tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE, King Abdullah and Queen Rania of Jordan. Coming up next is Sam Nunn, the former United States senator.

Here is a scene of the battle zone that is New York. We'll be right back.


KING: We now welcome from Atlanta former United States Senator Sam Nunn. He was chairman of the armed services committee, and he is chairman and CEO of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a foundation committed to reducing global threat. I guess that foundation had a step backwards last week, huh?

SAM NUNN, CHAIRMAN & CEO, NUCLEAR THREAT INITIATIVE: No question. Our whole country did, and the world did. I think president Mubarak said it well. It's an international challenge, and it's going to take an international response. I think we ought to also recognize that the attack -- terrible attack on New York and Washington last week was limited in its power only by the weapons possessed. It was terrible. But it could have been worse if we had weapons of mass destruction, so we need to do everything we can to keep any form of weapon of mass destruction out of the hands of terrorists. And this means the international coalition that has been talked about has to certainly include countries like Russia, where so many materials and so much know-how, nuclear, chemical and biological, are housed.

KING: How well do you think this country is reacting so far?

NUNN: Larry, I think exceptionally well, considering the scope of the tragedy, the shock of the tragedy. We are solid here at home. Both the people and, I think, the political leadership in both parties. We have had tremendous support abroad. NATO has passed an unprecedented resolution on Article V of support.

The European Community, the Security Council, friends from all over the world -- including the Muslim world, including our some of our Arab friends, including the Russians and the Chinese. We have solidarity at home and solidarity abroad. We have a lot of heroes here. We have seen that every day and night on our television: policemen, firemen, emergency, hospital and health officials.

I thought Vice President Cheney on "Meet the Press" yesterday did a very good job explaining to the American people that it is not going to be quick and easy, and it is going to take some time and some real thinking as to how we respond. I thought that President Bush meeting with Muslim leaders today made a very strong point that we are not at war with Islam or with the Arab world. We are at war with extreme terrorism.

KING: We have learned that pentagon sources -- Jamie McIntyre tells us that this new war will be fought with unprecedented secrecy, including heavy press restrictions. Do you favor that?

NUNN: Depends on the circumstances, Larry. I think we have to have an open society and keep an open society. There are certain covert operations that have to be kept secret to protect lives and help with success. And that includes possibly military action. So it depends on the circumstances, but certainly we are going to maintain our openness to the maximum extent possible.

KING: I know you know lot about military readiness, so the obvious. How ready are we?

NUNN: I think we have an A+ military. There is no question about that. The best in the world, by far. We don't have an A+ set of options. We've got sea military options. So having a strong military in this situation is not enough. We've got to have beefed up intelligence, including much stronger human intelligence. We've got to have cooperation from the world. We've got to cut off the money and the infrastructure and that means -- of the terrorist cells around the globe, not just in one country, not just Bin Laden, but many countries. That means cooperation from other governments. That means we've got to really strengthen our diplomacy, too, because it is going to take some very skillful diplomacy. So all those things are essential.

KING: This is not a two-hour movie, then. This not going to be over soon.

NUNN: No. We would all like to get General Schwarzkopf back on to show where the troops are and believe that we can handle this from the air and ground invasion, but it is much more complicated. This is down and dirty. We are down into some very tough challenges. This is going to take tremendous amount of effort. It's going take understanding on the part of American people that this is going to go on a while. But we are a very strong country, very optimistic about our ability not only to survive, but much more than that, to prevail. KING: I know you recently portrayed the president, kind of a war games -- "Dark Winter," they called a war game. You summarized it as a lack of preparation for a real emergency dealing with biological weaponry.

NUNN: Correct, Larry. That is the -- probably the worst case. That doesn't mean it is going to happen, but it means we have to be better prepared for it. There are all sorts of things we need there. But fundamentally we need to strengthen the public health system in this country. We need to strengthen intelligence to make sure it doesn't happen.

We need to cooperate with the Russians. I would like to see us have a defensive kind of a bilateral relationship with the Russians with our biological scientists working together to let the world know we are working together defensively, and invite others to join. We don't want the scientists ending up in other countries of the world. And many of them don't know how to make a living, but they do know how to make smallpox and anthrax and other things. So we've got a lot to do in biological, but strengthening the public health sector, getting more vaccine, working with Russians and other countries is enormously important.

KING: I think I could speak for every American, Sam, to say the Senate misses you.

NUNN: Thank you, Larry. Thank you.

KING: Senator Sam Nunn. Former United States senator, coming to us from Atlanta. In a moment we will meet with Brent Scowcroft, the former national security adviser, and Alexander Haig, the former secretary of state. As we go to break, the vigils continue nightly at Union Square in New York. We'll be right back.


KING: In a little while, Kofi Annan, the secretary general of the United Nations will join us.

We are joined now from Washington by Brent Scowcroft. Brent is the national -- was national security adviser for Presidents Ford and Bush, a retired lieutenant general of the United States Air Force.

And with him in Washington is our buddy Alexander Haig, Secretary of State for President Reagan, retired general, United States Army.

Brent Scowcroft, we'll start with you. Are you concerned about another possible terrorist attack?

BRENT SCOWCROFT, FORMER NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Well, sure. You have to be concerned. I think probably it's over temporarily, but I think this one was such a success, from the terrorists standpoint, that you can expect something else and something which they will try to make as much of a surprise as this one. So, absolutely.

KING: And Mr. Haig, what kind of response do you expect? We keep hearing something is coming.

ALEXANDER HAIG, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, I think, Larry, there we're more assets put into this country to perpetrate terrorism than were actually employed. Now, that could be a combination of successful deterrents in certain of our airports, or it could be a conscious decision to come in with a one-two blow, which has been bin Laden's style in the past.

KING: Do you favor the idea, Brent, expressed by President Mubarak earlier, of some sort of international coalition? Everyone getting together under U.N. auspices and the whole purpose being terrorism?

SCOWCROFT: I think it's a great idea. If we could get the major countries of the world together, to agree that terrorism is to be outlawed, that no country is to be allowed to shelter, harbor terrorists, and make it stick, we would soon be able to eradicate. I -- you know, that's a hard thing to get done, but I think the idea is worthy of merit.

KING: General Haig, do you envision the possibility of a commando war? Like in Afghanistan, troops on the ground in that kind of territory, where there are no roads?

HAIG: Well, I think we have to be very careful about being inpatient and suggest that we've got to put forces on the ground immediately and get rid of this guy, as much as we'd all like to do that. I think we could have some what I call special unit operations, special forces, if you will, that will go in and take a known culprit out in a very specific environment, with all of the fire support around them for them, it is necessary to get them in and out successfully.

But this is very tricky business. It's new to the art of war for a lot of Americans units. We have some trained in that direction, but we've got a lot of work to do to be prepared for that kind of an operation.

KING: Let's include a call for Brent Scowcroft and Al Haig. We go to New Canaan, Connecticut. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry. My question is this: if Pakistan is giving us access to their airspace, why are they not also giving us access to their land to set up military, as a base to set up military operations?

KING: Brent?

SCOWCROFT: Well, I don't -- I'm not sure that we've asked for land to set up a base for military operations. If, if we ask for it, I wouldn't be surprised if they would give it to us, but Pakistan is in a very difficult position. They want to help, we've been friends for a long time, but there are also a lot of fundamentalists in Pakistan and Musharraf has to watch, has to watch and be very careful, or he'll be gone.

KING: Al Haig, will this effect at all, all of this, you're policies in the Middle East?

HAIG: Well, I don't think Middle East is really the causal impetus to this attack. This is an attack against the great Satan, the United States. And it will soon be an attack on our European friends and ultimately the moderate Arab regimes of the Middle East. So, we're dealing with something far bigger than the historic dispute between Arab and Jew. We're dealing with a fundamental assault on the value so Western society, democracy, human rights and all of our cherished values.

KING: Boston, Massachusetts, hello.

CALLER: Yes, hello, Larry. I have a question for the panel here.

KING: Yeah.

CALLER: We're seeing alliances and coalitions, at least temporary, for the time being, being formed between countries normally at odds with one another. What do you feel the odds of these coalitions and alliances actually holding up without major difficulties occurring once the military strikes are implicated?

KING: Good question. We'll start with Al Haig this time. Do you think they, suddenly the friendship with Qadhafi and Iran can hold up?

HAIG: Well, I'd like to see a little more about that before I say that it exists even now. We are seeing some promising little signals. But I think, you know, coalitions are a product of success. And if you succeed, the coalition holds together pretty well, because there was a common interest in the first instance. But if you fail, that means if we get impatient and take on some harebrained scheme in order to satisfy public opinion back here at home, or if we are inpatient enough to demand that from the executive branch, I think it's a big mistake. Success...

KING: Brent, do you agree?

SCOWCROFT: Yes, I agree. And I think coalitions are also a product of common interest and most of the civilized countries of the world have an interest in protecting themselves against terrorism. They have to protect their citizens, and banding together is one of the ways to do it. And the Russians have a problem with terrorism. The Chinese do. Many of these countries, most of the countries, moderate Arab countries in the Middle East. They all have a fear of terrorism, and that is a strong bonding force.


HAIG: Larry, it's also important, it's also important to remember that some of these moderate Arab states are trying to have it both ways. On the one hand, they tolerate the presence of these activities in their country, even financially supporting them, and on the other hand they know that they are their deadly enemy and they wish they could control them better. So, we have to help in that respect.

KING: Racine, Wisconsin.

CALLER: Yes, Larry.

KING: Yes.

CALLER: How are we going to control the media, as a veteran of Desert Storm, I am, myself, how are we going to control the media from not being in our faces when we land at a drop zone, or as my experience, at the beach? They were there before we were.

KING: Brent?

SCOWCROFT: Well, I don't think they're going to be any media at any drop zone in the middle of Afghanistan. If they are, God bless them.

KING: Thank you very much Brent Scowcroft and Alexander Haig, as we go to break and await the arrival of Kofi Annan, secretary general of the U.N. Here's some portion of what the president had to say at the Pentagon today.




KING: To New York now for a few moments with the secretary- general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan. What do you think of President Mubarak's idea of an international conference, all countries, on terrorism under the auspices of your organization?

KOFI ANNAN, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: Let me say that from the U.N. point of view, and having spoken to quite a lot of members states' heads of states and the ambassadors at the U.N., every one was shocked by what happened. And there has emerged a broad international coalition to fight terrorism. And as the other panelists have indicated, every country is worried about terrorism and everyone has suffered from terrorism. And they would want to join this fight.

They would want to join the fight (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to ensure that terrorists are given no refuge, no logistical support, no financial assistance, and that we will all band together to ensure that they are uprooted and the kind of crime which was committed here is not allowed to stand.

KING: Well, what role, Mr. Secretary-General, does the U.N. have in this current case?

ANNAN: I think the Security Council, as you know, passed a very strong resolution soon after the event. In fact, the first -- the first day they came up with a strong resolution, which was very quick for the Security Council, and a unanimous decision the next day appealing to all the international community to come together and fight terrorism, and that all necessary means must be used to root out, to go after the perpetrators and ensure that we all take actions to fight terrorism.

I think the Security Council and the General Assembly will stand by that decision. Obviously, Washington is in touch with governments bilaterally also to get them involved in this fight.

But the first statement from the U.N. is one of solidarity, one of pain for the American people and the determination to work with others to fight the battle.

KING: I know you spoke with Secretary of State Powell today. Can you tell us the gist of that?

ANNAN: We did speak about the work that is going on in Washington, the attempts to get the evidence and to go after the culprits, and the attempts to create a global alliance to fight terrorism. And I think the crucial work is being done now.

But of course, as I have said earlier, we have to manage the response in such a way that it does not lead to new divisions within countries and between countries. Today, almost every society is multicultural and multireligious, and we have to make sure that we don't get into a division between the West and Muslims, because you do have Muslims in all these societies. You'll be creating divisions within the society and also between Christian and Western and Muslim states.

And so the idea of organizing the response in such a way that we hold together this unanimous sense of fighting terrorism is important.

KING: Thank you, Mr. Secretary-General. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who today, by the way, visited Engine Company 21, a few minutes from the U.N. compound, the great firefighters of New York.

We've gotten the overview and we've heard from world leaders and the like. Now we're going to talk to some people who were directly affected by this. Don't go away. We'll be right back.


KING: Two tragic stories to bring you, one here in Los Angeles. We'll get to that in a few minutes.

Joining us now from New London, Connecticut, David McCourt. David's wife Ruth and four-year-old daughter Juliana were on United flight 175, the second plane, there you see them both, to hit the world trade center. Also in New London, is Paula Scott, Ruth's mother, the grandmother of Juliana. Also in New London, Ron Clifford, Ruth's brother, Juliana's uncle. Get this, he was in the World Trade Center concourse when the first plane hit. And also in New London is Ruth's half-brother Spencer Scott. He was the first one in the family to determine that it was her flight that hit the World Trade Center.

David, what was your wife and daughter doing heading for Los Angeles? DAVID MCCOURT, VICTIM'S HUSBAND: They were going out there on a spiritual retreat, Larry. They did it every year to attend some spiritual lectures. She did it every year with Paige (ph).

KING: And Paula, you're the mother of Ruth and the grandmother of Juliana. How did you learn of this? Were you home?

PAULA SCOTT, VICTIM'S MOTHER: Yes, I was at home and I was watching the television, and I saw it happen, and I knew my daughter was on that plane.

KING: Knew it before they even gave the flight number, or knew if by the flight number?

P. SCOTT: I instantly -- I knew it by my gut. By my gut feeling. I knew my daughter was on that plane.

KING: Now, Ron, you're the brother and uncle of the late Ruth and Juliana. What were you doing in the World Trade Center concourse?

RON SCOTT, VICTIM'S BROTHER: I had gone in there for a meeting, a 9:00 meeting, and I had a little bit of time to spare, so I wanted to take a left and see what the connection was to the Marriott Hotel and, at the base of the, of the World Trade.

KING: And what did you see or hear?

R. SCOTT: When I came back in the revolving door, there was an incredible bang. And a smell of what I thought at the time was diesel. I thought there was an explosion of some diesel tanks. And out of the haze came this shadow of a woman and, who was very badly burned. After helping this woman and saying the Lord's Prayer with her and kneeling with her for quite a while and getting some help from the Marriott staff, we were on the floor and heard the second explosion, which rocked the whole building. And then altered he whole interior of the building. Pieces were falling everywhere.

KING: Unbelievable. And you had no idea that Ruth was in that second plane, did you? Or did you?

R. SCOTT: No idea. No idea at all until quite a while after I got home and connected with family to tell them I was all right. And my brothers in Ireland were on the phone just to see how I was, and it was bittersweet, getting home for my daughter's 11th birthday that day was my goal and trying to shed the clothes with burnt skin and trying to just survive and get home to my wife and daughter was, was what I was about.

KING: And Spencer, you're the first one in the family that knew, other than instinctively Paula knowing, you knew that it was your half-sister, right?

SPENCER SCOTT, VICTIM'S HALF-BROTHER: Yeah, I went to the Hackle (ph) residence. Paige was the other American flight, and they let me know that she was on the United flight, and then I went to the Hilton at our local Logan Airport and got the passenger list to determine that Ruth was indeed on that flight.

KING: And did you then inform the rest of the family?

S. SCOTT: I called my mother and asked her to tell David, and then I called Ron.

KING: So you were the one that told David his wife and daughter were dead?

S. SCOTT: I asked my mother to do that, because she was up here in New London with David at the time.

KING: David, how -- I don't even know how to ask this. How did you handle that?

D. MCCOURT: I -- it's very hard to explain, Larry. It -- I was totally traumatized and shaking. I put two and two together when I heard that a United flight had hit the, one of the twin towers after the American Airlines had hit, and...

KING: So, you knew.

D. MCCOURT: They -- well, the thing that sticks in my mind is I actually saw the crash, they showed the crash on television, and then that impacted me once I learned that that was the flight, and that scene hasn't left me. And I must say that it, it tore, the whole thing has torn my heart out, but over the days I said, these people are not going to ruin our spirit. Our spirit is there. Our heart isn't there right now, it's ripped apart. And, and I'd like to keep in context that we're just one family of many thousands out there who are grieving their lost ones, and it's just -- it's horrible, Larry.

KING: I admire your courage. By the way, in your daughter's name, the Juliana Valentine McCourt Children's Education Foundation to teach tolerance and understanding at an early age. What a noble idea. If you want more information, you can contact the Community Foundation of Southeast Connecticut at One Union Plaza in New London, 06320.

In a moment, Kelly Lee and Tom Whitford. Kelly lost her husband on American Airlines flight 11. He was on his way home for the birth of their new daughter Allison. That birth happened a couple days after the crash. Allison is here to, so is her father. Don't go away.


KING: Joining us now here in Los Angeles is Kelly Lee, who lost her husband on American Airline flight 11. He was on the way home for the birth of little Allison, who was subsequently born and is in her arms. And Tom Whitford is with us. That's Kelly Lee's father.

Danny was in Boston with the Backstreet Boys?


KING: What does he do with them? LEE: He's a carpenter and he was on tour with them for most of this year. And they were giving him ten days off to come for the birth of our second child.

KING: Which would be your second. How old is your other daughter?

LEE: Two-and-a-half.

KING: How did you hear about this, Tom?

TOM WHITFORD, VICTIM'S FATHER-IN-LAW: We were -- she had the TV on for the other daughter and our daughter-in-law in, up near Sacramento or Lake Tahoe called us and asked if we were watching the news. Well, she didn't know Dan was on that flight either. So, when we turned it on, of course, and they showed that flight 11 had hit the Towers and she knew he was on flight 11.

KING: Now, how many days later would you give birth?

LEE: Two days.

KING: What was this like?

LEE: I -- I still haven't even comprehended it yet. It was really hard going in to give birth to her, because he should have been there. And it was supposed to be a joyous occasion, and it was awfully sad.

KING: Because she was born without a father.

LEE: She'll never know him.

KING: How old is your other daughter?

LEE: Two-and-a-half.

KING: Does she comprehend this at all?

LEE: She thinks daddy will be home in five minutes.

KING: That's her...

LEE: Because he was gone a lot, so she thinks he's still at work.

KING: Because he traveled.

LEE: Right.

KING: Do the Backstreet Boys know about this and everything?

WHITFORD: Yes, they -- they did a tribute in Toronto, Canada...


WHITFORD: ... for Dan.

KING: They raised some money?

WHITFORD: I don't know if that was to raise money or not...

KING: Was he insured?

LEE: No.

KING: Not insured?

LEE: The application for insurance came the day after, actually. We were looking into it, because he traveled so much.

KING: Maybe that would -- God, that would be terrible -- were you close to him, Tom?

WHITFORD: We were getting to know each other, because we live in Erie, Pennsylvania, and we didn't know him that well, but anything that Kelly -- if she loved him, we did too. And he spent ten days with us looking for a home, because we were moving them back or moving them to Erie. So, I did get to know him, yes.

KING: What kind of guy was he, Kelly?

LEE: He was wonderful. He was very, he was just very family oriented, very loving, and very funny, humorous.

KING: Did you fear danger with the pregnancy at all with this kind of emotional trauma?

LEE: Everyone was afraid I was going to give birth on Tuesday, and I didn't want her to have the same birth day as her dad's...

KING: Oh, the same -- you didn't want it to be...

LEE: The same day.

KING: ... September 11th.

LEE: Right. So, luckily she waited.

KING: Can I see the baby?

LEE: Oh, sure. You want to...

KING: Now, I've held some cute babies...

LEE: She's really good.

KING: Boy, is she good. Hey, look. This is Allison. Allison Lee. A beautiful girl.

LEE: Thank you.

KING: It must be very hard, Tom. WHITFORD: It is, because we have the mixed emotions, but we also have concern for everybody in the United States and all over the world that...

KING: Like the previous family...

WHITFORD: All the other...

KING: So, in a sense, you're all sharing this, aren't you?

LEE: Yeah, I -- I just recently realized that other people are -- I just couldn't get past my own...

KING: Thank you both for coming by.

LEE: Thank you.

KING: Good luck, Allison. Don't cry, you're going to be a beautiful girl. You are a beautiful girl.

Thanks very much for joining us on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Among our guests tomorrow night, King Abdullah and Queen Rania of Jordan. Aaron Brown is next, as we leave you, watch this montage of this horrible week.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our heroes will now open the marketplace.




4:30pm ET, 4/16

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