CNN LARRY KING LIVE
America's New War: Panel Discusses Retaliation, Airport Security Measures
Aired September 25, 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.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are focused on justice. And we are going to get justice.
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LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, tough words from President Bush. But can the United States really wipe out terrorism? And when, if ever. will Americans feel safe again? In Washington, Senator Bob Graham, chair of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, and the vice chair of that committee, Senator Richard Shelby.
Also in Washington, he has seen the horrors of war firsthand, senator John McCain. And amid reports of more security breaches, is it safe to fly? Airline Pilots Association head Duane Woerth in Washington. From Gloucester, Massachusetts former American Airline Chairman Robert Crandall.
In London, Virgin Airlines head, Richard Branson. And from Columbus, Ohio, aviation safety expert Mary Schiavo. Also in Washington, what you can do to stay safe. Former Secret Service agent, Chuck Vance. And finally, her music is striking a chord with Americans everywhere, from Los Angeles, singer Martina Mcbride. They are all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Lots of show tonight, but first the headlines: Saudi Arabia has severed is ties with the Taliban. Osama bin Laden's organization warns against striking him or any place in Afghanistan. And the Pentagon has issued orders to call up nearly 2,000 more reservists including combat communications intelligence personnel, and military police.
We begin in Washington, with Senator Bob Graham and Senator Richard Shelby, the chair and vice chair respectively of Select Intelligence Committee of the Senate. Senator Graham, what do you make of the fact that Saudi Arabia drops ties with the Taliban on the same day the Al Qaeda, the bin Laden group, says that Americans and Jews will be targeted if they are targeted?
SEN. BOB GRAHAM (D-FL), CHMN, SELECT INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Larry, first, let me say something about the question of Americans returning to normalcy. I think that it is important that we begin to re-establish our lives as they were before September 11.
Yes, with some additional caution and care, but life must go on. I particularly want to encourage people to overcome their concerns about aviation. I have flown on four commercial flights in last 10 days, and frankly, I feel it is safer now than probably at any time in recent history.
KING: We have a major panel on that, following in a little while, to discuss it, but what about that the counter threat by bin Laden group?
GRAHAM: I think what it says is that the small group of friends that Afghanistan and bin Laden had are rapidly falling way. The only country in the world today which has a diplomatic relationship with Afghanistan is Pakistan, and they are withdrawing their people from their embassy in Kabul.
So, we are accomplishing an early objective of our international coalition, which is to isolate Afghanistan, and bin Laden.
KING: Senator Shelby, does the counter threat worry you?
SEN. RICHARD SHELBY, SELECT INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: Well, I think we all have to be concerned about threats. But we have got to check them out, and I hope that we will react to it in a positive way. But he is -- has issued some threats but he also obviously has done some deeds, some dastardly deeds worse than that around the world and in America recently, or his groups have.
I think you have to be on alert. You cannot take a threat, now, at any time from this group as an idle threat.
KING: Senator Graham, what about anti terrorism package? There is some opposition to it in the Congress.
GRAHAM: Yes, Larry. We are going to look very carefully at that. The package has been divided into two pieces: That which relates primarily to criminal justice, which would be handled by the Judiciary Committee, and that which involves intelligence, Senator Shelby and I will be reviewing in the Senate Intelligence Committee.
I believe that the Congress will pass a substantial amount of the proposals of the attorney general as well as a number of proposals that we have been working on in the Senate Committee for several months prior to this tragic incident. But we are going to be careful about protecting Americans civil rights. The greatest victory we could give to the terrorists would be if we allowed them to force us to be like them, to give up our liberties and freedoms in order to hide in caves as they are doing. KING: Are you com -- sorry, go ahead, Dick.
SHELBY: If I can, thank you. I believe that we are going, at the end of the day, going to give the tools to the FBI and the Justice Department, everything that they need within the confines of the Constitution. Because our Constitution is important, as Senator Graham was talking about. And we should be careful on what we do. We should not delay it forever because this is a crisis type atmosphere, and we should never tie the hands of our law enforcement people.
KING: There is more and more talk, Senator Shelby, and this is for both of you, we will start with Senator Shelby, you are in the intelligence committee and more and more talk and fear about biological weaponry. How do you approach that?
SHELBY: Well, that is a real fear. Biological, chemical, attacks, we -- we realize that, we are trying to prepare for it as best you can. We are on alert in America. You see what the administration has been doing, even with crop dusters, and so forth, to alert everybody, grounded them for a while.
I believe we can deal with it, but to say that it is not ever going to happen in America, and we are not going to sustain casualties I think is foolish talk. We have what we have the first responder program, under the Justice Department auspices to try to train so many of our people, emergency management, law enforcement people, all over America, to deal with this. We haven't done enough, but we are on the right track and we've got to do more. But -- biological threats, and chemical threats are real.
KING: It seems, Senator Graham, speaking like a layman, I am a layman, like it is indefensible. You come in with a suitcase and destroy a community. That is the image.
GRAHAM: What do we terrorists want to accomplish, Larry? What they want to accomplish is their name -- terror. They wish to make Americans so fearful, so anxiety-ridden that they will destabilize our society. Part of achieving that objective is not to use the same method of terrorism repeatedly, but rather to use as many different ways to create that sense of pervasive unease and fear.
Therefore, our strategy, and I am pleased at a meeting I participated in this evening with Condoleezza Rice, that this is the basic approach of President Bush, is to attack the source, as they say, to drain the swamp of terrorists so that they are eliminated, whatever their evil plans might have been, they are rendered incapable of executing them.
KING: And the fear, though, Senator Shelby, is they do something before we do the eradicating.
SHELBY: Absolutely. The fear is real. I don't want to alarm people, but on the other hand I don't want to lull anybody to sleep and think that this is not a threat. We have known this a long time, for a long time, but I agree with Senator Graham and the administration, we've got go to the source. We've got to destroy the source.
But in the meantime there is avenue there that they could go down. Let's hope they don't.
KING: When you were with us last time, Senator Graham, and so were you, Senator Shelby, extremely optimistic. Does that remain?
GRAHAM: Yes, I continue to be optimistic. We faced a challenge that had some similarities to our current challenge two generations ago with organized crime. America decided that it was not going to tolerate turning over important parts of our society to these organized mobster groups. And two generations later, we haven't completely eliminated organized crime, but it is a much less of a threat against our society and against our people than it was 50 years ago.
This is going to be a more difficult task. We are dealing with people who are living both abroad, and have cells inside the United States, people who have access to weapons of mass destruction, people who are willing to sacrifice their lives as 19 people did on September 11 because of their hatred of United States of America. If we persevere, we can win.
KING: We thank you both -- yes, Senator Shelby, quickly.
SHELBY: Quickly, I agree with that. I think what we've got to do is restore confidence in the air transportation system, and we can do it. And we can make examples of ourselves by flying and letting the people know that we are going to have safe transportation.
KING: We will be right back, and when we come back, Senator John McCain joins us, then a major discussion on airplane safety. Don't go away.
LARRY KING: We welcome former presidential candidate, member of the Armed Services Committee, Senator John McCain. He comes to us from Washington. Let's run down a bunch of things. There are growing concerns that terrorists can go to a gun show and walk away with arms.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Two individuals were convicted, I believe, on September 10, for doing exactly that. There is a loophole. The gun show loophole, as you know, if they are not selling a certain number of guns then a background check isn't required. Obviously we are also going to have to review our background check procedures because, you know, this is unacceptable. They had, from what I understand, they had barrels of guns.
KING: What do you make of military morale now?
MCCAIN: It is good. American servicemen and women always respond in times of crisis. That is when morale is best. they are thrilled that the American people are supporting them, as they are. And I think you can expect and will get great things from them. You will also get some sacrifice.
KING: Senator, everyone tells us, don't expect a quick fix.
KING: So, a long fix entails what? Are we going to be doing this show next year at this time? MCCAIN: Well, Larry, you and I have been doing it about 15 years now, as I recollect, and you haven't aged a bit, but I think the longer that our adversaries think we are willing to stay in this, the shorter it is going to be. If they believe there is no safe harbor, that they can run but can't hide, that we won't give up no matter where these terrorists are located, and whatever nations harbor them will be punished, then I'm convinced it will be a lot shorter than we would expect.
But we've got to prepare for the long haul and the president has done exactly right by emphasizing the fact that this is a long twilight struggle.
KING: But when they say, you harm us, and we will damage Jews and Israel and Americans everywhere, what do you say to that?
MCCAIN: I say, you always say that. You always that say that, you scum. The fact is that we will exact a price that is even higher if you do that. We can't be cowed by that kind of language from these -- these despicable people, and we won't be. And, we will, we will prevail no matter what. And if you do these things, or attempt these things, the price we will exact will be even higher. And not all of them, by the way, are willing to sacrifice their lives.
A number of them are willing to send people out to sacrifice their lives, think a great deal of their own.
KING: Bin Laden didn't fly one of the planes.
MCCAIN: No. No. Nor do most of these -- the people in charge.
KING: Do you have a lot of faith in this homeland defense idea?
MCCAIN: Yes, but I think that we've got to give Ridge significant authority so he doesn't end up in something -- position like the drug czar, which is a very fine -- men held that post but they didn't have a lot of authority.
We've got to give him a lot of authority so he can call up whoever it is amongst these 60 agencies and say, do this -- not request it, but say do that -- do this. That is the way the system works here in Washington.
KING: Are we going to have a lot of secrecy around all these missions vis-a-vis the media?
MCCAIN: I think we will have a lot of secrecy. But I think the American people will be kept informed to a significant degree. I think they have to be. The trick is not to not to compromise the methodology and the techniques and the technology involved, but tell the American people how we are doing. They are going to need that.
KING: But it will be after-the-fact information, not, where we are going tomorrow?
MCCAIN: Um-hmm. Oh, sure. But you and I know the scenario now. The scenario now is, we may see some bombing attacks, we may see some operations, but over the long run what we are probably going to see are some Special Forces, Rangers, Delta Force, Seals, British SAS people on the ground sometimes there in Afghanistan.
And the question is, is after we take care of the situation in Afghanistan, will the other nations: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, et cetera, will they decide that it is not in their interests to harbor terrorists and assist terrorists as well? That will be a crucial point in this whole struggle, Larry.
KING: You wanted to be president.
MCCAIN: Yes, still do.
KING: You still do.
MCCAIN: No, no, no. I don't. no.
KING: What do you make of how the president is doing?
MCCAIN: Magnificent. He is doing a superb job. His speech to the nation, to the Congress other night was exactly right in everything that he said. And the American people have rallied behind him. I cannot bestow enough praise on the job the president is doing and his team.
He has got the crack experience team. He has the most experienced national security team I think around, in history. And he is using them and they are following him.
KING: Thanks, Senator. We'll see you again soon.
MCCAIN: Thanks, Larry.
KING: Senator John McCain, member of Armed Services.
KING: Now let's meet our distinguished airline panel. In Washington, Captain Duane Woerth, president of the airline pilots association. He is on leave from Northwest Airlines where he pilots the 747-400, the largest transport plane in the world. And in Gloucester, Massachusetts is Robert Crandall, former chairman CEO of American Airlines. Two American Airlines planes were involved in the attacks on -- that the hit the World Trade Center, the other hit the Pentagon.
In London is Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Atlantic Airways, chairman of the Virgin Group of companies. And in Columbus, Ohio, Mary Schiavo, aviation security expert, former inspector general in the Department of Transportation. Captain Woerth, you testified today and asked for -- you think pilots should have weapons on -- in the cockpit. Should they be trained to use them?
CAPT. DUANE WOERTH, PRES. AIRLINE PILOTS ASSN.: Absolutely. In fact my testimony said, first of all, they should be voluntary. Every pilot should be trained as a federal marshal. That means going to Quantico and getting the FBI, and then and only then should pilots be allowed to have firearms in the cockpit.
But we believe this will enhance the federal marshal program, it is a needed component at this time.
KING: Captain, have you favored this before or did this come about because of September 11?
WOERTH: Totally because of September 11. My union and our institution, and me personally have been fighting weapons on aircraft as long as we can remember. But the world changed on September 11 with a new threat that needs real solutions in realtime to a real problem and that is why we had to change our position.
KING: You also include the placement two stunt (sic) guns as standard equipment on the plane. They would do what?
WOERTH: Those stun guns or tazers can basically muscularly paralyze a terrorist or any threat and they are good to within 15 feet and can be recharged. It is a very effective tool. We recommend those to be installed on the aircraft themselves.
KING: Before we get the rest of the panel's thoughts, how about the idea, Captain, of knockout gas, where the captain -- this may seem silly -- could hit a button and put entire plane to sleep?
WOERTH: Well, that has been proposed before, Larry, and one of the problems with it is that the same kind of toxic levels that would make the terrorist pass out would probably and likely kill some elderly passengers, some infants, so, I think that one has to have a lot more study.
KING: All right, Robert Crandall, former chairman, CEO American Airlines, what do you make of the captain's idea?
ROBERT CRANDALL, FORMER CHAIRMAN, AMERICAN AIRLINES: I think on the whole, Larry, I would agree. I can see arguments on both sides of arming pilots. But I think subject to the kind of training that Captain Woerth describes, I would come down favoring arming those pilots who are prepared on a voluntary bias to take that kind of training.
KING: Would it matter to the airline if this were the law?
CRANDALL: Would it matter to the airline?
KING: In other words, can they see any possible business problems because of it? Can they, you know, from an airline standpoint, let's say they make this is the law, the airline can't do anything about it.
CRANDALL: Well, that is that is exactly right, Larry. I think, I think there are not going to be arms on airplanes unless it comes the law. But again this comes back to my fundamental feeling that aviation security is a governmental responsibility, should be taken over by the federal government, should include impenetrable cockpit doors, and is subject to the kind of training that Captain Woerth describes, should authorize pilots to carry weapons.
KING: Richard Branson, when you were with us last time you told us how it is much tougher in London. They handle things much differently, et cetera. What do you make of the idea of the pilots having weaponry?
RICHARD BRANSON, FOUNDER, VIRGIN ATLANTIC AIRWAYS: Well, I think obviously, the first and most important thing is that security at the airport stops people getting on board. I think there are obviously pros and cons. The danger of having guns on board planes is that is, that if -- if hijackers want to get hold of guns, they haven't gotten through the system, they may be able to get them off the pilots. So it certainly is something that needs to be examined.
It would it be nice if people do get through that there is a way of fight back. But you also have to look at the potential perils of actually having weapons on board planes.
KING: On which side would you come down?
BRANSON: I think the -- I think the most important thing is that the domestic airline airport security is as strong as it is internationally. That is the first thing. I think it certainly we should examine having ways of people on board planes fighting back. But we'll have to be absolutely sure that the dangers of that are not outweighed by the fact that now you know, now there are guns on board, and there should not be able to be got on board. So it definitely needs to be examined. There are perils to it.
KING: Has Virgin had a hijacking?
KING: Never had one?
BRANSON: No. I mean obviously, hijackings are extremely rare things. And, you know, the odds of a hijacking is infinitesimal. But, and on international flights it is almost unheard of because the security is such that it is extremely difficult to get through the system. What's happened on this occasion is that domestic security in America was very lax. The government decided they wanted to tighten it up but there was a lot of lobbying against it, and now it is finally being tightened up. And hopefully it will be much stronger in the future.
KING: As it is in Great Britain.
Mary Schiavo, what do you make of the idea of weaponry and pilots?
MARY SCHIAVO, AVIATION SAFETY EXPERT: Unfortunately that is a very short-term stopgap measure. I certainly could not deny pilots the right to defend themselves at this juncture, but it is a federal law enforcement function. And if you are going to send pilots to the federal law enforcement training academies that is not a cheap or short proposition, I want that money invested in air marshals. If we have to go even the route of the Israeli route, then I want the money invested in professional air marshals on the planes for several reasons.
One, they are plain clothed, they don't know where the weapons are. Two, you never want to get in a position where the pilot has the weapons. The air marshals have the weapons, and you are into a -- you know, sort of a clashing situation. Three, we also have to train the pilots in law because we are not authorized to use deadly force except only in threats of life. So we have to do a lot of training on pilots.
I want those pilots eventually to be free to fly the plane. If a hijacking or terrorist attack is starting they can do depressurization, they can do negative G maneuvers. They can do a lot of things that pilots already can do. Even if they had to they could put it in a stall which the plane could recover from. That's what I want my pilots doing. I want law enforcement protecting us and pilots flying like they can.
KING: Captain, how would you respond to Mary's statement?
WOERTH: First of all, we want the federal air marshals as well. Our proposal is in addition. We don't want any less marshals to have more pilots with weapons, but in the very near term, those secure doors that we want, that is going to take some time to get. The federal marshal program, they are training about 400 a week, but that is going to take some time. We can do this in addition, it is not a substitute, it is additional security.
KING: Robert Crandall, everyone we have had on seems to say that the federal government should be in charge of the airport, not the local community. Why doesn't this happen?
CRANDALL: It hasn't happened in past, Larry. Those of us, many of us in the airline industry have sought that for many years. For one reason or another, whether it is financial, whether it is a desire to avoid responsibility, the federal government has declined to do that. I certainly -- I certainly hope that this terrible event of September 11 has finally persuaded us that we ought to do the kind of professional job that we can do, and thus restore the public's confidence in aviation.
KING: Just so we understand it, Richard, in Great Britain the government controls the airports, right?
BRANSON: Yes. I mean the -- under the terrorism act about 20 years ago, the government imposed very, very strict security measures at our airports, and -- and that has worked. They spent a lot of money, it cost the airlines lot of money, and but the government also took a lot of the cost on themselves. And that has definitely made flying out of the U.K. much safer than most other places in the world.
KING: Las Vegas, as we include a phone call for panel, Hello.
KING: Go ahead.
CALLER: Yes I wanted to know when do you think that they will have them on all flights? I keep hearing they are going to have them on some flights, and all the airlines, I fly, every week, all the time, and all the airlines are telling me, that they will be on selected flights. Who is selecting them? What makes what is the criteria?
KING: She is talking about marshals, Robert. When?
CRANDALL: I think the answer is, we don't know, Larry. To my knowledge, the government has not yet undertaken to put marshals on every flight. I think they should. But as Captain Woerth points out, it is going to take while to get them all trained. I certainly hope we are going to continue that training process and put federal marshals on every flight as part of this process of restoring public confidence in the airline system.
KING: Richard, are there marshals on every Virgin flight?
BRANSON: No, there aren't. I mean it, again, it is something which has been discussed with the government at the moment. I think that if there were marshals, or if pilots were to have guns, they should be stun guns, not real guns, which can be just as effective, and do just as much harm without actually being as perilous to other people on board.
But I think if marshals are put on board flights, and what other measures are taken, I don't necessarily think it should be publicized. I think that part of this war should be that any potential terrorist shouldn't actually know whether there is a marshal on a particular flight or not. I think that it's unlikely that every single flight in world will have marshals on them.
KING: Well said. We'll take a break and come back. Security was breached in two locations today. We'll ask our panel about that. And we'll include more phone calls as well. This is LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
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BUSH: We're not into nation building. We're focused on justice. And we're going to get justice. It's going to take a while, probably, but I'm a patient man. Nothing will diminish my will and my determination.
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KING: As we introduce our panel. In Washington, Captain Duane Woerth, President of the Airline Pilots Association in Gloucester, Massachusetts; Robert Crandall, former chairman and CEO of American Airlines. In London, England, Richard Branson, the founder chairman of the Virgin Atlantic Companies. And in Columbus, Ohio Mary Schiavo, aviation security expert.
Mary, a man with a loaded gun passed through security checkpoint at Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta, went undetected. The man had a permit to carry the gun, but then reported it, said no one stopped him. A man proving a point to his wife about lax security at Philadelphia smuggled 4 box cutters onto a Northwest flight. He was arrested by the FBI. That was today, Mary.
SCHIAVO: That's right. That's because a lot of our security checking is based on spot checking. And we also still have the problem, the age-old problem, the 12-year-old problem of the securities screeners.
But also, we just do spot checking. And it's very difficult to pick that up. And that is why in the light of the terrorist mass murders, that we have a difficulty both with the processes, meaning that we are going to use these metal detectors and really put our faith in security on them, and also in spot checking. Neither of which, we know, neither of which works.
KING: Captain Woerth, everyone we've had on, senators and others say, don't be afraid to fly. If you were piloting a Northwest plane tomorrow morning, 747, would you be worried?
WOERTH: No, I would not. I believe that air transportation was the safest mode of transportation prior to September 11. We had a horrible tragedy on September 11. Commercial air transportation is still the safest way to fly. And I would not hesitate one second to command an aircraft or be passenger on one.
KING: Why is it hard, Robert, to get a cockpit door that locks?
CRANDALL: It isn't hard, Larry. You just need make up your mind to do it.
The fact of the matter is, we've had this discussion for many years. There have been opinions back and forth about whether the door should be impenetrable or whether the door should provide for easy access.
I think that argument has now been settled. We know how to do it. And we ought to get on with doing it. And we ought to -- at the same time, we ought to get on with fixing the quality of the security system that Mary was talking about.
Let me give you an idea. The airlines have laid off -- are in the process of laying off very nearly 100,000 people, many of them very familiar with the airline and airport operations. Let's put them to work in the security system, as we go about the process of upgrading the people and upgrading the processes. KING: By the way, Richard, before we take our next call, how much has all of this affected flights on your airline to the United States?
BRANSON: I think it's affected domestic airline flights in America dreadfully. It's affected international flights by something like 25, 30 percent of our passengers, although we have noticed over the last few days, that they seem coming back. But it's certainly not been a good time to be in airline industry.
KING: Grand Rapids, Michigan, hello.
CALLER: Good evening, Larry.
CALLER: I'm flying to Paris, France next week with girlfriend. We've looked forward for months for this trip. At first, we thought we wouldn't go after this happened, but then we said, "No, we're not going to be intimidated. We're going." But what can we do to feel safer and be safer?
KING: Mary Schiavo, just to get this straight, do you tell her to go?
SCHIAVO: Well, it's going to depend on how she's going. But on international flights, she has always been safer than our domestic flights. So if she feels comfortable going and she's going on an international flight, we have always had a higher level of security. And if she's comfortable doing it, then she should make that decision to go because she's better on an international flight.
KING: Captain, any precautions she should take?
WORTH: I think the normal precautions that the media has been covering quite well. There's nothing unusual I could recommend.
KING: Syracuse, New York, hello.
CALLER: In regards to airport security, why don't they do finger imaging?
KING: Robert, you want to take that?
CRANDALL: Well, we should -- the fact is there's lots of technology, Larry. There has been a lot of discussion over the years about whether finger imaging, facial imaging, isolating people because of the fact that they have passports from hostile countries, isolating people because they have bought tickets for cash.
Lots of discussion about whether that is invasive, too invasive. In my view, I think we need, in the light of this tragedy, to take the position that traveling on the airline system is discretionary, that to the extent that we need to be invasive, we are going to be invasive. And I think when ought to use every kind of technology possible, including that which the lady mentions.
KING: In other words, you don't have a constitutional right to board an airplane?
CRANDALL: I do not think you do, Larry. I think we have "we" collectively have a duty to take care of the safety of the traveling public. And I think that is supersedes those rights that people argue, the privacy rights and so forth. But people say we can't ask them questions. And I think that is simply wrong.
KING: Mary, did I hear your voice wanting to comment about that caller?
SCHIAVO: Well, yes, I mean, and Bob made a very good point. We have had a real collision here and what people seemed to have overlooked is, you know, the airports and the airlines are really, you know, main street America now.
Every problem we've got in the country manifests at the airport, but we can't guarantee the same levels of freedom and expression and rights and association, and all of those kinds of things on an airplane.
And we are entering an era where we are going to have new rules. And the rules are going to save your life. And I think it's going to be a new era that the passengers will get used to, but it's very different. You are going to have much more restriction. You're going to feel less free. And for a little while, we're going feel less comfortable. But the bottom line is, you know, it's going to save lives.
KING: Salt Lake City, Utah, hello.
CALLER: Good evening. Thank you, panel. My concern is we now know that we have an individual that are willing to buy a ticket, get on the plane, hijack a plane, and have themselves killed. My concern is where are we now in x-ray baggage for checked luggage when my bag will go in? And I think don't we need some more x-ray baggage equipment if we know that the individual will doesn't care about their lives?
KING: Richard Branson that is a concern out of London?
BRANSON: It's not a concern out of London on international flights. I think it has been a concern on domestic flights. But if I could pass it back to panel who know about America.
KING: OK, take it back. Captain Woerth, do you know?
WOERTH: I believe that all those concerns need be addressed. We need more security screening. We need better equipment. We need awful lot of things that are being addressed in the congressional testimony and recommendations not just by -- but all the industry participants. And I believe the Congress is going fund it. And the administration's going to enforce. And we're going to have a better more secure systems every day.
CRANDALL: Yes, the answer is yes, Larry. We need to x-ray every bag, because if we get -- since we now know that there are people out there willing to die, if you put a bomb in the belly and get on the airplane, we won't let the bag and the passenger travel separately today. They have to travel together. Now we need to be absolutely sure there's nothing downstairs.
BRANSON: On international flights, that is -- sorry.
KING: Go ahead, Richard.
BRANSON: So on international flights, that's been a sacrosanct rule for a long time. I mean, we will hold our plane up for an hour if a passenger doesn't turn up and the bag's on that plane. And that's existed for many years to come in America.
In a sense, you know, because so many people are traveling in America, and America's airlines we've been treated like, you know, jumping on and off a bus, those sorts of things became lax.
Now overseas, you know, people have decided quite rightfully that they've got to tighten up on these things because they don't want repeat of what's happened.
KING: Miami, hello.
CALLER: Hello, how you doing Larry?
CALLER: Good. I had a question regarding commuter pilots. And we seem to talk a lot about the commercial industry as far as the larger aircraft. What kind of security measures are going to be involved as far as the commuter pilots was, where the doors don't close? And you know, I missed Mr. Woerth's speech there in Congress. And I'm a pilot myself. And these are one of my concerns about me carrying a weapon.
KING: Smaller plane, Captain Woerth. Is a smaller plane less like a plane holds 32 people flying from Albany to Utica less likely to be a weapon?
WOERTH: I think we need to have one level of security for all of aviation. That is for every aspect of aviation, including cargo. We can't just assume the passenger aircraft was chosen last time or a large passenger aircraft, that would be the chosen vehicle, next time. One level of security for all of aviation..
KING: Rochester, New York, hello.
CALLER: Hi. The airlines continue policy of giving courtesy jump seats to presumed pilots?
KING: Yes, does that occur, Robert. If a pilot has a license, that he's a pilot for another airline, does he automatically get a jump seat?
CRANDALL: Not automatically, Larry. It's -- there are a series of agreements between companies. And I might say within the unions, that represent pilots. And I think it is fair to say that only those pilots who are A, known pilots, and B, employees of comparably sized airlines are able to use jump seats.
KING: So, Captain, you're flying Northwest. A guy comes. He's a Delta pilot. He can sit right behind you, can't he?
WOERTH: Right now, the new security directives has additional limitations on what we call reciprocal jump seating. We want to work with the industry and our airlines. And I know they want to work with us to restore that.
Because ultimately we believe a qualified pilot in the jump seat is a security and a safety asset. We need to tighten down identification of pilots with -- those processes can be addressed and will be addressed. But ultimately, we want to restore the reciprocal jump seat because it will be an enhancement to safety and security, not a detriment.
KING: Dalton, Georgia hello.
CALLER: Hello, Larry, how you doing?
CALLER: I got a question for your panel there. As far as ticketing computers are concerned with all the airlines and any independent ticketing agents out there across the country, and to indeed the world as a matter of fact. Is it possible or has any one given any thought to having these ticketing computers linked with the FBI, the CIA, NSA, NSC computers to check if anyone does have any type of terroristic background?
KING: Yes, could that be accomplished, Robert?
CRANDAL: Yes, sir. It could and should be. And in fact, the airline computers are very capable and quite able to do that. And if that's part of the federal mandate, I think you'll find the airlines embracing that very enthusiastically.
KING: Because Mary, some of the hijackers went in under their real names, right?
SCHIAVO: That's right. They went under their real names. And the interesting thing about those crime computers is most law enforcement have access to those. In fact, well you know, I had one when I was inspector general. We had access to that information. And you could very well link to it. But the important thing is you're going have to coordinate the security and the law enforcement. And right now, all those links are very broken. With a new officer, we might be able to coordinate, with a new cabinet officer.
KING: We're going to call on all of you again. And we thank you for this illuminating discussion. Captain Woerth, Robert Crandall, Richard Branson, and Mary Schiavo.
When we come back, Chuck Vance, expert on security issues, former Secret Service agent, is going to tell us about what to do individually to help protect ourselves. Don't go away.
KING: We now welcome Chuck Vance to LARRY KING LIVE, expert on security issues, CEO of Vance International and former Secret Service agent. Obviously, Americans can no longer take security for granted. You got any ideas for families to do? What can a typical family do about being safer?
CHUCK VANCE, CEO, VANCE INTERNATIONAL: Well, Larry, I'll tell you what we teach foreign service officers who are going over to medium to high risk posts for the State Department. Basically it's not brain surgery, but it's pretty easy.
It's you have to be alert. You have to be aware. And you have to have a plan. The alertness and the awareness, when you're going out, you basically become your own security. When you go out, you're looking around. You're aware of what's around you.
For instance, about four years ago, we did a security check on a theme park, and put a bag, put a backpack in the theme park. And for over three hours, nobody paid any attention to that backpack, which could have had a bomb or anything in it. Those are the kind of things this country has to start being aware of. We have to take a page out of the Israeli's book, and be more security aware all around across the board.
KING: What about at school? What about a kid at school?
VANCE: Well, kids at school, I think really, there's been a lot of done with the schools. And with all the issues we've had lately. But the same thing. One of the things we have do is incorporate our children into the program, not the very young ones and scare them, but we have to talk to them about these are different days.
And if they see something unusual, if they see something different, they need to tell an authority. So we need to really bring everybody into the program, from you know, from the youngsters throughout, that we're all part of overall American security program.
KING: So are you saying now we're a society that has to look both ways if we get in a taxi, a subway, get on a bus? Look around? Do we have to be suspicious? VANCE: Yes, we do. We do. I think that's exactly what I'm saying, but let me put it this way. It's equivalent to being a defensive driver. It takes a little more attention. It takes a little more energy. And you may still get in an accident. You may still get killed, but it certainly betters your odds dramatically. And that's where we need to be.
KING: How about safety at the workplace?
VANCE: The workplace, the same way. I think what corporations and CEOs need do is to, from the top down, advise their people that there's -- it's a new ballgame out here, that they have to -- they're going to elevate their security profile. And this is the way they're going to do it. And that everybody is going to comply with that, from the CEO down.
The other thing that corporations need to do, and we talked a lot about airport security here and the fact that it needs to be elevated. And certainly I couldn't agree more with that.
But generally in this country, we need to elevate our private security forces. For instance, in Europe, where we're talking about these screeners, they make about $30,000 a year.
Our screeners over here make about $15,000 a year. We need to bring our private security services up to a level that really gives them a profession a career, and we can therefore count on them to be our eyes and ears. You know, there's five private security people to every one law enforcement officer out there.
KING: Do you think we as a society -- I mean, let's say Christmas is coming, we're going into shopping malls and bags are going to be searched, right?
VANCE: Well I think what's going to happen is if these shopping malls are smart, they will increase their security profile because if I for one, and I'm sure you, too, don't want to go into a shopping mall that is not -- you don't feel secure. So if they check my bag going in, I'm going to feel good about that shopping mall and I'm going to be, probably more prone to walk around and buy more things. So yes, I think that's going to happen.
KING: Do you think security precautions is now a civic duty?
VANCE: Well, yes, in the sense that again, I'll take a page out of the Israelis. If we are in a war, as the President said, and I believe we are, we're going to be assaulting them, attacking them. And very undoubtedly, they're going to be attacking us. So anything we can do to protect ourselves, protect our fellow Americans, protect our businesses, protect our facilities, we all need to do that as Americans.
KING: Would you fly commercially?
VANCE: Yes, I would. Yes I would. And I'm planning to in the next few days.
KING: You are?
VANCE: Yes, you know, Larry, I think that with all the attention that's paid to the airlines, frankly, I don't think the terrorists, we've never seen it in the past, where they have gone back to what they tried before.
KING: Same thing, yes.
VANCE: Yes, the same thing. So frankly, I think if the terrorists are going to do something, they'll try something else.
KING: Chuck, thanks. We'll be calling on you again.
VANCE: OK, thank you, Larry.
KING: Chuck Vance, CEO, Vance International, former Secret Service agent. I'm Larry King. We'll take a break.
And when we come back, the beautiful and talented Martina Mcbride. Don't go away.
KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. You may have noticed we're closing the show every night with a kind of different viewpoint, usually using music. And tonight, we welcome Martina Mcbride, the award-winning country music singer who has a runaway hit in Independence Day. In fact, the day after this attack, you sang the national anthem at a public vigil in Nashville. What was that like?
MARTINA MCBRIDE, COUNTRY SINGER: It was very moving. And very -- it's a feeling like you've never had in public gathering before. You know, there were about 2,000 people there. And normally people would be filing in, they'd be chatting and talking and visiting. And it was just quiet. Everybody was quiet. They filed in. They sat. And it was...
KING: Was it hard to sing?
MCBRIDE: It was very hard to sing. It was the first time I had sang the anthem since the attack. And you know, we get to asked to sing the anthem all the time, at ballgames.
KING: You sang last night at the Green Bay/Washington.
MCBRIDE: I did, but since the attack, it just takes just -- all different.
KING: And they've asked you now to sing Independence Day. Did you write that?
MCBRIDE: No, I didn't. It was written by a lady named Gretchen Peters.
KING: But it's not about war and peace, is it?
MCBRIDE: No, well, it's about a different kind of war and peace. It's actually about domestic violence. And the song came out about seven years ago. And it's still my -- what they call I guess your career hit to date. And it just really affected a lot of people.
But when I heard I was thinking about what to say to this group of people, and the chorus just really fits this situation as well, as what it was written for.
KING: Which we're going hear in a couple of minutes over a montage. It's -- we understand you're also, you're donating $50,000 to the Red Cross from sales of the greatest hits album.
MCBRIDE: Mm-hmm. Yes. I feel like it -- you know I think we're all kind of struggling with what can we do to help. Everybody wants to know what is that it we can do to help. And this is a way that, you know, the greatest hits album was already released. And on its way to the stores, there was kind no holding back, otherwise we probably would have waited a little while to release it.
KING: Said giving back?
MCBRIDE: Yes, I mean, it's a way that we can help.
KING: You group rural Kansas. That must be very patriotic country, right?
KING: You had this embedded in you, the flag and the like?
MCBRIDE: Well, I did, but I tell you, in my whole life, I'm 35, and I've never I don't think felt patriotism or what it really means to be an American until now.
KING: Martina, you're a beautiful girl, a great wonderful mother, a great star. And I thank you for all you're doing.
MCBRIDE: Thank you, thanks for having me.
KING: My pleasure. Martina Mcbride and here she is overlooking the landscape that once was in our montage with Independence Day.
MCBRIDE (singing): Let freedom ring, let the wonder sing, let the whole world know that today is a day of reckoning. Let the weak be strong. Let the right be wrong. That's gone away. It's Independence Day...
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