CNN LARRY KING LIVE
President Vows to Stay the Course in the War Against Terrorism
Aired October 11, 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 must defeat the evildoers where they hide, we must round them up, and we must bring them to justice, and that's exactly what we're doing in Afghanistan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, the president vows to stay the course in the war against terrorism.
The FBI warns it has reason to believe there could be new attacks in the next few days.
And the United States marks the one-month anniversary of the tragedy that seared America's soul.
Joining us: Democratic Senator Joe Biden, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and a Republican member of that committee, Senator Chuck Hagel.
Also in D.C., bestselling author Bob Woodward of "The Washington Post," chilling insights into how the bin Laden network operates.
In New York, Mike Wallace of CBS News' "60 Minutes." He's been digging into stories about bioterrorism for years.
Back in D.C., chairman of Subcommittee on National Security, Congressman Christopher Shays, is holding hearings on the threat of bioweapons tomorrow.
And with him, retired Air Force Colonel Randall Larsen, director of the Anser Institute for Homeland Security.
And then memories from heart. We'll hear from Missy Sherry. She lost her husband and cousin at the World Trade Center. Kim Moran. Her husband was one of the brave firefighters who rushed into the World Trade Center, never came out. And Lisa Beamer. Her husband one of the heroes of Flight 93.
And they're all next, on LARRY KING LIVE.
Good evening. We begin with Senator Biden. Your reaction to the press conference, Joe.
SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D-DE), CHAIRMAN, FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: Positive. The only thing I'd take issue with is the -- I would not have warned America that there's an attack when there's only a generic notion there's an attack going to take place in America. I don't know what good that does anybody, and -- but I thought the president did well.
KING: Senator Hagel, your read?
SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R-NE), FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: I thought he did a good job, direct, to the point, answered the questions. I thought he was reassuring.
He didn't embellish or polish the facts here, once again said this is a long-term commitment that all free peoples must make, and America will lead this coalition of free peoples to root out terrorism, and I -- I thought he did it well.
KING: Senator Biden, are you saying that if you have a threat, you should you not say it.
BIDEN: No. I'm saying if you have a threat, Larry, and you have any reason to believe there's any specifics to it, you should say it.
But if you have a generic saying there's going to be an attack in the United States sometime in next three days or five days -- to say that seems to me to be just the intelligence community and others covering themselves to be able to say, "I told you something might happen." What does it do?
I mean, you now have everyone from my daughter who is to fly home tomorrow to, you know, somebody who is going to go to a shopping mall in San Diego saying, Oh, gee. Do I do that now?" at the very time we're trying to get back to go back to normal.
I think the president was clear. He said, "Look, if we have a specific threat, we would tell you specifically. If we have a credible threat relating to an area of the country or the type of facility or whatever," then that should be spoken.
I -- this is a tough call. I'm not suggesting this is easy, but I, for one, think that to indicate that there is going to, quote, "be a threat" -- there is going to be "a -- an attack" somewhere in the United States maybe or abroad maybe -- I don't know, Larry. I'm not so sure that's a solid policy.
KING: Chuck Hagel, what do you think?
HAGEL: Well, Joe makes some good points, but I -- I think we have to remember here and put this in some perspective, that this is an imperfect imprecise business.
On one hand, we want to do what the president has encouraged all Americans, and Senator Biden and all of us are doing, move along with your lives, don't be captive to the terrorist threat, don't cower in fear, and, on the other hand, we are trying to keep America alert, not panic, not overly afraid of what might happen every minute of the day.
So it's a balance in perspective here that's not easy to deal with. So I think it's a hard call, but I think overall the American people have good common sense, they sort it out, and they have a good center of gravity.
KING: Also, what do you do, Senator Biden, with the warning? OK. We've got a warning. Now what? What do I do with it?
BIDEN: Well, you try to pursue, Larry, whether or not it's credible. You try pursue what...
KING: Yeah, but, as an individual citizen, what do I do tomorrow?
BIDEN: Well, that's what I'm saying. I have no idea what you do. I mean, if you're going to deal with the threat, the last thing, I think, the people have to be convinced of is to stay alert. I mean, I think people are very alert here.
Again, I don't want to make a big thing of this, but, look, Larry, one of the things that's going to happen is you're going to hear a lot more. I've done -- as you know, because you've questioned me on this for years, I've done a great deal of work on terrorism, a great deal of work in the subject, as a matter of fact made a speech to the press club today before this occurred saying we're focusing on the wrong thing, we should be focusing on terrorism, that it's likely to happen, et cetera.
And so I take a back seat to no one in terms of my knowledge or background in this area, but I think we have to give people the full picture so we under -- so they don't overreact.
For example, you know, they talk about the possibility of smallpox, and people are going to hold hearings on that. I held a hearing on that three days before Chuck was there, actually five days before this occurred, and they -- and, you know, you can come up with horrible scenarios.
And one of the scenarios says even if you -- if you gave people the vaccine for smallpox, one in five people could die from just the vaccine because of our immune systems, and I pressed the question -- I said, "Well, what about that? Well, people -- why is that the case and not when I had the vaccine you had your vaccine?"
They say, "Well, because now people have AIDS and now people have a lot of chemotherapy going on." I said, "Do you think any doctor's going to give this when you have AIDS or chemotherapy? Why don't you tell people that 99.9 percent of the people who would get a vaccine are going to be just fine and the people who have AIDS and the people who have chemotherapy aren't going to be able to get vaccine?"
In other words, some perspective here, Larry. I'm just a little worried we're going to go too far in making these guys bigger than they are and making the -- the threat more real than it is.
KING: Senator Hagel, would you advise anyone to do anything differently this weekend?
HAGEL: No, I would not. Again, a good, abundant amount of common sense is required here, Larry.
We live in the most open, free, mobile society in the history of mankind. It's not a risk-free society, never has been. We should stay on a higher plain of alert.
We must ensure here, as best we can, that we are developing a sense of confidence, getting that self-confidence back, and the confidence that our citizenry must have in our leadership, our law enforcement, our security apparatus, and we'll do that. We need to build that back.
Let's not forget, Larry, it was four weeks ago today that this nation was rocked and shocked in a way we've never been shocked before. We're building back psychologically, physically, and in every way.
KING: Senators Joe Biden and Chuck Hagel, two outstanding members of United States Senate. We'll be calling on them frequently in the days and apparently months ahead, as the president warned us.
Bob Woodward. the Pulitzer prizewinning journalist, assistant managing editor of "The Washington Post," front-page story today about bin Laden owning the Taliban. Bob is with us. We'll include phone calls for him.
Mike Wallace and others still to come.
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are dismantling their military, disrupting their communications, severing their ability to defend themselves, and slowly but surely, we're smoking Al Qaeda out of their caves so we can bring them to justice.
People often ask me how long will this last. This particular battlefront will last as long as it takes to bring Al Qaeda to justice. It may happen tomorrow. It may happen a month from now. It may take a year or two. But we will prevail.
And what the American people need to know is what our allies know: I am determined to stay the course, and we must do so. We must do so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We welcome Bob Woodward to LARRY KING LIVE. Let's get his assessment on the story of the day.
First, before we get into his story on "The Post," what did you make of the news conference?
BOB WOODWARD, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, I thought the news was that President Bush said that terrorist states like Syria and Iran presumably will be given amnesty if they cooperate in this current war on terrorism.
He also said very directly that the Taliban and the regime in Afghanistan will be given a second chance if they turn over bin Laden and other people in the Al Qaeda network.
So, in a sense, his commitment is so large and overwhelming to this war that he's opened the door and said "Sign up with us, and to a certain extent, we will forgive the past."
KING: And on performance? Give him high marks?
WOODWARD: You know, I'm not good at giving performance grades, frankly, but...
KING: Well, you write books. You grade people.
WOODWARD: Well, I'll tell you what struck me. He kept returning to the theme of his total commitment on this, and he said very explicitly when asked about Vietnam -- he said we are going to fight this in a different way and openly said it may take a year or two, and every part of his strategy that we know about is one of patience and that there's no rush to fix it next week or by Christmas, and I think that's critical in this campaign that he's launched.
KING: Before we talk about your story today -- a great story, by the way, on the front page of "The Washington Post." Woodward has so many of them -- what do you make of this FBI saying there's reason to believe additional terrorist attacks could occur in the next several days inside the United States or against United States' interests overseas, the warning prompted by credible information? What do you make of that, and then what do you do about it?
WOODWARD: Good questions.
First of all, I make that -- a lot of it. I would take it very seriously. We will have nothing secret or totally astonishing in "The Post" tomorrow, but I think we will explain a little bit what was behind this.
And the essence is there is an abundance of intelligence in terms of quantity that -- the quality of some of it is such that the people who look at these things deem it very credible, and that you have to put people on alert. There's no way you could sit on all of this information and not provide some sort of general warning, which they've done.
Now the question of what to do is something everyone's wrestling with, and if there's a deficiency in all of this -- and I think the average person feels this acutely -- why doesn't the government put out a list or have some sort of "Do this. Don't do that."
Do you need a gas mask? Should you have antibiotics? Should you not fly on a certain day? Is a certain part of the country more vulnerable than another? And so forth.
So the average person looks at this and, I think, is quite perplexed, and just to say "be alert" maybe isn't enough.
KING: Probably pooling and renting private planes all over the country for the weekend.
Now you have a front-page article in today's "Washington Post." The headline is "Bin Laden Said to Own the Taliban. Bush Is Told That He Gave the Regime $100 Million." Elaborate.
WOODWARD: Well, over five years, bin Laden through businesses, some illegal, some legal, through extracted payments from countries in the Gulf states to keep bin Laden and his followers, out and from some of these charitable front organizations, bin Laden makes a lot of money, and he, in a sense, made the Taliban, the regime in Afghanistan, almost a wholly-owned subsidiary of his.
So it explains why the regime there is willing to give him shelter. In a sense, he is the ultimate rich uncle running around the country who has -- can go anywhere, get support from them, and it, in part, explains why we've not been able to find him.
KING: They do this at the risk of their own lives?
WOODWARD: Clearly. I mean, the bombing is real, and lots of people have been killed, and it -- the financial commitment is so great, that, in fact, bin Laden is the single most -- single greatest supporter of that regime in financial terms and in terms of giving military equipment and various high quality fighters, a mil -- part of his militia.
KING: Does that mean, Bob, that the more we learn about him, the more effective he appears to be?
WOODWARD: I think that's quite right. The more you dig into this --
You see bin Laden on television, and he seems a little strange, he seems not like the typical leaderly figure, not the charismatic figure that sometimes has led some of these movements.
When you look at the money, you look at the level of commitment, the people who have investigated this, in our business, journalism, or in the FBI, you see that the trade craft that was practiced by these hijackers is absolutely astounding, perfect timing. I've heard people in the CIA say "We could not pull off an operation like was pulled off September 11th."
So these are not amateurs. These are people who just don't have this perverted religious commitment to killing Americans, but they're willing to sit in apartment buildings for years and move around. It's astonishing.
KING: Let's take a call for Bob Woodward.
San Francisco, hello.
CALLER: Hello. Mr. Woodward, when bin Laden appears on television and drinks a glass of water, do you believe that's a coded message to blow up cruise ships or bridges or -- or is this sort of an infringement on the press, on the media by not producing his presentation?
KING: And what do we do with things like a bin Laden tape?
WOODWARD: Well, I'd -- I have no idea whether it is a code or not. It sounds like a strange code. I don't know. -- my view is, as a reporter, it's better to have detailed information to see who the other side is.
The White House is concerned about it. I'm sure they have reasons, and the networks have, apparently, in some fuzzy way, agreed to not run the full text or video and audio of future statements here his spokespeople might make.
KING: We'll be right back with more of Bob Woodward. More of your phone calls as well.
Then Mike Wallace and others will follow that.
As we go to break, here's the president speaking about bin Laden.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don't know if he's dead or alive. I want him brought to justice, however. We are following every possible lead to make sure that any Al Qaeda member that could be in the United States is brought to justice. The FBI has got thousands of agents who are following every hint of a possibility of an Al Qaeda member in our country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: As we come back, a shot of Washington, D.C., the Washington Monument live this evening, on the one-month anniversary of the tragedy at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Bob Woodward is with us.
How does he funnel the money? How does do it? I mean, you've got lots of money, but money is -- it's not easy to move money around. How does he do that?
WOODWARD: Bin Laden -- he has lots of bank accounts, lots of cover accounts. There are legitimate businesses that he has, and they have a method of trust accounts where people will transfer large sums of money based on trust so there is literally no record of it. Again, you're exactly right. The more you get into the intricacies of it, you see how sophisticated it often is and how formidable it is.
KING: And how much of a leader is he? What do we know about him as a leader of people?
WOODWARD: Don't know. He, obviously, has -- and there are people in our government in the intelligence agencies who worry deeply about this, that we have made him a symbol.
He represents the other side, and so people who have grievances, people who don't like the United States, for good reason or bad reason -- he is a magnet for all of that, and no doubt he has hundreds of thousands -- millions of followers.
You've seen the video in some of these countries where they cheer him.
KING: Dallas, Texas. A call from for Bob Woodward. Hello.
CALLER: Yes, I want to get back to the money as the subject for a little bit. I think a lot of the money comes from the areas dealing with the drugs. And how come nobody's really accessing these parts of the world?
I think that a lot of the money and a lot of the ways that, you know, you were asking him about the way -- ways that he gets his money. I think a lot comes from the drugs, and we've already got all these laws that goes into that. How come we're not using that more?
KING: Do we have a connection there, Bob?
WOODWARD: Well, I think that it's more the Taliban itself that allegedly deals in drugs quite extensively, but because it's the country of origin, the price is very low, they may make some money, but it's really in markup process where the astronomical profits are made.
KING: Vancouver, hello.
CALLER: Good evening. My question is how will we ever know if bin Laden is alive or dead.
WOODWARD: That's a good question. There was -- there were rumors going around today that he might have been killed, and we were talking about this at "The Post." When you do run the story? When do you put his obituary out there?
And I think you need to double DNA test. You want to make absolutely sure. I -- if you think ahead a little bit, I'm sure bin Laden and his followers would love for somebody, particularly President Bush or the United States government or the American media, to declare him dead, and then he appears again in one of those videos and said it was premature to declare this.
So you really need absolutely positive evidence.
KING: What do you make of "The Wall Street Journal" story today that the possibility is driving the FBI that there's a lot more Al Qaeda cells in the United States than we thought?
WOODWARD: They've caught up to story we did a couple weeks ago about these four or five Al Qaeda cells in this country.
Clearly, the FBI is very worried, the people who work in counterterrorism are quite upset that there were these cells -- the hijacker cells that we did not detect and the people that they have been following and monitoring seemed to not break the laws. It's not clear what they're up to.
In other words, they're just like the groups that did the hijackings. So people are on triple alert in the FBI about these people in this country.
KING: As a veteran investigative journalist, how tough is this story?
WOODWARD: Well, I -- it's got so many moving parts, and you try to figure out where the center of gravity of the story is each day, and you can be looking at the diplomatic end, and it's on the military front or the CIA end or the financial squeeze they're putting on him. So it's hard.
KING: Thank you as always. Bob Woodward, the assistant managing editor "The Washington Post," Pulitzer prizewinning journalist, one of the best, if not the best, at what he does.
By the way, among the guests tomorrow might, Ehud Barak will be with us live here in studio, the former prime minister of Israel. And the NATO secretary general will be with us as well, George Robertson.
With us next, Mike Wallace, Congressman Christopher Shays, and Colonel Randall Larsen. They're all next.
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My focus is bringing Al Qaeda to justice and saying to the host government, "You had your chance to deliver."
Actually, I will say it again. If you cough him up and his people today that we'll reconsider what we're doing to your country. You still have a second chance. Just bring him in and bring his leaders and lieutenants and other thugs and criminals with him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We now welcome to LARRY KING LIVE a good friend -- what a great journalist he is -- Mike Wallace, the co-editor of "60 Minutes." He's been doing reports on bioterrorism for years. Won a news Emmy for a "60 Minutes'" segment on smallpox virus as a potential bioweapon. In Washington, Congressman Christopher Shays, Republican of Connecticut, chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs and International Relations. And tomorrow, he'll convene a hearing: "Combating Terrorism: Assessing the Threat of a Biological Weapons Attack." And also in Washington, for his fourth night in a row with us, Colonel Randall Larsen, United States Air Force, retired, and director of the Anser Institute for Homeland Security. The institute's Web site, by the way, is HomelandSecurity.org.
Mike, you have been on this a long time. Do you feel people have overlooked it?
MIKE WALLACE, CO-EDITOR, CBS "60 MINUTES": Oh, people have overlooked it for years, yes. There was an immense amount of activity going on, Larry, over the years, but we didn't know about it. And despite all of that activity, we still don't know enough about it.
I must have talked to, I don't know, half a dozen, a dozen of the most knowledgeable people in the field of bioterrorism over the past few months. And each one of them seems to have a different understanding from the other as to how serious it is, what to do about it.
You keep asking the question, "What to do?" -- and it's the best question of all -- I as an American am still bewildered despite talking to these experts about what to do in the event of something happening.
KING: Congressman Shays, how confusing is it?
REP. CHRISTOPHER SHAYS (R-CT), CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL SECURITY SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE ON VETERANS AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: Well, it's a bit confusing, but if we start out just talking the truth and telling the American people the truth, then ultimately we'll sort of it. I mean, it's not a question of if: It's a question of when, where and of what magnitude. Chemical is more likely than biological. If it's biological, it will be more significant.
KING: So it is not a question of when -- not a question of if. It's a question of when.
KING: Do you agree -- Mike, do you agree with that?
WALLACE: Yes, I do from what -- I'm the captive of the people I talk to, and nobody knows more about it in the Congress, as far as I am concerned, than Chris Shays. He's held, I don't know, 18 hearings on the subject over the years. He knows.
But when the fact comes, should you have a gas mask? Should you try to get an anthrax vaccination, if you could? You can't right now. What about the possibility of a smallpox vaccination? Everybody seems to have a different idea. And there's nobody who can say to the American people the answer to your question, "What do we do?"
KING: Colonel Larsen, what do we do?
RET. COL. RANDALL LARSEN, DIRECTOR, ANSER INSTITUTE FOR HOMELAND SECURITY: Well, Larry, it's a very complex subject, but I'll tell you the first things we need to do. I'm going to give you three steps we need to do to prepare this nation better for bioterrorism or biowarfare.
First of all, we need to coach. We need a game plan. And we need to practice.
We don't have a single person in charge. And it's exactly what Mr. Wallace is talking about. You talk to 20 different experts, you get about a dozen different answers. Some people say smallpox can be real bad: Yes, but it's not possible to happen, it's very remote.
We need, like Congressman Shays has been saying, let's have a good assessment on this. We need to take a bunch of our top experts in the country, lock them out at Wye River or some conference center for about a week. And let's say let's get a consensus piece on what we need to do.
There needs to be somebody in charge. And then we need to have this game plan. And then we need to practice. And that was well- demonstrated in Denver in May of 2000. We did the Top Off exercise. They gave them a simple scenario out there. They gave them two weeks advance warning. And they didn't do a very good job.
KING: Mike, go ahead.
WALLACE: Forgive me. And then came Dark Winter in June, run by Sam Nunn. And you know and I know that it was a disaster. This was a smallpox attack, mock. And...
LARSEN: No, my -- I was one of the developers of the Dark Winter exercise, Mike. I worked on that for six months.
LARSEN: But I must tell you, though, we specifically -- Dr. Tara O'Toole from Johns Hopkins and I designed that exercise. We designed it with smallpox, knowing that that was the least likely scenario. But the purpose of the exercise was not to demonstrate that a smallpox attack could occur. We used smallpox because it would magnify the problems.
The purpose of the exercise was to identify the fault lines between the federal and state government response, the lack of resources.
So I'm least concerned about smallpox. I'm very concerned about things like plague and anthrax.
KING: Congressman Shays, is Colonel Larsen right? Do we need someone in charge of all of this?
SHAYS: Oh, absolutely. I mean, everyone has said that we don't have a proper assessment of the risk. That's the purpose of our hearing tomorrow, to determine how we assess the risk.
Then you have to have a strategy to implement -- to be implemented. And you need to organize to implement your strategy. So we will get some.
And I mean, this is, you know, the extraordinary thing is that so much has happened in just four weeks. Ultimately, we're going to get handle on it. We don't have a handle on it yet, but we will.
KING: And Congressman, not many people are attacking big government anymore. We're all looking to big government. Big government is suddenly in.
SHAYS: Well, I would...
KING: But we still get down to the individual, don't we? And as Mike said and we've said, what does the individual do tomorrow with the threat?
SHAYS: Well, first, I'd love to just respond. It used to be the big ate the small, and now it's the fast eat the slow. And what makes a terrorist so powerful in a sense is that they're secret, they're fast. You don't know when they're going to hit. They're like small entrepreneurs.
And bin Laden has basically trained so many terrorists out there to operate somewhat independently and then get funding from him when they have a good project.
So I'm not sure big government is going to be your answer. We're going to turn to private sector. We're going to turn to small units within our military to respond and to be quick. So it's going to be public and private responding.
KING: But there is nothing Joe Citizen can do, Joe Citizen living in Des Moines, Iowa can do nothing tomorrow that he didn't do today?
SHAYS: Well, I would say this: What they want to do is get their government to deal with this 100 percent of its time, totally focused. And we want the American people to know it's a serious threat so they ask their government to do this, and they understand why it is truly a war and why we're in race with the terrorists. They want a better delivery system right now on biological agents to deliver.
KING: Mike, you agree that the thing is the individual has to ask his government now? That's the next mode.
WALLACE: There's got to be a czar, if you want to call it. The fact -- I hate to keep saying, but I've talked with Chris Shays. I've talked to (UNINTELLIGIBLE) Henderson. I've talked with Matt Meselson. Everybody, everybody, they'll tell you, no, it's unnecessary to get a vaccination against anthrax, if one were available, because an antibiotic can handle that. No, you don't have to get a smallpox vaccine, because, conceivably, the side effects would be bad.
I don't know. I had one when I was a kid and there were no side effects.
And the cost of all of this has multiplied by 100 times practically over the years.
We need somebody to tell us the truth. And we have to get the scientific community behind that individual, whoever he or she is, and say "This is what the government feels you people as Americans have to do."
KING: Colonel Larsen, who is that he or she?
LARSEN: I don't know. Someone like D.A. Henderson is certainly a figure in the community that everyone respects...
WALLACE: Bet your life.
LARSEN: ... who could lead an effort like that. But I want to respond something that you asked earlier, Larry, about what can the individual citizens do. Now we've discussed this before in here about the standard things we should do. We've got to remember, we're in a war right now. So you should prepare those two weeks of non- perishable food, water, batteries, and stuff like that.
But for bio, it is primarily a government response, but there's still important things that private citizens can do, particularly as an organization. You look at like the Rotary Organization that did a great job in the Polio Plus Program, helping to eradicate polio, and saved millions of lives around the world. Service organizations like that could play a great role in the community.
During the Top Off exercise -- let's go back to that again. The CDC gets their 94,000 pound push-pack of antibiotics to the city, but now you've got to get it from big bottles down to little packages and get it out to all the citizens. We don't have good procedures for that today. That's where service organizations could be a great help in volunteer work in doing that.
KING: That's well-put. I've got to get a break. And we'll come back. We'll include some phone calls, as well. As we go to break, here's the president discussing the FBI warning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We took strong and appropriate action. And we will do so any time we receive a credible threat.
Now, the American people have got to go about their business. We cannot let the terrorists achieve the objective of frightening our nation to the point where we don't conduct business or people don't shop. That's their intention.
Their intention was not only to kill and maim and destroy: Their intention was to frighten to the point where our nation would not act.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We're back with people who know their stuff. Let's take a call. Sacramento, hello.
CALLER: Hi. I'm just concerned. With the incident in Florida, the anthrax -- the testing for the anthrax is taking days for the results. And that's just with 400 people. What happens if a large metropolitan area becomes exposed, like 400,000? You know, how long will we have to wait for that? Are we ready for that?
LARSEN: CDC's made some great strides in the last six to eight months about getting results faster. We'd still like to get them faster. We would like to have a detection capability that could sample it in the air when it's there. We're still a few years away from that.
SHAYS: Mike, can I...
KING: So in other words...
WALLACE: Yes, go ahead.
SHAYS: You know, I just want to say, again -- this may sound redundant. You need to tell people the truth. There is no immunity from a terrorist attack.
We could take a 100 different vaccines and be filled up with all these chemicals and agents and pharmaceutical drugs. That's not what we need.
We need stockpiles of certain vaccines to go in the areas where we're threatened, so when you have a problem with anthrax in a certain area, we have the antibiotics. We have -- we even have the vaccine that can speed up the cure. And you go to the areas where you need it.
We can't service everyone, and it would be foolish to try.
KING: Mike, if there were an attack in the air, God forbid, tonight in New York, how would you know about it?
WALLACE: You wouldn't necessarily. You can't smell it. You can't taste it. You can't feel it. Maybe you'd begin to feel like you had flu a day or two or three later. Your doctor has never treated anthrax before, chances are.
I mean, we are really talking about something that is -- one scientist with whom I spoke today said one anthrax episode that reaches 50 people in one building. Can you imagine, he said to me today, can you imagine what would happen?
SHAYS: It would be horrible, but it wouldn't be contagious. And we could contain it. And then we would treat it. It wouldn't be -- it's something -- that's something we can deal with. What we can't deal with is if it's in 50 cities all at one time. Then we have a problem. If it's localized, I think we can deal with it.
KING: Homer, Louisiana.
WALLACE: And what if...
KING: I'm sorry. Go ahead, Mike. Hold on, Homer.
WALLACE: And what if -- we saw people commit suicide by running a bomb into a couple of buildings. What if somebody infected himself with smallpox and walked into a building? And all of a sudden it's person-to-person contact. It's very infectious. What do you do about that? What do we do?
LARSEN: Larry, smallpox is very contagious, but I'll go back to this. It's very unlikely. It's the least likely to happen, because it's so hard to find the smallpox virus to produce to do that.
Yes, the scenario is bad. It is contagious, and it'll spread from person-to-person. But the more likely one is anthrax or plague. And you know, there's some good news here about dealing with al Qaeda here. You know, they use their airplane weapons first against us. I think that if they had biological weapons, sophisticated biological weapons, they would have used them first.
We're so much better-prepared today because our public health and medical community are on high alert. So, that leads me to believe that either the -- Osama bin Laden isn't the great strategist that we thought he was, or he doesn't have biological weapons.
SHAYS: Don't get are carried away.
LARSEN: But now there's a third one. Congressman, there's a third option. There's a third option. Maybe he only has low-tech weapons, like we're seeing down in Florida right now, where he knows he couldn't make a big splash with them.
But now that he has our attention, now that there's fear in the United States, you kill two or three in Florida, two or three in Minnesota, two or three in Utah, and then use that as the fear. So, that's why we have to be prepared. And that's why we have to understand that anthrax can be controlled or treated with the antibiotics if we make an appropriate response.
KING: Let me get Homer in Louisiana. And then we can hear from the congressman. Homer, go ahead.
CALLER: OK, I would like to say this comment first. And then I have a question. Since we're sending so much of our military people, personnel in harm's way, I think the least we can do at home to support them is to get back shopping and flying to keep our economy moving while of course being mindful and alert.
And my question is this: Since we're so focused on anthrax and smallpox, what about other communicable diseases that haven't been mentioned, like meningitis? And also, how long does a smallpox vaccination last? Like people -- I'm 51 years old. I'm sure the one I had from childhood is no longer current. So could somebody answer those questions?
KING: All right, Colonel, you want to take that?
LARSEN: The one that I had 50 years ago, or when I first came in the Army in '67, that's really not effective after 10 years. Or we don't have really hard scientific data, but we know that it's not.
KING: What about other things?
LARSEN: Now, there's 60 different biological pathogens that have been tested in biological weapons program, many of them in the Soviet Union. Of those, we're worried about a dozen to 18.
But it's back to what Mr. Wallace said. I mean, you get the CIA and the CDC and the FBI. They can't even agree right now on what the most likely 12 agents are. Exactly what he said at the beginning of this segment, we have to get some agreement in the scientific community so we can get a good plan to start this.
KING: Mike Wallace, Senator John McCain's going to be one of our guests tomorrow. He told me a couple of weeks ago that he's glad he grew up when he grew up. He wouldn't want to be a little child today. What do you make of that?
WALLACE: I don't like being an old man today. I sure as the Dickens...
I don't want to go out, and I'm near to that.
SHAYS: What he means is -- what he means...
WALLACE: I've got to believe that we're going to be able somehow to help ourselves. And I must say I think the president is doing a remarkable job. Larry, can I say something -- may I say something on behalf of the Binladin family for a moment? There's a fellow by the name of Abdullah Mohammed Binladin. He's 35 years old, 36, and he has been living in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
A lot of the Binladin kids -- there are 52, 53 siblings. And a lot of them, a remarkable number of them, have been studying here in the United States. Abdullah Binladin says Osama bin Laden has hijacked our family name. I would hate to be named Binladin today.
SHAYS: But some of their money, too, Mike -- that's the problem. Some of their money -- we can't be certain that this is a clean operation. And that's a fact.
WALLACE: Well, they certainly, Chris, they certainly have had a great deal to do philanthropically in this country, as well as in other countries.
SHAYS: So do organized criminals. I mean, the bottom line is they have so many different operations. The Saudis have been playing both sides of this issue.
SHAYS: They don't want to offend certain groups. And I'm just saying to you, I don't have a total comfort level. They have transportation organizations and so on. They produce certain products. I'm just not totally comfortable.
WALLACE: All right, they regard him -- they regard him, they say, as their bad seed. And they regard -- and the Saudi government...
SHAYS: That's an understatement.
WALLACE: Yes. And the Saudi government has relieved him of his citizenship.
KING: Yes, this is...
SHAYS: Could I just...
KING: Yeah, go ahead, Congressman.
SHAYS: Could I jump in a second?
I just want to say that I have no comfort level that the Russians, the former Soviet Union, has secured their biological agents, their chemical agents, or even their nuclear weapons. I mean, there can be no certainty about that.
And the fact that we can't be certain, we have to anticipate and deal with all of them. That's why we are in a race with the terrorists. We have to deny them a home. We have to deny them a place to train.
And that's why your first guest was so important. Bin Laden basically owns Afghanistan. And we waited too long to deal with it. But now we're dealing with it.
And the last point I want to make to you is the American people need to have courage. There will be attacks, but it won't necessarily be against you, and very unlikely it would be against a particular American.
So we just have to carry on our life and show courage and know that our government is working on this and doing a hell of a good job. Now...
KING: Mike? Mike Wallace, how worried are you?
WALLACE: I don't know. I don't know. I'm worried. And I agree...
SHAYS: Being worried is OK.
WALLACE: That's right.
LARSEN: Yes, but let's put it in context. Come on, you know, I grew up in the Cold War. I understand what Senator McCain said. I grew up in the Cold War. I used to go down to the civil defense office and read the literature about what 10,000 thermonuclear weapons would do to this country. That's not the kind of threat we're facing today. Let's put it in context.
KING: All right, guys, we're out of time. We're going to call on all of you again. Mike Wallace, Congressman Christopher Shays, and Colonel Randall Larsen, we've just touched this subject. When we come back, some dramatic stories. Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At this time I ask that we join together, for a moment of silence to remember those who may not be with us, but certainly, are within us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Before we meet our next guests and our Paul McCartney moment, during the past months here on LARRY KING LIVE, the past single month rather, we have heard stories of incredible love and unspeakable loss. And we want to share some of them with you. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
DEBORAH BURLINGAME, BROTHER WAS FLIGHT 77 PILOT: I didn't know what he was saying. He was screaming. And then I caught him, I caught the word "Chick." It's Chick. And there's no words to describe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But personally, I've lost quite a few, maybe a dozen personal friends. And it breaks my heart. Great men. They were very great men.
MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI (R), NEW YORK: It's staggering. I mean, we have 343 members of the New York Fire Department missing.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was really hard going in to give birth to her, because he should have been there. And it was supposed to be a joyous occasion. And it was awfully sad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to find my daughter no matter what it takes, no matter what I have to do. There's only one thing in my life right now, and that's to bring her home.
TED OLSON, U.S. SOLICITOR-GENERAL: There was a note that Barbara had written to me on the pillow, saying: "I love you. When you read this, I will be thinking of you, and I will be back on" -- "I will be back Friday."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I said: "President Bush, this is my husband, Kip Taylor, who was at the Pentagon last Tuesday and has not been found." We talked about Kip, who he was, what I was going through. And he said the most important thing for me to do was to bring a healthy baby into the world.
HOWARD LUTNICK, CEO, CANTOR FITZGERALD: My wife has a brother named Gary, too. So he always had two uncle Garys. I told him that he only has -- he only has one Uncle Gary. The other uncle Gary got hurt at work and he can't -- he can't come over anymore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We welcome to LARRY KING LIVE in New York Missy Sherry. She lost her husband, John, and cousin Donald in that attack. Also in New York, Kim Moran, wife of missing firefighter John Moran. And in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the now familiar face of Lisa Beamer. Her husband was one of the heroes of Flight 93. She is pregnant with her third child. She's in East Rutherford. She dropped the opening puck tonight at the New Jersey Devil Hockey game.
Missy Sherry, you were overseas when this happened. Tell us what happened.
MISSY SHERRY, LOST HUSBAND & COUSIN IN WORLD TRADE CENTER ATTACK: Yes, I was. I was in Scotland visiting family, expecting my husband to come and join me a week from the day later. And I had gotten a phone call that a plane had hit the Trade Center. And I immediately ran to the phone and called, because I was not sure which tower had been hit. And I was able to contact my husband and speak with him briefly. And he said he was going home. And unfortunately, he never made it out of the building.
KING: He was in Tower 2?
SHERRY: Yes, he was, on the 84th floor.
KING: And what happened with your cousin Donald? SHERRY: My cousin Donald is a Port Authority Police Officer who at the very same moment I phoned his wife from Scotland beeped in on the same line to find out where my husband, John, was so that he could go up and get him.
KING: And then he went into the building to -- ostensibly to find John?
SHERRY: He was already in the building and had called home to find out what floor my husband was on so he could go up and try to find him and get out together.
KING: So you have these built-up hopes that your husband is speaking fine, he's going to get out?
KING: When you saw those buildings go down, did you stay watching television while in Scotland?
SHERRY: I didn't watch quite so much. I was just trying to call to New York, trying to get through. And as we all know, the phone lines were down. And there was absolutely no way I could get through. I kept trying to call his office. And I had stayed away from the television because I just had so much hope that he would be OK.
KING: How are you dealing with this, Missy, the loss of husband, cousin? How are you dealing with it?
SHERRY: I look at my two little boys every day and I get the strength to get up and I take care of them. And I try to just comfort them and let them know that it is OK, because they are so fearful. And they don't know what's going to happen. I just -- I don't think the reality of it all has hit me yet, but I just try to be strong for them. And I have a piece of my husband for the rest of my life.
KING: Lisa, I guess that's the thing you've been doing. Right?
LISA BEAMER, HUSBAND WAS FLIGHT 93 HERO: Yes, I've been obviously rallying around my children, too. They force you to get up in the morning. And you know, I'm just trying to be concentrating on the things that I still have, not the thing that I've lost. I deal with that throughout the day, but I just definitely try to focus on, you know, my faith and my boys and my family and all the things that I have left to be thankful for.
KING: Kim Moran, tell us about what happened to your husband, John.
KIM MORAN, LOST FIREFIGHTER HUSBAND: Well, he was off duty at 7:00. He works for a special operations command in Manhattan, Roosevelt Island. And Ray Downey is the commander of special operations command. And he offered his help. And he went with Ray. We really don't know where he was. They suspect that he was in Tower 2.
KING: He was home?
MORAN: No, he was off-duty. He was still at the office on Roosevelt Island at the special operations command post, you know.
KING: And Ray Downey was also killed, right?
MORAN: Yes. He's missing also.
KING: Or he's listed as missing.
KING: When did you last speak to John?
MORAN: I spoke to him Monday night about 9:30. And that was the last time I spoke to him.
KING: How are you dealing with this?
MORAN: It's very difficult -- moment by moment. It's just like Missy said, you know, I have two little boys and I have to be strong for them. And they're what keeps me going. Every time I look at them, I see John.
KING: Was he one of those guys, John, that we found so many in talking to firemen, was a fireman in his heart, in his blood, and in every facet of his life?
MORAN: Completely. Totally. Loved it, loved the men he worked with.
KING: Yes. What's it like to be married to a fireman?
MORAN: It's wonderful really. They're very kind and gentle and wonderful people. You do always, in the back of your mind, know that there's a possibility they're not coming home.
KING: You're a flight attendant?
MORAN: Yes, I'm a flight attendant with American Airlines.
KING: Still flying?
MORAN: No, I have not flown since the 11th.
KING: Will you fly again?
MORAN: I don't know. I can't make that decision right now.
KING: Missy, the kids are how old?
SHERRY: My younger son, Johnny, will be 3 in two weeks, and my older son, James, will be 5 in December.
KING: Does James understand all this? SHERRY: James understands, but feels the pressure and has said to me, "Mommy, how do I be a daddy? I'm only four." And it's -- trying to take on this responsibility that is just greater than anything I ever imagined. So he does understand and at the same time just doesn't know how to handle what he feels.
KING: Kim, your children are how old?
MORAN: Dylan is 4 and Ryan is 7.
KING: Ryan understands?
MORAN: Oh, yes, he does.
KING: And Dylan?
MORAN: Not quite as much. He understands that his dad is not coming home, but he still thinks that, you know, I know daddy's going to be OK, or when God fixes him, he'll come back home.
KING: You people are amazing. And Lisa, you continue to amaze us all. Missy Sherry, Kim Moran and Lisa Beamer. What can you say?
Speaking today about what happened on September 11, Mayor Rudy Giuliani said, "Sometimes it feels like yesterday, sometimes it feels like a year ago or more."
We want to thank Sir Paul McCartney, a recent guest on this show, for allowing us to leave with this poignantly beautiful ballad, "Yesterday," accompanying some heartbreaking images. And we'll be back right after it.
(MUSIC, PAUL MCCARTNEY SINGING "YESTERDAY")
KING: Tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE, Ehud Barak, the former prime minister of Israel, and the NATO secretary-general, George Robertson, and Senator John McCain, among others will be aboard.
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