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're focused on justice, and we're going to get justice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, HOST, LARRY KING LIVE: 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's 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, the former American airline Chairman, Robert Crandall.
And 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're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Lots of show tonight, but first the headlines. Saudi Arabia has severed 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 the Select Intelligence Committee of the Senate.
Senator Graham, what do you make of the fact that Saudi Arabia drops ties with the Taliban and on the same day, the al Qaeda, the bin Laden group, says that Americans and Jews will be targeted if their targeted?
SEN. BOB GRAHAM, CHAIR, SELECT INTELLIGENCE CMTE.: Larry, first let me say something about the question of Americans returning to normalcy. I think that it's important than we begin to reestablish our lives as they were before September 11th. Yes, with some additional caution and care, but live must go on. I particularly want to encourage people to overcome their concerns about aviation. I've flown on four commercial flights in the last ten days. And frankly I feel it's 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 counter threat by the bin Laden group.
GRAHAM: I think what it says is that the small group of friends that Afghanistan and bin Laden are rapidly falling away. 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, VICE CHAIR, SELECT INTELLIGENCE CMTE.: Well, I think we all have to be concerned about threats. But we've got to check them out and I hope that we will react to it in a positive way. But he's issued some threats but he's also obviously 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 the anti terrorism package? There's some opposition to it in the Congress.
GRAHAM: Yes, Larry, we're going to look carefully at that. The package has been divided into two pieces, that which relates primarily to criminal justice, which will 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 American's civil rights. The greatest victory we could give to the terrorist would be if we allowed them to force us to be like them. To give up our liberties and freedom in order to hide in caves as they are doing.
SHELBY: Larry, I believe ...
KING: I'm sorry. Go ahead Dick.
SHELBY: If I can, thank you. I believe that we're going -- at the end of the day are 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's more and more talk, Senator Shelby, and this for both of you. We'll start with Senator Shelby. You're in the Intelligence Committee and more and more talk and fear about biological weaponry. How do you approach that?
SHELBY: Well, that's a real fear. Biological, chemical attacks -- we realize that. We are trying to prepare for it as best you can. We're on alert in America. You see what the administration's been doing even with crop dusters and so forth to alert everybody, grounded them for awhile. I believe we can deal with it.
But to say that it's not ever going to happen in America and we're 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're on the right track and we've got to do more. But ...
KING: It seems Senator ...
SHELBY: ... biological threats and chemical threats are real.
KING: It seems Senator Graham, I'm speaking like a layman and I am a layman, like it's indefensible. They can come in with a suitcase and destroy a community. That's the image.
GRAHAM: What do the 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. A 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'm pleased at a meeting that I participated in 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 is not a threat. We've known this a long time -- for a long time. But I agree with Senator Graham and the administration. We've got to go to the source. We've got to destroy the source. But in the meantime, there is a 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'm continued 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, 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're 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 the 19th, September the 11th because of their hatred of the United States of America. If we persevere, we can win.
KING: We thank you both very ...
KING: Yeah, Senator Shelby quickly.
SHELBY: Quickly, I agree with that. I think what we've got to do is restore competency in air -- 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're going to have safe transportation.
KING: We'll be right back. And when we come back, Senator John McCain joins us. Then a major discussion on airplane safety. Don't go away.
KING: We welcome former presidential candidate and 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-AZ), ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: Two individuals were convicted, I believe on September 10th, for doing exactly that. There's a loophole -- the gun show loophole, as you know. That if there not selling a certain number of guns then a background check isn't required. Obviously we're also going to have to give your our background check procedures because 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's good. American servicemen and women always respond in times of crisis. That's when their 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'll also get some sacrifice.
KING: Senator, everyone tells us don't expect a quick fix. 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 for about 15 years now as I recollect but and you haven't aged a bit. I think the longer -- I think the longer that our adversaries think we'll willing to stay in this, the shorter it's going to be. If they believe that there's no safe harbor, that they can run but they can't hide. That we won't give up no matter where these terrorists are located. And whatever nations harbor them will be punished, and I'm convinced it will be a lot shorter than we would expect.
But we got to prepare for the long haul and the President has done exactly right by emphasizing that this is a long twilight shuttle. But when they say you harm us and we'll damage Jews and Israel and Americans everywhere, what do you say to that?
MCCAIN: I say you always say that. You always say that you scum. The fact is that we will exact a price that's even higher if you do that. We can't be cowed by that kind of language from these despicable people and we won't be. And we will prevail no matter what.
And if you do these things, 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 but think a great deal of their own.
KING: Yeah, like bin Laden didn't fly one of the planes.
MCCAIN: No, no, nor did most of these people in charge.
KING: Do you have a lot of faith in this Homeland Defense idea?
MCCAIN: Yeah, but I think that we've got to give Rich significant authority so he doesn't end up in some things -- position like the drugs are, which is -- very fine men held that post but they didn't have a lot of authority. We got to give him a lot of authority so he can call it -- whoever it is amongst these 60 agencies and say do this, not request it, but say do that, do this. That's the way the system works here in Washington.
KING: Are we going to have a lot of secrecy around all these missions vies a vie the media?
MCCAIN: I think we'll 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 technology involved, but tell the American people how we're doing. They're going to need that.
KING: But it'll be after the fact information not where we're going tomorrow.
MCCAIN: 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 for the long run what we're probably going to see is some Special Forces, Rangers, Delta Force, Seals, British SAS people -- on the ground some times 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's not in their interest to harbor terrorists and assist terrorists as well. That'll be a crucial point in this whole struggle, Larry.
KING: You wanted to be President. Are you planning ...
MCCAIN: I still do.
KING: Still do.
MCCAIN: No, no.
KING: OK. But what do you make of how the President's doing.
MCCAIN: Magnificent. He's doing a superb job. His speech to the nation -- to the Congress the 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's got a -- he's got the crack experienced team. He has the most experience in the national security team I think around in history. And he's using them and they're following him.
KING: Thanks Senator, we'll see you again soon.
MCCAIN: Thanks Larry.
KING: Senator John McCain, member of Armed Services.
When we come back a major panel discussion. Four outstanding figures in the field of aviation will go at it. We'll include your phone calls too. Don't go away.
KING: Now let's meet our distinguished airline panel. In Washington, Captain Duane Woerth, President of the airline Pilots Association. He's on leave from Northwest airlines where he pilots the 747-400, the largest transport plane in the world.
In Gloucester, Massachusetts is Robert Crandall, former Chairman and CEO of American airlines. Two American airlines' planes were involved in the attacks on -- that 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 in the cockpit. Should they be trained to use them?
CAPT. DUANE WOERTH, PRESIDENT, AIRLINE PILOTS ASSOCIATION: Absolutely. In fact my testimony said, first of all they should be voluntary. Every pilot should be trained as a Federal Marshall. That means going to Quantico and getting the FBI training, and then and only then should pilots be allowed to have firearms in the cockpit. But we believe this will enhance the Federal Marshall program as a needed component at this time.
KING: Captain, have you favored this before or did this come about because of September 11th?
WOERTH: It's totally because of September 11th. My union and our institution and me personally have been fighting weapons on aircraft for as long as we can remember. But the world changed on September 11th with a new threat. It needs real solutions in real time to a real problem and that's why we had to change our position.
KING: You also include the placement of two stunt guns as standard equipment on the plane. They would do what?
WOERTH: Those stunt guns or tasers can basically muscularly paralyze a terrorist or any threat and they're good for within 15 feet and it can be recharged. It's a very effective tool. And 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 knock out gas, where the Captain, this may seem silly, could hit a button and put the 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 and CEO of American airlines, what do you make of the Captain's idea?
ROBERT CRANDALL, FMR. CHMN. AND CEO, AMERICAN AIRLINES: I think on a 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 basis 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, well ...
KING: Yeah, in other words, could they see any possible business problems because of it? Can they -- you know, from an airline standpoint, let's say they make this the law, the airline can't do anything about it.
CRANDALL: Well, that's exactly right Larry. I think they're not going to be arms on airplanes unless it becomes the law. And 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 subject to the kind of training that Captain Woerth describes should authorize pilots to carry weapons.
KING: Richard Branson, when you were with us the last time, you told us how it's 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, I mean obviously, the most important thing is that security in the airport stops, you know, stops people getting on board. I think there are -- there are obviously pros and cons.
The danger of having guns on board planes is that if hijackers want to get hold of guns, they haven't got them through the system, they may be able to get them off the pilot. So, it's certainly something that needs to be examined. It would be nice if people do get through that there is a way of fighting back, but your also have to look at the potential perils of actually having weapons on board planes.
KING: So 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's the first thing. I think that certainly we should examine having ways that people on board planes fighting back. But we'll have to be actually sure that the dangers of that do not -- are not outweighed by the fact that, you know, now there are guns on board. And guns should not be able to be able -- to be got on board. So, it definitely needs to be examined as there are, as there are perils there.
KING: Has Virgin had a hijacking?
KING: Never had one.
BRANSON: Well, I mean, obviously, hijacking's very extremely rare things and you know, the odds that a hijacking is infinitesimal. And on international flights, it's almost unheard of because the security is such that it's extremely difficult to get through the system.
What's happened on this occasion is the 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 has finally been tightened up.
KING: Mary Schiavo.
BRANSON: 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: Well unfortunately that's a very short term stop gap measure. I certainly could not deny pilots the right to defend themselves at this juncture. But it's a federal law enforcement function. And if you're going to send pilots to the federal law enforcement training academy, that is not a cheap or short proposition. I want that money invested in air Marshalls.
If we have to go even the route of the Israeli route, then I want the money invested in professional air Marshalls on the plane for several reasons. One, they're plain clothes, they don't know where the weapons are. Two, you never want to get into a position where the pilot has the weapons, the air Marshalls have the weapons, and you're into a, you know, sort of a clashing situation. Three, we also have to train the pilots in law, because we aren't authorized to use deadly force except only in threats of life.
So we have to do a lot of training on the 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 pilot doing. And I want law enforcement protecting us and pilots flying like they can.
KING: Captain, how would you respond to Mary's statement?
WOERTH: Well, first of all, we want the federal air Marshalls as well. Our proposal is in addition. We don't want any less Marshalls to have more pilots with weapons. But in the very near term, those secured doors that we want, it's going to take some time to get. The federal Marshall program, they're training about 400 a week, but that's going to take some time. We can do this in addition. It's not a substitute, it's additional security.
KING: Robert Crandall, everyone we 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: Well, it hasn't happened in the past, Larry. Those of us -- many of us in the airline industry has 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 the 11th 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. And under the terrorism act of about 20 years, the government imposed very, very strict security measures at our airports and that has worked. They've spent a lot of money. It cost the airlines a lot of money. But the government also took a lot of the cost on themselves. And that has definitely made flying out of the UK, you know, much safer than most other places in the world.
KING: Las Vegas, as we include a phone call for our panel. Hello.
LOS VEGAS: Hi.
KING: Go ahead.
LOS VEGAS: Yeah I wanted to know when they planned -- when do you think that they'll have them on all flights. I keep hearing they're going to have them on some flights. All the airlines -- I fly every week, all the time. And all the airlines are telling me that they'll be on selected flights. Who's selecting them? And what makes them -- what's the criteria?
KING: She's talking about Marshalls, Robert. When?
CRANDALL: I think the answer is we don't know, Larry. To my knowledge, the government has not yet undertaken to put Marshalls on every flight. I think they should, but as Captain Woerth points out, it's going to take a while to get them all trained. I certainly hope we're going to continue that training process and put federal Marshalls on every flight as part of this process of restoring public confidence in the airline system.
KING: Richard, are there Marshalls on every Virgin flight?
BRANSON: No, there aren't. I mean, it's -- again, it's something which is being discussed with the government at the moment. I think that if there were Marshalls, 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, you know, being as perilous to other people on board.
But -- and I think if Marshalls 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 Marshall on a particular flight or not. I think it's unlikely that every single flight in the world will have Marshalls 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. We'll include more phone calls as well.
This is LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: To reintroduce 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 and chairman of the Virgin Atlantic Companies.
And in Columbus, Ohio, Mary Schiavo, aviation security expert.
Mary, a man with a loaded gun passed through a security checkpoint at Hartsfield International airport in Atlanta. It went undetected. The man had a permit to carry the gun, but then reported it. He said no one stopped him.
A man proving to a point to his wife about lax security in Philadelphia smuggled four 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 security screeners. But, also we just do spot checking and it's very difficult to set 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, with everyone we've had on, senators and others say don't be afraid to fly. If you were piloting a Northwest plane tomorrow morning, a 747, would you be worried?
WOERTH: No, I would not. I believe that air transportation was the safest mode of transportation prior to September 11th. We had a horrible tragedy on September 11th. Commercial air transportation is still the safest way to fly and I would not hesitate one second to command an aircraft or be a 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 to make up your mind to do it. The fact of the matter is we've had this discussion for many years. And an opinion is back and forth about whether the door should be impenetrable or whether the door should provide through 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, or are in the process of laying off, very nearly 100,000 people. Many of them are 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 three days that they seem to be coming back. But, it's certainly not been a good time to be in the airline industry.
KING: Grand Rapids, Michigan, hello.
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN: Good evening, Larry.
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN: I'm going to Paris, France next week with a 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 on 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?
WOERTH: I think the normal precautions that the media has been covering quite well. There's nothing unusual that I could recommend.
KING: Syracuse, New York, Hello. SYRACUSE, NEW YORK: Hi.
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK: 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 with cash. Lots of discussion about whether that is invasive or 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 if we need to be invasive, we are going to be invasive. And I think we ought to use every kind of technology possible, including that which the lady mentioned.
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 supersedes those rights that people argue, the privacy rights and so forth. Like people say we can't ask them questions. I think that is simply wrong.
KING: Mary, did I hear your voice wanting to comment about that caller?
SCHIAVO: Well, yeah. I mean -- and Bob made a very good point. We have had a real collision here and what people seem 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 restrictions. You are going to feel less free. And for a little while, you're going to feel less comfortable. But, the bottom line is, you know, it's going to save lives.
KING: Salt Lake City, Utah, hello.
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH: Good evening. Thank you, panel. My concern is we now know that we have individuals 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 life?
KING: Richard Branson, is that a concern out of London?
BRANSON: It's not a concern within London on international flights. I think it has been a concern on domestic flights. But, if I could pass it back to your panel who know about America.
KING: OK. Take it back. Captain Woerth, do you know?
WOERTH: I believe that all those concerns need to be addressed. We need more security screening. We need better equipment. We need an awful lot of things that have been addressed in congressional testimonies and recommendations not just by APA, but all the industry participants. And I believe that Congress is going to fund it and the administration is going to enforce it and we're going to have a better and more secure system every day.
CRANDALL: Yeah. 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 dolly and get on the airplane, we won't let the bag and the passenger travel separately today. They have to travel together.
KING: And how do we...
CRANDALL: We need to be absolutely sure there's nothing downstairs.
KING: And by the way...
BRANSON: And on international flights, that is the -- I'm sorry. Was that you ...
KING: Go ahead, Richard.
BRANSON: The fact is -- sorry. On the international flights, that has 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 is on that plane. That's has 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 are being treated like jumping on and off a bus, those sort of things became lax.
Now, obviously, you know, people have decided, and quite rightfully, that they've got to tighten up on these things because they don't want a repeat of what's happened.
KING: Miami, hello.
MIAMI: Hello. How are you doing, Larry?
MIAMI: Good. I had a question regarding commuter pilots. We seem to be talking 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 I missed Mr. Woerth's speech there in Congress, and I'm a pilot myself, and this is one of my concerns about me carrying a weapon.
KING: A smaller plane, Captain Woerth. Is a smaller plane less like a plane if it 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, and that is from every aspect of aviation, including cargo. We can't just assume because a passenger aircraft was chosen last time, or a large passenger aircraft, that that would be the chose vehicle next time. One level of security for all of aviation.
KING: Rochester, New York, hello.
ROCHESTER, NEW YORK: Hi. Will airlines continue their policy of giving courtesy jump seats to presumed pilots?
KING: Yes. Does that occur, Robert? If a pilot has a license, and he's a pilot for another airline, does he automatically get a jump seat?
CRANDALL: Not automatically, Larry. There are a series of agreements between companies and, I might say, within the unions that represent pilots. 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 in. He's a Delta pilot. He could sit right behind you, can't he?
WOERTH: Right now, the new security director says that there's no limitations on what we call reciprocal jump seating. We want to work with the industry and our airlines and they only 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. 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.
DALTON, GEORGIA: Hi Larry, how are you doing?
DALTON, GEORGIA: Larry, 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 for a matter of fact. Is it possible, or has anyone given any thought, to having these ticketing computers linked with the FBI, the CIA, NSA, NSC computers to check to see if anyone does have any type of terroristic background?
KING: Yeah. Could that be accomplished, Robert?
CRANDALL: Yes, sir, it could and it should be. And in fact, the airline computers are very capable and quite able to do that. And if that is 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, you know, I had one when I was inspector general. We had access to that information and you could very well link into it. But, the important thing is you're going to have to coordinate the security and the law enforcement. And right now, all those links are very broken.
KING: We're going to...
SCHIAVO: With this new officer, we might be able to coordinate with the new cabinet officer.
KING: We're going to call on all of you again. 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. He's 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, an expert on security issues, CEO of Vance International and a former Secret Service agent.
Obviously, Americans can no longer take security for granted. Do you have any ideas for families to do -- what could a typical family do about being safer?
CHUCK VANCE, CEO, VANCE INTERNATIONAL: Well, Larry, I'll tell you what we -- each 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 we need more security awareness all around.
KING: What about at school? What about a kid at school?
VANCE: Well, kids at school, I think really there has been a lot done with the schools with all the issues we've had lately. But, the same thing, one of the things we have to 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 the overall American security system.
KING: Are you saying now we're a society that has to look both ways if we get in a taxi or a subway and on a bus?
VANCE: Yeah. I think...
KING: Do we have to be suspicious?
VANCE: Yeah, 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, 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 to do is to, from the top down, advise their people that it's a new ball game 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, in the fact that it needs to be elevated and certainly 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 thirty thousand dollars a year. Our screeners over here make about fifteen thousand dollars 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 out there.
KING: Do you think we as a society, let's say Christmas is coming, we're going to go into shopping malls and bags are going to be searched, right?
VANCE: Well, I think what's going to happen, if these shopping malls are smart, they will increase their security profile because I for one, and I'm sure you too, don't want to go into a shopping mall where there's not, where 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, yeah, in the sense that -- 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: Will you fly commercially?
VANCE: Yes, I would. Yes I would. And I'm planning to in the next few days.
KING: You are?
VANCE: Yeah. You know, Larry, I think that, with all the attention that's paid to the airlines, I don't think the terrorists, we've never seen it in the past, where they've gone back to what they've tried before.
KING: Same thing, yeah.
VANCE: The same thing, yeah. 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, thanks Larry.
KING: Chuck Vance, CEO of 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 the attack, you sang the National Anthem in a public vigil in Nashville. What was that like?
MARTINA MCBRIDE, COUNTRY MUSIC SINGER: It was very moving and very, just a feeling like you've never had in a public gathering before. You know, there were about two thousand 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'd sang the Anthem since the attack. And, you know, we get asked to sing the Anthem all the time, at ball games ...
KING: You sang it last night at the Green Bay, Washington.
MCBRIDE: I did. But, since the attack, it just takes -- it's all different.
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Singing National Anthem.
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KING: And they've asked you now to sing Independence Day, which -- did you write that?
MCBRIDE: No, I didn't. It was written by a lady named Gretchen Peters.
KING: 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. The song came out about seven years ago and it's still, what I guess you would call my career hit today and it just really affects 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 to hear in a couple of minutes over a montage. It's a -- we also understand you're donating fifty thousand dollars to the Red Cross from the sales of the greatest hits album.
MCBRIDE: Yeah. I feel like it's, I think we're all kind of struggling with what can we do to help. Everybody wants to know what is it we can do to help and this is way that, you know, the greatest hits album was already released and on its way to the stores. There was no holding back or otherwise we probably would have waited to release it.
KING: So giving back in this?
MCBRIDE: Yeah. I mean it's a way that we can help.
KING: You grew up in rural Kansas. That must be very patriotic country, right?
KING: You have this embedded in you, the flag and the like.
MCBRIDE: Well I tell you, in my whole life, I'm thirty-five, 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.
MCBRIDE: Thank you.
KING: 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.
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