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America's New War: Panelists Discuss Life Inside Afghanistan

Aired September 27, 2001 - 00:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, an extraordinary look at life under the Taliban regime. What are Afghanistan's women enduring beneath the veil?

President Bush defends the CIA but is U.S. intelligence up to a tough job ahead? And man's bests friend, hard at work on Ground Zero. Joining us from New York, Lafond Davis and her rescue and rescue dog Sunny, and Steve Rochford and his search-and-rescue dog Kona.

From Northern Afghanistan, an on-the-scene update from CNN correspondent Chris Burns.

In Los Angeles, Mavis Leno she says the Taliban is making war on women. She wants the world to know about it.

In London, Shaira Shah. She risked her life to bring TV viewers a shocking look inside Afghanistan, in Washington, Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation. Also in D.C. Republican Senator John Warner, ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, former Secretary of the Navy. With him Democratic Senator Dick Durbin member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Also General Alexander Haig, secretary of state under Ronald Reagan.

And also in Washington, Caspar Weinberger who served in the Reagan Administration as secretary of defense. And later entertainer Barry Manilow urges us to let freedom ring. They are all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

First the headlines of the day: Growing concerns of a humanitarian catastrophe as tens of thousands of refugees flock to Afghanistan's border in fear of a U.S. military strike. President Bush is going to propose placing armed federal marshals on virtually all U.S. commercial air flights. Thursday he will make that proposal.

And the FBI is checking records of all truck drivers licensed to carry hazardous materials due to the concerns of other kinds of terrorist attacks. Joining us first from New York, Lafond Davis and Steve Rochford. They are part of FEMA's urban search-and-rescue team, the Arizona Task Force Team One. Lafond, did that mean that you came from Arizona to New York to help out?

LAFOND DAVIS, HANDLES SEARCH & RESCUE DOG SUNNY: That is what it means. We are hear to help in anyway we can.

KING: Is it FEMA that asked you to go?

DAVIS: Yes. We are part of 28 FEMA urban search-and-rescue teams that respond to disasters.

KING: And Steve what is your role at that tragedy?

STEVE ROCHFORD, HANDLES SEARCH & RESCUE DOG KONA: Basically, we are canine specialists. Our role to go out with our dog to search the rubble to look for any type of live victims, or any live scent that would come up from the rubble. The dogs would alert, then we would send the team in to perform a rescue.

KING: How long you been doing this, Lafond? What do you work, a 12 hour day?

DAVIS: When we are here we work 12 hours. We come prepared to have two teams fully functional and we work 12-hour shifts. And I have been doing this since Sunny was a pup and she is now 7, so about 6 and a half, seven years.

KING: And Sunny is what kind of breed?

DAVIS: She is a yellow Labrador retriever.

KING: And trained to do what?

DAVIS: She is trained to find live humans by using her nose and sifting them out in disaster situations

KING: And Steve, Kona is what breed?

ROCHFORD: She is a Belgian Malinois. Kind of looks like shepherd.

KING: Yes, she does. And she is doing the same thing?

ROCHFORD: Absolutely, absolutely.

KING: Have either of you found a human person yet, Lafond?

DAVIS: Well, we are kind of advised not to discuss anything of the nature of what was actually going on there at the site.

KING: All right we will respect that. Steve, is it discouraging, do you think, for the dogs and yourself, to not find anything living?

ROCHFORD: Well, basically, no, because the dogs don't know the difference. All they know is they are out there looking for live humans, and if the searches go on and they don't find anybody, basically we have some of the task force members maybe hide around a corner or hide under a boulder with a toy and I will send Kona out for a search and of course she will find a live human scent, the victim, and she will start barking and basically she will be rewarded that way. So...

KING: Because Lafond, their morale can go down, too, can't it?

DAVIS: I think we have worked so long with them and there becomes a special relationship with them and I think, like Steve said, we make this actually in a way, a game for them. And I think that what actually brings their morale down is when start feeling frustrated, and they read us so well that they pick up on our emotions.

KING: Steve, you are, in daily life, in Arizona, a paramedic?

ROCHFORD: I'm a firefighters with Arizona Public Service. It is a nuclear power plant in Arizona.

KING: What do you think of what those men did in New York?

ROCHFORD: In terms of the terrorists?

KING: No. The firemen.

ROCHFORD: The firemen, you know, my heart goes out to all the brothers in New York, and that is me main reason we are here. We are here to support New York, the firefighters and the police officers in any way we can. That is basically our mission. Anything they need us to do, we want to help.

KING: How rigorous, Lafond, is the training of the dogs?

DAVIS: It is a big-time commitment. We spend hours and hours, pretty much daily, sometimes, spent doing anything from obedience to actual rubble search, and it is rigorous on them, timewise, and on us, and because of the type of rubble that they have to go over, it can be rigorous on them physically also.

But we keep it fun for them, like I said, they will keep working.

KING: Steve, how long are you going to be there?

ROCHFORD: I believe we should be heading back home probably in a couple days.

KING: Tough duty, huh, Steve?

ROCHFORD: It is, but it is something that we have been trained for since she has been nine weeks old, we have been training for this type of environment or situation. And I am just glad that everybody stuck with it and we had an opportunity to help.

KING: Lafond, what do you do back in Arizona?

DAVIS: Actually I'm here with the Arizona team. I actually live in Seattle and I'm a paramedic up there.

KING: You are a paramedic.


KING: I salute you both. Thank you very much for being with us, and they are beautiful dogs.

DAVIS: Thank you.

KING: Lafond Davis, Steve Rochford, people you normally think of behind the scenes, you don't hear much about them until you have tragedy and there has never been a tragedy like this one.

When we come back we are going to take you inside Afghanistan. Don't go away.


KING: We welcome now to LARRY KING LIVE from northern Afghanistan, CNN correspondent Chris Burns, here in Los Angeles, Mavis Leno, chair of feminist majority campaign to stop gender apartheid in Afghanistan. She is the wife of Jay Leno and has appeared on this program before. In London Shaira Shah, journalist reporter for the documentary film about life in Afghanistan, the brilliant film called "Beneath The Veil." You have seen it on CNN. We are going repeat it Sunday night at 11:00 Eastern.

And in Washington, Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation. Let's spend some moments with Chris Burns. You are in northern Afghanistan, Chris. What is the status right now of that Northern Alliance?

CHRIS BURNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Northern Alliance is fighting away. They have been pounding away for several days this week. Day and night you would hear the tanks pound away at Taliban positions not far from here, that is north of the capital Kabul. It doesn't seem like they have made a whole lot of progress as they haven't in the last five years. It has been a stalemated war. That is why they are hoping and asking for more help from the international community, specially from the Americans, also from the Russians who provide a lot of weapons.

All the weaponry here is former Soviet from that Soviet invasion of Afghanistan from '79 to '89. Further North toward the border with Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, fighting raging on over there, and they had taken one key city called Czare (ph) , but it looks likes they have lost it and that is a blow to that campaign up in that direction.

KING: Is the United States, is the United States, Chris, responding to their needs?

BURNS: Well, the Northern Alliance sources tell us that there are daily, almost daily, contacts, even as high as the National Security Council level, State Department level, but as far as material aid, as far as weapons, they say they haven't received, at least publicly say, they haven't received anything yet.

It seems like there is some kind of intelligence exchange. After the drone that was shot down over some fighting a few days ago, and the Pentagon admitting that that was one of its own, so there is some kind of exchange of information but it looks like it is not going any further than that right now. KING: It is early Thursday morning in Afghanistan. What's been the reaction there to the assassination of Massoud?

BURNS: Very interesting because it was, for those who did launch that assassination attack, they probably had in mind causing disarray within the movement. At least in the short term it has caused a rallying cry, because this man who is known as the Lion of Panshir (ph) , man who faced off to the Soviets and drove them off, his death has now awakened other lions, namely those lions fighting in field for him.

You see around here everywhere you look there are black flags flying in his honor. There are pictures of his on the windshields of trucks and cars. It really has raised a lot of emotion, a lot of thirst for revenge on the battlefield. That, at least in the short term is working out. On the other hand, he was a charismatic figure, and a lot of people say it is going to be very difficult to replace him especially if they come to power. They are going to need a very strong-handed person to come to power and hold everything together, Larry.

KING: From your vantage point do you get any bead on the refugee situation, or is that too far away?

BURNS: Well, we do see a trickle of refugees coming up from Kabul. They do describe a climate of fear, as the Taliban prepare for war and reports that they are grabbing youth and shoving Kalashnikov (ph) rifles in their hands and sending them to the front and telling them to fight. But as far as mass groups of refugees, they are not right around here. They are toward the borders around Afghanistan, and that is something that the United Nations says that there is a growing humanitarian crisis.

In fact, with about 1/5 of the 26 million people living in this country always dependent on international aid, this only aggravates the crisis. Also, a three year drought that is choking off this country from any food supplies.

KING: Thank you, Chris, doing noble work. Chris Burns, CNN correspondent in northern Afghanistan. Good have him with us. And now we welcome our panel here in Los Angeles, Mavis Leno. In London is Shaira Shah. In Washington is Eleanor Smeal. We mentioned "Beneath the Veil," one of the best documentaries we have ever aired.

We aired it sometime back and then of course recently. We are going to repeat it on CNN, Sunday night at 11:00 Eastern. Before we talk to the panel let's see a brief shot from that wonderful documentary, as we said, "Beneath the Veil.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The women who they executed here were not allowed to take off their veils, so they must have had hardly any idea of what was happening. They must have been very confused. They must have heard the crowd screaming. They were pushed to the penalty line and made to kneel down. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Before we talk with Sarah, Mavis, how did you get involved in women in Afghanistan?

MAVIS LENO, FEMINIST MAJORITY FDN.: Well, I joined the feminist majority in early 1997. And one of the things that I particularly wanted to do was give what aid was possible to women who were trying to get equality in other countries.

And when this whole issue was taken on by the feminist majority, it just spoke to me in a way that I really can't describe. I mean I can hardly bear...

KING: ... emotional sitting here, did you go there?

LENO: Well, watching that, it is just -- I have not been there because they -- the Taliban are well aware of my campaign. They know what I look like, they know my name, and no one threatened me or anything like that at all. But it didn't seem like a wise idea.

KING: Shaira, how did you get in?

SHAIRA SHAH, "BENEATH THE VEIL": I went several times for that documentary, I went three times, twice with a crew, once with a visa to the Taliban controlled area and then once I did an undercover trip on my own. I just snuck over the border from Pakistan.

KING: All right. From a covering standpoint -- Mavis has not covered it, she has been involved with it and she is torn up. Was that a very difficult thing emotionally for you to report?

SHAH: Yes, it was. Personally, I have family links to Afghanistan so it was it was extremely emotionally grueling for me. But I should also say that although it was scary for me, I actually went with an amazing organization of Afghan feminists called the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan. And those women are phenomenally brave.

The picture you saw in the football stadium of the woman being executed was shot by them, not by me. And just the thought that they managed to take that picture is -- is incredible. I also would like to say, because it is really important to me, that I met so many people in Kabul, on that undercover trip, who really were brave people struggling to survive. And I'm terribly worried for them now, in the present situation.

These are people who are also victims of the Taliban. And I'm dreadfully worried that any American action should not penalize civilians in Afghanistan. And this tragedy with the refugees beginning to escape, try to flee Afghanistan shows how seriously they take that threat.

KING: Eleanor, what got you interested in that part of the world, that far away from where you live? ELEANOR SMEAL, PRESIDENT, FEMINIST MAJORITY FDN: Well, when we heard what they were doing to the women, they weren't allowed to work, they weren't allowed to go to school, they had to be covered from head to toe, their shoes couldn't make noise, and then what they did is they disobeyed these Draconian rules. They were beaten, tortured, essentially all their human rights were taken away and the penalty if they didn't do it could be death.

And we felt that somebody had to do something. We looked at if other groups were doing anything, focusing on the women, and they didn't have campaigns here in the United States and we felt we could at least bring it to the attention of the United States, because we felt that we could aid them. And that is what we have tried to do.

KING: Are you at all concerned, Mavis, that any retaliation that might occur, they will take it out on women? Which they have been prone to do?

LENO: I'm so worried about the women over there right now. I'm terribly worried that they will be harmed in whatever the United States has to do to the Taliban.

KING: But then the United States is in a catch-22, you know.

LENO: Oh, no, I'm an American. I understand our viewpoint perfectly. But to me it is obvious that the people of Afghanistan have been hijacked by the Taliban in the same way that the people on that airline were hijacked by terrorists. They are captives of these people.

KING: They are slaves.

LENO: Yes, they live at gunpoint under this.

KING: What are you asking Americans to do at this point?

LENO: As a matter of fact, I would like Americans to call in to our State Department.

KING: And?

LENO: And ask them to deal with this situation humanely, punish the people who deserve to be punished, you know. Don't -- don't harm thousands of innocent people.

KING: Shaira, are you half Afghanistan?

SHAH: Yes, my father originally came from Afghanistan.

KING: That -- explain why the Taliban does what it does. Why do they treat people that way?

SHAH: Well, the Taliban are pretty difficult to understand at the best of times, but their ideology, they believe, is based in Islam, and they believe that, you know, women should stay at home and shouldn't have jobs and that this for their own protection and it is in Islam.

And lots of Muslims I know who grew up within a moderate Islamic tradition would actually say that this is not Islam, this not what the faith of Islam preaches. The prophet said things like women are the twin halves of men and there is also a tradition in Islam, let there be no compulsion in religion. So, a lot of Muslims would say that the Taliban are not really practicing real Islam.

KING: Eleanor, sometimes out of tragedy comes good. If the Taliban were to be wiped out, would that be of great benefit to women in Afghanistan? Do you think things would change right away?

SMEAL: Well, we hope they would. And what we would like to happen is that a constitutional democracy be restored, and that also women's rights be restored. Whatever the solution is, women's rights have to be restored and they have to be a part of it.

There are many brilliant Afghan women who were in the parliament, who were doctors, who were lawyers, who were the schoolteachers. They have to be a part of the solution. And also, we do hope that right now that we increase humanitarian aid, because if the refugee camps do not get humanitarian aid, they breed terror, the terrorists. Because many of these desperate young boys, 12 and 14, they are promised money and other things if they join the terrorists or the Taliban.

We have to provide humanitarian aid. And we have to do it just for the right thing, too. These women and children are suffering so bad. They are 75 percent of the refugees and we need to really, they need hundreds of millions right now. They are facing imminent ruin because there is virtually no food.

KING: Mavis, what's been the effect of the tragedy of September 11 on your campaign?

LENO: Well, it is a little early to say yet, but people really seem to have swung focus onto the situation of the women there, because basically, those women were the canary in coal mine for what the Taliban were going to do.

KING: And actually the first time that documentary aired it was not near as watched as it is now.

LENO: Yes.

KING: Lawrenceberg, Kentucky. We have a call-in. Hello.

CALLER: We are appalled here in America by the treatment of these women in Afghanistan, but what is there that Afghan women's attitude towards their treatment? Are they tolerant of it? Do they speak out against it? I would like to address this specifically to Shaira.

KING: Shaira, yes, are the women just -- placid?

SHAH: No. I mean I saw many women in Kabul who were used to a very different kind of life. You have to remember, a lot of women in Afghanistan did always live very traditionally, but there was also a population of very educated women who had jobs, for example, nearly two thirds of the teachers in Kabul were women.

And these women are now being prevented from living their lives, having jobs, and even getting adequate medical care.

KING: Do you ever wonder, Mavis, why they don't? I guess, they have no power to strike back, do they?

LENO: No. When the Taliban took over, and the country fell to Taliban, they took away every kind of weapon. Believe me, nobody there has a box cutter. They made sure, and then they began to try and cut the people of Afghanistan off from all communications.

So they -- and the women are under house arrest. There is nothing they can do.

KING: Eleanor, what about refugee situation?

SMEAL: Well that is one of the things they did do. Millions fled. There are 3 1/2 million refugees in Afghanistan, and Pakistan, before September 11. There is another million and a half in Iran. And now tens of thousands are fleeing now. But they have fled. And they have tried to fight back.

The women that we work with, and we have worked with women who are running clinics, who have been doing underground schools, who have been running schools in Pakistan, refugee camps. They have fought back in many ways. In fact, they even cut off the public baths to the women, and the women protested by trying go to them (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and many were killed.

So it isn't like the Pakistan -- the Afghanistan people have not fought back. They have. But this is a dictatorship, a regime that has total force.

KING: And the horror. By the way, CNN, as we said, will rebroadcast "Beneath the Veil." If you didn't see it please watch it this Sunday 1:00 am Eastern, 11:00 p.m. Eastern as well. It will also appear on CNN international at 2300 Hong Kong time in Asia and 2300 Buenos Aires time in Latin America.

Please don't miss this gripping documentary. We thank you all for coming. When we come back Senator John Warner, ranking member of Armed Services, Senator Dick Durbin, member of Select Intelligence Committee. More calls for them as well. Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I discover a man selling scraps of bread with mold on them for animal feed. A woman buying a handful at a time but she is not feeding to it animals. She grinds it up for her seven children.

She has invited me home to film her, to tell me that since the Taliban stopped women going out to work she has to beg. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): There is nobody in the household who can work, so there is no money. I do this for my children to keep them quiet. It is all they have to eat.


KING: We welcome two distinguished members of the U.S. Senate, both in Washington. Senator John Warner Republican of Virginia, ranking member of the Armed Services, former secretary of the Navy. He served in the Navy and the Marines. And Senator Dick Durbin Democrat of Illinois, member Select Intelligence Committee.

Senator Warner, what did you make of the last segment what we just saw about women in Afghanistan?

SEN. JOHN WARNER (R-VA), ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE: Well, it shows you the warped minds that we are dealing with. And those same demented people are the ones that are harboring bin Laden, providing the camps for the training of these terrorist groups that are spanned all over the world now.

We've got to do something about it. And we are fortunate the world community is gathering together. I started today, with breakfast with Don Rumsfeld and chairman of the joint chiefs and two or three other colleagues from the Senate and House, and we had an excellent briefing from our secretary of defense, and I want to commend the members of the administration for the way they are keeping the Congress well informed and soliciting our views.

KING: Senator Durbin, what did you think of the piece we just did?

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL), SELECT INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: It breaks your heart to think that some of the poorest people in the war which is not of their making. To think that some group which is trying to somehow or another steal the concept of the religion if Islam and to turn it into this sort of oppressive and barbaric behavior, is harboring terrorists who would kill over 6,000 innocent people in the United States just a few weeks ago. It is an absolutely awful situation.

KING: President Bush spoke of the CIA giving it a pep talk. Here's a brief clip. Watch.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: George and I have been spending a lot of quality time together.

There is a reason. I've got a lot of confidence in him, and I've got a lot of confidence in the CIA.



KING: Senator Warner, what's the confidence based on in view of recent obvious somebody made a mistake somewhere?

WARNER: Oh, I think more than "somebody." May not have made a mistake, but they just overlooked finding somewhere among the volumes and volumes of material that we collect from the airwaves and in every other unit and the like, we failed to find that one bit of evidence that would lead to another and another, and put together a matrix.

Before my colleague here served on Intell committee, I served on it. And by the way, George Tenet was our staff director when I was a ranking member of the Intell committee. And he's a fine man. And I'm glad that our president went out and he's teamed up with George to see this thing through.

KING: Dick, do you agree about George Tenet being -- do you agree that he's qualified for that post because there have been some asking him to leave?

DURBIN: Yes, I think he definitely is qualified, but let me say this Larry. I think it is appropriate for us to ask the same question you just asked of us. What went wrong on September 11

The purpose of our intelligence agency and all the money and people that work there, is to really avert that sort of crisis. It is the worst crisis in the history of the United States. We lost more American lives that day than any time in our history.

And we have to have the courage to step up and ask the hard questions, where did the intelligence community, the military, or the law enforcement or the Congress fail? What can we do to make sure that this never happens again?

KING: Let me get a break. We'll come right back and Senator Warner can respond. With Senator John Warner and Dick Durbin, I'm Larry King. Don't go away. We'll be right back.


KING: We're back. Senator Warner, you wanted to comment on what Senator Durbin said?

WARNER: Yes, I agree certainly, we've got to go back and examining how this happened. And where, if there are errors, there were errors or oversights.

But I can cite case after case where the CIA has stopped terrorist attacks on this country. During the millennium, we had that border incident up on Canada, where a lot of high explosives were coming in and that was stopped. So they have been effective, thus far.

And really, intelligence is the strongest force multiplier this nation or any nation has against terrorism. The biggest weapon is to go out and interdict them before they strike us. And on the bill that I am working on the floor now, the annual defense bill, there's $6 billion in our bill to go into the intelligence world and other areas, to fight terrorism. KING: Senator Durbin, are you going to give Governor Ridge enough clout to run that homeland defense office?

DURBIN: I think we will because I think all of us have a high regard for Tom Ridge.

I came to the House of Representatives with Tom in 1982. Here he is a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, a person that all of us worked with and trusted. I think the President made an excellent choice. And what a responsibility we've given him. It is substantial. And I think Congress is prepared to invest in him the resources and the authority, to protect this country from future terrorist attack. I think he's an excellent choice.

KING: Let's take a call from Long Beach, California. Hello.

CALLER: Yes, Larry. I wanted to know having been in special forces in Vietnam, how we attack people without hurting any civilians? I mean you get tired of people tying your hand behind your back.

KING: Senator Warner, I guess he's saying you're going to have to hurt civilians, right?

WARNER: No question about it. I was Secretary of the Navy -- undersecretary for over five years during the war in Vietnam. First, I salute you, soldier. You did a good job. And this nation has a great obligation to you for your service and that of that your fellow service persons.

You know and I know that when you're given a mission, you've got to carry out that mission. And regrettably, innocent persons will be hurt from time to time. Hurt and killed. But above all, you've got to protect your own selves and your own forces and carry out that mission.

And the missions that we have before us now in following through on the courageous commitments our President has laid down for us is going to involve high risk for the men and women of the Armed Forces.

KING: Yes.

WARNER: Let there be no doubt.

KING: Senator Durbin, I want to move to another quick territory because of time limitations. You're going with the President tomorrow to Chicago, are you not?

DURBIN: That's right.

KING: And purpose there is to what, salute the aviation? What is the purpose?

DURBIN: Well, the President -- we're meeting with employees from the Aviation Industry at O'Hare. And we have 50,000 of them in the Chicagoland area, to thank them for a job well done and to give a pep talk to America, to say it's time to get this economy moving again. It's time to get back into the airports and the airplanes. And he's going to lay out his plan. I don't know all details of it as I sit here, in how to make our airports and airplanes safer.

I think that's important. We need a bold, visible, comprehensive move by this government to restore confidence in our airline industry. And that's the purpose I think of the President's visit.

KING: Go ahead.

WARNER: We'll be beefing up air marshals. The President, I'm sure, will talk about putting a strong door between the passengers and the pilots. And I've suggested in others that we turn to the men and women of the Armed Forces to fill in some of these areas for the time being, until civilians can be trained to do these jobs. We've got able people ready to go on. We've got to get America flying again. It's hit our economy very severely, particularly here at National Airport in Washington, D.C.

KING: Senator Durbin, can you understand the apprehension of people to fly?

DURBIN: Absolutely. And I can tell you the first time I got back in a plane after September 11, I looked at the whole experience a lot differently after 20 years of flying back-and-forth between Illinois and Washington so many times.

But there are things that we can do. Changing that screening process to make sure there's a uniformed law enforcement officer there or someone from military, as Senator Warner has suggested. Making certain that we have the security on the ramp. I have advocated video cameras in planes so that pilots know up in the cockpit what's happening back in the cabin. There are a lot of things we can do to make this a safer experience. And we have to do it.

KING: CNN will be there with you and the President tomorrow. We thank you both. We'll be calling on you again. Two outstanding members of the United States Senate, John Warner of Virginia, a Republican, Dick Durbin of Illinois, a Democrat. They are both, of course, at this time more profound than that, Americans.

When we come back, two distinguished Americans who served their country in the past, Alexander Haig, the former Secretary of State, Casper Weinberger former Secretary of Defense. Don't go away.


KING: We welcome back -- we welcome to LARRY KING LIVE, well back to. They've been on frequently in the past, former Secretary State Alexander Haig, former Secretary of Defense Cap Weinberger. Both served in the Reagan administration. Haven't seen Cap in a long time. Let's start with him.

In your wildest imagination, did you ever think of something like what happened on September 11?

CASPER WEINGBERGER, FMR. DEFENSE SECRETARY: No, I think that it would be fair to say that I don't think anybody contemplated idea that four planes could be hijacked in one morning or that some 26 people, whatever it was, offered themselves up and commit suicide in these horrible attacks. I don't think anybody contemplated the size or scope of that kind of thing.

KING: Secretary Haig, do you hear of a split in the administration, some sides saying they want to take a more forceful action more immediately. Others saying go slow?


KING: Nothing new to you.

HAIG: No. Press speculation is always in the background of these things. You know, a Secretary of State and a Secretary of Defense have different perspectives and different responsibility. And it's natural for there to be differences in nuance of priorities, and how things should be done.

And that's why we have a president to decide. And that's what we had today. Thank heavens. And he's doing precisely that.

And I think what they're talking about is whether you're going to have a sequential set of priorities to deal with this problem, this global problem, this very complex problem, or whether we're going to go and lash out in every direction, and make it impossible for the President and the Secretary of State to form coalitions.

KING: So you need unity.

Cap, in the past segment, Senator Durbin and Senator Warner suggested possibly military personnel on airplanes. Do you expect that we're going to see military troops in American cities?

WEINBERGER: Well, I hope not, no. I think it's not necessary. And I think it's a bad precedent. I think the military has an enormously important job to do. And we need more help for the military in every way.

I don't think they should be used in civilian tasks. When I was in office, we used to have a lot of people who said we had to use military to curb all of the narcotic activity. And I said I really did not want to see the fourth armored division patrolling the streets of New York City. I think it's just a bad idea. And I don't think it's necessary.

KING: How about keeping a lid on information, Secretary Haig? There's a want of government to do that. And then, we have what we call free speech. What should we know and when should we know it?

HAIG: Yes, well first, let me underline what Cap said. I agree with him totally. Military is not a civil law enforcement agency. It can be used in such cases of emergency, but it's not a good practice.

Now, in terms of information, of course we have to be more constrained than we've been in the past. This is a different kind of war. It's an undercover war. It's a shadowy war. And it means that information and intelligence must be guarded with the same essence that you would your tanks and your guns and our artillery.

WEINBERGER: I agree with that complete. And I think if the press understands the importance of not reporting everything, and the importance of keeping things undercover, so to speak, until it's time to release them, they're perfectly willing to do that. And that requires explanation and it requires a policy of keeping the press informed, but keeping them also informed of the dangers of premature reporting of all manner of activities and potential operations

KING: Let's take a call. Columbia, South Carolina. Hello.

CALLER: Hey there. I was in England on World War II from January 31 right on to the end of the war.

KING: What's the question?

CALLER: And I don't know why we are reacting so strongly to what has happened to us here. I remember being in England. And we'd be in a restaurant somewhere. And we knew that the bombing raids were going on. And a bomb would drop, and everything was silent in Lion's Cornerhouse. And about, 36, 30 minutes, 30 seconds later...

KING: In other words, Mr. Haig, is the difference is we've never been bombed before, right?

HAIG: Well that's one very big difference. And of course, that was a conflict that was waged by military forces against military forces, although there were a lot of innocents slaughtered during those wars, too.

But this is a target that is exclusively non-combatant, women and children and innocent workers of our country.

KING: Britain knew its enemy.

WEINBERGER: Well, we had 6,000 people killed, none of whom were combatants or participants or who had done anything except follow their normal, daily lives. And...

KING: But he was pointing out...

WEINBERGER: ...that can't be tolerated. And anybody who says they don't understand why we're so excited about this I think needs a great deal of medical attention.

KING: He might have been pointing out though that they went on with their lives in a manner without dealing with it on daily basis.

WEINBERGER: We'll go on with lives, too. But to say we shouldn't be worried about it is carrying it a little far I think.

HAIG: And I think the President is trying to get the country back into a normal mode. He's doing everything he can to do that. And I think we should do that. So in that sense, I agree with the caller. But you know, this is something way beyond the pale, that cannot be tolerated by law-abiding states.

KING: Cap, what do you do about someone like Bin Laden? As you know, he's not the head of a country?

WEINBERGER: I think that you do just what we did with Qudhafi. You first of all identify, without any question, his participation, his complicity, the fact that he sponsoring it, the fact that he is the one who's largely responsible.

And when you identify your target with complete certainty, then you go after it with absolutely unrelenting force, until he's destroyed. And I think that's what has to be done.

And I think you have to pay due attention to be careful not to hurt innocent civilians while you're doing it. But he has brought this upon himself.

But the main thing is to make sure that you identify the target correctly. If you just blind bombing and go -- and drop several bombs on Kabul because it might make you feel better, that's not going to do any good and tremendous amount of harm. So once you've identified the target, just as with did with Qadhafi then you go after it with unrelenting force, until that target is no longer able to take these kinds of actions.

KING: Al Haig, does the public have the patience?

HAIG: Well, I think they do. You know, we're frequently confused by the kind of war we had in Vietnam, where we did run out of patience, because we pursued flawed policies. It wasn't bad press. It wasn't bad PR. It was bad policy that defeated us in Vietnam.

WEINBERGER: Certainly was. It's the first war we never intended to win.

HAIG: Absolutely.

WEINBERGER: And if we dove that again, we deserve to lose.

HAIG: I don't think that's going to be the way this war is conducted. And everything the President is saying is right on, as far as I'm concerned.

WEINBERGER: I agree completely. I think handling it magnificently.

KING: Are you both optimistic?

WEINBERGER: Of course.

HAIG: I'm extremely optimistic. You know we forget. These are not masses of people. These are a select group of fanatics who are pursuing a throwback seventh century philosophy. And they are doomed by their own action.

WEINBERGER: I have no doubt that that's absolutely correct. KING: It's so great to see you again, Cap. And Al, as always, great having you with us. WEINBERGER: Thank you.

HAIG: Thank you.

KING: Two veterans of the wars, Al Haig, the former Secretary of State and Cap Weinberger, former Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration.

We've been closing our show every night with kind of special treatments. We've got a great one coming up for you. So don't, don't go don't, don't change!

Barry Manilow, you're going to love this, is next. Don't go away.


KING: We've been closing the show every night with some special musical performances over pictures and montages of events. And Barry Manilow's with us tonight, one of the celebrated artists. He's been a major musical figure for over 25 years in this country.

Now this is a version of "My Country Tis of Thee." You call it "Let Freedom Ring?"

BARRY MANILOW, SINGER: Well, actually, it's a brand new song called "Let Freedom Ring," only we started it with "My Country Tis of Thee." And when I get to the rhyme, let freedom ring, our song starts called "Let Freedom Ring."

KING: And you wrote it?

MANILOW: And I wrote it with my song writing collaborator, Bruce Sesna and Jack Feldman. We wrote it for the for 200th anniversary of the Constitution. What year was that? 1987, something like that.

KING: Yes.

MANILOW: And I did it on a TV special and it went over real well. Then I was asked to do it at President Clinton's inauguration. And I opened his inauguration with "Let Freedom Ring" and a big choir. And it was very exciting.

And I put it on this boxed set because it was such a beautiful song and I kind of forgot about it. And about five, six years have gone by. And somebody brought it out a couple days ago in the middle of all this tragedy.

And I had forgotten about the song. And I was able to listen to it as if I had nothing to do with it. And it moved me so much. And it made me feel better because it's all about freedom.

KING: So we can only get it in the box set. MANILOW: Well, so we kind of just gratis. I just sent it out to every radio station, every television station that would -- that was interested. And people started to play it. So I thank you very much for noticing it because I hope it makes people feel better. It's a beautiful, beautiful piece.

KING: We're going to hear it in a moment. As New Yorker, does this touch you particularly?

MANILOW: I haven't been able to get past it yet. And I'm not even -- I haven't even been to New York. I know so many people in New York that when I speak to them on the phone or when we talk about this, they can't stop crying. Have you been to New York yet?

KING: Going next week.

MANILOW: They tell me that if you go there, it changes you forever. If you stand at where the World Trade Center was. It changes you forever. And it's probably changed all of us.

KING: This not a song though -- patriotic songs are not something we associate with you?

MANILOW: Well, songs that move you, might be. And this is a song -- I mean when I listened it after five years of not listening to it, it moved me. I moved myself. There I was. I was being moved. But the song, the statement, and the passion in the song moved me.

KING: One other quick thing, you're going to have a big tour this fall?


KING: Worried about security?

MANILOW: I haven't really thought about it. You know. if you start to worry about this, for me, I kind of spin out. I just have to go out and sing "I Made it Through the Rain" and go back and make people feel better.

KING: Try to call your friend.

MANILOW: Thanks, Larry.

KING: The great Barry Manilow. And we close tonight with his rendition "Let Freedom Ring."


MANILOW: My country tis of thee sweet land of liberty of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died! Land of the pilgrims' pride! From every mountainside, let freedom ring! Let its music resound throughout the nation. Let it celebrate sweet liberty, that is keeping us free, and strong.

BUSH: We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.


MANILOW: Let freedom ring people everywhere, let freedom ring.

People all over the world let freedom ring people everywhere let freedom ring, people everywhere.

Let freedom ring, people all over the world let freedom ring

Let freedom ring, people let freedom ring, let freedom ring.


KING: Among my guests tomorrow night will be Richard Holbrooke, former U.N. ambassador, Chris Dodd, Richard Lugar of the Senate, Angelina Jolie, who has a special function with the U.N. Naomi Judd is going to be here to provide our musical moment. And we're going to turn the proceedings over now to the special report, which will follow us every night. It is hosted, of course, by my man Aaron Brown in New York.




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