Skip to main content
CNN.com /transcript


CNN TV
EDITIONS

CNN LARRY KING LIVE

U.S. Military Readies for a Fight

Aired September 21, 2001 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight: The Taliban says it won't hand over Osama bin Laden, despite President Bush's ultimatum. Meanwhile, the U.S. military readies for an unprecedented fight.

Joining us, New York's commissioner of police, Bernard Kerik. In Washington, Senator Bob Graham, chairman of the select committee on intelligence. And with him, the panel's vice chairman, Senator Richard Shelby. Plus, former director of the FBI, William Sessions.

Also in Washington later, Christopher Dodd, member of the foreign relations committee. In New York, former Senate majority leader George Mitchell and, back in Washington, famed commentator and columnist George Will, of ABC News "This Week."

And then later, Major Kip Taylor was one those who died in the terrorist attack on the Pentagon. His wife, Nancy, is 8 1/2 months pregnant with their second child. She is going to share the story of that death and the surrounding circumstances for the first time, tonight.

It's all next, on LARRY KING LIVE.

We begin by going to New York and meeting the New York police commissioner, Bernard Kerik. It's a great pleasure to have him, his first appearance on this show, in terrible circumstances, of course.

You've been on this -- how long now, have you been on the job, commissioner?

COMM. BERNARD KERIK, NEW YORK POLICE: About a year and half.

KING: And you said you were going to live when Giuliani left. Does that still stand?

KERIK: That's pretty much my intentions, yes, it is.

KING: You're going to retire?

KERIK: I'm retiring.

KING: What has this been like for you, personally?

KERIK: Personally, this has probably been the hardest week of my entire life. Last week, I would have never imagined something like this could happen in this country. And it has been a pretty rough week.

KING: Any news today, any bodies found? Anything we can report?

KERIK: This afternoon, we found the body of Shawn O'Neill, who was one of the assistant directors of the FBI. He had just retired. He was taking over security for the World Trade Center. In fact, I think that Tuesday was his first day on the job, or second day on the job. He had been there, he had -- he was going to go into one World Trade, the tower, Tower One. And when the strike came, he went into the second tower in an attempt to help people get out of the building, and he died there. We found his body today.

KING: Where were you, Commissioner, when this happened?

KERIK: I was in my office, Larry. My staff called and said that a plane hit the tower, one. And I thought, you know, along the Hudson River there's a number of small aircraft and helicopters that fly by, I thought it was a small craft. I went to my conference room and I saw the building, and I knew at that point it was either an enormous explosion or it was a large aircraft.

KING: There's no way you can train or be prepared, as lifetime policeman, for anything like this. Is a lot of it on instinct?

KERIK: A lot of it was on instinct. I responded to the scene. I was there, within, probably eight or nine minutes. And within, I don't know, maybe four or five minutes later, after I was at the scene, the second plane hit Tower Two. And within a few minutes after that, the mayor arrived, and we sort of had to get our composure and move into action, you could say.

KING: Do you have any needs now, in terms of manpower and material? Obviously, you must be short policemen.

KERIK: Well, we're doing pretty well. We've gotten a number of resources from other municipalities. The state police, Governor Pataki, has been phenomenal in resources. We've gotten an enormous amount of assistance from other states. We have police officers and firemen from California, from Michigan, from Chicago. They've driven in, really, from all over the United States, so I think in manpower status, right now we're doing pretty well.

KING: You attended the speech last night. What was that like for you?

KERIK: I wish it wasn't under these circumstances. I think that was a highlight of my career, but -- and it was also one of the best speeches I've ever heard. I was extremely pleased to be there, I was happy to be there.

KING: There have been reports -- are they true -- about possible looting at the mall below the World Trade Center?

KERIK: No. We've had a couple incidents where people have tried to take things out of the mall. One of the members of my office, a deputy commissioner, Kurekus (ph), he arrested someone on the night of 13th who had gone into Tourneau's and stole about $3,000 worth of watches. In fact, the two people he arrested were indicted yesterday. But we haven't had any major problems.

KING: What's your biggest concern right now?

KERIK: Our biggest concern is the people that are working on the site down in the hole at ground zero. I have 23 cops that are still missing. The fire department has more than 300 members, and numerous other public service workers and civilians. My biggest concern right now is to make sure that we do everything in our power to get, anyone that could possibly be alive out of the hole, and just to make sure that everybody working there gets home safely.

KING: You toured the area today with the FBI director, Mr. Mueller, with Attorney General John Ashcroft. Are you happy with all federal government is doing?

KERIK: I'm extremely happy with their support, the attorney general, the FBI director, Barry Mawn, here in New York City. Their support, the cooperation we're getting has been tremendous. I think we work well as a team together. And the key is that we're going to do everything in our power to put faces on these gutless cowards that committed this crime. So we can either bring them to justice or, as the president said last night, bring justice to them.

KING: What do police say to ordinary citizens about their fears, about cautions they can take? I mean, you don't want to have a society where you leave your house and look left and right.

KERIK: No, you don't, and you have to -- at some point in time, you have to get back to you know, living in a normal society, and I understand people have fears. And it will take a while for people to get back into a normality of living. But, you know, we've just got to make sure that they understand we're doing everything possible in New York City to keep it safe and secure. And, you know, you can't stop every single event, but the mayor and I are committed to doing everything in our power to make sure that the city is as safe as possible.

KING: And, Commissioner, finally, what's the morale like?

KERIK: Well, the morale is -- it's been pretty low, because we're missing 23 members of our department, and there are a number of people that are still missing. But I think the cops inspire each other. They absolutely inspire me to do my job. We'll get through this, and we're going to come back bigger, better and stronger than ever.

KING: Thanks for joining us, Commissioner. It's good seeing you again.

KERIK: Larry, thank you.

KING: The New York City police commissioner, Bernard Kerik. We first met when he ran Rikers Island, we were out there for interviews. When we come back, Senators Bob Graham and Richard Shelby, and the former director the FBI, William Sessions. And we'll talk about intelligence and maybe where it failed. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, from Washington, Senator Bob Graham, Democrat of Florida, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Senator Richard Shelby, Republican of Alabama, who is the vice chairman of that committee. And William Sessions, very familiar face, the former director of the FBI.

Senator Graham, this idea of a homeland security setup, with the cabinet rank -- you like it?

SEN. BOB GRAHAM (D-FL), SELECT INTELLIGENCE CHMN.: Yes, I do. In fact, I introduced some legislation today carrying out several months of review by our intelligence committee, as well as the armed services and the judiciary committee. I think it's important that the federal government get its executive agencies which have some responsibilities together.

We currently have some 40 agencies, and I believe their lack of coordination and the fragmentation was a contributing to what happened a week ago Tuesday.

KING: Senator Shelby, will this now bring us a disaster or terrorism czar?

SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R-AL), SELECT INTELLIGENCE VICE CHMN.: Well, you could call it a czar. I won't call Governor Ridge a czar, but I can tell you this. I served in the House with him, have a lot of respect for him. He's done a great job as governor. He's a strong person, and this is going to take a strong person, Larry, to manage that office.

And I would like to see some of the details down the road, as to what he's really going to do, and what power that Governor Ridge will have, because he needs some power here to coordinate all this. Senator Graham is absolutely right. He was working on legislation, we discussed this. The White House has gone ahead and done this by executive order, but he's got to have the power to do the job.

KING: Now, William Sessions, you're a guy who ran the FBI. The FBI would have to coordinate with him, answer to him, or certainly send information to him. You like this idea?

WILLIAM SESSIONS, FORMER DIRECTOR, FBI: Oh, I think President Bush has done exactly the right thing in making sure that there's not only coordination, but there is cooperation. It is always extremely important to have the passage of information, the free flow of information and cooperation across the board. And I think Senator -- pardon me -- that Governor Ridge can do exactly that.

KING: Senator Graham, your committee is intelligence. It seems -- and a lot of people are saying this today -- we find out so many things after the fact. We get 19 names, we get arrests, guys in Texas, this school, that school -- what did we know before the fact?

GRAHAM: We knew that there was heightened vulnerability. That had been reported as early as last spring. What we didn't know were the specific details of when, where and how, that would have allowed us better to have had an operational response to this.

I think we've demonstrated three weaknesses in our intelligence area. One is, we've allowed our human intelligence, spies, to be degraded. We don't have enough people who speak the diversity of languages, who have the cultural affinity to get close to people like the terrorist cells in the Middle East so that we will know in advance.

Second, is we've allowed our ears, our eavesdropping capabilities to also degrade, as technology has accelerated in the last 10 years. And finally, we collect a tremendous amount of information every day, but the percentage of that that we are able to analyze and turn into useful operational intelligence has significantly dropped. So those are three areas which probably, collectively, were also contributing to what happened a week ago Tuesday.

KING: And since these people, Senator Shelby, many of them are willing to give up their lives, you're always going to have this problem,0 aren't you? I mean, it's never going to go away.

SHELBY: It's not going to go away unless we carry the fight to them. But, Larry, the intelligence community is going to be central to this terrorist war. And if we're going to win it -- and I believe we must win it, and I want us to do everything we can to support the president here -- intelligence will be at the cutting edge. We've got to do better.

I agree with what Senator Graham said. We've worked on the committee together for a number of years, and we had people in the Congress and outside that said, "Gosh, we're spending too much money in intelligence. We're not spending it wisely. We don't need NSA," or, "Why do we need to upgrade CIA?" We're not hearing those critics this week, because now we all realize that information, which is intelligence, is the key to the real war.

KING: Mr. Sessions, you were head of the FBI when the first World Trade Center bombing occurred, right?

SESSIONS: That's correct.

KING: Did we learn anything from that?

SESSIONS: I think we learned a great deal. And I would comment on what the senators have had to say about the level of attention that's paid to intelligence. These committees pay very great attention to it and they hear a great deal of testimony.

But the key to it is being able to be consistently, properly, adequately funded, so that we have programs across the board in both the FBI and in the CIA and the other agencies, that can commit on a continuing basis for the flow of information. You have to be able to hire agents, you have to be able to have these things from which the information flows. And they call it humint (ph) -- that is, human intelligence. And those things become critical in days like this.

Now, what we learned from the first World Trade Center is that there is always a tie-in somewhere, with what happens today, it ties to tomorrow. There are networks all over the world. We know that Osama bin Laden and his networks are at play back then, and they're at play now.

KING: Senator Roberts of Kansas said today, Senator Graham, after an intelligence briefing -- I want to quote him directly: "I don't want to scare people or put fear into their minds, but that is a very serious business. It's not a matter of if, but when." True?

GRAHAM: True. And one of the things that the CIA has been telling us since this event, is that there is a very real possibility of follow-on acts of terrorism. The CIA has credible information that there was a larger plan than just what happened a week ago Tuesday, and that there are elements of that plan that are yet to be played out. So that primary emphasis of the intelligence community, both the CIA, the FBI, has been to run all those leads to ground so that we don't have further repetitions. It probably won't be in the form of an aviation hijacking, but it could be in the use of weapons of mass destruction, or some other form of terrorism, to try to destabilize the morale of the American people.

KING: Like chemical?

GRAHAM: Chemical, biological, even nuclear.

KING: Senator Shelby, were you going to...

SHELBY: I totally agree with Senator Graham on this, what he's saying, here. But I also agree with Senator Pat Roberts, who's a member of the intelligence committee, he's done a lot of work in this area. If we wait around, there will be another attack. It will not be, probably, the same, but it will certainly come. The key to that is intelligence, rooting it out, stopping it, thwarting it.

KING: Let me get a break. When we come back, we'll include viewer phone calls. By the way, another major panel coming along later. This is LARRY KING LIVE. We will be with you tomorrow night and Sunday night, with live editions of this program. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will not forget the wound to our country, and those who inflicted it. I will not yield. I will not rest. I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people. The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty have always been at war. And we know that God is not neutral between them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Going to include some phone calls for Senators Graham and Shelby, and William Sessions, former director of the FBI.

San Jacinto, California, hello.

CALLER: Hi, how you doing?

KING: Fine.

CALLER: OK.

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: My question is for the Democratic senator, I forgot his name already...

KING: Senator Bob Graham on your left.

GRAHAM: Hello.

CALLER: All right, hi. Let me see, what makes you think that the United States will be able to go into Afghanistan and take over Osama bin Laden, after the Soviet Union was conquered in the 1980s by Afghan rebels? And just to give you a little bit of history on this, back in the time of Alexander the Great...

KING: Let's stay with one question, because we've got limited time, but staying with it -- you're not going to win a war in Afghanistan, are you, Senator Graham?

GRAHAM: I don't know what the plan of action is, and I suspect at this point, it's still in the process of evolution. But it's not going to be a World War II ground invasion of Afghanistan. It will be an action which would use our strengths, which are intelligence, covertness, the ability to strike quickly and surgically.

I believe that we will find where bin Laden is. We have been tracking him for the last two or three years, and that we will be able to contain him. But, just mark this: taking out bin Laden is not the same as collapsing all of the terrorist operations that are centered in the Middle East, even in Afghanistan. He is important in symbolic, but that's not going to be end of the war.

KING: Niagara Falls, New York, hello.

CALLER: Hi.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: I was wondering if the panel, especially William Sessions, feels that the backlash from the American people, regarding Waco and Ruby Ridge, interfered at all with the FBI's gathering of intelligence.

KING: Good question. SESSIONS: Well, you never know the full impact. Of course there was a backlash. The FBI was doing its job in trying to contain that circumstance there, but you'd never know it, with the American people, what they think. We know that Oklahoma City was part of the backlash of the view of those people, about what was done in Waco. So it's always on the mind.

I would say this, beyond that, however: whatever the backlash, the Bureau is making the mark that it needs to make today in the kinds of investigations that are going on in connection with the World Trade Center attacks.

KING: Senator Shelby, do you have any concerns about giving up some rights in return for some information?

SHELBY: Well, whatever we do -- and I assume you're alluding to the package that the administration is going to propose dealing with FISA, dealing with other laws -- to help deal with a terrorist situation. I sat in hearings with the attorney general and other members, Senator Graham was in the meeting the other day. I believe that we can give the tools to the FBI, to the Justice Department, within the confines of the Constitution. The Constitution is the law of land, we have to do this. We should do this, but we should take off the wraps, also, in my opinion, of the CIA agents and others. We should do what we have to do to win this war, bearing in mind our Constitution, No. 1.

KING: Senator Graham...

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Go ahead.

GRAHAM: On that last question, we currently have a higher standard for the -- for instance, the use of wiretaps, if you're using it again foreign agents for purposes of gathering foreign intelligence, than we do to get information against domestic criminals. One of the things we're trying to do is to equalize those two levels of an important part of our investigative techniques. I do not believe that we have to sacrifice our civil rights in order to have an adequate capacity to protect the American people from the tragic circumstances of a week from Tuesday.

KING: William Sessions, did the FBI ever feel stifled by law?

SESSIONS: Of course. It's always a burden, Larry. But what I was going to say was, it is absolutely essential that everybody understand, everybody who is listening to you, what kind of burden is borne by an investigator or a prosecutor who wants to use that kind of technique.

You have to make your case to the United States district judge, or to a foreign intelligence surveillance act court. You can't just go in and say, "I want a wiretap." You've got to show you've used every other means to get that information and can't get it, and you have to have the technique. And then it is supervised and overseen by a court, by a United States district judge or a surveillance court judge. So that whatever the standard, you can rely upon it that it will be a tough one, and it will be met with the oversight by a United States district judge or a court.

KING: Bakersfield, California, hello.

CALLER: Hi. I'd like to know from all three of the panelists if they have any comments on, if these terrorists, we know that they're in our country now, do they have biological or chemical weapons that they could unleash on us, the American public, and do, I mean, just horrible damage to us, as a nation?

KING: Senator Graham?

GRAHAM: The answer is they probably do. Today, chemical and biological weapons can be contained in a relatively small suitcase. And it would not be hard, and I think we have to assume that our adversary would have access to those kind of weapons of mass destruction.

SHELBY: We have to be ready for that, Larry. We are training people in this country to deal with those -- what we call first responders -- under the Justice Department auspices. But Senator Graham was right. There is a risk out there, but we cannot be cowed in any way. We will not be cowed. We will win this war.

I'll tell you, last night, the president spoke with strength and purpose, and if we follow him -- and I believe he is going to provide the leadership, in all aspects -- we can win this war.

KING: William Sessions, are there a lot of victories we never hear about? People stopped at airports?

SESSIONS: Oh, there are indeed. I've heard some of the testimony that has come before the senators, and they know very well that there are continuous victories that happen -- that is, events that don't tragically take place because they are stopped, and the people who are planning them, conspiring to put these kinds of raids on, these kinds of attacks on, they are stopped before they happen.

KING: Do you worry, Senator Graham, about a rumor mongers? I mean, whenever there is fear, rumor develops -- you know, "this is going to happen, you hear what's going to happen? Watch out tomorrow!"

GRAHAM: And not only do they -- the rumor monger, tend to excessively agitate an already apprehensive public, but they can cause the appropriate agencies to waste a lot of time tracing down irrelevant and meaningless suggestions of evidence. What we need to do is to be calm. We have some excellent professional agencies that have the responsibility now, both to follow up on what happened a week ago Tuesday, and to protect us against future acts of terrorism.

KING: Senator Shelby, what do you say to people say, "I want to see something tomorrow"? SHELBY: I think you have to be patient. The president has asked the people to be patient, but he's also promised that there will be justice, and I believe that. We have to prepare for a different type of war, if you want to call it a war, like a metaphor -- using a metaphor there.

But if we're are patient, and if we take our time, whether it's tomorrow or the next day or next week, and you realize this is going to be a protracted thing, this is not going to be over in a week. As Senator Graham said earlier, there are a lot of Osama bin Ladens. There are terrorist cells around the world, there are training camps, and there are cells in this country. We've got to root them out. We've got to get rid of them, and bring them to justice.

KING: Thank you, gentlemen. We'll be calling on all of you again. Senators Bob Graham and Dick Shelby, and William Sessions.

When we come back, Senator Christopher Dodd, former Senate majority leader George Mitchell, and the Pulitzer Prize winning author and television commentator, George Will.

And later, an extraordinary, never-before-told story of a death at the Pentagon. we'll be right back with our next a panel. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: ... George Mitchell, former senator -- senate majority leader and chairman of the Sharm el-Sheikh fact-finding committee, that's the one giving President Bush recommendations for resolving the conflict in the Middle East.

And in Washington, George Will, always good to see George, the Pulitzer prize winning author, a syndicated column, best-selling books. He appears in more than 450 newspapers, and is seen every Sunday morning on "ABC News This Week."

Senator Dodd, we'll start with you and go around. There is a debate, it's been widely reported, going on over the scope of our response, of the military response to these attacks. There is the hawk side and the dove side and some are in the middle. Where are you in this?

CHRISTOPHER DODD (D), CONNECTICUT: I'm for the president. I mean, I think he has laid out about as concise, clear formula last evening as you could possibly have. And he talked about a combination -- military, economic, political, building the kind of support here at home. I think he touched all of the bases and did so with a sense of balance.

So I don't think there is any one particular formulation that is going to help us resolve this. He talked about the patience that will be necessary by the American people, by the Congress, calling upon allies to support us, making it very clear -- the language couldn't have been any clearer, you are with us in this contest, this conflict, or you are not. So I think he had a good -- laid it out, very very well.

KING: George, Senator Mitchell, the other night when Mario Cuomo was on with you, he said this is a two-track philosophy. The one track says, "go slow, be patient." The other track says, "let's go in and do something." What are your thoughts?

GEORGE MITCHELL, FORMER U.S. SENATOR: Well, I think first and foremost, Larry, this country has achieved a remarkable degree of unity and support of the president and the objectives he set forth last evening. The public and leaders of both political parties are clear and strong in that support. And I think we ought to do all we can to maintain it, not doing anything to undermine it or limit or constrain the administration's options.

Now the president himself and the secretary of state have repeatedly stressed the importance of building the broadest possible coalition. I think that makes sense. Not to surrender unilaterally our right to act if we feel it necessary, but to consult and to encourage others to take action against these terrorists.

And just look at today's news, Larry -- four arrested in London by the British police, two charged by the German police with murder at the event here last week, eight arrested in Paris who broke up a plot to attack the American embassy, and arrests made by Dutch and Belgium police. We are told that the al Qaeda organization exists in 60 countries, and the most effective front line for uprooting them are the police in those countries, if we get them going and energize them in that effort.

So I think a broad coalition makes sense, but not surrendering the American right to act as the president deems necessary.

KING: And George Will, what's your view?

GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, Senator Mitchell refers to the broadest possible coalition, and I don't think breadth is the virtue that triumphs over all others, because we are going to come to a point where we have to decide whether we want Syria, believe it or not -- Damascus being a home for various terrorist groups, or Iran to be involved in some way. So it seems to me breadth is not the sovereign virtue here.

The president in his speech indicated that he is a hawk, that is he spoke that hostile regimes are the regimes that harbor or support terrorists. Now, when you talk about hostile regimes, he's coming down on the side of those in his administration -- and his administration is staffed from top to bottom with people who are on record over the years as saying this -- that the problem fundamentally is Baghdad, to begin with.

That is, the world will not be measurably safer if bin Laden is got, and you still got a man creating chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, with none of the inhibitions of a civilized man.

KING: Senator Dodd, one of the complexities here is both sides seem to be making sense. DODD: Well, I don't think that is a complexity, I think it is a virtue here. I mean, I think what Senator Mitchell has said and what George Will has said are not antagonistic at all, I think -- you're not going to have necessarily -- I think it's going to be very difficult to prosecute this effort militarily alone. If we have to try and do it alone, then we will.

But it's far more difficult to do that than it would be if you are able to do it in conjunction with allies. I think George Will's point that having a coalition that involves people who may be more of a problem than friend is a legitimate point, but to the extent you are able to bring people in to this effort -- for instance, I think there are some things Congress needs to do, in addition to what we are tempted to do now.

I think we ought to lift the sanctions on India and Pakistan. They there were points worth making in the previous time and the proliferation issues -- I wish Musharraf were democratically elected in Pakistan, that's not likely to happen. But it's going to be in our interests to develop that relationship. We ought to give the president waiver authority on all congressional mandated sanctions here. We need to use the power to bring people into this effort.

If we do that, then the military effort here I think has a far greater chance of succeeding. In the absence of it, it's far more difficult.

KING: George Mitchell, though, the country seems to want to take aim at Afghanistan. Would you agree that the mood in the country is to do that?

MITCHELL: Well, yes, of course, because that's the place where bin Laden is, and that appears to be the place which has been at the hub of the activities that led to this disaster last week.

But let me be clear on my earlier remarks, neither I nor anyone has ever suggested that Saddam Hussein be made a part of this coalition. No one expects that. Obviously, he has remained critical of the United States and continues to say good things about these efforts.

I do believe, however, that this is going to be an extremely difficult task under the best of circumstances, and the more friends we have, or others providing us information -- not necessarily military support or other things, information -- which all of your previous guests have stressed is of critical importance, it could be useful in the effort.

KING: Let me get a break and I'm going to ask George Will what he would do, what he thought of the president's speech. We will also include some of your phone calls as well, and then an extraordinary story to top it all off. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation in every region now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: Before we take some phone call for our panel, George, what did you think of the speech? And what would be one of the first things you would do right now?

WILL: The speech, Larry, I think was the most important foreign policy speech by a president since the Truman doctrine was announced in 1947, that led to aid to Turkey and Greece, the creation of the CIA and the NSC. It was the policy of containment being born, and this is I think of comparable scale.

The president has -- and speechwriter Mike Gershwin (ph), someone who writes with perfect pitch for him, not for George Bush the rolling cadences, the Ciceronian cadences of Sorensen (ph) for Kennedy, this was Hemingway -- simple, declarative sentences, and it suits the man and it certainly worked.

What I would do, Larry, is first of all avoid a gesture, avoid however cathartic and good it made us feel. Avoid a Doolittle raid. Doolittle, at least you knew it, the whole point of Tokyo was in that there is no equivalent to Tokyo here. Afghanistan is not, to put it mildly, a target-rich environment. As someone has said after what the Afghans have done for one another for 20 years, in war and civil war, there is not much left to be done to them.

So what we want to do is first of all, get the terrorists on the run, that is when they can do least harm, and then find out what states have been helping them. I mean, this has to be an occasion for the Senate and the Congress to start rebuilding the intelligence community. The National Security Agency, Larry, is a bigger security agency than the CIA. Every day, it captures more information than the Library of Congress has, every day. And it doesn't have the people to sift, translate, collate and interpret it.

KING: Let's take some calls. Chilliwack, British Columbia, hello.

CALLER: Good evening, Larry, and to your distinguished panel as well. I'm calling from Canada. I would like first of all to offer up my condolences to this terrible, terrible event.

I'm rather curious, though -- I have listened to your previous panel and these wonderful gentlemen, and I can't help but note your assurance and your note of confidence in what you say to us tonight.

KING: What's the question?

CALLER: I wonder where that confidence comes, in that we know that so many of these terrorists lived among the Americans for so long. KING: Well, let's reduce it to a very good question, Senator Dodd. She is right on the mark. What's the basis for being confident?

DODD: Well, because I think the country -- George Mitchell said it very well at the outset of his remarks, and that is the country is as unified as I have certainly seen it in my 26 years in Congress. I can't think of another time -- the Gulf War certainly was one such moment, but this goes beyond that, in a sense, much deeper way, much more profound sense of unity.

And the notion that the world seems to be responding to President Bush, in addition to the American public, and for the first time I get a sense here -- and I hope it's sustainable -- that we are going to be joined in this effort by governments in the past that may have had some second thoughts about whether or not this was a worthwhile effort.

And so, while we can't speak with the level of confidence that absolute guarantees tomorrow and next week and next month, there is certainty here that the president conveyed last evening that I think the American public shares, that at the end of this process, whether it is a year, five years, whenever it is, that we will prevail. Democracy will trump terrorism, and I think that is the reason for it.

KING: You are not confident that nothing occur tomorrow?

DODD: No, at all. And again, I don't want something to happen tomorrow for the sake of it happening. I'd much prefer that the president use patience, that we lower expectations, that there is going to be some one attack that is going to hit one camp someplace.

The president mentioned that these groups exist in 60 different countries. This is going to be a very difficult process, have no doubt about that. It's going to take time. But if we sustain that -- if we have the ability to sustain it and I believe we will, then I have no doubt, as I speak to you this evening, that we will prevail over this.

KING: Tiburon, California, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. My question is, I'm wondering has anyone considered offering a huge reward, say $1 billion, $2 billion to turn over bin Laden? You could make that offer to the Afghanistan government, for example.

KING: Would that work, George Mitchell?

MITCHELL: I don't think it would work. And I don't think we should make such an offer.

KING: Philadelphia, hello.

Philadelphia, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry, how are you? KING: Fine, go ahead.

CALLER: My question for your panel is, what, if any, plans are being made to protect or vaccinate the United States population against chemical and bio warfare, which is -- could be a very real possibility with these types of countries...

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Good question. George, we don't have any smallpox vaccine, do we?

WILL: We don't, and I think we're not up to have anything like that we need for least 2004, which gets us back to the problem of intelligence. Every military man tells you that surprise is the great force multiplier, and therefore anticipation and prevention is really our hope right now.

KING: The major hope, right?

WILL: I would say almost the entire hope.

KING: All right. Senator Dodd, are you -- everyone talks about unity. Will unity mean that it's going to win -- because you are unified, does that mean you are going to win this war?

DODD: Well, you know -- yes, I am going to put that in that context, but you've got to stop thinking about this. We've got to get a change of mind-set.

This is not 1941. The similarities between the attack on Pearl Harbor and the attack here are legitimate, but this is where the legitimacy of that comparison ends, for all the obvious reasons. So, the definition of victory here is going to be a lot more -- I doubt you are necessarily going to have signing of an unconditional surrender aboard a ship somewhere at the end of all this. And so, I think that is going to why you have to think about victory in different terms.

But it's very important also, Larry, let me just say it here to you tonight, one thing I hope that we will talk about and that is people in this country. One of the great messages is America getting back to that normalcy the president talked about. We are suffering economically here, you talked about the drop in the market. People need to now get back, and they need to go to movie theaters, go out to dinner, to go to ball games.

If those terrorists looking back will see this country paralyzed in its normal behavior, then their victory goes beyond the destruction they caused a week ago. So I hope that in the process here we will encourage more of that.

KING: We thank all three of you. We look forward to seeing you. George, we will see you on Sunday morning.

And when we come back, Nancy Taylor, the wife of the late Army Major Kip Taylor, killed at the Pentagon. Her story for the first time tonight is next. Don't go away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE Nancy Taylor. She is the wife of the late Army Major Kip Taylor. She is in our studios in Washington. He was killed in the attack on the Pentagon. There you see the picture, the very handsome Kip. She is 8 1/2 months pregnant with their second child.

When did you learn, Nancy, that Kip was dead?

NANCY TAYLOR, ARMY HUSBAND KILLED AT PENTAGON: Well, I learned officially yesterday. My casualties assistance officer and a chaplain showed up at the house, but I knew in advance. They had told my brother-in-law, my husband's brother Dean, that they were going to come to the house. And I knew it was just a matter of time.

It was -- it was kind of a mixed emotions, because I wasn't sure that I was going to get anything back but a wedding band, so the fact that I have got some remains that can be buried was -- made me feel somewhat relieved. But it was bad news, because it was finality.

KING: Where were you when this happened, Nancy?

TAYLOR: A week ago Tuesday I was at home, and the phone rang, and it was my sister-in-law Donna who called and asked me if I and Kip were OK, and if everybody was OK. And I said to her, "Donna, why are you asking this? What's going on?" And she said that the Pentagon had been hit by an airplane, and that she didn't want to hold up the phone, but to get off and turn on the television and she would call me back later.

In watching the television and what was going on at the Pentagon, I was immediately alarmed and really frantic. But it took a while for things to evolve. I was very hopeful throughout Tuesday that he was still alive. I heard some reports that were unfavorable. Like I knew that his office was near the helipad. He had told me that he had seen helicopters land and take off from there. And so, that really alarmed me. And then later on, within an hour, I heard it was in the renovated section of the Pentagon, and he had just moved there two months before. I had never been to his office to see him there. But I was very concerned at that time.

But I remained hopeful up through Tuesday, and I even heard that through third and fourth hand sources of information that he was in an emergency room being treated for burns, and even Wednesday morning I heard from another source, a secondhand source, that he was in the emergency room, or had been seen in a particular hospital. I called all the hospitals, and could not confirm that he had been admitted. And finally, Wednesday evening I realized that he perished.

KING: How old is your boy?

TAYLOR: We have a son Dean, and he is 21 months.

KING: You ran into President Bush, is that right, last Monday? TAYLOR: That's correct.

KING: When he went to the Pentagon?

TAYLOR: That's right. I attended a briefing before going to the Pentagon, and I needed to get my husband's car from the parking lot. And the police officer who was escorting my husband's brother Dean and his wife Donna and I through the Pentagon had told us there was going to be a memorial service. And although we didn't attend the memorial service on our way there, it just happened that we -- our paths crossed President Bush's and we were pulled aside, ushered aside.

And as he came down, I decided that this was my opportunity to put a face to this terrible tragedy in the Pentagon. I wanted him to see the face of my husband and to -- to tell him a little bit about him. So I showed him this picture of Kip, I pulled it out of my purse. I took a few steps toward him, I said, "President Bush, this is my husband, Kip Taylor, who was at the Pentagon last Tuesday and has not been found." And he spent two minutes with me, consoling me. He immediately became engaged in consoling me. He embraced me. Kissed me several times on the head, and he comforted me.

We talked about Kip, who he was, what I was going through, and he said the most important thing for me to do was to bring a healthy baby into the world, and he turned toward my husband's brother and his wife and told them that they needed to help me, and he said that they were going to take care of this.

KING: You have had a tough time with that. Your both babies were in vitro, right?

TAYLOR: That's correct, and I feel that -- I'm trying to grab some kind of understanding of all that has been going on, but I feel this is perhaps God's gift to me that we have these two children that will carry on Kip's legacy. The fact that it worked both times that we went through the procedure, and we have one -- we are going to have one child each time, is just amazing.

KING: Is he cute -- is next one a boy too?

TAYLOR: I don't know. We suspect that it is, but we don't know. We didn't want to plan out definitively.

KING: All right. Kip just turned 38 years old, he was an Army major, came through ROTC through college. He was a military assistant to Lieutenant General Timothy Mort who was also killed, right?

TAYLOR: That's correct. And Kip was commissioned by his father, Donald Taylor, back in December of 1985. His father was a lieutenant colonel in the Army, and he commissioned him at that time, and his brother Dean is also in the Army.

KING: What's your last memory of Kip? Did you see him the morning he left for the Pentagon? Did you see him on Tuesday morning?

TAYLOR: He set the alarm for 5:00, and usually I didn't wake up. He would leave, and I would sleep through his whole getting ready for work. He did kiss me good-bye every morning, and I was half-asleep, half-awake. I recall him kissing me good-bye Tuesday morning, and I may have mumbled to him "have a good day," but that's all, that is the last memory I have with Kip, is him kissing me good-bye.

KING: We only have 30 seconds, Nancy. Do you keep your faith? Is your faith still strong?

TAYLOR: Absolutely. I think that faith, family and friends are equally getting me through this. I have to rely on those sources of strength. And that so far has been getting me to this point of getting through this difficult time.

KING: We wish you every good fortune, and a happy birth too.

TAYLOR: Thank you. Kip was a wonderful man, and he was very selfless and...

KING: He won't be forgotten.

TAYLOR: He definitely won't. He had many friends, and we are all going to miss him greatly.

KING: Thank you, Nancy.

TAYLOR: OK, thank you, Larry.

KING: That was Nancy Taylor, the wife of Army Major Kip Taylor.

The United States military is on the move, American men and women heading into harm's way. Our closing images tonight are set to the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" sang by the U.S. Navy (UNINTELLIGIBLE) one week ago at a memorial service in Washington's National Cathedral.

(MUSIC)

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

 Search   




MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 














Back to the top